In an interesting example of 'coming full circle', Ambrosia's Maelstrom (an Asteroids-based space shooter with great playability) has been released as an OS X native application! I say 'coming full circle' because this version of Maelstrom was ported by Sam Lantinga from his Linux port of the original version of the game, which was written for the Mac IIsi (yes, it's that old!).
Even more impressive, the game now includes support for multi-player network play over the internet, and full source code is available. You can read all about it on the Maelstrom 3.0 home page, and you can download the game by clicking this link.
It plays great under OS X, and brings back fond memories of hundreds of wasted hours. If you think you're good, you can even enable the 'network high scores' option, which will show Internet-wide Maelstrom high scores ... I don't even come close to the bottom of the list!
One note of caution: On my G4/733 with the GeForce3 card, the game ran fine in full-screen mode. When quitting, however, my screen was completely black. OS X was working fine; I just couldn't see or do anything! So you may wish to exercise a bit of caution (quit all other apps, for example) before you try full-screen mode the first time.
Caught this one over on the MacAddict OS X Tricks forum, posted by Jasoco. You'll need a two-button mouse to make it work...
In the Finder, use column view and select a QuickTime movie such that you can see the 'preview' square in the far right column. Start playing the clip in the preview window (just click the Play icon; don't double-click the movie).
Once it's started, click-and-hold on the fast-forward button on the right edge of the screen. As you're holding down the left mouse button, click-and-hold the right mouse button. The FF/RW buttons turn into a little slider that lets you control how fast you go backwards or forwards through the movie.
I couldn't find a key to hold down that would mimic this behavior, so it looks like it's restricted to two-button mice. Strangely enough, it also does NOT work in the actual QuickTime Player; only in the Finder.
I'm not sure what value this is, but it's sort of interesting...
Although this is not strictly OS X-related, I've been playing with iMovie2 a lot lately (working on a project for my wife's company), and thought I'd pass along a pointer to some free iMovie stuff that can further enhance your projects.
On occasion, for no apparent reason, Sherlock will get stuck in an infinite loop of error messages reading "An unexpected error occurred. If you continue to encounter problems, quit and start again." If you click "OK", you get the same error message again and again and again. The only way I found to resolve the problem was to restart.
A new Apple TIL article points out the actual cause and provides a workaround. The error can occur when you have a graphic file on the clipboard. The solution is to copy something else (plain text) to the clipboard before trying to use Sherlock.
I hope we get a better solution than "copy some text first" in the 10.1 release!
I'm not sure if this feature was also available in Mac OS 9, but when you doubleclick on a search result from the internet in Sherlock with the command key pressed, Explorer will open a new window instead of loading the page in the frontmost window.
[Editor: Yes, it was also available in OS 9, but it's still a good tip! If you use OmniWeb instead of IE, this is the default behavior. Submitted by marcelv on Wed Jul 25]
To synchronize your playlists between iTunes for OS X and OS 9, simply replace the OS 9 iTunes library file (found on your OS 9 drive, /Documents/iTunes/iTunes Music Library) with an alias pointing to your OS X iTunes library (/Users/yourname/Documents/iTunes/iTunes Music Library).
[Editor's note: I accomplished the same result by going to the "Advanced" tab in preferences and setting the "Music Folder Location" to point to the same spot in both iTunes X and iTunes 9.]
NetInfo Manager (in /Applications/Utilities) is a very powerful utility for dealing with a number of advanced topics in Mac OS X, including moving a user's directory, managing groups, and setting passwords.
Until now, documentation has been hard to find. The X4U mailing list, however, contained a pointer to a 1.9mb Apple PDF file called "Understanding and Using NetInfo". There's a ton of information in this document that you may find useful and/or interesting if you'd like to more about the inner workings of OS X. Although it's written relative to OS X Server, it should be generally applicable to the consumer OS X package as well.
It's been mentioned here before, but TinkerTool is one of the nicer GUI-modification applications out there (and it's freeware!). A new version (1.4) was released yesterday, and it's added some nice new features, including:
Remembers the dock pinning and orientation setting between restarts
The ability to add a subtle drop-shadow to the dock (which looks VERY nice!)
More control over anti-aliasing, affecting more areas of the OS
If you haven't checked it out yet, you should take a look at it! It's a great example of wrapping a Mac-friendly GUI around some ugly terminal commands, resulting in a powerful and easy to use application.
If you download it today, use this link to download from the European site - the US mirror has not been updated yet with 1.4.