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3D animated system utilization in the dock Apps
I received an email this morning pointing me towards a little application called X3 from Jake's Software. X3 is an interesting demonstration of the dock's ability to display animated information. Rather than trying to come up with a description of what X3 does, here's the blurb from Jake's page:
X3 is an application that visualizes the system performance in the form of a realtime rotating 3D-object in the Dock. It is designed to use very little memory and processor cycles so you can keep it running all the time.
I recorded a very brief QuickTime movie of X3 in action so you can get an idea of how it works. In addition to the icon shown in the animation, there are about eight others to choose from, in either wireframe or solid models.

On my G4/350, X3 averages between 3% and 8% CPU usage, peaking at about 18%, according to 'top'. However, I can tell it's running during some operations (such as typing in this text box). Lowering the animation's frames per second from 20 to 10 greatly reduces this effect.

I doubt I'll run X3 all the time, as I usually keep my dock hidden and like to keep my CPU free for other stuff, but it is fun to watch the animation speed change as the system load varies. Definitely not the most mission-critical application of 2001, but well worth the two minutes it took to download and test.
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New iTunes AppleScripts released Apps
Not precisely a Mac OS X-only hint, but Apple has provided 27 AppleScripts that work with iTunes 2.0.3. Here's what they've made available:

Add to iTunes Library, Build CD Tray Insert, CDDB Search by Album, CDDB Search by Artist, CDDB Search by Song Title, CDNOW Search by Album, CDNOW Search By Artist, CDNOW Search by Song Title, Copy Chosen EQ to Manual Preset, Delete Selected Track Files, Duplicate Selected Track Files, eMusic Search by Album, eMusic Search by Artist, eMusic Search by Song Title, Enable/Disable Selected Tracks, iPod Library Summary, Library Summary, Loop Track Section, Make Playlist By Artist, Open Scripts folder, Play Random Track, Remove Missing Tracks, Remove Playlists From Source, Replace Text In Track Names, Rewind Track, Search Track Comments, Set Genre to Specific EQ

Frankly, I was unimpressed with many of them, as most of the functions the AppleScripts perform can be done much more simply through the user interface (i.e. Rewind Track), and many bring iTunes to a screeching halt for minutes upon minutes while they perform their function (i.e. Make Playlist from Artist). Still, there are a few useful gems in there. Take a look if you're interested in working your iTunes installation with AppleScript.
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Run X and Classic Explorers simultaneously Apps
If you've ever tried to run the Classic and OS X versions of Internet Explorer at the same time, you'll find that it doesn't work. There was some discussion on Omni's OS X Talk mailing list the other day about this problem, and the answer came down to the fact that both IE's use the same creator code. So when you launch one version, the OS then prevents you from launching the other. Zachery Bir came up with a quick command-line fix for the problem (assuming you have the Dev Tools installed):
  % cd /Applications (Mac OS 9)/Internet Explorer 5/
% /Developer/Tools/Setfile -c MIEC Internet Explorer
Of course, you could also use one of the GUI tools to change the creator code on IE5/Classic. You simply have to change it to something that isn't in use by another program; Zachery chose "MIEC" and that seemed to work fine.

I would use some caution with this tip if, like me, you use an alias of bookmarks for one IE in both X and OS 9. I'm not too sure how the system would handle trying to share a bookmark file if two different apps both wanted it open for potential write access -- anyone know?
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Remove Entourage X delay on quit (revisited) Apps
[Editor's note: There's another thread with a different solution to this problem that involves closing your PPP connection before quitting. I felt this one was different enough to merit separate a separate thread.]

With certain ipfw firewall configurations and dialup connections there is a long delay when quitting Entourage v.X. By blocking remote ports 49000-50000and local ports 3000-4000 this delay is gone (the ports can probably be narrowed down). This can be done by the shell command (as user root)
ipfw 10000 add deny tcp from any 49000-50000
to any 3000-4000 out xmit ppp0
NOTE: Shown on two lines; enter as one!

The rule number might have to be changed based on your firewall settings. If there is no firewall (by using "ipfw flush") the delay does not exist at all. I'm sure a program like BrickHouse that's used to configure ipfw can be used as well. --Paul pdrake@cs.utah.edu
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Creating CD song lists from iTunes Apps
If you're burning CDs in iTunes and want to create printable song lists to slide into CD jewel cases, you'll find that the Advanced -> Export Song List menu item doesn't generate anything usable without massive editing. There are two ways to get usable text files out of iTunes for this purpose.

1) The Easy Way.
This seems obvious in retrospect, but I didn't notice it was possible until I had already gotten it solved the hard way ;) Select your playlist in iTunes and use Edit -> View Options to enable only the fields you want exported to your text file (I usually keeps tons of fields visible, but don't need them for CD jackets). Now drag the column headers into whatever order you prefer. Hit Cmd-A to Select All, Cmd-C to copy. Go to BBEdit, Word, or other text app and paste. The pasted data will exactly mirror your visible fields and column orders. Format and print.

2) The Hard Way.
Before I realized there was an easy way to do this, I wrote to macosxhints reader njitkoff to see if there was an AppleScript solution for this. Within an hour, he sent me the following AppleScript, which exports a good default selection of fields to a text file. The nice thing about using the script method is that you can jimmy it to produce exactly the formatting you want, and you don't have to mess with your current arrangement of fields and column orders in iTunes.
tell application "iTunes" to set {theArtists, theNames, theTimes, theAlbums} 
to {artist, name, time, album} of every track of view of front window
set theFile to open for access (choose file name) with write permission
repeat with i from 1 to count theArtists
write ("" & item i of theArtists & " - " & (item i of theAlbums) & " - " &
(item i of theNames) & " (" & (item i of theTimes) & ")" & return) to theFile
end repeat
close access theFile
Take your pick of methods; they both work well!
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List all keyboard shortcuts in Word v.X Apps
There is a built-in macro that will generate a document listing all the keyboard shortcuts in Word v.X (btw, this works in every version of Word I've tried it in, even on Windows).

From the Tools menu, select Macros-->Macros... to bring up the Macro dialog box.

Towards the bottom of the box, there is a pulldown menu; select "Word commands". This will fill in the list box; scroll down and find the one called "ListCommands". Select it, and click "Run". This will build a new Word document with a table showing all the current keyboard shortcuts.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find an equivalent command in any other Office application (not for lack of trying).
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Zooming PDFs in Preview Apps
When you open a PDF in Preview, it opens at actual size, which is usually too small for me on my desktop machine (at 1600x1200 resolution). Unfortunately, it's not very obvious how to make it bigger yet still fit the window size you'd like to use. You can't use the window resize widget, because it doesn't do anything. You can use Zoom In, but it zooms so much on the first use that you can't see a full page.

But once you've hit Zoom In, the window resize widget becomes usable. So when I open a PDF in Preview, I hit "Zoom In" (command-up arrow) twice, which makes it gigantic, then resize the window to my liking, and then select "Zoom to Fit" (command-equals). This resizes the page to fit the box I've defined, instead of forcing me into one of the predefined zoom levels.

The other option, which is what I've personally done now, is to change all PDFs to open in Acrobat Reader, which allows much easier control of zooming!
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New keyboard shortcuts in Office v.X Apps
As a heavy Office user, one of the hardest things to get used to in Office v.X is the changes made to keyboard shortcuts that had become ingrained over the last few years. For example, command-H, which used to be "Replace...", is now given up to OS X for "Hide". And in Excel, command-K used to cut the selected rows or columns; now it brings up a hyperlink dialog.

Thankfully, Microsoft did a good job of re-assigning the shortcuts to semi-familiar positions. Although you won't see it in the menu, you can use control-H to bring up the replace dialog, and control-K to cut rows or columns. I haven't tested it extensively, but I imagine other "replaced" command-key shortcuts can also be reached with the control key.

If you don't like these keys, of course, you can reassign them yourself using the keyboard editor in the Office apps (eg Tools -> Customize -> Commands tab -> Keyboard... button in Excel).
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iTunes LAME Encoder available Apps
I have written a simple script to bridge the gap between iTunes and the LAME command line encoder. It will automatically handle ID3 tags, and makes LAME quite a bit easier to use.

A previous hint has instructions for installing LAME.

This is the first version and hasn't been extensively tested by others, so any input would be appreciated.
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Install Quitling to control apps and processes Apps
hey all -

check out Quitling 2.0 . it's a great app - two in one i might add. i have been using it since 1.0, when it was just a dockling. it has evolved into a Prefs Pane with a menubar icon. it is like ASM in that it puts an app swicher ala OS 9 at the top right of your screen, and i have had no problems with Quitling. the menu also (optionally) shows and lets you quit background processes.

there are also five definded keyboard shortcuts you can use. you can only choose four of them (based on using shift, control, shift-control, and normal clicks). the actions are: quit, force quit, relaunch, bring to front, and toggle visable. it's $10 and very worth it.

not a paid advert, just rather satisfied with the app.

[Editor's note: Quitling's other features are "AutoKill", which prevents any defined application (like Classic) from opening, and "AutoStart", which forces processes that have quit (perhaps the Apache webserver) to restart, thereby keeping them available at all times.]
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