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iTunes, burn speed, and wasted CDs Apps
Over the last few days, I've been trying to burn my first CD's with iTunes for X on my G4/733 with the Superdrive. On my first attempt, I accidentally left the screensaver and drive sleep enabled, and continued to browse web sites, download files, and play with mySQL while the disc burned. I wound up with a coaster, and wrote it off to my failure to set things up correctly.

On the second attempt, I remembered to turn everything off, and left iTunes in the foreground while it worked. When it was done, I stuck the disc in the PC (as it's the most finicky machine about reading homebrew CD's), and it didn't read. On the Mac, it read, but wouldn't play at all. Coaster #2, but this time, I didn't know why.

Before the third attempt, on a hunch I went into iTunes' prefs, and set the burn speed to 1x instead of 8x. I had already set the buffer to "large", so I left that alone. Again, I left iTunes in the foreground while it worked. The play list was about an hour long, and I left for about 45 minutes. I was surprised to find the disc done when I returned, so I can't really say it burned at 1x -- I need to do some further testing to see how fast it actually burns. When I tried this disc in the PC, it worked great ... it also works in all the players I've tried it in, so it appears I had a successful burn.

Pending further investigation, I plan on burning all my CD's in iTunes at 1x; it may be worthwhile (at least for those with G4/733 Superdrive machines) for others to do the same. Anyone else had similar or different experiences on similar or different hardware?
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Mail.app Activity window Apps
I just discovered (a colleague of mine) that when you double click on the rotating arrows in the main window in the Mail.app, the activity window appears. That's a bit easier than selecting it in the Window menu.

Marcelv
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Hotmal with IE 5.1 Preview release Apps
some people (including myself) have been having trouble with IE 5.1 and logging into hotmail. here is a workaround.

when you go to hotmail, go to the address bar and delete the part that says login, and type start/username that is whatever your username is. so if it was brodie then the whole address should look like this:
http://lc3.law5.hotmail.passport.com/cgi-bin/start/brodie
as long as it has cgi-bin/start/brodie at the end it doesnt really matter, this will give you a password/username prompt pop up. interestingly it remembers your username for the duration of your IE session.
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Fun with Calculator and InterfaceBuilder Apps
What's 2+3? 5 of course! But what if you want it to be 6? Or -1? Its easy to fool your fellow Mac users with a little help from InterfaceBuilder.

Open up the .nib file from any application (I use Calculator as an example), but make a backup first in case you screw up somewhere. In order to swap the - and + buttons on the calculator, all you have to do is re-connect the subtract button to the add action (and vice-versa). Whilst holding down control, click on the - button in the calculator window in Interface Bulider and drag the blue line over to the CalculatorController icon in the Calculator.nib window. Click on the "add:" action in the top-left area of the "Inspector" window that appears, and then click "Change Action" at the bottom of the window. Do the same for the add button and "subtract:". Save, run Calculator and BINGO! - clicking subtract now adds.

This is just a simple example. You can even modify menu items (change 'New...' to 'Quit' for hilarious consequences).

Of course none of this will work without write access to the Applications folder (ie. an adminisrator account), and you'll need the Developer's Tools installed in order to get InterfaceBuilder.

[Editor's note: Use at your own risk, as alays ... and this is a GREAT example of why you might want to use a locking screensaver when you leave your computer alone for a bit!]
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Grab text with Stickies service Apps
At times you'll want to grab a selection of text different apps for any number of purposes. For example, you may be viewing a post in this "Tips" forum and want to keep a particular paragraph within a particular post.

Previously, you would have selected the text and dragged it to the desktop as a "clipping." This still works, but it clutters up your desktop.

Here's a better way:

Select the desired text -- in any Cocoa application -- and choose "Services" and then "Make Sticky" under the menu with your applications title in it (the menu just to the right of the Apple menu; it will have the same name as the application you're in). Stickies will launch if it's not already running, and create a new note with your selected text.

[Editor's addendum: In my opinion, system-wide services are one of the coolest and probably least publicized features of OS X. Take a look at the Services menu (under the application's name in the menu bar) for examples of what you can do.

Most services seem to be available even if the service app is not running; the application will launch when the service is selected. "Grab" services appear broken, at least in my 10.0.3 - it doesn't work with or without Grab running.

At present, only Cocoa apps can take advantage of services; hopefully, Carbon apps will gain the ability at some point in the future. I personally think services could turn into one of the most useful features of X]
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Option-click window widgets Apps
Thanks to macosxhints' user 'louisdeboer' for pointing this one out. If you option-click on any of the window widgets at the top left of an application window (most Carbon or Cocoa apps, it seems), it behaves just as though you option-clicked a widget in the old Finder - the action is passed to all open windows. Want to minimize all of OmniWeb's open windows? Just option-click the minimize button. Similarly, option-click the close button, and they all close.
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Mail.app and sendmail Apps
[Editor's note: See Geoff's comments; apparently this only works the first time you try it! There's an alternative suggested in the comments which may work better.]

I have managed to get Mail.app to handle sendmail mail by cheating... I am assuming that you're running sendmail OK but have been using mail or pine or somesuch to read mail.

Do this:

in the terminal, copy the folder heirarchy of another of your mailboxes (in ~/Library/Mail/Mailboxes).

Switch into the newly created directory, and instead of mbox, do:

ln -s /var/mail/user_name mbox

where user_name is your username. Restart Mail.app and you should now be able to manage mail downloaded from sendmail in Mail.app

If anyone knows a better way, preferably from within Mail.app instead of silly hacking, please let me know!!!

Cheers,
Geoff Saulnier - Mac, *NIX, perl, hack!!

[Editor's note: I'm not running sendmail locally, so I have not tried this myself]
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Show rulers in TextEdit Apps
I just discovered this. Command-R shows a MacWrite like ruler in TextEdit. I looked for help on this topic but found nothing. Don't know how to make the different tab types work but the added functionality is a welcome discovery.

[Editor's note: I'd overlooked this one myself, as I usually use TextEdit in plain text mode. To enable the rulers, you must first make sure you're in Rich Text mode (Edit -> Make Rich Text). Once you've done that, you can, indeed, show the rulers.]
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Use an unsupported burner in iTunes Apps
(this trick has been around for OS 9.1 before, but I adapted it for OS X)

If you have a CD burner similar to one supported by Apple (for instance a MATSHITA CD-RW CW-7585 which is the same as the CD-RW CW-7586, apart from the maximum cache RAM), it's very easy to have it seen by iTunes 1.1.1.

First log in as root. Then go to:
/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/DiscRecording.framework/
Versions/A/Resources/DevicePlugIns


[Editor: Broken onto two lines for narrower width; enter as one path]

and find the plugin for you CD burner maker (here "MatshitaCDR.device-plugin"). Make a copy of the file for safety. Then open the file with an hex editor and locate the string with the supported CD burner ID (here "CD-RW CW-7586"). Change it for your CD burner ID ("CD-RW CW-7585"). Save the file. Reboot and you're done!

Cram
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Resize open/save dialogs Apps
Hopefully everyone has realized you can resize the Open/Save dialogs in all OS X apps (including Classic, but it's not as useful there). Set the column width view to three or four columns to make navigating the dialogs easier.

What's interesting is that the settings for the Open/Save dialog are saved with each app, so you can (for example) have a wider width on BBedit than you do on mail.app. I use a three or four column view in most places; this makes navigating much easier.

Thanks to Wilson N. for reminding me about the resize features!
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