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Mouse speed control via a preference panel Apps
Although there have been previous tips published about speeding up your mouse (one, two), neither solution was perfect. The first tip required replacing an Apple kernel extension; the second didn't change the settings in real time and was often reset arbitrarily.

Ben Hines has just released MouseZoom 2.0, a freeware solution that handles both issues. This system preferences panel installs and removes easily, and (as of version 2.0) the changes made are reflected immediately in the speed of the mouse tracking.

MouseZoom 2.0 is a more flexible solution than replacing the stock Apple mouse driver, as it is very easy to revert to your original setup - just remove the preference pane if you don't want to use it. Thanks to 'greggomer' for telling me about the updated version.
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iTunes alarm clock with speech Apps
The following Bourne shell script elaborates on some elements used in other people's tips to provide a wakeup service with music and voice. It uses AppleScript to tell iTunes to play a random song of a specified artist.

Read the rest of the article for the script...

[Editor's note: There was a previous thread about iTunes as an alarm clock, but this script is a little more interesting and we have the source now stored on macosxhints, in case the MacNN thread referenced in the prior article goes away at some point...]
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Use PreEdit to edit preference files Apps
I see very often hints requiring changes to system or application preferences from the command line. This may be difficult to some...

This hint is just to remind people of Marcel Bresink's PrefEdit, which makes easy to edit XML-formatted preferences files, including those from Apple. This usefull tool is free and has recently been updated for OS X 10.1.2

[Editor's note: I think PrefEdit has been mentioned in a comment before, but never in a separate hint. It's a great little application which is especially useful for those who don't have PList Editor, which is only installed with the Developer Tools package.]
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Debugging an Office v.X crash problem Apps
On my machine, Word, Powerpoint and Excel in Office v.X kept crashing/quitting on launch and even after deleting plists, prefs and identities, they still kept bugging out (strangely, Entourage was fine).

It turned out to be a corrupt font in the OS9 system folder. You can test this by quitting Classic, putting the OS9 font folder in the wastebasket and logging out. When you log back in again, you should be able to launch Word. Now all you have to do is find which font is corrupt before you put the fonts back.

[Editor's note: I believe there are some OS 9 utilities that help find corrupt fonts, but I can't recall any names at the moment ... anyone know of any?]
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Get Maya for free! Apps
I received an email (and a tip submission; thanks ppmax!) with a press release from Maya about a new free version of Maya, a $7,500 animation system. Here's a snippet from the release:
San Francisco - January 7, 2002 - Alias|Wavefront today announced that it is developing the Maya Personal Learning Edition which will provide users of Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows with unlimited, free access to Maya. Maya Personal Learning Edition will give 3D graphics and animation students, current industry professionals, and those interested in breaking into the world of computer graphics (CG) an opportunity to explore the award-winning Maya Complete software, in a non-commercial capacity. Maya Personal Learning Edition will be available in February of 2002.
If you've never seen Maya in action, it's simply amazing. I spent quite a bit of time near their booth at MacWorld, just watching what this software can do. It's certainly not something you'll pick up in five minutes' usage time, but it is a very powerful package that can create some very powerful visuals. This new Personal Learning Edition is a great way to get your feet wet without first writing a very large check!

If you're interested, Alias|Wavefront has an information page on their site where you can sign up for an email reminder when the Personal Edition is available for download. I can't wait to try this package out for myself...
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Use 'touch' to organize pictures for iPhoto Apps
touch, a terminal command, is a useful utility for changing the create dates on files before importing to iPhoto. By changing the create/modified date, you can change the date information that will display in iPhoto and where it will put the photo once imported. Open a terminal and type:
  touch -t [[CC]YY]MMDDhhmm[.SS]] FILENAME
Used in conjunction with wildcards such as * or *.jpg for example this can make it easy to get photos imported with the proper dates.

This can be quite useful for changing the file dates on files that were burned to CD at a date much different than when they were shot. Fine tweaking of the time will impact the way the photos sort if you sort by date.

From my experience you can't simply move photos within iPhoto's structure. If you get them in with the wrong date you'll have to copy them out to another folder and then re-import them.
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How to create a scrolling About Box Apps
If you're a developer, CocoaDevCentral has posted an article that you may be interested in reading. Scrolling About Box explains how to, well, create a scrolling about box for your application.

[NOTE: The above URL did not display properly in Mozilla; it worked fine in IE, though, and there is a "printable" link that does work once you get to the page.]
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Change the default iPhoto library location Apps
iPhoto has a default that can be used to change the location of the photo library in a fashion similar to the way iTunes can change the location of the music library.

For iPhoto, this is of critical importance in that any image added to iPhoto is copied into the library (unlike iTunes, which simply stores a pointer to the original file). Considering what can be done with an image in the library, this makes a lot of sense -- it will make more sense once Apple supports multiple libraries in a more traditional multi-document application approach.

To change the default file store location, go to terminal and type:
  defaults write com.apple.iPhoto RootDirectory /path/to/desired/location
To remove the change default:
  defaults remove com.apple.iPhoto RootDirectory
If anyone wants to implement custom exporters and formatters, it isn't hard....

[Editor's note: Congrats to bbum for the first iPhoto tip, a mere 12 hours after its introductiion!]
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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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