Yesterday, I had problems restarting my Mac mini, so I booted off an external hard disk with a clone, and fixed the startup problem. This morning, I needed to find a file in my Time Machine backup, but all my backups prior to the moment I booted from the external disk were dark in the Time Machine timeline (at the right of the screen). In the Finder, I could only access those created since last night.
The backups were still there, though, and the Time Machine System Preferences pane recognized the date of my first backup as the oldest backup on my Time Machine disk.
I searched for solutions, and found none. Then I recalled an older hint about browsing other Time Machine backups by holding down the Option key while clicking the Time Machine icon in the menubar. So I tried that.
Only the one Time Machine disk showed up, and I selected it, and was able to access all my backups in the Time Machine interface. I left Time Machine and went back to the Finder. When I entered Time Machine from there, all my backups were now accessible, with the exception of the three oldest. I don't know why they all didn't come back, but at least I got most of them back. So if your Time Machine backups have entered a missing-but-there state, try the Option key solution to get them back.
People often want to share a folder on their startup drive (or another drive with ownership enabled) between several local users. It's easy to change permissions on the whole folder, but any newly created files inside that folder will only be writable by the user that created them.
A standard way of dealing with this issue is by using inherited ACLs as described in this hint. However, that method has a couple of drawbacks. Namely, some applications like Open Office don't understand ACLs. Other applications use temporary files when saving files that can wash out the ACLs, depending on particular setup. That includes, for example, Photoshop which strips off ACLs on re-saves. Lastly, inherited ACLs are only applied to newly created files and files copied to the shared folder. They are not applied to files moved to the shared folder. The proposed method of sharing a folder has no such deficiencies. It works in 10.5 and 10.6.
The trick is to mount a local folder on the same computer via NFS.
Concerning the Finder move/resize scripts from this previous hint, there are some issues in Snow Leopard (and perhaps Leopard).
When resizing a window, it will usually not go beyond the edge of the Dock. Even when the Dock is hidden, there will still be a four-pixel gap between the window and the display's edge. This will cause some of the previous scripts to fail. (They'll keep trying to place the window's edge beyond the system's tolerance).
I've updated the scripts to deal with this. You can get them here.
I like to create slideshow screen savers, and I do so using OS X's .slideSaver package format. The advantage of using this format is that you can redistribute your slideshow among friends or family -- that's why I tried my hand at it. Now, making a screen saver is a bit less easy in 10.6 because you have to add the LANG.lproj folders, but here's the rundown for creating these packages.
To make a slideshow screen saver, you do not need a separate application to compile. All you need will be right here. (You might want Property List Editor from the XCode developer tools to build the .plist files, but you can use TextEdit to do that.)
First, create a folder in any convenient place. Title it the name of the screen saver (Car Pictures, for example) and press Return.
To understand the package contents, you must have three files in that folder: an Info.plist file to identify it, a version.plist file to identify the version, and a folder called Resources to hold the pictures. Start by opening the screen saver's folder, and create the Resources folder.
I've always wanted to have a desktop image that was a live music visualizer. This is how I did it. As far as I can tell (by Googling the techniques that have been detailed elsewhere), this is the only start-to-finish instruction to accomplish responsive music visualization on the desktop.
Before you begin, note that the major issue with this hint is that it requires you have the visualizer running in iTunes in order for the desktop visualizer to work. I have a Quad dual-core, so I don't notice a hit in performance, but I'd prefer this to work cleaner. Read on for the how-to if you'd like to see how I did it...
OpenOffice will open WordPerfect files, regardless of their extension. Quick Look will allow you to preview .wpd files, as long as you have the WordPerfect.qlgenerator package installed in /Library/Quicklook. However, one cannot Quick Look Wordperfect files with other extensions, such as .frm, which is a name given to Wordperfect form files.
In order to make Quick Look recognize the .frm file type, control-click on the OpenOffice.org.app and select Show Package Contents from the pop-up menu. In the Contents folder, double-click the Info.plist file (assuming you have XCode installed). Add a new child under the Exported Type UTIs key. Enter the following information (some of the keys will be there by default, others you will need to enter manually):
Conforms to UTIs (array)
Item 0 (string): com.corel.wordperfect.doc
Identifier (string): com.corel.wordperfect.frm
Equivalent Types (array)
Item 0 (string): application/vnd.sun.xml.writer
Item 0 (string): frm
If you're working with an editor that edits raw plist files instead of Property List Editor's pretty version, here's how the above would look:
Save Info.plist, open a Terminal window, and type touch /Applications/OpenOffice.org.app/. Your .frm Wordperfect files should now be previewable in Quick Look. Implemented on 10.6.2. (This is an extension of this older hint.)
This hint descrbies a method I've developed for converting high definition (HD) video captured by my Hauppauge HD-PVR into a high-quality standard DVD format using a series of Automator workflows and additional software.
The combination of the Hauppauge HD-PVR video capture and conversion device and Elgato's EyeTV 3 software provides the only method of which I'm aware for capturing high definition video (1080i resolution) from any compatible source.
I do it this way because the issues of cost and portability for routinely preserving video captured at HD resolution make standard DVD format the best choice for me. I also believe that this method gives me a higher quality result, in terms of time and effort spent, than any I could achieve through exporting to iDVD or Toast or anything else that I can afford. Also, I don't believe there's any other way to preserve 5.1 audio when converting video with these specifications to standard DVD format.
I've written a set of detailed instructions for this process. The instructions cover downloading, configuring, and installing the open source software tools needed to make the workflows work, in addition to the Automator workflows themselves.
[robg adds: This hint ran last year, with all the detailed instructions posted here. However, the workflows and process are constantly-evolving, so rather than have an out-of-date method posted here, I've decided to simply link to the instructions. While this means that if the source site vanishes this hint is useless, it was pretty much that way already, given the updates to the workflows that weren't reflected in the hint.]
I have a few applications launch on start up that include menu bar icons (Delibar, Dropbox, Adium, etc). I noticed their placement in the menu bar related to their on-boot order. Even when ordered them in my preferred order in the Login Items tab of the Accounts System Preferences panel, I couldn't get the icons to come out in that order due to application launch times.
Tonight I created a simple Automator script that adds a pause (the Pause action in the Utilities (10.6) or Automator (10.5) Library) before launching an application. For example, I added a seven-second pause before launching Dropbox, so that it's menu bar icon would load after that of Delibar.
I then call the delayed launcher(s) in the Login Items panel to control the load order.
[robg adds: Another alternative, as covered in this hint, is to put all of your login items into an AppleScript, and use timing and order in that AppleScript to control launch order.]
The Apple Menu's Recent Items menu has a Clear Menu command, which clears out all the entries in that menu. But what if your want to clear just one category -- just Documents, for example?
You can clear just one type of Recent Items by going to System Preferences » Appearance, and temporarily setting the 'Number of recent items' for the category you want to clear to None. That category will be cleared out, and then you can reset it to the number of items you usually keep (the items previously there will not reappear). This works for in 10.6 and probably earlier, but I never discovered it before.
(If you have the Recent Items Stack in your Dock, and you clear the category that the stack is currently showing, it will disappear, although it will still take up a Dock space. In other words, it's a Stack with nothing in it. If you click on that empty-looking space, your Dock may restart -- at least mine does. Don't be alarmed; no harm is done.)
I'm surprised I couldn't find this anywhere on the site yet, but it seems to be the easiest way to hide files or folders from the Finder. This is particularly useful, for example, for hiding a user's Library folder from a less computer-savvy user, as you're afraid they might mess something up in there. To hide a user's Library folder, just type the following code into a Terminal window:
chflags hidden ~/Library
Of course, you can replace the path to the Library folder with any other folder or file you would like to hide. This will only make the folder hidden from the Finder under normal browsing; it can still be accessed through the Terminal or by using the Finder's Go » Go to Folder menu option.
If you want to unhide the Library, type the following code into a Terminal:
chflags nohidden ~/Library
[robg adds:chflags hidden was discussed in this hint about hiding Time Capsule. The other way to hide files and folders is to use SetFile, as explained in this hint. Note that SetFile requires the Xcode Developer Tools be installed.]