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Create aliases from within an application Desktop
I don't know if it's old news but I haven't seen this tip before.

When draging the tiny preview icon in the name section of a document's window to the desktop or a folder, an alias of the file is created! It only seems to work in Cocoa apps (Preview and TextEdit for example). Press 'option' at the same time makes a copy of the file...

[Editor's note: See the comments and never mind this note :-)]
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An AppleScript to emulate an up button Desktop
One of the features I think is missing in the Finder is an "Up" button in the toolbar to go to the parent folder. I made some minor modifications to Apple's "Open Parent Folder" script to create a button in the toolbar that does just that. (Apple's script opens a new window with the parent folder; I just modified it to change the contents of the current finder window to the parent folder.)

Here's the script:
on run
tell application "Finder"
try
activate
set this_folder to (the target of the front window) as alias
set the target of the front window to (container of this_folder)
on error error_message
beep
display dialog error_message buttons {"Cancel"} default button 1
end try
end tell
end run
I saved it as an Application from Script Editor. I then grabbed an image of the "Back" button in the Finder toolbar and rotated it 90 degrees clockwise so the arrow points up. Paste the rotated image as the icon for the "Up" script, then drag the "Up" script to the Finder toolbar. I now have a working "Up" button in the toolbar.
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ZiO and 10.1.2 incompatability workaround Desktop
People with Microtech ZiO card readers were overjoyed in early December to finally receive drivers that enabled these peripherals to work with Mac OS X, only to have their hopes dashed when, after installing the 10.1.2 update, the drivers promptly stopped working.

"Mike C., Certified Service Technician, macUpgrades" claims to have figured out a workaround. Evidently, the cause of the drivers' breakage was that the Mac OS 10.1.2 installer revises the IOUSBMassStorageClass.kext extension to a point where the drivers don't work.

His solution? Boot into Mac OS 9, copy the 10.1.1 version of the extension back into the appropriate directory, and reinstall the Microtech drivers. For some it appears to work, but others say it did nothing for them. Try it at your own risk. If you do go ahead, I highly suggest you keep the 10.1.2 version of the extension around.

Read the rest of the article for some more information on this problem and how to track Microtech's updates automatically...
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Control 'Locations' Apple menu order Desktop
The "Location" item in the Apple menu lists Network Preferences in case-independent lexigraphical order. In other words, according to the order the characters appear in the ASCII table except that it doesn't distinguish between upper and lower case letters. Use numbers or punctuation as the first character in Location names to control the order of the items in the menu.

For instance, I use Airport and Offline most often. By using "0"(zero) instead of "O" as the first character in Offline, I have 0ffline and Airport as the first two items in the Location menu. Otherwise, Offline, inconveniently, appears several items down the list of network connetions.
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Changing non-Home folder view options Desktop
I think I have found a better solution for the folder view problem [Editor's note: The problem lies in trying to change the view on folders outside your home directory; you can do it, but the settings do not stick].

If you don't want to log in as root every time you want to change settings so that the Finder doesn't forget them after you log out, you just have to change the owner of the invisible .DS_Store files within the folder. You do that with the terminal command
sudo chown #yourownername# .DS_Store
If you want to do this for all .DS_Store files on your hardrives you should try this:
sudo find / -name .DS_Store | xargs chown #yourownername#
This should be quite fast but the problem is that paths that contain withespaces arent recognized as one path. so probably you better use this
sudo find / -name .DS_Store -exec chown #yourownername# {} \;
[Editor's note: I have not tried this myself, but it makes sense that if you own the .DS_Store file, your changed view settings would be remembered.]
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Easily open remote folders Desktop
Just figured this out and I don't remember seeing it anywhere.

If you have multiple Macs networked, and you constantly go to a particular folder on one of the remote Macs (say the desktop on the PowerMac downstairs), AND you're tired of being disconnected from each other when the iBook goes to sleep, AND you're tired of having to go through all the steps to log back on... this tip is for you!

After logging into the remote Mac, open a Finder window and select the folder you wish. Drag that folder to the shelf in that window (the place where Computer, Home, etc. is) and wait about three seconds. Surprise! The icons start moving so you can put the folder there.

Now, eject the remote volume and watch what happens to the folder icon (it turns into a "?"). Click on it and wait a few seconds ... no login, no "what volume do you want to mount", nothing ... nothing but the volume re-appearing on the desktop and the contents of the folder displayed, and hours of you life gained back every year.

[Editor's note: This is a creative use of the toolbar, and it allows you to open remote folers in icon, list or column view, as long as you have the toolbar visible. In order for the "no passwords" option to work, though, I believe you need to go to the "Options" dialog box and add the password to your keychain. At least, that's what I had to do to make it work without the password prompt.]
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Give PC documents customized icons Desktop
Fed up with seeing generic white sheets for all your PC documents? So was I so I opened up the Appleworks application and fixed it. Show the Appleworks package contents (control-click on the AppleWorks application and select Show Package Contents) and find the file called Info-macos.plist. Open this in BBEdit or TextEdit or whatever and find this line:
<key>CFBundleTypeName</key>   <string>com.apple.appleworks.word</string>
Look at the paragraph above it and copy the line that defines the icon, and paste it into the appropriate place under the line you just found:
<key>CFBundleTypeIconFile</key>   <string>Document.icns</string>
You can change the Documents.icns to whatever you want (but the actual .icns file you specify must exist one level down from this document, in the Resources folder). I'm going to make a new icon so I can tell at a glance what's a Word document, but for now this at least will give it some colour. Do the same with the Excel definition and that'll sort it.

You WILL have to update prebindings for this to take effect. Open the terminal and type:
sudo update_prebinding -root /
[Editor's note: I have not tried this myself, but it makes sense and I verified the structure of the Info.plist file ... I wonder how this would be done without AppleWorks?]
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Run two FinalCut Pro3 applications at once Desktop
I read this on the lafcpug.org newsletter, and am passing it on with the permision of Michael Horton of LAFCPUG.
TIP/TRICK O' THE WEEK
This week's Tip/Trick comes from VP/Tech Support at Promax, Cawan Starks who not only knows verything about Mac hardware but can hold 2 dual 800s over his head for 13 minutes without breaking a sweat.

"After doing some experimenting in OSX I found it is possible to install FCP3.0 twice on the same machine. So you might be asking why would one want to do that? Well, to really take advantage of the dual processor capability of OSX. Now it's possible to render in one project while cutting video in another. So now you can simultaneously have two FCP 3.0 applications open at the same time. Who would have thought the day would come that you can still cut video while you render in the background. Note: This can only be achieved on dual processor machines using OSX."
The trick is actually quite simple -- you can apparently just install the application twice in two separate locations, and launch each instance.

[Editor's note: I don't have a copy of FCP3 to test this with, but if someone wanted to buy me a boxed copy, I'd get right on the testing regime! :-)]
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Change the screenshot file type Desktop
Apple's Cocoa Development mailing list archives contain an interesting snippet that explains how to change the default screenshot (command-shift-3 and -4) format from TIFF to JPEG, PICT or PNG. The original article can be seen here (read the dialog box for the username and password), but it's basically a one-line terminal command:
defaults write NSGlobalDomain AppleScreenShotFormat imageFormat
Replace imageFormat with one of JPEG, TIFF, PNG, or PICT to change the format of the screenshot.

This can also easily be done using a prefpane known as OrangePref from Freshly Squeezed Software. The pane also allows you to set the scroll bar arrow behaviour (just like the TinkerTool prefpane).

[Editor's note: Of course, there are also third-party screenshot programs that offer even more choices - SnapzPro X, for example, can save images as .bmp, .gif, .psd, and probably a couple others I'm forgetting at the moment.]
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Permanently change non-Home folder views Desktop
Mac OS X folders outside the Home folder don't seem to remember their view settings, such as list view or icon positions. The reason is that they are owned by root, and only the owner can make permanent changes. Login as root, and your settings will stick.

[Editor's note: I have not tried this myself yet, mainly because I hardly ever open a folder any more :-). But if you do use folder views, it makes sense that only the owner would have permission to change the view settings...]
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