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Network file destruction bug in Word 2001 and 10.2 Apps
While using MS Word 2001 in the Classic mode (9.2.2) under OS X 10.2, Word erased a file based on a network server.

I had opened a Word file across the network, did some minor editing, and attempted to Save (Command + S) (to the same network server). Word responded with a message "Word cannot complete the operation because too many files are open." Word erased the original document, but did not finish the Save. The file was lost. This one file was the only file open, and little else running.

I reproduced this a couple of times (with duplicates of other files), with the same destructive finale. I had no problem saving/resaving to a local disk, however, across the network seems to be something that offers the system a challenge. I have not tested Excel nor PowerPoint under the same circumstances.

[Editor's note: I don't have Word 2001 to test this with, so I'd appreciate any corroboration that the macosxhints readers might be able to provide. If this happens regularly, it's obviously a very bad bug on someone's part.]
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Add Austrian (and other) holidays to iCal Apps
Apple seems to have forgotten to provide iCal calendars for a few countries. As I live in one of them, namely Austria, I wrote a quick Perl script to generate one for me. Download the script if you want to generate a calender for your own country. Please note that it needs a few modules - all available at CPAN.

If you're only interested in the Austrian holidays, just subscribe to it by selecting Calendar -> Subscribe in iCal and entering this URL:
[Editor's note: As a general rule, I'm not planning on publishing hints regarding each country's holiday calendar. But this one seemed different, as the Perl script and included template file should allow you to create a customized holiday file for your own country ... if you spend a bit of time looking through the script and template, it's pretty easy to see what you'd need to modify.]
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Use iCal and AppleScript to tell iTunes when to play Apps
There seems to be a lot of enthusiasm for iCal, and not wanting to pass on a toke of the hulabalo, I have posted an AppleScript applet called iCal Calling iTunes! which lets you use iCal to schedule when iTunes Playlists can play.

[Editor's note: Pretty neat script, especially if you'd like to use your Mac as an alarm clock, playing a different musical selection each morning!]
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Upload iCal calendars to FTP servers Apps
When stumbling through VersionTracker today, I found a very interesting app called calSync, a $3.99 shareware application. Basically, you can use it to upload your calendars not only to WebDAV and .mac servers, but now also FTP servers. The app is small and polished, so you might wanna give it a look.
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Change text color of default iCal theme Apps
I was checking out the tip about adding custom colors to iCal and came across a way of changing the text of the events as they appear in iCal. You need to edit the file "description.plist" that resides inside the different color folders (Contents -> Resources -> data.wrapdir -> Themes -> default). There are six different options (states) for you to edit. So you can really play around with this. What would be nice if someone would write a simple app that could create new/edit current resources.

[Editor's note: In playing around with this, I was unable to get it to change the text colors. I'm posting the info anyway in hopes that it might be useful to others who can figure out how to change the text colors -- I hate the white color text in some of the themes!]
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Create a Go To Date function in iCal Apps
I was puzzled by the lack of some kind of "go-to date" feature in iCal. If you want to move forward or back beyond the mini-month display at left, it only moves one month per click. I have to click & wait (it's slow) 12 times just to look at last September??

I wanted to create events for dates that were quite a distance from the present (I do hope to make iCal my main calendar). Well, why not create dummy events in the calendar to facilitate navigation through a search? So here's a "go to" solution:
  1. Pick a year in the past that's the earliest date you need to jump directly to
  2. Create a new event on January 1 of that year.
  3. Give the event a special one-character name; my choice is omega, which is a special character entered by typing option-z.
  4. Make it a repeating event repeating every three months; ending "Never".
This creates a set of dummy events that are easy to search for, allowing you to then quickly "go to" any particular calendar quarter, with the following steps:
  1. In the search field, type the special character (in my example, option-z).
  2. In the list of search results, click the dummy event closest to desired date.
iCal will then "go to" the quarter closest to the desired date. There is one more step we should keep in mind though...
  1. Encourage Apple to add date navigation, so that no such kludge is needed
[Editor's note: Agreed on the 'tell Apple' bit; you can do so directly through iCal with the iCal -> Provide iCal Feedback menu item.]
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Use sendmail for iCal reminders Apps
To have all your notifications for iCal sent by sendmail through the shell, first create a backup of, then open -> Contents -> Resources -> mailScript.applescript and replace the contents with:
set mysubject to "$1"
set mybody to "$2"
set myrecipient to "$3"

do shell script "echo "" & mybody & "" | mail -s ""
& mysubject & "" " & myrecipient
[The 'do shell' command is split onto two lines; enter it on one when you enter the script]

I haven't extensively tested its compatability, but so far I haven't had any problems using the script to email my phone! Good luck!
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Sync iCal to iPod via shell script Apps
Stupid me, spent so much time trying to figure out how to do it in AppleScript, totally forgotten that Script does UNIX shell scripts as well ... so here's a script to automate the iCal to iPod calendars syncing.

Anyone wants to supply an AppleScript version? I'd sure like to figure out how it can be done in AppleScript.

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Use Mail's rules to detect mailing list replies Apps
I had some spare time so I decided to browse some mailing lists I had subscribed to. And keeping track of replies can be hard if you don't browse lists daily. So I created this rule in

If [all] conditions are met :
[To] [Contains]
[Subject] [Contains] Re
[Message content] [Contains] YourName

Then I added some Actions to it. I used a color and a sound, as seen in this screenshot.

  • is the address of a mailinglist (duh ;-)
  • YourName should be the name you have in your addressbook. If you call yourself "Steve Jobs" a reply usually includes the line "Steve Jobs wrote:"
  • Re, we're only interested in replies.
Now you don't have any reason NOT to subscribe to mailing lists. And maybe we could share some other cool rules in this thread?
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Zoom all open terminal windows to maximum size Apps
I just noticed that if you keep Option depressed while clicking on the maximize button of a Terminal window, any other open Terminal windows resize along with it to their 'maximized' state.
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