After some experimentation, and confirmation from another X user, I've discovered a bug in the way the Finder displays list views in a couple of situations. This has been replicated on a number of machines, so I tend to think it's a pervasive problem. I have submitted it to Apple's feedback site, but thought you might like to be aware of it as well.
The bug is related to a "name" column that continuously and automatically shrinks when in LIST VIEW mode. You can see the bug in one of these situations:
If you are viewing a folder that's at the root level of a hard drive (view the top level of your OS X disk in list view, for example). If you then click to sort by date, then click on any of the folders in the list (just once), then click to sort by name, the name field will shrink. From now on, any sort of click in the column names or in the finder list will result in the name field shrinking -- to the point where it vanishes! If you simply go one level deeper into your folder structure, this problem does NOT occur. Very odd, and very repeatable on two machines.
Take any folder, and put it on the desktop. You'll see the exact same behavior described above if you view it in list view.
I may not have explained this very well, but we've been able to duplicate the problem on two different machines, with those same two situations on each machine. So if it seems your list views are behaving a bit oddly, they may very well be. Hopefully this will be fixed in a future OS X update!
With OS X, Apple assigned command-N to "Make New Window" instaed of "Make New Folder", which was assigned to shift-command-N. To me, this makes sense, as I tend to open more new windows than I do creating new folders, so the easier key combo is the most used key combo.
However, some people tend to create a lot of folders on a daily basis, and the added keystroke could become quite annoying. For these users, here are two other means of creating new folders that may prove quicker than shift-command-N:
Control-click (or right-click, if you can) in the Finder, and you get "New Folder" as a contextual menu item
Place the "New Folder" widget on your toolbar, and you have one-click access from everywhere. To do this, select View -> Customize Toolbar menu in the Finder while the toolbar is visible (hit Command-B to show the toolbar)
So while one method is lost, at least there are some reasonable alternatives.
[5/18 5:00pm - Editor's update: Merlijn has sent me a new PDF, which includes two very important revisions. The first is the inclusion of tcsh (not bash) shell instructions, and the second is the actual compilation of mod_ssl. If you've downloaded the PDF, please do so again now to get the newest version.]
Merlijn Tishauser has written a very thorough how-to on installing:
The latest Apache (1.3.19) and ...
PHP 4.05 and ...
mod_ssl is the Apache interface to OpenSSL, and you can read more about it on the mod_ssl web site. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which lets you speak to the web server using encrypted data streams (a gross simplification, I know, but it's the best I can do!).
Merlin has compiled his how-to into an easy-to-read PDF, which I have posted on my iDisk - Click here to download it. His how-to also contains a complete copy of his httpd.conf configuration file, in case you're having trouble getting your Apache configured.
If you're interested in creating secure servers, give Merlin's how-to a thorough reading. I have not done this on my machine, so I can't provide any first hand advice, but it looks to be well written and easy to understand.
[Editor's note: I highly recommend that you do not use a root-enabled GUI Finder unless you really really know what you're doing. It's easy to do Very Bad Things to your system without truly intending to do so. With that warning, this is actually a fairly interesting trick. Use at your own risk, of course!]
I had to move around a bunch of files in the /usr directory and I really loathe using mv and cp in the CLI. It's so cumbersome! Of course, you can't drag-and-drop, because the user you're logged in as has no write privileges to /usr. There's a simple way around this, however.
Read the rest of this article if you're interested in creating a root-access Finder.
Anyone remember the good ole way of navigating from the current open window with the arrow keys? If not, don't worry I will explain. If you do remember, OS X allows the same navigation, no need to read on.. just happy arrowing.
[Editor's note - read the rest of the article for one take on browsing the new finder using arrow keys and modifiers to great effect; there's some stuff in here that I'd never even thought to try before!]
If you are a little familiar with the new tcsh-shell on Mac OS X, you can have a preview of working with JBuilder [editor's note: JBuilder is a commercial Java development environment from Borland which is due out shortly on Mac OS X natively]
If you have jBuilder and would like to see it running on OS X, read the rest of the article for instructions on getting the Linux version running on your Mac.
I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere, but document title bars in OS X apps (at least the few I've tested like TextEdit and Graphic Converter) behave like the title bars for OS 9 folders when you command-click on them.
Namely, if you command-click on the title of the document, it turns into a menu showing the location of the file (parent folder, then its parent, etc. all the way to the drive it's on). Selecting a folder or drive from the menu opens that folder in the Finder. Note, you have to click on the center of the title bar where the text of the title is.
Similarly, clicking and holding the document icon in the title bar let's you do things like move the file (by dragging it to folder), or open it with another application (by dragging it over an application in the dock or Finder). It doesn't appear that you can use this to move a document to the trash however (moving an active document to the trash would be an odd thing to do usually).
[Editor: Note that this is default behavior for Cocoa apps such as TextEdit. In OS 9 (and hence, Carbon apps), it's my understanding that it was possible to have this behavior, but it was not enabled by default. So you may or may not see it in Classic and Carbon apps.]
(Love this site, BTW. Hope this tip helps someone. To me it's one of those "little things" that is so cool about the Mac way.)
An interesting thing I found: let's say you're about at the 4th level of your hard drive -- /users/you/documents/stuff/.
If you use the tab (and shift-tab) key when the Finder window is active, it will go through each active folder in your filepath forward (and backward) and essentially flip through all the columns you have. NOTE: It takes one extra "tab" to get back to the top level of the drive, as the tab prior to the last one seems to take you to the column containing the preview.
This is different than using the left/right arrow keys, which actively move your selection; the tab key simply changes the highlight column.
Once the column of your choosing is highlighted (the highlight is on the folder that contains your furtherest-right window), you can use the up and down arrow keys to move down into other folders within that column.
[Editor - Tip from Gorgonzola; modified by yours truly as I experimented with it. Pretty nifty way to navigate the finder, actually!]
When you open a program you usually see zoom rectangles zoom out to the edge of the screen. This Mac OS feature is old and outdated. If you want to get rid of these open your "preferences" folder from "library" (the path is /Users/your_username/Library/Preferences).
Open "com.apple.finder.plist" with TextEdit and scroll down until you see ZoomRects with true below it (or something like that). Change "true" to "false" and save your changes. No more zoom rects!
[Editor's note: Good tip, and I believe TinkerTool and a couple of the other GUI tools let you do this without an edit...]