Having problems mounting disks? Both .img files and removable media? Take a look at your /etc/hostconfig file. It should be about 27 lines or so. Does it contain the line "AUTODISKMOUNT=-REMOVABLE-"? If the file fails either of these tests, it may be corrupt. How might this happen? Probably due to a System Preferences crash or general disk corruption. If you'd like a clean copy to restore with, along with instructions on how to do so, read the rest of this article.
Apple thoughtfully gave us command-H to hide the active app, but didn't provide a shortcut for hiding other apps. Jacco R. wrote in with a way to modify the Finder to provide such a shortcut.
Warning - Make sure you have a backup before you start hacking the system files! Also, this hack only works in the Finder, not any other applications. Finally, I have not tried this myself, but Jacco included a screenshot, and stated that it definitely worked in the Finder.
If you'd like to hack your finder to provide a Hide Others keyboard shortcut, read the rest of the article...
I discovered that you can jump to file names - sort of - in the Finder. You just have to hold down the shift key to do it. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, it doesn't recognize multiple keystrokes - so you can only jump to the first file starting with a specific letter.
If you find the word 'Trash', which appears when you mouse over the trash can in the dock, to be not quite what you want, it's easy to change. Open a terminal and type:
% cd /System/Library/CoreServices/Dock.app/Contents/Resources/English.lproj % sudo vi InfoPlist.strings
(don't type the % signs; those are the command-line prompt symbols)
This one-line file contains the name for the trash can. Change the name, save the file (in vi, use 'w!' to override the read-only warning), quit the dock (see the comments for a clean way to do this!), it will restart, and you'll have a new name on your trash.
This is in addition to the tips for added responsiveness.
I've been having problems with the Finder holding up on me after waking up from sleep. The Finder is rendered completely unresponsive as the the kernel takes up 50 percent of the CPU cycles. I then remembered what Steve Jobs said a while back about how Unix doesn't like to be put to sleep. I immediately thought the Energy Saver preferences.
Set the hard drive spindown to Never, and most of the large kernel freezeups should go away.
Hopefully this is fixed in 10.0.1, but for now, this is an adequate solution.
If you use the finder in column view mode, there is a way to play an MP3 that is quicker than any app so far: simply clicking once on the mp3 file will display a play bar in the next column containing the entire track. It plays almost immediately. Some draw-backs: only one MP3 can be played at a time with this method, and only the front finder window will play sound. Still though, if you just want a quicky, this is pretty sweet.
You may already know that if you drag a URL into the right hand side of the dock, it'll stay there and clicking it opens the page in your chosen browser.
Trouble is, the icon for URLs is generic and unintuitive and you can't change the icon directly. There is a solution...
Instead of dragging the URL straight into the dock, drop it into a suitable folder and the use the standard cut'n'paste method (described in the rest of this article) to swap the icon. Now drag the URL/icon into the right hand side of the dock. Hey presto, you have a custom url with custom icon in the dock. I have an icon of Dilbert that takes me straight to his daily comic strip.
Read the rest of this article if you need a primer on cutting and pasting icons in OS X...
Try the following to maximize the speed of the desktop:
Don't change the opacity of the terminal. [Editor: But it looks SO good!]
Change the dock minimization effect to "scale" by typing defaults write com.apple.dock mineffect scale
Increase the mouse tracking speed and the keyboard repeat rate through the System Preferences application.
Set your colors to thousands, not millions. [Editor: Audion 2.1 looks so much better in millions!]
Increase the priority of the Window Server. This requires root access. First type ps cx and look for the PID of "Window Manager". Now type sudo renice -(number between 20 and 0) (PID of Window Manager). You will be prompted for a password; enter yours (not root's). Take note that as root, a lower number means higher priority; try -5 or -10 as a start. The situation is reversed if you are just doing a renice as user.
So if 'ps' returns the PID of Window Manager as 243, you'd type "sudo renice -10 243" to set set the window manager's priority at -10.NOTE: See the comments for proof that this speed-up is purely pyschological at this point ;-)
PS: Some applications are not threaded properly. A good example is MSIE, it exhibits the exact same behavior under Mac OS X as it does under Mac OS 9. e.g. animated GIFs are "locked" in a frame if the mouse button is held down.