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Make AppleScript services with Text Wielder Apps
I think this app kinda slipped under the radar due to a misleading Versiontracker listing.

Text Wielder is basically a services development environment. You can make your own services. But it also functions as a Services to AppleScript Bridge.

As a services bridge to applescript, you can send text to a non-services aware app! (like Eudora).

Read the rest of the article for a sample AppleScript service for Text Wielder that makes a new message in Eudora.

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Revive OS 9 soundsets Apps
Unsanity has done it again. Xounds is a system prefs pane that brings back much (but not all, as of yet) of the functionality of Appearance Sound Sets from OS 9.

This $7 shareware package installs easily as a preference panel, and brings back the various clicks, wooshes, buzzes and beeps when you open, close, move, click, drag, or otherwise take some action. In looking at some "top" output while doing some outrageous stuff like dragging across the menu and back, I never saw Xounds anywhere above about 2% of the CPU usage, and most of the time it was well under 1% (this was on a G4/733).

The program even contains a link to soundsetcentral.com, where you can download additional soundsets for use with Xounds.

Unsanity has released a number of fun and/or useful utilities recently, including FruitMenu, DockDetox, and WindowShade. They do what they claim to do, they're easy to install and remove, and they are priced very reasonably - nice work!
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Hierarchical volumes in the Apple menu Apps
I have sorely missed the trick to have all mounted volumes in the dock when OS 10.1 update came out. But with FruitMenu from Unsanity installed, I can get it back to some degree:
  1. Open FruitMenu Items folder
  2. In Terminal type "open /Volumes"
  3. Put an alias to your boot drive in /Volumes window. You may also want to paste an icon on /Volumes folder.
  4. Put alias to /Volumes in FruitMenu Items, rename the alias if desired, and voila! Check out the FruitMenu (Apple Menu) and view your mounted volumes in hierarchical glory!
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Use SNAX to connect to your iDisk Apps
One of the things broken by 10.1 (and for me, at least, has yet to be fixed) was the ability to mount your iDisk directly from the Finder's Go menu.

Not so in SNAX. My iDisk mounts quickly and painlessly from the Snax Go menu. It even harvested the login information from my Internet preferences.

Very cool!

[Editor's note: My iDisk seems to mount fine via both WebDAV (ie the Finder toolbar method) and using command-K (ie via AFP). But if you're having troubles, try SNAX and see if it gets the job done for you.]
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Split and combine newsgroup files Apps
Loek Jehee has released a free AppleScript Studio project which enables the easy combining (or splitting) of files. Typically, you'll run into multiple-part files if you've downloaded a large binary file from a newsgroup. Using Split&Concat, you can easily recombine the parts into one complete file.

Loek's looking for beta testers to help him find any possible bugs and improve the product; if you're interested in helping, there's an email address on his web page.
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Disable bouncing dock alert icons Apps
Unsanity has released a 'haxie' (their term for an OS X hack) to take care of the #1 help request here at macosxhints.com -- disabling bouncing dock alert icons!

If you're tired of the Mail.app icon bouncing onto your screen when it can't connect, or the Explorer icon bouncing to let you know a page has changed, you need Dock Detox. It quickly and easily disables the bouncing dock icons (except for Classic applications), and best of all, it's free!

If you decide you don't want it any more, simply log out and log in again and it's gone (I imagine you could also kill its process ID, but I haven't tried this).
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Using renice to speed up VPC5.0 Apps
I am not sure how much this actually speeds things up; it seems to make some difference, but I do not have benchmarking software installed to actually test.

In my Applescript that I use to activate VPC5.0, I include the following line after the activate...
  do shell script "sudo renice -20 `ps -x | grep 'Virtual PC 5.0' |
grep -v 'grep' | cut -f1 -d' ??'`"
[Note: Enter on one line with a space before the 'grep' command]

This re-nices the VirtualPC process to -20 (the highest priority). Note to do this, you need to do the following from the terminal:
  sudo visudo
and then add the following line to the file and save it:
  %admin ALL=NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/renice
What this does is allow any user in the admin group to run renice as root without entering a password.

If anyone has benchmarking software, I would be interested on how much (if any) this makes a difference).
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Install and customize Tux Racer Apps
Tux Racer is an incredible free racing game originally developed for Linux. You race Tux the Penguin down many courses and collect herring as you go. The whole game is done in 3D with OpenGL. In my opinion, it is more fun than Cro-Mag Rally. You need a fast G3 or G4 and a graphics card supported under OS X (Rage 128, Radeon, GeForce2MX).

Read the rest of the article if you'd like to download and install Tux Racer, and configure it to run well on your OS X box.

[Editor's note: One of my personal fave OS X games; there are also two other Tux games (Kart and Quest for Herring) that have been ported to OS X. You can find them on the Tux Games site.]
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Use Preview to convert image files Apps
I spent a few hours building a number of packages, including netpbm, in an effort to convert Grab's output to JPEG for my website.

Turns out the answer was right under my nose all the time. Open the Grab screenshot up in the Preview app, and select File -> Export. Preview can export in 10 different graphic formats, including JPEG, Photoshop, and even Windows' BMP.

Still, it's nice to have those pbm utilities (BTW - they *don't* do the conversion correctly.)

[Editor's note: Note that you can also change the default format of screenshots (but not Grab screen captures) as explained previously.]
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Use Pacifist to install part of a package Apps
I had downloaded this interesting freeware program called Pacifist a few days ago, but until this morning, I hadn't actually tried it. I wish I would have launched it sooner! [Update: It's now a $20 shareware item]

Pacifist is an attempt to provide a "Tome Viewer" application for OS X. Tome Viewer allowed you to browse OS 9 installation packages and extract only those bits that you wanted; Pacifist's goal is to offer the same features for OS X.

Why might this be useful? If you deleted Sherlock, for example, you would need to re-run the OS X installer, and it's doubtful that you would have a CD that matches the current 10.1.2 version. So if you follow Apple's advice, you'd have to reformat your drive, install 10.1 from CD, then upgrade to 10.1.2 just to get Sherlock back.

Using Pacifist, it's a much simpler process. Insert your 10.1 CD, launch Pacifist, and nagivate to System -> Installation -> Packages and then open Essentials.pkg. Pacifist will display a list of everything installed from Essentials.pkg, one of which is Sherlock. Select "Extract To..." from the File menu, and you've now reinstalled Sherlock.

Of course, Pacifist can work on any .pkg file, not just the Mac OS packages. Well worth the download time, and I now consider Pacifist a key member of my troubleshooting team!
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