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Tons of new hints today ... again! Site News
Nearly 20 today (the Pick of the Week is still coming, too) ... break out those browsers, RSS readers...

-rob.
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Post-weekend update... Site News
Happy? Monday, everyone...

If you weren't around this weekend, you have some catch-up reading to do: there were 25 new hints added to the site during the weekend. I'm working on the usual Monday morning update right now, so there will be a fresh batch arriving in a couple of hours ... so start reading!

-rob.
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Read more ramblings from Rob ... if you wish! Site News
Dear Macosxhints readers...

Since launching macosxhints.com in November of 2000, I've always tried to keep the focus here clear and simple: it's about the hints. As such, I tend to (for the most part) keep my opinions out of the hints. For instance, if I think "Geez, it's stupid that we need this hint because OS X doesn't do such and such, which would make it irrelevant," I tend not to say such things. Instead, I let the hint (and ensuing comments) stand on its own, as it should. That's what this site is for: hints.

However, I do have opinions on many of the things we cover here, as well as on computing in general -- after nearly five years, 7,000+ hints, and who knows how many hours of OS X usage, opinions are kind of a side effect of the job! As an outlet for my thoughts, I have at times considered adding an "Editorial" category, just to see what others might have to say about my opinions. In the end, though, I have always decided such content would detract from the site's primary mission. "It's about the hints, stupid!," I would keep telling myself.

So instead of diluting the primary site's focus, I've decided to launched a separate blog site, just so I can drill down into the Mac- and technology-related subjects I find interesting. For lack of any creativity in naming, I'm calling it simply The Robservatory. As an example of the kinds of things I'll be writing about, ten things I like about Tiger and what I don't like about Spotlight are two of the first articles. In the future, I'm going to discuss the (in)consistency in application interfaces, things I don't like about OS X, and much more. There are no ads on The Robservatory, as it's not intended to be a revenue-generating site -- it's just my blog. Also, anonymous comments to articles are welcomed, so no registration is required (though it is enabled).

For those who may be thinking this post is the beginning of a shameless series of self-promotion between the two sites, please relax. I won't be using macosxhints as a platform for my blog site, so you don't need to worry -- this announcement is the basically the extent of the link between the two sites. Things here on macosxhints will continue as normal, and my primary focus is and always will be on macosxhints.com. The Robservatory will simply allow me to discuss some the Mac and technology subjects I find most interesting.

WEEKEND UPDATE #2: 10 more hints added, for a total of 25 for the weekend. There may be one more batch on Sunday evening, depending on how the day goes...

WEEKEND UPDATE: 15 new hints published! so far; more will be coming later on Sunday...

-rob.
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Bunches of hints today... Site News
OK RSS users, here's your alert that there are more than 10 hints today, so you'll have to visit the site to see the extras on page two.

-rob.
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Tons of new hints today! Site News
Make sure you read the second page today -- there are 16 new hints this morning, meaning they didn't all make it to the first page (and if you're using an RSS reader, you'll have to visit the site, as only the 10 newest show up in the reader). And you've probably noticed there's a new 10.4 icon on the 10.4 hints. Thanks to Stephen Coles of Typographica for putting it together for me!

I'm still many days behind, of course, but slowly catching up. So if you've sent something in and haven't seen it yet, it's probably still sitting in the queue. Also, due to the sheer volume of submissions, I cannot guarantee a response on duplicate submissions (I usually try to tell folks when they've sent in a duplicate).

-rob.
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About the new 10.4 (Tiger) hints Site News
Tiger only hint Below are the first nine Tiger hints; more wiil be published soon, of course, but not until Monday morning -- I need to get back home to my Tiger machine so that I can test a number of the other submissions.

Each hint is coded in two ways -- you'll see the graphic indicator next to each, as well as "10.4:" as the first part of the hint's title. This will make them easy to search on, and easy for non-10.4 users to identify.

As I did with 10.3, I've chosen to publish some 10.4 tips that are well documented -- given the newness of the system, I figure there's no harm in helping spread the word about certain cool features. You'll see that a bit in today's hints, as a number of them are probably documented somewhere. Hopefully you'll still find them interesting and useful. And so, without further ado, here's the beginning of the Tiger tips (starting at 6:01pm...)

-rob.
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Site schedule next week and Tiger's release... Site News

Due to travel plans this week, macosxhints' updates between April 25th and 29th will be somewhat intermittent.

Tiger tips coming at 6:01pm Pacific time tonight!
Friday April 29th: 6 new hints
Tuesday April 26th: 7 new hints

I will have (at best) an occasional net connection for the whole week, so getting hints posted will be a bit of a random affair. I'll definitely be running some stuff, but I can't really commit that there will be a daily update, nor that said update will occur at any given time on any given day. The best bet is probably to check the RSS feed a few times a day with your favorite RSS reader to see when the new stuff pops up. So if it seems slow around here next week ... well, it's because it probably is!

There will be, however, at least a few Tiger hints that will be posted at 6:01pm Pacific time on Friday the 29th. I have a few in the queue that have been sumbitted by readers, and there are some things I've stumbled over myself, so I'll make sure those go up as soon as Tiger is officially shipping in my time zone.
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On the upcoming release of OS X 10.4 [Tiger] Site News
As everyone is probably aware, the release of OS X 10.4 (Tiger) is rapidly approaching -- some time between now and June 30th. The last time we had a major release, yours truly didn't plan to0 well, and I ended up hand-coding all the 10.3 only hints -- both in the subject of each hint, and in that linked meta-hint.

Given how much the site has grown since that time, I'm not taking the same approach with 10.4. As of today, I've added a new topic specifically for OS X 10.4. If you are submitting a hint that's specific to 10.4, please use this new category for your submission. I'll then know to test on 10.4, and other readers can easily run a search for "10.4 only" hints. Depending on which theme you use here, the topic icon will look like one of the following:
The leftmost icon is for the Classic theme, the center one is in both the Color_lines and Color_effects themes, and the rightmost is for Gray_lines. So when you see these icons, you know you're looking at a 10.4-only hint.

Note that this is not a perfect solution -- there will be some applications (both Apple-supplied and third-party) that require 10.4 in order to work. If you're submitting such a hint, please note the requirement in the body, as I'll continue to classify these tips in the Applications group.

Tiger will bring some exciting new features to OS X users, and if it's anything at all like Panther (10.3), a flood of new hints to the site. As with 10.3, I will not publish any Tiger-specific hints until the release is publicly available. But whatever that date turns out to be, I'll be here to publish my findings, along with the reader submissions.

-rob.
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macosxhints.com reaches a minor milestone... Site News
Over the weekend, we registered our 50,000th free account. Given that the only real reasons for registering are to (a) post comments, (b) have a hint published as a non-anonymous user, and (c) change the themes (yea, there are four to choose from), that's not bad for just over four years of existence. Thanks to everyone for helping make this site an incredible collection of OS X knowledge!

To mark the occasion, I'm giving away a free signed copy of the Power Hound book to our 50,000th registrant. To make it just a bit more fun, though, I'm going to give it to one of the five people who registered "around" the 50,000th user mark, since they all registered in a relatively short timeframe.

So if your macosxhints.com username is (in no particular order)...

bec44 ... imbuedblue ... msbarlow ... user998877 ... Talbot

... then please send me an email. First email I receive from one of these five users will get the signed book. Remember, you must send your email from the account you used to register here on macosxhints (as that's how I'll confirm your identity).

-rob.
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Site updates back to normal next week... Site News
I'm back home again after the Expo; thanks to all those who attended our dinner at Buca di Beppo, or my sessions at the show. It was great getting to meet some of the faces behind the names I've seen here over the years! I'm working on some further image galleries from the Expo, and I hope to get them online over the weekend...

As an aside, this trip really made me realize just how much travel has changed in the last 10 to 15 years ... I wrote up my thoughts and asked my friend Kirk McElhearn if he could publish them on his Kirkville site -- since macosxhints isn't really a personal blog site! He did, and you can read my ramblings in the article The Joy of Travel in the Digital Age.

Have a great weekend, and we'll see you all back here on Monday!

-rob.
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