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PowerPoint v.X and PowerPoint 4.0 files Apps
An anonymous tipster sent in a note about a PowerPoint v.X limitation:
PowerPoint v.X cannot read PowerPoint 4 files! Simply by upgrading to the most recent version of PowerPoint you may lose access to your old (or in my case, not so old) files. There is no mention of the inability to open PowerPoint 4 files anywhere in the help documents or in the knowledge base articles available from MS Mactopia.
I did some experimenting with the two versions of PowerPoint which I own (from Office98 and Office v.X) and a couple of version 4 presentations. As the hint suggested, PowerPoint v.X refused to open them, although they were handled easily by PowerPoint 98.

After some experimentation and help from the hint submitter (as I lack a version 4.0 of my own), we came up with a workaround that will allow you to convert these older files to the new version, assuming you own (or have access to) Office98. Use PowerPoint98 to open the version 4 presentations and select File -> Save As. When the save dialog opens, select "Presentation Template" as the file format. Launch PowerPoint v.X and open the template you just saved and then save it again as a normal PowerPoint presentation with a new name.

Although this works, you may lose some formatting (I lost some font information from one presentation, but not from another), but at least you'll be able to migrate your older files to the newest version of PowerPoint.

While Microsoft can certainly make whatever decisions they wish regarding support for past versions, and PowerPoint 4 is quite old (last sold in 1997), it would have been nice if they had at least documented this limitation!
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iPhoto 1.1.1 release and installation notes Apps
After making a brief (unofficial?) appearance last week as "iPhoto 1.1", a fresh iPhoto update is now available - iPhoto 1.1.1. You can grab it off the iPhoto download page, although it's quite busy right now (I got a "server not found" a couple times before it worked). Some of the more interesting new features include:
  • Adjust brightness and contrast
  • Email your photos with Apple Mail
  • Set your desktop image and screensaver from within iPhoto
  • Import folders of photos as separate film rolls
  • Retain and display EXIF data
  • Preserve imported image file names as photo titles
Prior to installing the new version, I used the Finder to duplicate my image library (as suggested in the Read Me), just in case of upgrade issues (the iPhoto 1.1.1 library is not compatible with the 1.0 format). The installer searches for an existing iPhoto 1.0 and runs in upgrade mode if it finds it; otherwise, it does a fresh install.

Installing took only a minute or two, followed by the usual three-minute "Optimizing System Performance" step. On first launch, iPhoto updates the photo library, which took about three minutes on my 1,000 image library. I should mention that I have my library stored in a non-standard location, but iPhoto had no troubles updating it and (thankfully) did not move the library back to its normal location. After the library update, everything worked as expected, and the new features are welcome additions to an already good product.
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Create custom names for docked IE URLs Apps
When you drag a link from the browser address line in Internet Explore to the dock, it uses the page's name as the dock mouseover name. For example, I pulled the address over, but its name was 'login'. Not gonna fly. I found that if you save the site as a favorite first, you can edit the name and then pull it into the Dock from the bookmark window. It now has the customized name when moused over.
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Multiple 'from' names on one account Apps
I saw this posted anonymously on the MacNN Forums, but I wish I could give credit where credit is due. If you have ever wanted multiple addresses to be associated with one email account (which I have) so that you can send mail from any number of addresses without resorting to creating many "nearly duplicate" accounts, simply enter all the addresses separated by commas in the "Email Address" field of the account setup dialog.

I tested this and it worked beautifully. Still, I wish I could just type in any from address at composition time, as I have a wildcard email that I use to track which sites sell my email to spammers (i.e.,,

Hope this helps out some folks who thought had a limitation that it apparently does not have.
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Add iPhoto support for Canon Ixus V2 / S200 Elph Apps
If you have the new Canon Ixus V2 you have the problem that it is not yet recognized by ImageCapture. To solve this you must edit the Info.plist file located in /System -> Library -> Image Capture -> Devices -> -> Contents.

First cd to /System -> Library -> Image Capture -> Devices -> -> Contents. Then make a backup copy of the file with sudo cp Info.plist Info.plist.bak. Now edit Info.plist using sudo or something like Pseudo in PropertyListEditor (comes with Apple Developer Tools) as follows. In the "devices" section, you must add a new Dictionary. Add two childs to this new dictionary: "vendor" and "product". For vendor enter the value "0x04A9". For product enter the value "0x3065" (Your new Ixus V2). Log out and log in again to your machine.

Now ImageCapture should start when you plug in the camera! I have heard that Apple will fix this with Mac OS X 10.1.5.

More news: The software provided with the camera finally works with Mac OS X. You can use the Canon Image Browser and PhotoStitch. It also works with other Canon cameras (G2, etc.). But for converting RAW images, Classic is still needed.

[Editor's note: I don't have this camera to experiment with, but the news of native Canon software is good to hear!]
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Batch update image preview icons Apps
While copying a CD full of images to my hard drive, I noticed all the thumbnails were the old 16x16 format of OS 9. I wanted to change them to the 128x128 format to get a better preview option in OS X, but I couldn't find a hint for it on the web or here. However, a little investigating paid off.

Apparently Graphic Converter (see Hall of Fame Apps box at left) does this operation quite easily. Go to File -> Convert and then navigate to the folder containing the files whose icons you wish to update. Select all (Command A) and then click on Icon/Preview.

All the files you have selected will be updated to the 128x128 icon preview. Be sure to set the icon size for your window to the maximum to get the full effect.
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Microsoft OS X app windows are dock-aware Apps
If your dock is hidden and an IE window is where the dock will show up, use either the menus or the show/hide dock shortcut (command option D) and the IE window will move up and resize itself so the dock has room. It will either move up until it is out of the way or it will move all the way up and resize until its bottom is at the top of the dock. It also works on the left and right sides of the screen.

[Editor's note: Although this isn't really an OS X hint, I thought it interesting as it is a behavior that we may see as more apps become "dock aware". Office v.X apps also exhibit this behavior, and they're a bit smarter about it - when you hide the dock again, they re-expand to their full size. Anyone notice similar behavior in other programs? And for the more more technical readers, are there hooks in the APIs that make this easy to implement?]
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Epson scanners and TWAIN support in Photoshop Apps
I'm not sure how I did it, but now my Epson scanner works with Photoshop 7 in OSX, through the TWAIN plug-in.

I'm not sure because I just tried and ... my Epson Perfection 640U was seen by PS7, for the first time. What did I do? Not sure... But I can try to figure the steps. I want to share this with you, specially because of Epson's poor OSX driver support.

Read the rest of the article if you'd like some additional info on TWAIN, Epson scanners, and Photoshop 7. This hint regarding TWAIN and Canon scanners may also be of interest if you're trying to get this working...
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Possible Norton System Works and 10.1.4 conflict Apps
Don't know if anyone else has had this problem. I have two G4s runing OS X. Only one experienced this problem. After I loaded OSX 10.1.4 on a 867 G4, I could not shutdown with software (logout or shutdown); I had to use the big button. Got my money's worth out of being a Apple Support client by holding one of their techs for two hours to troubleshoot. Bottom line solution: we removed Norton System Works (including Disk Doctor), and that fixed the problem.

[Editor's note: The general feedback around the net regarding System Works has not been positive...]
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A cautionary tale regarding package managers Apps
There is a great little freeware app called OSXPM Package Manager which serves as a package manager for OS X. Basically, you can use it to install and uninstall packages, or look inside them to find exactly what is installed and where.

A word of caution though - be careful what you delete! I've been running a pre-release of QuickTime 6, but for a number of reasons decided to go back to 5. So, I thought, I'll use OSXPM to unistall the package.

Bad move. QuickTime is, as many of you will be quick to point out, an integral part of OS X - so by removing all components of QT6, I effectively screwed OS X. I couldn't even start up (it hung half way with a blank blue screen).

However, it was OSXPM again that came to the rescue. Not wanting to reinstall OS X on my main drive (I didn't have time!), I did a clean install on another drive. Then, using OSXPM, I checked exactly what was in the QT6 package (and therefore what it deleted). I then copied all these files from the clean install to my main system, rebooted, and presto! All working fine again.

So, in summary, OSXPM is a very useful app, but be careful what you do with it!
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