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Disable the desktop for quicker window redraws Desktop
To speed up window redrawing, just use Tinkertool (see Hall of Fame at left) to turn the desktop off.

On a 8600 G3 547MHz with 256MB of RAM, ATI XclaimVR 128, and an Acard/66 with two 60GB drives, it made a significat difference in window redraws under very heavy load. Instead of graphics sort of crawling across the screen, they tend to pop up. Also less swapping on the second drive with the swapfile located on it. Limewire, dnet, iTunes, and Mozilla all running simultaneously. Other tips were used previously such as the disabled font smoothing and swapcop etc.

On a Sawtooth 450 with 384MB's of RAM, disabling the desktop made a small difference, but it was fast already.

[Editor's note: I have not tested this myself to verify any speed gains from disabling the desktop, but it makes sense. Then again, I like my desktop pictures too much to disable them!]
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Minimize windows with a double click in the title bar Desktop
There's always more than one way to do things with a Mac. I found by accident that double clicking the title bar of most apps will move it to the dock. So there's command M, clicking the yellow button, and double clicking the title-bar. Kind of like window shade. Useful sometimes.

[Editor's note: I did a quick search, and I don't think this particular version of this method has been published here before ... of course, as the database continues to grow, it's getting harder to say that with 100% certainty!]
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Hiding an application-created folder Desktop
I have two partitions on my iBook's internal hard drive. 4GB for OSX and applications, 10GB for my Home directory. I've used NetInfo Manager to set the second partition as said Home directory and all is well. Almost.

BBEdit Lite seems to love making a Temporary Items folder in said Home directory every time I open it. I can delete it all I want, but the next time I want to edit some plain text, a stinking Temporary Items folder appears. This didn't happen in the past, when my Home directory was on the same partition as OSX. But it does now. So it must be stopped.

Because the folder is in my Home directory, I can't make it invisible using this hint. Instead, I did this:
  1. Download and install TinkerTool (linked in Hall of Fame box at left).
  2. Make it so that you can see all those pesky invisible files and folders.
  3. Duplicate one of the invisible folders in your home directory. Choosing one that's currently empty makes sense.
  4. Rename it "Temporary Items" (without the quote marks).
  5. Use TinkerTool again to make those invisible things invisible again.
Now BBEdit can use that folder all it wants and you don't have to put up with it invading your space anymore. Hoo-hah.

[Editor's note: As listed in the other hint's comments, I think SetFile would also work here, but I like this non-Terminal solution.]
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Free your RAM - quit the Finder Desktop
I found a good way to free up RAM - quit the finder. Doing so freed up 100MB on my TiBook! It's so nice not paging to disk as often, and I have more CPU time available.

I used TinkerTool (ed: see Hall of Fame Apps box for link) to add a quit option to the Finder application menu and it works just fine. The drawback is that I don't have my desktop picture! Does anyone know of a program that supplements the Finder Desktop picture capability? This flat blue is getting old ;)

[Editor's note: You can also install SNAX as a Finder replacement; see this hint for details...still no desktop picture, though.]


Panther proven!
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Open a Terminal window at current Finder selection Desktop
I often want to do something in OS X and find that I need root when I have navigated to a specific location in the Finder. So then I would have to open the terminal and navigate to that same location (or drag the folder while holding command-option onto the Terminal icon in the dock).

Well, I finally got around to creating an Applescript that does it for me, here it is:
on run
tell application "Finder"
try
activate
set frontWin to folder of front window as string
set frontWinPath to (get POSIX path of frontWin)
tell application "Terminal"
activate
do script with command "cd \"" & frontWinPath & "\""
end tell
on error error_message
beep
display dialog error_message buttons¬
{"OK"} default button 1
end try
end tell
end run
Save the script as an application and drop it in the Finder toolbar (or in the Scripts folder or use one of the available utilities to assign it a keyboard shortcut) and then each window has a handy link to the terminal which will open a new window navigated to that folder. This saves duplication of effort and long drag and drop operations.
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Control Finder movie volume via keyboard Desktop
While playing a movie file in the Finder's column view preview, the up and down arrow keys adjust volume. When the movie is paused, the keys move up and down the file list as usual. Also space bar pauses but for some reason half the time it unpauses and half the time it moves you to the first file in the list (like in List and Icon views).

I discovered this while going through a large folder of audio files (specifically, the sounds from Oni. She's everywhere!) :D
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Force dismount a stuck volume Desktop
I found that the command
 % hdiutil eject -force device_name
is able to simply force eject a unit witch refuses to unmount due to files still "in use". The device_name can be estabilished by consulting the df command.

I wonder if there is any drawback in using 'hdiutil' in this way.

[Editor's note: Please note that there is a hint about Ejecting a busy disk image with a different method of solving the problem - namely, identifying the processes that are preventing the ejection in the first place. I believe this would be the preferred manner of resolving a stuck Volume problem, as it cleans everything up prior to unmounting the volume. I've chosen to publish this "brute force" method in the event that the first method fails to solve the problem ... and in the hopes that it sparks some conversation about the possible dangers -- what can go wrong if you force eject a busy volume? Thoughts?]
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Change desktop pictures on networked home folder Desktop
One of the advantages of OSX is the ability to keep your home folder on a network server, so that when you log on from any OSX mac on the network, all your preferences, Finder windows, and settings are as you left them. The same applied to the desktop picture in 10.0, but this changed in 10.1 so that using the system preference to change the desktop background only changes it for that machine.

The combination of an AppleScript and a shell script restores the ability to change the background on all machines at once. Read the rest of the article for the scripts and the instructions.
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Add the trash can to the Finder toolbar Desktop
After messing around with SNAX as a Finder replacement, I noticed something that seemed reasonably doable in the Finder. I really liked having the trash in my SNAX toolbar. Why not see if it worked in the Finder? Sure enough, it worked.

Here's what I feel is the easiest way: Click the trash icon in the dock. When the window opens, click and hold on the title bar trash icon until it turns black, and then drag it into the toolbar. BOOM done. Now you can trash files in majorly shorter dragging distances.

[Editor's note: I can't believe this hasn't been published here before; I wrote about it in the OS X Solutions Guidebook! So I'm listing it for completeness sake, and apolgies if it's a duplicate. Of course, you can also use "Customize Toolbar" to add a "Delete" button to the toolbar, and then you can delete files with no dragging at all.]
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Change the default list-view column order Desktop
I use list view quite a bit. I'm mostly interested in the size and the date columns and turn the others off. I was really happy to find that I could drag the size column to be before the date column since it's more important to me. Unfortunately, it always reverts to the default column order on new windows or windows switched to list view. I wanted any folder that was asked to display in list view to retain my preferred order.

I could, of course, open a new window, set it to list view, move the columns, and close it again to set the "global default" for new windows to list view with my preferred column order. But I didn't want to use a list view global default; I just wanted any window that I switched to list view to come up with the proper column order.

Read the rest of the article for an explanation of how to make the Finder retain your preferred column order for any window you set to list view...
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