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Select links in IE via the keyboard Apps
In Internet Explorer for OS X (apparently not for OS 9), you can type the label of a link to select it. Just like the Finder, you type as much as you need to select it.

For example, go to Yahoo! and start typing "Hotel". The link "Hotel" (near the top, right below the search box) will be highlighted. There's a link labelled "Homes", so H-O-T will be the minimum strokes required to select that link.

The last couple days, I've been using this to access my web mail with only my keyboard, no mouse!
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Reactivate Internet Explorer's scrollbars Apps
I find if I click a link in Internet Explorer and then hide it or minimize it, so I don't have to watch it load, the scroll bars are dimmed when I bring it back. When they are dimmed you can't grab and use them. It gets to be very annoying.

I have found two ways to get around this until a certain company (ahem!) gets off their butts and fixes this. One is obviously to reload the page, but my favorite is to command-click (yes, it has already been hinted before by Mikey-San) a link. This opens it in a new window. Immediately close the window, and the scroll bars are active again. A good fix until a certain company...

[Editor's note: I thought you could also click into the Finder and back, but it's been a while since I used IE, so I'm probably mistaken...]
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A thorough listing of Cocoa applications Apps
I was looking for Cocoa apps which might not have been listed on VersionTracker and found HyperJeff's A Quick Guide to Cocoa Apps, which has every one I've ever seen before plus many more.

In addition, you can break down the complete list into categories via a drop down menu and link to Carbon and Unix listings from additional links at the top of the page.

[Editor's note: The main "hyperjeff" page is already listed here on the links page, but this compilation page definitely deserves a mention!]
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Auto update the iTunes library Apps
I was searching for a way to automatically scan my Music folder with iTunes on a regular basis to keep my Library up to date. What seemed like an easy enough task turned into a nightmare of a trip - mainly because of the weird interaction between cron and Applescript.

My goal was to write a simple cron task that called a simple AppleScript stored in a text file or compiled script. The AppleScript was easy enough - but getting it to run in cron was a DOG!!! I don't know exactly what the interaction is between cron and osascript - but it ain't pretty. I spent hours researching other peoples efforts and finally came up with a viable solution.

Read the rest of the article for the details...
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Dial the phone from FileMaker Pro Apps
The OS X version of FileMaker Pro does not support the dial function (who knows why). Anyway, it is a real pain for people who want to dial an individual from their database. I finally figured it out and thought it might be worth sharing, because it may be a long time before the dial function is put back into the program.

Read the rest of the article for the how-to...
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Restore iPhoto keywords after reinstall Apps
Last weekend I reinstalled OS X from scratch on my iBook. I had a backup of my iPhoto Library, but when I opened the freshly installed iPhoto (with the old Library folder), I noticed that my old keywords were no longer there. iPhoto showed the standard set of keywords instead.

I had a copy of my old ~/Library/Preferences/ folder, and when I replaced the new com.apple.iPhoto.plist with the older copy and re-launched iPhoto, my keywords were back. At first I expected that all photos would have lost their associated keywords, but that wasn't the case; all keywords returned as soon as I replaced the .plist file.

So, if you want to backup an iPhoto Library to reinstall your OS, and you use your own keywords in iPhoto, make sure to save a copy of the com.apple.iPhoto.plist file in a safe place.

[Editor's note: In general, preference files in OS X tend to store a lot of very useful information, often well beyond what you might expect from the OS 9 versions. For example, the Finder's preference file also stores your Finder Toolbar settings. So even if you slack off on backing up your full system, you may very well wish to drag a copy of the whole ~/Library/Preferences folder to a safe place, just in case your prefs ever get corrupted. I can speak from experience that recreating a well crafted Finder Toolbar is not necessarily a fun task!]
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Full page keyboard scrolling in Internet Explorer Apps
Not sure if this has been mentioned before but for those of us running OSX on PowerBooks (at least the 1st rev Titaniums and earlier, since I know they swapped some keys on the 2nd rev Ti) there is a very helpful key command to scroll windows in IE: option plus up/down arrow which scrolls up/down one page.

This helps a lot because we don't have true page up and page down keys. The advertised key command involves the 'fn' key which is all the way on the left and the arrows which are all the way on the right. Grrrr.

Also, just in case people don't know, command plus the up/down arrow keys navigate to the top/bottom of the current page, and command plus the left/right arrow keys mimic the "back" and "forward" buttons.

[Editor's note: These keyboard shortcuts work on desktop machines as well, since they are features of IE itself.]
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Optimization tricks for Speed Disk Apps
Using Speed Disk to optimize an OS X volume usually doesn't help much with the spining beachball problem because it doesn't put OS X files at the fastest parts of the disk. To help fix this problem, use the Speed Disk Profile editor to create a new profile. The goal is to put important OS X stuff at the fastest part of the disk.

Make a category called OS X. Specify a criteria. Don't specify a file type. Specify a folders (up to 4) - Now enter the OS X system folders, like "system", "user", "library", etc. Since I never use Classic or any OS 9 stuff, I put anything in the "System Folder" and all OS 9 stuff at the bottom of the sorting list. I made another category for the Apps I often use like Mail, iTunes, Internet Explorer etc. I named it FaveApps put it 2nd in the list. I made the free space category the 3rd item in the list.

After I optimised using this profile, I found the beach ball would appear much less frequently. Since I don't have another partition for my swap file, I don't know if this is better than that technique for killing the beachball.

[Editor's note: I have never used Speed Disk so I can't vouch for the effectiveness of this particular tip.]
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Preview iTunes shuffle play order Apps
This is a simple tip, but I wanted to submit it just in case.

When using iTunes, if you only have the Library selected, then the leftmost column of the main display be empty. If you have a playlist selected, the leftmost column will display numbers.

Why is this important? Well, if you choose to sort the list by using these numbers, when you enable shuffle mode you can see the order in which the songs are going to play. It's a little more user-friendly than watching the Library list jumping all over the place during shuffle play.

To do this if you don't have any playlists, just create one and add all the songs from your library to it.
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Install the Ogg Vorbis plug-in for iTunes Apps
I'm sure some users out there already know this, but Ogg Vorbis really needs to reach more people. Ogg Vorbis is an audio compression format that rivals MP3 even with the alt-presets. With vorbis, you can store files with higher quality at smaller file sizes.

Anyway, a QuickTime Components project has been started at Sourceforge, focusing on QT development of popular open source audio and video components. Their first project integrates Ogg Vorbis encoding and decoding into QuickTime (with a plugin a la divx or 3ivx). This is great news because conversion to/from ogg vorbis is done simply through qt player's 'export' function and ogg vorbis files will now play in iTunes! The files must be renamed from .ogg to .mov though.

The downloaded .qtx file goes into the /Library/Quicktime/ directory (like DivX); it is an import/export and playback plugin for Quicktime Player. Just open up a sound/music file in QT Player, choose export, then select Ogg Vorbis in the formats menu. The only option in this process is the quality slider. Even though the plugin is in the early stages of development and contains a bug or two, overall performance (including encoding and playback) is quite excellent; Vorbis is truly the MP3 killer.
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