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10.5: New 10.5-only RSS feeds added - updated Site News
Update: Based on the comments to this story, I did some investigating, and we did indeed have some issues with the feeds. Unfortunately, to fix them I had to basically reset the feeds, which means you will probably want to re-subscribe to the ones you're interested in using. The links below are now correct for each feed.

Both feeds seem to work fine for me in 10.5 in Google Reader and NetNewsWire. Using Mail's RSS reader, the 'all tips' feed only shows one tip, while the 'System only' feed shows what it's supposed to show. I do not know why this is happening, but we're looking into it.

We have two new RSS feeds available, specifically for OS X 10.5 tips:
  • All 10.5 tips: This feed includes all tips that are coded with the 10.5: title prefix. This is probably the more useful of the two feeds, as you'll see everything about 10.5.
  • 10.5 System tips only: All the tips in the actual System 10.5 category.
And starting Monday, you'll see quite a jump in the 10.5 tip activity -- there have been over 140 submissions since Thursday morning, and I've got another 20 or tips that I'm ready to write up (if they haven't been submitted -- better for all of you relative to the contest if I write as few of the hints as possible, right?).

Overall, I'm really enjoying the new OS X release, aside from a few irritating things that I hope are resolved by Apple or creative third parties. But more on that in the future...for now, on with the tips!

-rob.
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10.5: New 3D vs. 2D dock poll posted Site News
I thought it might be interesting to see where the readers' opinions fall on the new 2D and 3D docks in OS X 10.5 -- hence our newest poll. I've also created a full-size comparison shot so you can easily see the differences between the two. I set the dock to its largest size on my machine, then switched the dock style and took the two shots. Trimmed to just fit the height and width, the pixel dimensions of the 3D dock are 1217x105, while the 2D version comes in at 1165x97.

So which do you prefer -- i.e. which will you be using, courtesy of this hint -- when you make the move to 10.5?
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Two new OS X 10.5 polls posted - vote now! Site News
New polls up! We're just over a week away from OS X 10.5's release, so I thought it might be interesting to see what your plans are relative to when you'll be buying it and how you'll be installing it.

Spread the word; I think it would be interesting to get a large number of votes prior to the release (no registration required to vote) to get a sense of the community's plans. My plans? Well, I think I need to be running it ASAP (to test the hints, natch), and I typically always do clean installs of major OS releases.

-rob.
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Announcing the 'Best Leopard Hints' contest! Site News
Some of you may recall last summer, when we ran our first-ever Best Hint contest. Now that Leopard is upon us, we thought it'd be fun to roll it out again, taking into account some of the feedback from the first contest, and giving away more cool stuff.

The Mac OS X Hints Best Leopard Hints Contest

How it works: From Friday, October 26th through Friday, December 21st, any hint published here that is specific to OS X 10.5 (including its bundled applications) is eligible for this contest. Tips that are related to third-party applications will be considered eligible if the hint itself is specific to OS X 10.5. Keep in mind that to be published, a hint must pass some level of review -- it can't be a duplicate, it can't be for something obvious such as a menu shortcut, and to be eligible for the contest, it must be your original work (in other words, pointers to things you found on other sites may be published, but they will not be eligible for the contest.)

During the holiday break, I and the Macworld editors will narrow the field down to 20 finalists. On or around Wednesday, January 2nd, we'll open the voting on those 20 finalists to everyone. One of the complaints about the first contest was that the final winners were chosen solely by Macworld editors. This time, both the editors and you the readers will be voting, and we'll average the results to find the winners.

Voting will continue through Friday, January 11th, and winners will be announced on or around Monday, January 14th (we can't announce the winners until we've been in contact with them, so that may take a day or two). Coincidentally, that's the same week that Macworld Expo starts.

This being a contest with real prizes and all, we do have a set of official rules that I recommend you read if you want more details on how this will all work. For now, keep reading to find out what, exactly, you might be walking away with in mid-January...
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Goodbye For Now Site News
It's back to Rob for next week's hints. He's been keeping me up to date on his vacation activities, with fun in the sun, drinks with umbrellas, pool-side massages, and much more. Ah, the joys of Caribbean vacations...

If you've paid attention to the ruckus about this week's poll, in which I was ardently flamed, you might want to check out my thoughts on the issue. Or you might not.
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Poll: How Often Do You Turn Off the Power to Your Internet Connection? Site News
Discussing this hint with Rob yesterday, I asked him if he really left his Internet connection, and a Mac, on when he's on vacation, or even overnight? I feel that this is a huge waste of electricity, hence a cause of pollution. I turn my router and DSL box off every night before I go to bed; I don't need it on at night, and it would be a waste of money to leave it on.

Initial reactions to this poll suggest that I'm in a minority, but we need more opinions to have a valid sample. For those who don't turn these devices off, do you think about the power you waste, both in terms of cost of electricity and pollution? Do you turn off other devices that suck up power on stand-by? (I turn off my TV, satellite box and hard disk recorder as well.)

Vote here.
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Next week's hints will be edited by... Site News
...Kirk McElhearn, who will be sitting in for me at the editor's desk as I take the week off (to rest my fingers in anticipation of the upcoming Leopard release).

As you've probably noticed by now, with Tiger getting a bit long in the tooth, it's getting tougher and tougher to find little nuggets about what is now Apple's oldest-ever version of OS X. I fully expect things will pick back up again with Leoaprd's release, as not only are there hundreds of new OS features to dig into and figure out, but there are many brand-new applications (Finder, Spaces, Time Machine), as well as changes to existing applications (iChat, Mail, iCal, Safari) that I'm sure have hidden features to be revealed. In addition, I expect a spate of hints about how to modify the dockshelf in Leopard, as that seems to be (based on feedback on various sites based on the images on Apple's site) one of the more contentious modified features in 10.5.

In any event, Kirk will be handling the posting duties next week while I relax on a Caribbean beachhandle a bunch of household tasks that I've long put off doing. I'll be back at the desk on Monday October 8th, and perhaps by then, we'll have an actual 10.5 release date...or perhaps not. Either way, I'll be here posting the hints that come in, and doing my best to keep things moving along until Leopard comes out.

-rob.
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Hints on holiday... Site News
Today is Labor Day in the United States, so no new hints. I'd tell you I'll be off enjoying the day with friends and family, but the reality is that I'm still trying to get over a nasty little cold/flu bug that our kids seem to have brought home on Friday. :(

We'll be back as usual tomorrow.

-rob.
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iPhone RSS feed added; new poll today; PotW returns! Site News
First, it's been a while since we had a new poll ... so I rectified that. As I'm in the midst of adjusting to iPhoto '08, I thought it'd be interesting to see how things have changed in three years. In July of 2004, we ran this poll, asking how many digital photos you had on your Mac. At that time, over 50% of the respondents had fewer than 1,500 images on their machines. I think the figures will be quite a bit different this time, so I've expanded each range to give a bit more room on the high end. So give iPhoto or Aperture a quick glance and tell us how many pictures you've got stored in there.

The other bit of site-related news is that we now have an iPhone RSS feed. As I expected, the volume of iPhone hints has dropped since the introduction, but if you want to keep up with the occasional tidbit, subscribe to the RSS feed. (You can see the details of this feed (and the 20-odd other feeds), including the total number of hints to date (42) on the RSS page, linked just below the site logo.)

And in truly shocking news, look for a (gasp!) new Pick of the Week (PotW) selection later today. Yes, returning after an Eagles-like absence ("For the record, we never broke up. We just took a fourteen year vacation"), the Pick of the Week has returned to work. I was thinking of going in and backfilling for the months it's been idle, but that wouldn't be fair to the apps I chose to put in the past weeks, as they wouldn't get a full week's worth of exposure in the box at the top of the site. So I'm just going to pick it up as of this week. If you're new here, the Pick of the Week is a program that I find interesting, typically (but not always) something that's a bit off the beaten path that you may not have heard of. This table shows the 2007 winners, and from there, you can link back to see everything from 2002 onwards. As always, if you have nominees, feel free to email them my direction -- you can use the Contact Us link at the bottom of any page to do so.

-rob.
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New iPhone category added... Site News
It appears my initial iPhone hints assessment was wrong -- I thought we'd only see a handful of iPhone tips and then it would fade into the background. Instead, there are now 15+ iPhone-related tips in the queue after only a week. I do expect things will slow down as we move forward -- just like anything new (iTunes 7, etc.), the iPhone is getting a lot of attention right now. However, I felt that this volume of tips merited a new iPhone section, to make it easier for folks to either see just the iPhone tips, or to not see them at all.

You can use the Hints by Topic drop-down in the sidebar to easily see just the iPhone tips. If you're at the other end of the spectrum (and you're a registered user), you can set your preferences so that you never see iPhone tips. Just visit your account's Preferences screen, and place a checkmark next to iPhone in the Excluded Items section of the page, then click Save Information.

And yes, I'm very much looking forward to October, when I expect we'll start seeing a flood of hints on Leopard, iLife 07/08, and iWork 07/08 (assuming those are also released with/near 10.5). But after 26 months and 938 tips on 10.4, there's just not a lot of top-secret 10.4 information to be found. So until 10.5 comes out, we'll have the usual mix of application tips, AppleScript and Unix tips, and yes, now iPhone tips as well.

-rob.
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