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Enable ncftp's background processing Apps
This is kind of an obvious one, but one of the complaints about ncftp is that on install it creates the user's .ncftp directory as root. This creates the problem of not being able to use the background processing (bgget/bgput/bgstart) commands, since the current user doesn't own the spool files.

To overcome this, you can either run ncftp as root each time, or type the following command in the terminal:
sudo chown -R .ncftp [username]
where [username] is the current user's login.

With the lack of any decent GUI FTP clients at current, I've found ncftp to be a perfectly useable and extremely powerful client with the addition of background processing.

[Editor's Note: I have had excellent results with Transmit, RBrowser and Interarchy, all GUI FTP clients.]
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Make Mail.app update dock for any mailbox Apps
I noticed that Mail.app wouldn't show the number of new emails in the dock icon. This was because I have filters to move incoming mail to the appropriate mailbox and Mail.app doesn't show those new message items. Well, that's not entirely true...

Mail.app will show the number of new messages in Incoming mailboxes (denoted by an 'Incoming Drawer' icon rather than a folder icon). All 'Incoming' boxes from all accounts are 'Incoming', so they are automatically displayed in the Mail.app Dock icon. But there is a way to turn ANY mailbox into an incoming mailbox that will update Mail.app's Dock icon with new mail.

Read the rest of the article for the step-by-step instructions...
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Support more encodings in TextEdit Apps
This tip expands on a note I read in the cocoa-dev mailing list.

As it ships, TextEdit can open files in nine encodings, including Unicode, UTF-8 and Shift-JIS. This is pretty handy, but there's more - it is fairly easy to change the list of supported encodings to include any of the over 100 built in to Cocoa.

Here is how you do it:
  1. In the Finder, control-click on the TextEdit application and select Show Package Contents. This opens a new window with a Contents folder.
  2. Open Contents/Resources
  3. Make a copy of the file MoreEncodings.plist; call the copy Encodings.plist
Now if you launch TextEdit, you will have 33 encodings to choose from. These encodings are specified in Encodings.plist.

To continue with this tip, you will need the developer tools. Assuming you have them, do this:
  1. Open Encodings.plist in PropertyListEditor or a text editor.
  2. Open the file /System -> Library -> Frameworks -> CoreFoundation.framework -> Versions -> A -> Headers -> CFStringEncodingExt.h in a text editor. This file lists all the encodings supported in Cocoa. By adding entries to Encodings.plist you will get support for the corresponding encoding in TextEdit.
  3. Note that you will have to convert the hexadecimal values in CFStringEncodingExt.h to decimal values to put in Encodings.plist. I use PCalc to do this.
[Editor's note: I have not tried this tip...]
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DiskCopy burns Toast image files Apps
Just to let everyone know, Disk Copy burns Toast image files. I'd assume it mounts them as well, although I can't currently test that.

[Editor's note: I thought I recalled reading somewhere that, with the OS X version of Toast, Roxio had dropped their proprietary format. Does anyone have any solid information on this?]
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Set the Mail.app startup mailbox Apps
In order to filter my incoming email, I've set up a series of rules that correspond to appropriate mailboxes. I noticed earlier this afternoon that Mail.app was not auto-displaying my Inbox folder. Here's why:

Mail.app auto-displays the last mailbox you viewed before quitting the program. This mailbox "preference" is preserved through restarts, log outs, etc. Normally I keep Mail.app running so long as my computer is on; still, I felt this "tip" fit nicely into the FYI category.

So to make sure mail.app opens to the proper mailbox, select your main mailbox before quitting the program.
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iPhoto and Read Only files on PictureCDs Apps
If you try to import photo files (.jpg) from the Kodak CD directly into iPhoto, you'll have a problem - You won't be able to edit your pictures!

For some reason (bug?) iPhoto doesn't realize that when files are stored on a CD, they are usually set to Read Only. And when you copy a read only file from a CD, you usually have to turn off the read only attribute to allow editing the file. Well, iPhoto forgets(?) to turn off the attribute if you import directly from the Kodak CD.

So, you have two choices. You can either turn off that attribute using the UNIX chmod command, or, as it turns out, you can do the two-step import
  1. Copy the files from the CD into a temporary location (say the 'Shared' folder).
  2. Import the photos into iPhoto from that temporary directory. Ah...success.
I think iPhoto should be modified to automatically turn off the read-only file attribute when importing from CD's.

[Editor's note: Combining the info in this tip with the recent tip about PictureCD's and ImageCapture, you shouldn't have this problem if you have ImageCapture set to load the images to disk first. I'm not sure if this applies to all images on CDs, or only those that are specifically marked as Read Only during the write process. Since CD's are inherently Read Only, this may very well apply to any image on a CD ... but I'm not going to burn one just to test the theory.]
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ImageCapture supports Kodak PictureCDs Apps
I had some PictureCD's made at Wolf Camera after a vacation a couple of years ago that I wanted to use to create a photo album. I was prepared to navigate through the CD's contents to find that cryptic folder that housed the JPEG images. I have done this before and was not looking forward to it.

To my surprise, I noticed that Image Capture launched as soon as the CD mounted, and it pulled every photo from the PictureCD to my Pictures folder. Cool.

Since ImageCapture is the front-end to iPhoto, this means that iPhoto also supports PictureCD's.
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Share your Eudora folder between systems Apps
I'm switching a lot between OS 9 and OS X (Classic is too slow sometimes). In OS X, I check my mail with Eudora beta for OS X.

Because it is a Carbon app, you can use it under OS 9 with CarbonLib, but then you don't get your mailboxes, prefs etc. You can solve that by making an alias of your Eudora Folder from your OS X user directory (not the Eudora Application Folder) in OS9Drive:Documents.
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Drag and drop save as PDF from Preview Apps
Most People know that it is pretty easy to write a PDF via the Preview button in print dialogs. Maybe you didn't know that if you want to save this (temporary) PDF file to your preferred directory, you don't have to go to the menu bar and choose "Save as PDF...". Instead, just drag that little icon from the title bar of the document to your desktop or any open window while holdig down the <alt> key.
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Fun with fortune and FileMaker Pro Apps
Went to a conference this last week, and ran the registration booth. It was a small conference so I only needed to make badges for about 30 late registrants - over three days. That left a lot of time fiddling about. So, as most bored users will do, I fired up fortune in terminal.

But whenever I was interrupted (ahem) for actual work, I was switching back to Filemaker. Realizing that I could probably send output to Filemaker and eliminate the switching, I womped up the following.

In Filemaker, made a global text field, named fortune. Then added a FileMaker Pro script with this AppleScript:
set textResult to [do shell script "/sw/bin/fortune"]
tell application "Filemaker Pro"
set cell "fortune" of current record to textResult
end tell
I've got a fink installation, so your path to fortune may vary. I set a button on the FileMaker layout to trigger the script and added the fortune field on the screen with a monotype font and a scrollbar (for longer fortunes). It was a great conversation starter; people were actually hanging out just to read them, and we had a lot of fun when I changed the switch to fortune -o. ;)

I know this sounds like a completely useless geegaw, but just think about how much more powerful FileMaker can be reading results from grep with this simple AppleScript syntax. More fun to follow.
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