One of the nicer features in OS X 10.1 has hardly been mentioned anywhere. I'd completely overlooked it myself, and it took a nice tip from Luis R. to enlighten me. With the release of 10.1, Mac users can now use their machines without a mouse. I'd noticed the Universal Access panel, which enables things like Sticky Keys and Mouse Keys, but it seemed like a real pain to use the numeric keypad to move the mouse pointer to the menubar whenever you wanted it.
Luis pointed me to the Keyboard prefernces pane and the Full Keyboard Access tab. Check the box that says "Turn on full keyboard access" and choose between control and function keys, letters, or custom-defined letters.
Once enabled, you can access the menu bar and dock solely with the keyboard. Use the arrow keys after activating the menu bar or dock to navigate, and use ENTER to select items. Use the up arrow in the dock to display and select the pop-up menus.
Full keyboard access works great in Cocoa and Carbon applications, but not at all in Classic (as you might expect).
If you haven't visited Apple's AppleScript for OS X pages yet, you're missing some good stuff. For example, there's a page of toolbar scripts that can make a number of scripts accessible in the Finder.
But the real gem is the Script Menu menubar widget. As you can see in the screenshot, this menubar widget gives you system-wide access to the scripts stored in /Library/Scripts. In addition, you can easily add other scripts to the collection simply by dropping them into your user's Library/Scripts folder.
Even if you're not an AppleScript fanatic, this widget is worth a look. For example, try "Info Scripts -> Font Sampler" for a cool demo of AppleScript's power.
Thanks to this thread on the ArsTechnica boards, one of my nagging criticisms of OS X can now be addressed. If, like me, you prefer a mouse that moves at warp speed, you can hack the speed in both 10.0.4 and 10.1.
Using a terminal, edit the .GlobalPreferences.plist file in your ~/Library/Preferences directory. If you're using Pico, for example, type:
Once the editor opens, use control-W to search for "scaling". You'll see a couple lines that look like:
Note that I've used square brackets instead of angle brackets, due to parsing issues with HTML. Change the number in the "[real]" line to a higher value. 1.7 is the maximum you get through the control panel; I'm using 3.2 now and like it on my 1600x1200 screen. Values over 10 may not work; I tried "15" and it became "1.5". Save your changes (control-O in Pico) and then quit the editor (control-X).
I'd actually tried this months ago, but the mouse didn't seem to change speeds at all. As the thread points out, the key to making it take effect is to simply (argh!) logout and login again. You should now have a turbocharged mouse. Note that if you use the Mouse preferences panel and change the speed slider at all, you'll (obviously) lose your hand-edited value and have to repeat this process to speed up your mouse.
i got 10.1 on Saturday from Comp USA, and came home to install it over my 10.0.4 install. it took forever, but seemed to work ok. I logged into my existing account, and opened the System Prefs to change the monitor settings to 1600x1200, which is the resolution i prefer. i guess i accidentally selected 1600x1200 @85Hz, because it kicked me into the monitor's "Out of Scan Range" screen. In earlier versions of the Mac OS, holding down the mouse button would bring back the previous setting. not so in OS X.
i could no longer use OS X, because it kept booting the computer up in an invalid range and i couldn't see the OS to change the resolution. The mac has handled this kind of thing far more elegantly than Windows for at least a decade - to revert to this kind of unintuitive behavior is just inexcusable.
in any case, i could not do a thing to make this work. zapping the PRAM no longer resets the monitor values to a default like 640x480, and disconnecting the monitor, shutting down, booting, shutting down, plugging in the monitor and booting didn't do it either. After asking around on another BBS, i was able to get the system back. deleting the file:
while in 9.2 and rebooting into X worked fine. It inherited the settings from 9.2, and i'm now working from 10.1 again.
December 20 2001 Update: An alternative method of solving this problem is to restart with the shift key down during a reboot - this seems to now indicate to OS X "reset the monitor at startup" instead of "disable extensions". This solution courtesy of this thread on the MacNN forums.
OS 10.1 adds an option in the General prefs to have double-scroll arrows at the bottom of the scroll bar. Scott R. wrote in with a quick preferences hack to enable double-scroll arrows at BOTH ends of the scroll bars. If you'd like to enable this feature, simply start a terminal session and type:
defaults write "Apple Global Domain" AppleScrollBarVariant DoubleBoth
You then need to logout and login (or, perhaps, simply force quit the Finder) to see the effect ... but once you've done so, you should have double-scroll arrows at both ends of your scroll bars.
I'm not sure which combination of applications (Cocoa, Carbon, Java) this applies to, but it works for certain in the Finder and a couple of Carbon applications I quickly tested. To return to the normal mode, use:
defaults write "Apple Global Domain" AppleScrollBarVariant Single
(or you could just open the General pane in the System Prefs and check "At top and bottom") or
defaults write "Apple Global Domain" AppleScrollBarVariant DoubleMax
to put them together only at the bottom (again, this is equivalent to clicking "Together" in the General prefs panel for scroll arrows).
Use shift-command-3 (entire screen) and shift-command-4 (region) to take screenshots in OS X 10.1. The images are dropped on your desktop, saved in TIFF format, and they'll open in Preview when double-clicked.
SnapzProX offers more features for file formats, movie captures, and menu captures if you need those capabilities (and I do and I love the program ;-) -- but it's great to see the return of the easy-to-use built-in commands from Apple.
i'm eagerly awaiting the new update released today...but had a moment of panic. i've spent the last few months configuring (and thoroughly enjoying) apache (with many public and private sites), mysql, php, a new ftp server, etc etc...and crossing my fingers that these will still work with the update.
does anyone know if i will i have to reinstall and reconfig these? granted this would be a great test of my new skills if i did have to...
[Editor's note: Anyone installed a 10.1 upgrade over a customized system? I'm planning on installing on a newly emptied partition and then re-adding my custom pieces one at a time. From what I've read, much has changed at the deepest levels of the OS with this upgrade, and this may be the safest course of action. Any other thoughts?]
Did you ever get annoyed when you cannot see the same files in the GUI as you do in terminal. Here is a quick and easy fix to enable just those folders you would like to see. Tools such as TinkerTool let you turn on all invisibles, but this method enables each folder on a case by case basis.
Read the rest of the article for step-by-step directions.