If you'd like to occasionally access the hidden UNIX folders from the Finder, it's actually quite simple. There's a tip posted elsewhere here that discusses how to show all the hidden files all the time, but there's also a nice "as needed" tool. Gorgonzola pointed this out to me in an email, and I'd actually never tried it!
Under the Go menu item is "Go to folder", complete with a keyboard shortcut (Command + ~). To get to any of the hidden folders, you just need to know the path to that folder. Remember that OS X uses a "/private" directory for some of the hidden folders, so to go to "/etc", for example, you'd enter /private/etc in the Go To Folder box.
Once you've entered your destination, the Finder will switch and display that folder's contents. This makes it quite easy to use a visual editor on System files, if you combine it with Brian Hill's Pseudo for "su" editing.
On the Users panel of the System Prefs application, you can edit everything about your user except your short username. If you have a two button mouse, however, you can edit the field -- just right-click on it. You can't use a control-click, only the right mouse button. DO NOT DO THIS! See the comments for a reason as to why it's a Bad Thing, and why it's probably meant to be disabled!
I spotted this one on this MacFixIt board. If you go ahead and do this, you are doing so at your own risk! Be careful...consider yourself warned!
Strange I didn't read that anywhere: did you ever try to use the Tabulation key in Finder X ? If the window is:
-- in icon view, you will move from an icon to the next one (as in OS 9);
-- in list view, you will CHANGE the column display type (DIFFERENT from OS 9, and much better);
-- in column view, you will move to the next column, or RETURN to the first column if already in the last one !
This is really smart IMHO. Also you can do the same in reverse order, using shift-tab instead.
I doubt I'm the first one to think of this, but color coding several regularly used Finder windows can improve their visual difference when they are minimized to the Dock.
Just select the window's view options from the View menu, select color for background (or picture if you so desire), and choose away! I use colors from my desktop pic so everything is color coordinated.
[Editor's note: See the comments for a better solution, as well as a GUI-based way of doing this]
Sometimes the desktop will do something stupid - like leave some of the 'poof' effect on the screen or whatever else. The best thing to do is just restart it. Killing it will make it automatically restart. Here's a little unix script to find it's process ID & kill it:
#!/bin/sh DOCKPID=`ps aucx| grep Dock | grep -v Server | cut -d ' ' -f 4-5` kill $DOCKPID
Type this script in your favorite editor (command line or GUI), save it (as PLAINTEXT) to a file, say Desktop/dock.restart. Then, make it executable by doing this in a terminal:
chmod +x dock.restart
Then, double click it in the finder. It'll ask you to choose an application to use to run it. Select Terminal as the program to run it. You'll probably have to make it show you all applications in order for that to be selectable.
After that, just double click it whenever the dock is being stupid!!
Noticed this one posted on one of the MacFixit forums tonight.
You can force the dock to only resize to non-interpolated icon sizes by simply holding down the option key while you drag on the vertical bar. You'll only see the "native" dock sizes; all interpolated icon sizes are skipped.
This thread on the MacFixIt forums discusses a hack to move items that would normally be on the right side of the dock (folders, hard drive icon, etc) to the left side of the dock. It's quite interesting, and some people might like to have things on the left instead of the right.
It requires a bit of work in the terminal and an editor, but it's not too intimidating.