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Unique desktop pictures per monitor in 10.1 Desktop
I just noticed this today, I don't think it has been posted. In OS 10.0-10.04 if you changed the desktop pic, it would mirror across two (or more) monitors.

In 10.1 you can now independantly change desktops for each monitor through the Desktop System Prefs (as in OS 9).

[Editor's note: Ah the lucky ones with dual monitors! ;-)]
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Put a trash can on the Desktop! [10.0.4 only!] Desktop
I do love the Dock ? it combines the best features of the windows taskbar and the Application switcher. One thing i sorely miss from OS9, however is having a trashcan on the desktop. Until now. Luckily for me (and I suspect other users to) Apple has made provisions for putting a trash can back in its rightful place. In the Terminal type:
cd ~/Library/Preferences/
to change to your preferences directory (the ~ is a shortcut for "/Users/your_username"). Then type:
sudo pico
and enter your root password. Scroll down and look for a line about 1/4 of the way down that reads "Finder Has.Trash". Simply change the tag below it from false to true, relaunch the Finder, and presto! A desktop trashcan!
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Add global command-line shortcuts Desktop
A friend of mine just sent this to me:

"I don't know if you've seen references to creating your own .cshrc file anywhere. I've been playing with it a bit. The way to do it is to edit the /etc/csh.cshrc file. If you do this one, the aliases you add are usable by all users - including root and sudo-ed uses. I added this:
alias bbopen "open -a '/Applications/Text/BBEdit 6.1/BBEdit 6.1 for OS X'"
which makes the command "bbopen FILENAME" (without quotes, FILENAME is the name of the file) open any file you want. Note that my path to BBEdit may not be yours."

...and I was just getting to tolerate pico, too, but I LOVE by BBEdit.
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Freeze minimizing windows 'feature' Desktop
I just found a way to freeze a window in the middle of minimizing into the dock. Here's a screenshot. This is completely useless, and only works for Cocoa apps, but it looks pretty cool.

First just minimize a window into the dock, then un-minimize it. While it's in the middle of the genie or scale effect effect, hit command-H to hide the app (it's easier to do this during genie, since it takes longer**). Switch back to the app, and the window will be frozen, partly minimized.

[** Try a shift-option-click on the minimized window, which will expand it with "super slow mo" and then hit command-H - much easier since the window is really going slowly. -rob.]

Read the rest of this article for more information about this frozen window "feature" ... also be aware that this will more than likely make the application you're experimenting with unstable, so please consider that BEFORE trying to duplicate this effect!
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Customize Java application icons Desktop
If you've ever tried to paste a custom icon on a Java application (such as LimeWire or jEdit), you'll find it's impossible, at least through normal means. I ran across this due to some sort of odd design in the LimeWire icon - when placed in my DragThing dock, the LimeWire icon did not respond to a mouse click (quite odd). So I went to paste a replacement in, only to find that it was impossible. I also tried creating an alias and pasting a custom icon there (no go) as well as using an AppleScript to open LimeWire (no go - AppleScript must have a syntax for opening Java apps that I just don't know; it can't find the LimeWire app).

After a bit of poking around in MRJAppBuilder, I found a fairly easy way to replace Java applications' icons. If you'd like the step-by-step method, read the rest of this article.

By the way, that new LimeWire icon is from a set called "Unreleased" by Pedro Fernandez, downloaded from
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DVD in 10.1 on an unsupported Mac Desktop
I own a B&W G3 with the hardware DVD decoding system and was quite disappointed when 10.1 did not install the DVD Player. I tried copying the file from a machine of mine that it did install on, but alas, it gave me an error that it would not work.

All my disapointments disappeared today when I hit and read that it's possible to modify the DVD Player to work on unsupported machines. The hack is simple, and it seems to work well on my B&W (it does use 70% of the processor, but that's no big loss). Check out their DVD Player Mod page for all the details.

As of now, it seems that it's only been tested on Blue and White G3s, but I'm sure other machines will have reports of success or failure soon.

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Change the default desktop picture in 10.1 Desktop
I figured this one out when I accidently moved the "Aqua Blue.jpg" picture out of the /Library/Desktop Pictures/ folder. In Mac OS X PB the default picture was stored in the Finder app itself. But when I moved the "Aqua Blue" desktop picture out of the "Desktop Pictures" folder in 10.1 and logged out, it gave me a blank background of all pinstripes in the login screen. So what i did was to make a copy of my favorite DP, rename it "Aqua Blue.jpg", and make sure it was in the desktop pictures folder. Then I logged out. It worked! The default picture was no longer the standard one, but the one I like.

The only thing I want to know now is how to change the background color during startup, but I think that's hardwired.
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Set up a customized new user template Desktop
Here's how I set my system up for multiple users to try and guarantee that things will work for my users just like they work for me.

In the folder /System/Library/UserTemplate/English.lproj/ there is a default set of home directory files and preferences used by the system for each new user created by an admin in the Users preference panel. We will now create a new set of default preferences to replace the Apple supplied prefs.

Read the rest of this article if you'd like to change the default setup for new users on your system.

[Editor's note: This is a very useful hint if you have a number of users on your machine and you want them all to have identical customized setups!]
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Use scroll wheel in Show Info window Desktop
Want a better way to show all options in the Show Info Window? Use your scroll wheel! This just occurred to me today. Show info on anything, and use the scroll wheel in the active window to scroll through your various options, which are typically some combination of the following:

General Information
Name & Extension
Open with application

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Use the Desktop as your Home folder Desktop
I recently sent in a suggestion to Apple's OS X Feedback page that they should provide the option for users to use the Desktop as their Home. That is, rather than having to view the items in their Home folder through a Finder window, these items (Documents, Pictures, etc.) would appear on the Desktop along with mounted volumes. The beauty of this is that it would allow the Desktop to be reborn as the center of user activity, rather than being restricted to the confines of a window.

Then I realized there is a way to make this a reality now! Read the rest of this article if you'd like to know how to make your "Home" directory contents live on your desktop.
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