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ALERT - Tenon XTools 1.0.2, 10.0.1, and the PB Apps
The installer for XTools 1.0.2 erased my Applications folder, /etc, /usr, and root home directories, and much more! Other users had experienced such problems with earlier versions, and Tenon promised to re-release the application only after resolving the issue. I installed on Mac OS X 10.0.1 over XTools beta10 when Mac OS X started to fail during the system optimization step.

The Tenon XTools discussion board at has more information about similar problems suffered previously by other users.

-Wolf Naegeli
[Editor's note: Please see the comments for a response from Tenon; the install issue is particular to those who installed OS X over the PB and then upgraded to 10.0.1; thanks for the clarification, Tenon!]
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Don't use files as home pages with IE 5.1! Apps
If you ever use Microsoft's Internet Explorer avoid using a file:/ URL as your 'Home Page' in the 'Internet' section of the System Preferences app.

I use OmniWeb 95% of the time and had set my 'Home Page' to a file:/ URL. When I tried to use IE some time later it crashed EVERY time I launched it. No error messages or clues. It had been a while since I made the Home Page change so it didn't register as a possible cause.
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Quoting replies in Apps
If you'd like to reply to an email quoting just a subset of the original message, it's incredibly easy in Apple's Open the email you wish to reply to, select the text you wish to quote, and hit the "Reply" button (or Command-R). Your selection now shows as the only quoted text in the reply.

I spend much of my time in Eudora trimming text I don't want to quote; makes it quick and easy! I love the subtle touches in well written applications!
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Modify Cocoa apps shortcut keys per user Apps
I snapped this tip up on Apple's mailing list: Full credits to the author, Mike Ferris.

You can modify any keyboard shortcut in any Cocoa app using the very powerful defaults system. The key you want to modify in your defaults database is NSUserKeyEquivalents.

The following example would set the Activity Viewer menu item of to be command+shift+A:
defaults write NSUserKeyEquivalents '{"Activity Viewer"="@$A";}'
The odd characters before the 'A' in the previous command, specify the modifiers:
  • @ = Command
  • $ = Shift
  • ~ = Option
  • ^ = Control
To use other keys, such as Delete, you will have to use their Unicode codes like this:

@U0008 which would mean command+Delete.

This is really good, since it does not involve modifying the original application, and only applies to your environment, leaving that of others unchanged. I will try to make an app to handle this proceedure some time in the future.
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AOL X client installs old QT plug-ins! Apps
Be aware - after troubleshooting an IE/QuickTime problem I had, I noticed that the AOL X Client installed two old Quicktime 5.0b11 plug-ins in my "Internet Plug-ins" folder, inside the "Library" folder.

It completely screwed up all QuickTime content, along with making IE screwy every now and then. I think that there are some other old files lurking in plug-ins (Shockwave or Flash?) or maybe elsewhere, so if you know of any or find any, reply!

Just to be safe, check both your user/Library/Internet Plug-ins Folder and the /Library/Internet Plug-ins Folder.
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Put pictures with names in Apps
If you paste pictures into your Address Book, and then receive an email from someone with an address book picture, that image shows up with the email - quite nifty! You get the images into the address book by dragging the file containing the image into the right-hand square on the Edit screen of the Address book.

And if you don't have handy pictures of all your email acquaintances, just pick your favorite cartoon characters, download some icons, and create some stand-ins!!
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Add more apps and docs to 'Recent Items' Apps
Thanks to Resexcellence, you can now add more items to your 'Applications' and 'Documents' areas of the 'Recent Items' menu. This article explains how do do so, but makes it a bit more complicated than it need be.

The way I did it ... navigate to:
through the Terminal. Then type: pico

Now just add more apps and docs between the 'string' tags in the 'apps' and 'docs' sections until you think you have enough (I have 12). You'll need the full path to the apps, as well as their full name (most end in '.app'), in order for this to work. Do not repeat any apps or docs, save the .plist and logout/login and you'll have your extended 'Recent Items' list! Now as you add more items, the canned ones you used to lengthen the list will be replaced with the apps you're opening, but you'll always have more than five!
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Sherlock and the Can't Index message Apps
If your Sherlock screen has a "Can't Index" message next to your OS X volume, this is actually normal. The reasons why are detailed in Apple's Tech Info Library, in this article:

The gist of the article is that Sherlock can't index the entire drive, since OS X is a multi-user system. If it were to index the entire drive, you'd be able to see files and folders that may not be yours. So it indexes your home directory (which shows up as a separate, indexed "volume" in Sherlock), and blocks you from searching portions of the OS X drive that you may not have rights to examine.
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Using fsck after application crashes Apps
Like many OS X users, I really love the fit and finish of Omnigroup's OmniWeb browser. It's very stable and so far has rendered every page I've thrown at it.

However, it does occasionally lock up at start-up, freezing the UI with it, forcing me to reboot. This is where a previous hint I reported here shows a practical value.

Read the rest of the article for a primer on "fsck", the file system check utility in Mac OS X.
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Running Jakarta Tomcat on OS X Apps
This must be common knowledge by now but since no-one has mentioned it ... after you install the Developer Tools, the generic *nix distribution of Tomcat (an environment for working with Java Server Pages) works fine on MOSX.

The one you want is in this directory on the Jakarta Tomcat site, and the particular file you want is jakarta-tomcat-3.2.1.tar.gz. The 'Mac-ported' .sea & .hqx versions seem to have a classpath issue & look as if they are actually running in MRJ, not under OSX (sorry, I haven't had a really good look yet).

The version above runs exactly like on Linux - ie. started & stopped with the command-line, so you get to see errors & messages. One problem, with http on MOSX generally though, I simply can't access localhost from browsers running under Classic!

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