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Sharing files between Macs and PCs with Samba Apps
Samba is a free UNIX program which lets you specify any number of 'shares' which will be visible to PC users on your network. Think of it as a PC/Mac version of Mac OS 9's file sharing. It's a great way to move files back and forth between the two types of machines, and it's actually (somewhat) straightforward to install and configure.

If you're interested in Samba on OS X, read the rest of this article for step-by-step instructions. I wrote it to be as simple to follow as possible, as I had zero UNIX experience the first time I installed it. Please post any questions or comments regarding the installation/configuration process, and I'll try my best to address them.
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Installing PHP4.04 on OS X v10.0 Apps
A generous Mac user, 'olav', has made a pre-packaged double-click PHP 4.04 installer available! Thanks to 'jacco' for the pointer to the address.

NOTE: The following instructions apply to the files found in the "Archive" folder on olav's iDisk -- see the comments for a discussion of problems related to the new package that's also there at the root level. I installed from the 'Archive' files, and had no problems at all.

You can find the PHP files on olav's iDisk, right here.

This is about as easy as it gets for installing PHP 4; read the rest of this article if you'd like the (simple) step by step instructions.
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Import into Apple's Apps
Apple has provided scripts to import your mail from your current mail program to the It even has a script for Entourage and it works flawlessly! Just don't click on the Apple Script icon in the dock while it's working because it'll give you a funny error. Just let it do its thing, continue surfing (gotta love multi-tasking) and it'll tell you when it's finished. Too bad it doesn't import rules as well. Here's the link:

Mail import script
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Carbonized SimpleText Apps

dunno if y'all know, but there's a carbonized simple text version in the "extras" folder on the developer cd. though no big deal, it always helps to have one more native x-app ... and everyone suffering from classic starting up when doubleclicking a simple "read me" might appreciate this. :)
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Move the drawer to the left Apps
In, the default behavior for the drawer (which containsis to appear on the right edge of the window. Coming from Eudora, I much prefer to see it on the left, but there's no preference setting for 'drawer side.'

Solution? Elegant, simple, and (as near as I can tell), undocumented. Simply take a message in the inbox, and drag it towards the left edge of the screen. The drawer will magically switch sides! will remember this setting the next time you launch it, too.

Thanks for this tip go to 'cricket,' who works for Apple on the mail team and hangs out on the 'X4U' mailing list, hosted by The Macintosh Guy (also in Portland, I might add - it's a hotbed of Mac addicts!). See the links area for a direct link to the mailing list subscription page.
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Delete tip in terminal app Apps
When you want to delete a long text string you just entered in the terminal window (instead of pressing the backspace repeatedly), hit ESC and then backspace. This will delete backwards to the previous break in the text string.
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Editing preference files Apps
There are (already!) a number of programs around that let you edit the OS X preference files with a GUI-based tool as opposed to the command line. These give you easy access to settings such as dimming hidden apps in the dock, showing hidden files in the GUI, changing Cocoa apps default fonts, etc. Here are pointers to a couple of them that have been updated for OS X Final:

TinkerTool from Marcel Bresnik Software

osxsettings from
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Easter egg in DragThing 4.0 Apps
In the brand-new DragThing for OS X (it also works in 8.6 and later) there's a very cool easter egg for you to unearth. It's not too hard to find, either (although I had an inside tip ;-). So as not to spoil it for everyone, read the rest of this article ONLY IF you'd like to know where to find it (don't read the comments, either, as there may be spoilers there). Otherwise, install DragThing4 and start looking! NOTE: It appears the egg only works in OS X; I cannot make it appear in OS 9.1...

NOTE: DragThing4 will not run on the PB; I tested it on my "Staples edition" OS X 10.0 release. I'm not sure if it works with post-PB builds. And in a bit of editorial, I have to say that DragThing4 simply rocks. It's the perfect companion to the dock, and could potentially replace it, if there were a way to 'genie' windows to DragThing instead of the dock. Great job, James!
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Drag Thing for OS X Apps
DragThing was my favorite launcher utility for OS 9. The author's been working on a new version to support OS X, and posted a screenshot back in December. A week or so ago, he posted some more shots (taken in OS 9) of the latest builds. Based on the screenshots, he's added some very nice features. He's also commented that he hopes to release the new version very close to March 24th's release of OS X 1.0.

This is great news (for me, at least) as the dock and DragThing together will make a great team to make OS X even more usable!
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mySQL administrative tools Apps
If you've installed mySQL and PHP for creating web-enabled databases, you've probably become quite familiar with the pure UNIX interface to mySQL. For example, you'd type DESCRIBE tablename for a list of the field definitions in a table; to add a row to a table, the syntax is INSERT INTO tablename (fieldname1, fieldname2) VALUES (expression1, expression2). In other words, completely un-Mac-like and non-intuitive ... but quite powerful!

While you can't avoid all of this hassle of the non-GUI interface, there are a couple of tools out there that make managing mySQL databases much easier. The first is an OS X (Carbon) application called MacSQL Monitor from Runtime Labs. This is a shareware ($40) package that puts a very nice Mac GUI on your mySQL databases. The demo version has limited export capabilities, and will run 10 queries each session.

My personal favorite, though, is phpmyadmin, from This is a collection of PHP scripts designed to help you manage mySQL databases, and it's available free of charge. Through the web-based interface, you can easily create tables, browse records, run queries, modify properties, drop tables, and add/delete entire databases. It's the tool I use when I have to work in the raw database files on the macosxhints website. Read the rest of this article if you'd like an overview of installing myphyadmin.
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