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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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IE 5.1 'download link to disk' shortcut Apps
If you hold down the option key while clicking on a link, IE will download that link directly to your disk instead of opening it in a new page. So instead of control clicking and then selecting 'download link to disk' you can save a little time by just option clicking. This is also great for saving links you might want to read later on without having to go to the page and then save it as html, etc.

Hope this might be as helpful to others out there as it has been for me since I've stumbled upon it.
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Import Address.app info into Palm Desktop Apps
You can transfer your addresses from the Address Book application to the new Palm Desktop. Open Palm Desktop. Then open the address list (Under View, or Shft-Apple-A). Next open the Address Book application. Drag your address entries from Address Book into the address list in Palm Desktop!

There does not, however, seem to be a way to transfer them back to Address Book.
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Use Zingg! to control which app opens any object Apps
Rainer Brockerhoff, the author of XRay (which is covered in this press release) has written another cool and very useful contextual menu plug-in (and it's currently free, too!). Zingg! puts an "Open with..." contextual menu on every item in the Finder. Control- or right-click and you'll can now choose from a list of applications to open the particular object you have selected. You can even fine tune the list of applications presented if you don't find it meets your needs.

XRay and Zingg! have become two of my more often-used OS X enhancements. They're both worth a download if you're looking for enhanced contextual menu options in OS X.
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Observations on the Palm Desktop public beta Apps
After a very very slow download (13.6mb at 936 bytes per second on a cable modem, or roughly four hours!), I have now installed the Palm Desktop for Mac OS X beta software. For many Mac users, this was one of the biggest pains about OS X - many could not get hot synchs to work in Classic, and were forced to reboot in OS 9 simply to synch their Palm devices. The availability of a native version of Palm Desktop eliminates this problem!

After the installation, I spent some time doing a hot synch (my first in literally over a year at home!), and playing with the software a bit. Read the rest of the article for my impressions of the Palm Desktop for Mac OS X public beta...
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