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PostgreSQL compiles on OS X Apps
As many of you know well, PostgreSQL is a yet another open source SQL DBMS [Editor: ala mySQL, but a bit more robust, from what I've read]. Although they claimed compatibility of the database with OS X as of v7.1 and certainly it compiled, a few regression tests had always failed up until recently.

But, not any more. I grabbed the RC-4 source and it compiled just out of the box. Now, you have another choice for your database solutions.

Now, if I could only get its perl interface working...
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See temporary vCards in Address Book Apps
The Address Book application reads and writes from a single pool of addresses each user owns. (Library/Addresses/...). There are a bunch of them that get added, by Mail, I assume. You can view them by adding a new category called TEMPORARY (uppercase is important), then viewing the Temporary addresses category that's already listed in the main window. (That you can't see them already may be some kind of bug.)

Here's the step by step:

In Address Book, create a new item. Then, click on the Categories button. You should see a dialog to set the categories. Click on the round plus (+) button. For the new category, name it "TEMPORARY" - no quotes, all caps. Click OK to save it. Then, cancel the new item. That's it.

Go back to the main screen and change the popdown to Temporary Items. The new all-caps Temporary category won't show up anymore, and you'll get to see more entries here than you did previously. That's why I think this is some kind of bug in Address Book.
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Toolbar command-click trick Apps
In some Cocoa applications, if you command-click the toolbar button in the upper-right corner of the title bar, the toolbar will switch between Icon Only, Icon & Text, and Text Only modes.

I haven't had the chance to test this in many applications yet (primarily because there are still so few available), but it does seem to function in Mail, OmniWeb, Address Book, and Project Builder so far.

Unfortunately, it does not work in the Finder, where it would probably be the most useful.
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Play Zork on OS X! Apps
OS X may be the world?s most advanced operating system, but tonight, I took it back into the early 80?s. In the early days of the internet (or Arpanet, back then), a text-based game known as Zork was all the rage. I remember playing it on a TI Silent 700 dumb terminal with thermal paper, connected to the net at a whopping 300 baud.

Zork was the second big computer adventure game (after Adventure, of course), and it featured an amazingly detailed universe, and a slick English-language command parser. Infocom eventually published the Zork games for the PC, but my memories are strictly from the dumb terminal era. The first three Zork games are available freely on the web; more recent versions are still owned and protected by Activision.

Zork was originally coded in MDL (pronounced muddle), but over the years, it was rewritten in C, so I set out on a mission to get it running on OS X. After some searching, and a little bit of editing, I got it to work (as the screenshot shows; click here for a larger version). It turns out the hardest part was finding all the pieces. Read the rest of this article if you?d like to know how it works, and for step-by-step installation instructions.

If you don't want all the details and just want to play, grab the binary download of a UNIX Zork engine (Jzip), the first three Zork game data files, and a Read Me from my "Griffman's OS Collection" page.

And yes, I know about (and own) "The Lost Treasures of Infocom" I & II for the Mac; that's not the point -- I wanted to see if Zork could be run in a terminal window on OS X -- and it can!
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Double clickable mySQL installer Apps
Stories about mySQL seem to generate quite a bit of interest here, so here's one (last?) pointer to yet another way of getting mySQL running. This should be the easiest way of all - a Mac-friendly, double-clickable installer package. It's been tested by several people, and they've had good things to say about it.

You can find it here:

CAUTION: If you have already installed mySQL (fully or partially), you should probably remove it prior to installing this version. On the MacNN forums, a poster claims that the package didn't work well with his previously installed version.
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Simple way to archive mail in Apps
Create a mailbox using the Mail app preference panel (e.g. Jan 2001), drag all your mail you want to archive for that month into the mailbox. Quit Mail and go to your home library and find the Mail folder, open it and remove your newly created mailbox containing all your archived mail. I would then store this on a removable disc if my CD RW was recognized. For now I just store it on the hard drive of another Mac on my LAN.
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Copying audio CD files to your hard drive Apps
If you want to copy a audio track from a CD, you don't have to bother with importing it via QuickTime player or Toast Audio Extractor anymore. Just put the CD in and when you open it in the Finder, the files on there are in native .aiff format ready for you to just copy them straight onto your hard drive.


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Using TextEdit on HTML files Apps
TextEdit is a WYSIWYG editor. If you open up an HTML file, and you don't just see HTML tags, but you actually see the web document.

You can shut this off by specifying in the preferences to turn rich text encoding on or off for HTML files.

Sorta a neat feature, I wish the turn off rich text was a menu command as opposed to a preference.
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Drag and drop issue with jEdit Apps
I wanted to edit the index.html file that sits in the ~/Sites folder. If you double-click this file, Explorer opens. So I picked it up and dropped it on my jEdit icon in DragThing. Poof - the file vanished! jEdit is a Java-based text editor, not some kind of auto-deleter, so it looked like there was a bit of a problem. A quick look showed it wasn't in the trash, and I couldn't use Sherlock to find the file, since I have about 2,500 index.html's on my machine ... so it had basically vanished into thin air.

As an experiment, I duplicated a text document, renamed it to "XXXYYYZZZ" and dropped that onto jEdit. Same results - poof, file's gone. But this time I launched Sherlock, and searched for the file. No sign of it on any disk. So once more, I went back to the finder, duplicated a text file, and named it the same thing as before. Dragged it onto jEdit, but this time, I got a message about there already being a file with that name in the location, and did I want to rename the file?

This was the enlightenment I needed. I went to the finder, right-clicked on the jEdit app, and chose Show Package Contents. There, sitting inside the jEdit application bundle, were all my test files, and the missing index.html file! Somehow, dragging and dropping the document on jEdit moved it into the app bundle, instead of launching jEdit.

I tested this with a couple other apps, and couldn't repeat the behavior. But I can repeat it consistently with jEdit. So if you use DragThing, and you seem to have dropped a file and had it vanish, check the bundle for the application you dropped it onto -- it may very well be there!
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Batch convert document--application links Apps
One of the best new features in OS X is the ability to batch-convert application links for various documents. Before finding this, I had inadvertently started up Classic simply by clicking on a .jpg file that could have been viewed in Preview instead. To make the files open a different application, shift-click to select as many of the same document type as you want (for example, 100 .jpg files), then choose Show Info from the File menu in the Finder. Select Application in the pop-up menu and you will be able to select any application you wish to open the files. Once you've made your choice, the batch-conversion is nearly instantaneous.

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