Just discovered something by accident and I couldn't easily find this tip already posted:
If you hit Control-I or Control-Tab in the Finder when a window in List view is in the foreground it will cycle through the column sort focus. And sure enough, Control-Shift-I or Control-Shift-Tab will reverse the direction of the column focus. I'm trying to find a key combo that will actually reverse the sort order but haven't caught it yet. A little help...?
PS: I notice Control-I and Control-Shift-I also do the same job as Tab and Shift-Tab in Column view. The reason? Tab and Shift-Tab DON'T work in an Open/Save dialog but Control-I and Control-Shift-I do. Ah-hah...
[Editor's note: I'm pretty certain I never knew this one, and I don't think it's been published here before ... it also works for cycling columns in column view!]
This Change Priority AppleScript allows you to easily set the priority of any running application via a simple GUI. I built it based on the many previous priority-related hints, and would appreciate any suggestions.
[Editor's note: I downloaded and tested this script, and it does exactly what it states - you get a list of all running processes, click the one you wish to change, set the priority level you want, and say OK.]
Like all other Toolbars found in OS X, the Toolbar in System Preferences allows you to choose how the Icons are displayed.
Choose from Text Only, Icon Only, or Text and Icon by holding the Command/Apple key while clicking the Toolbar widget (the oblong button at the top right of the window). This allows more than the usual 8 or 9 items.
This should also work for any Cocoa Application using Toolbars.
Now that I think about it this is probably old news. But it's news to me. Enjoy...
[Editor's note: It's news to me, too ... and I couldn't find a previous mention of it here, so perhaps it's news to more than just two people!]
You are thinking about a useful argument to buy an iPod? Well, see it as some kind of notebook. Thanks to the power of OS X, you can carry your complete workspace from home in your hand.
Just copy your complete Users folder to the iPod. Now go to another computer running OS X and create a new user on this machine. Let's name it ipod_user. When you have created the user, open NetInfo Manager, click the lock and enter your admin password, and scroll to the "Users" entry.
Here you'll find the newly created user "ipod_user". Edit the category "Home" by changing the actual homepath from /Users/ipod_user/ to /Volumes/ipod/Users/home_user. Replace "home_user" with your home user's short name, then save and log out. In the login panel you'll see the new user "ipod_user". Login and now this user will use all prefs etc. from your iPod. Everything from home now works on the hostmachine, including dock settings, mailaccounts, your iphoto library, everything. And it's way smoother than booting from OS X on the ipod.
That's personal computing at it's best! thank you OS X!
[Editor's note: You'll have to do a bit more work if you want to sychronize the other direction when you return home, but this is a nice tip in general for external drives. I've done something similar with my external FireWire drive.]
This may have been mentioned in a comment here at some point, or even in passing in a story. But it bears repeating as a full hint of its own.
If you are having difficulties in OS X, there are many ways to troubleshoot. Some are quite similar to the OS 9 style of troubleshooting - disable applications that load at login, try trashing preferences in your user's preferences folder, test without third-party hardware devices attached, etc.
However, there's a new tool you can use thanks to the inherent multi-user nature of OS X - try creating a new user and see if the problem persists. This can be especially helpful when troubleshooting an application problem. When I had a problem with mail quitting on launch, I used a second user ID to determine that the problem was only with my primary user - the new user was able to launch Mail perfectly well. This narrowed the scope of the problem to something (preference file or bad application) within my primary user's space. It turned out to be a corrupted Address Book database file.
So think about creating a second user ID for use in troubleshooting OS X - it doesn't take up much drive space, and it could help save a bit of time in identifying whether you have a user-level problem or a higher system-level problem.
If you use your G4 for numerical computation, this may be of interest to you. I've had a page with computing tools for OS X for some time now. I just added some information and analysis on how one could harness the full power of a dual G4 for numerical work.
The page is about using AltiVec and using both processors in parallel for C and Fortran codes. The speed gain upon using both parallelization and vectorization is huge. On my tests, it varied between 4x and 10x improvement!
[Editor's note: OK, my head is spinning from just reading some of what Gaurav has put together ... but I figure his information may be of use to some of you, so here it is!]
In applications that support scroll wheels (all Cocoa apps, some Carbon apps), when you pull down a menu, you can use your mouse's scroll wheel (if you have one) to scroll through the menu's choices. Also, for the duration you're in the menu, your scroll wheel will act like a button when you press down on it.
[Editor's note: Cool trick! I found that the button behavior was flakey (it's ignored in Mozilla, for example), but the scroll wheel worked everywhere I tried it in supported apps!]
I switched to OS X two days ago and got crazy when I found myself pressing the function keys to reveal my app actions -- I feel invalid without F1-F12 in Photoshop and Flash. I was searching the web for that issue but couldn't find any solution (not even the problem mentioned...) Well, I finally found one...
Boot into OS 9, open the Classic control panel "Keyboard" and change the prefs here. Booting back into OS X, the function keys are functions keys again! Woohoo!
[Editor's note: I'm almost positive we had published something along these lines at some point in time, but I can't seem to find it at the moment...so apologies in advance if this is a duplicate!]
A German guy has done it ... the first USB webcam driver is now available, but only for the Philips ToUCam Pro. I hope that other cameras will follow soon as this is written as open source. Read about the 'wc' driver and its current status on the wc home page.
[Editor's note: I used Oculus for OS X over the holidays to drive our FireWire video camera as a web cam, and it worked perfectly. It captured an image every second to the hard drive, and uploaded an image every 90 seconds to our website for a couple of hours. The Oculus site lists some USB cameras as supported, but I have no idea if they work in OS X or not.]
A while back, I noted the improved Apple Knowledge Base and its useful options for learning and troubleshooting OS X ... here's one example of why I find it so valuable.
After returning from Macworld Expo, I was browsing my saved "What's new in OS X" search for new or revised OS X documents. One of the items listed was Troubleshooting a Startup Issue. This article contains a number of troubleshooting steps that may help resolve startup problems that include a blue screen, gray screen, flashing question mark, kernel panic or other issue. So if you're having startup problems, give the article a quick look!
And if you haven't built yourself a Knowledge Base page yet, it's well worth the effort. The new Knolwedge Base is the best way I've found to stay connected with official Apple information releases regarding OS X. I certainly have no intention of repeating everything they publish there on macosxhints, but I will try to note when particularly interesting articles are released.