This seems to be something prone with the possibilities of major damage to your system — I'm merely pointing this avenue of research out as raised by another webpage, with the preface that you shouldn't even approach doing this until you are quite confident in the knowledge of what you are doing!
This webpage speaks of how the command nvram, located in the /usr/sbin directory, can be used to "list and set open firmware settings," including "specify[ing] your own settings. For example, you could create a variable called asset_tag and keep the asset inventory tag of that particular computer in the firmware."
This particular tip was thought of by the webpage's author as a hint for people running computer labs, but it could be used by other Mac OS X users, I'm sure.
I'd really, really pause and make sure you know what you're doing before goofing around with your computer's firmware, though ... talk about playing with dynamite!
[Editor's note: I'll echo the sentiment -- this is published here mainly in the interest of completeness. Do NOT mess around with Open Firmware unless you really really know what you're doing!]
I was playing around with the 'open' and 'save' dialogues of my TextEdit app and found that if you hold down the 'option' key while dragging the dialogue page to enlarge it from the bottom-right corner, the columns will get wider without expanding their scope into other folders. I wondered if this was possible as often I need to read the full names in a window when saving or opening documents. Nice that hidden features are so easy to stumble apon... thanks Apple.
Oh and yes you can do this in all other carbon apps I have tried also. Great!
[Editor's note: This trick definitely works in Cocoa apps, but I couldn't get it to work in Excel v.X or Mozilla or Acrobat, so I'm not sure about its functionality within Carbon. If you know of a Carbon app that this works with, post the app's name. If there are some Carbon apps that support this feature, what's the difference between those and the others that don't?]
Evidently, Apple included a command-line version of Apple System Profiler in with Mac OS X, located in the /usr/sbin/ directory. It can be run simply by typing AppleSystemProfiler (no spaces) at the prompt in Terminal.
(For what it's worth, my readout says it's v1.0.42 and says it's the Apple System Profiler Tool. The one we all know about, the one with a GUI, says it's v2.7.)
I can see this as being useful in two ways; you could easily redirect its output to a text file for inclusion in an e-mail message by typing AppleSystemProfiler > report.txt.
And this website seems to think that enterprising individuals could somehow script the harvesting of information from this readout for use in, for example, computer labs.
Just got a Firewire/IDE enclosure. Put in a 60 gig drive. Since I want to use this drive on both OS X and Windows (2k), I formatted it as Fat 32 (which both OSes know about and can mount). Problem one was that I couldn't create a Fat 32 partition that big, so I split it up to two 30 gig partitions.
Now, I formatted these partitions in windows. The wierd thing is that both Windows and OS X ignore the labels (so it seemed). During the course of figuring this out, I ended up (at one point) with both of the partitions on my FireWire drive having the same name. This was OK on Windows, but on OS X. It would mount the first partition, but not the second. It couldn't even properly determine the filesystem type of the second (although I could mount it via the Terminal, Finder wasn't automounting it). Plugged the drive into Windows, changed the partition name (no reformat necessary), and voila, it worked again in OS X.
Very obscure and wierd, but it might happen to you (and it's probably a bug, because I could mount it via the shell).
This may be already known but I noticed that you can easily copy your IP address to the clipboard by simply control-clicking on your IP address in System Preferences:Sharing or System Preferences:Network and selecting Copy in the contextual menu. This is even of broader scope since you can also copy your router address, ethernet address and probably some other data.
[Editor's note: It seems you can use this little trick on just about any text box in the System Prefs application.]
Depending on how you installed your system, you may see that startup messages are displayed in English rather than the system language you chose for the System Administrator.
To change the language OSX uses at system startup, open the Terminal and type the following:
sudo pico /var/log/CDIS.custom
(I use pico but any other editor will work too. Pick your favorite one)
to match the language you want, for example
Type control-O, validate changes with Enter and exit pico with control-X (commands may change if you use another editor).
That's it. Now the next time you start up, messages will be displayed in the language you have chosen. Note, however, that some messages may still be in English. I think it is related to some updates which do not come from Apple if you manually installed them.
I (write | copy | use) many DATA DVD at home, so after a while I got very fustrated becouse OS X desides to spawn the DVD Player with every insert of a DVD (including data DVD`s).
I searched but did not find any hints, so I did some investigation, after a while (finding out how mounting works, reading man autodiskmount and some wild guesses), I came up with this solution. Edit the com.apple.finder.plist file (in your user's Library / Preferences folder) using your favorite text editor. Here is the top part of the file:
<!DOCTYPE plist SYSTEM "file://localhost/System/Library/DTDs/PropertyList.dtd"> <plist version="0.9"> <dict>
Keep the rest of the file intact, save your changes, and then logout/login (or relaunch the Finder). Your discs should no longer autoplay.
[Editor's note: I thought for certain there was a Finder pref for this, but I certainly can't see one! This seems to be the best solution at present ... if there's a simpler way that I'm missing, let us know!]
Recently an iMac was recovered using Timbuktu and AppleScript.
The same can be done on OSX easily using this shell script in a cron task or startup item:
cat <<EOF | mail -s "G4 Status: `/bin/date`" firstname.lastname@example.org
NETWORK SETUP `/sbin/ifconfig -a 2>&1`
PROCESS LISTING `ps axw 2>&1`
TRACEROUTE TO HOME `/usr/sbin/traceroute -q1 22.214.171.124 2>&1` EOF
(Replace 'email@example.com' with your real email address and '126.96.36.199' with your home IP number).
You will need to enable sendmail which this tip sort of explains how to do. I set my script up to email me daily at 6:30PM using the system crontab via the cron GUI frontend Cronnix, and I will also put it in a startup item (I'd not suggest a login item).
I'd suggest using a throwaway web-based free-email address, so you will be able to easily access it if you lose your mac. You can cc to multiple addresses using the -c option to mail.
[Editor's note: The following note was submitted to me well over a month ago. Somehow, I lost it in the in-box queue, and finally found it this morning as I was cleaning out some old Help Requests. My apologies for the delay in getting this posted! I have no idea if it's still relevant or not, but it seems important enough to merit a mention. Someone please let me know if it's already non-relevant and what the new solution is...]
I use two Beige G3 machines (now upgraded to G4's) and both have had the problem that when I use Startup Disk on System Preferences to go back to OS9, I can't get back to OS X. It appears that the Startup Disk control panel in OS9 never actually writes the correct Open Firmware values to the nvram. Several times I got back to normal by doing a OSX reinstall -- suffering the whole process just to get the nvram fixed.
Today, I found the painfully simple answer -- download System Disk 2.6.2 from Apple's download site and use it instead of the Startup Disk control panel. This worked perfectly...
A co-worker was option-clicking on an OS 9 desktop, which hid the foreground application. I have been using Macs most of my life and I had no idea you could do that. Anyhow I tried it in OS X and sure enough it worked!
Is this common knowledge? I didn't see it posted.
[Editor's note: I'm not sure it's common knowledge, and I don't think it's been posted here before. It's also not just a Finder thing -- if you option-click any background application's window, the foreground application becomes hidden.]