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Bring the old Spaces back to Mavericks System
If you are a heavy user of Spaces with multiple displays, then you have likely found that the new "full screen improvements" in Mavericks are a giant leap backwards. To get the old behavior back, just go to Mission Control in the System Preferences and uncheck the box labeled "Displays have separate Spaces."
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Keeping copies of OS installer System
I like to keep a copy of the OS X installer app on an external drive, so that I can reinstall or create a boot disk without having to download the whole thing again.

After doing this, I've discovered a non-standard behaviour which you might want to note.

If you decide to redownload the app, it doesn't get saved to the Applications folder as before, but instead REPLACES the copy on your external drive.

This makes it hard to keep archive copies of older OS versions. You'll need to zip them (or rename them?) or store them on a volume that can't be accessed while the app store is downloading.
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Mavericks - Adding apps to the Finder Toolbar System
Looks like Mavericks 10.9 has changed the behavior for adding application/document shortcuts to the Finder toolbar.

Where before you could simply drag any icon up to the Finder toolbar and hold it there for a second to add it, you now need to first hold down Option+Command and then start dragging the desired icon to the toolbar.

You can still remove the icons the same way as before: holding down Command, dragging the icon away from the toolbar and then releasing.
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Mavericks - Change resolution of headless Mac Mini System
Finally after updating to Mavericks I thought I'd have another crack at changing the resolution of my headless Mac mini without using the VGA adapter hack. It is now much easier, as long as you know the trick to it.

First off you need an app to change the screen resolution (scrutil no longer worked for me so I downloaded Display Menu (free) from the Mac App Store).

After changing the display resolution my VNC/Screen Sharing sessions kept blacking out and I couldn't see anything so I fired up SSH and killed the screen sharing agent (killall ScreensharingAgent) and bam finally my remote screen lit up at my specified resolution (2560x1440). However my Dock was still in the middle of the screen (and killing the Dock seems to reset the resolution), so just right clicking the dock and changing its location made it fix itself up :)
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Dictate without an Internet connection in Mavericks System
Starting with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, your Mac could take dictation. But, just as with the dictation feature on iOS, the OS X incarnation required an Internet connection, couldn't show its progress while you spoke, and could only listen for about 30 seconds at a time.

That all changes with a single checkbox in Mavericks (OS X 10.9). Fire up System Preferences and click on the Dictation & Speech pane. There, you'll find a checkbox for Use Enhanced Dictation. The first time you check it, you'll need to wait out a hefty download (between 700 and 800 megabytes), but once you're done, you can dictate a lot more freely.

Now, transcription happens on your Mac, not Apple's servers. And you can see the transcription appear as you speak, in real-time. In fact, the cursor remains active too; if you see a mistake, you can click around (without speaking) to make your edits, put the cursor back where it needs to be, and start talking again. Unfortunately, however, Mavericks doesn't offer any ability to use speech-based editing tricks: If you say "delete that," Mavericks types "delete that."
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Snooze Notification Center reminders for varying lengths of time in Mavericks System
New in Mavericks, Notification Center banners for reminders include a Snooze button. But that button, which removes the reminder and brings it up again ten minutes later, offers more customization than is immediately apparently.

Click and hold on the Snooze button to bring up a drop down menu with snooze times ranging from minutes to hours to days to weeks.

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10.9: Preferences are cached System
There are many hints here and on the net involving changing user defaults by running defaults write or directly editing the .plist files in Library/Preferences. Until 10.9, restarting the program was enough to apply the new defaults.

Since OS X Mavericks, the defaults system is caching the preferences system-wide (i.e. not in the application's process!) to improve performance of the user defaults API. If you use the defaults command, you are fine, since it appears to use the normal user defaults API.

On the other hand, if you edit a preference .plist file with a text or plist editor (even the one included with the most recent Xcode 5 preview), the cache will not be flushed and even after restarting the program in question, it will retain the old preferences.

The API documentation states that the cache is synchronized with the on-disk plist file contents periodically, but does not indicate how often, let alone how to flush the cache manually.

Logging out and back in appears to flush the user defauts cache, but other than that, the defaults command is currently the only way to reliably change preferences without waiting for the timeout.
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Use dseditgroup to allow users access to services (ssh, screen sharing, and more) System
Want to add a user to a specific group using the command line? dseditgroup is your friend! Add users, or groups, to a group you create or system groups which control access to services.

Make sure to insert your local admin's short name (localadmin) and the user (username) or group (groupname) you're trying to add.

Remote Login (SSH)
User: dseditgroup -o edit -n /Local/Default -u localadmin -p -a username -t user com.apple.access_ssh
Group: dseditgroup -o edit -n /Local/Default -u localadmin -p -a groupname -t group com.apple.access_ssh

Screen Sharing
User: dseditgroup -o edit -n /Local/Default -u localadmin -p -a username -t user com.apple.access_screensharing
Group: dseditgroup -o edit -n /Local/Default -u localadmin -p -a groupname -t group com.apple.access_screensharing

Print Administrators
User: dseditgroup -o edit -n /Local/Default -u localadmin -p -a username -t user _lpadmin
Group: dseditgroup -o edit -n /Local/Default -u localadmin -p -a groupname -t group _lpadmin

Explanation:
-o specifies the operation (edit in this case)
-n specifies the domain (another example is /LDAPv3/127.0.0.1 on an ODM)
-u is the admin user to authenticate with (use diradmin for network domains)
-p tells it to prompt for a password
-a tells it to add a user or group
-t specifies the type, user or group
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Quickly spot-check your laptop battery's health System
Though it's come up in a comment in the past, we've never specifically called out a handy, quick way to check how healthy your Mac laptop's battery really is.

If you hold down the Option key before you click on the battery status icon in the menu bar, an additional entry appears in the menu: Condition. You're hoping to see "Condition: Normal." (The Condition line won't appear if you hold down Option after you've already clicked on the menu.)

The other options besides Normal are Replace Soon, Replace Now, and Service Battery, which reflect progressively more serious battery woes. In each of the two Replace modes, your battery is still functioning normally, though it holds less charge than it used to (or significantly less, in the case of Replace Now). But even in Service Battery mode, which may not impact how long the battery lasts but could indicate other under-the-hood problems, you can continue to use your laptop's battery without fear of causing long-term harm.
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Install OS X 10.9 Mavericks Developer Preview on a virtual machine System
If you have an OS X developer account, and want to work with OS X 10.9 Mavericks, you may prefer to do so using a virtual machine, in Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion. However, you won't be able to create a new virtual machine in either of these programs using the Mavericks installer.

John Martellaro, on The Mac Observer, posted an article with links to Parallels knowledge base articles explaining how to do this. You'll need to update Parallels Desktop, then create a snapshot of an existing virtual machine and install Mavericks on that.

For VMware Fusion, the process is quite simple: take an existing virtual machine, running 10.7 or 10.8, duplicate it in the Finder, then launch VMware Fusion. Choose File > Open, then select the duplicate virtual machine. Rename it, then launch it. Fusion will ask if you moved or copied the virtual machine; click I copied it.

After you've launched the duplicated virtual machine, run the Mavericks installer from within that virtual machine.

Note: as always, we will not be publishing hints about using OS X 10.9 until its release.
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