When working with a search results window in Finder, if you select one of the found files and press Command-Up, it will open the enclosing folder for that file.
[robg adds: This normally wouldn't be a hint -- Command-Up Arrow is listed in the Go menu as the shortcut for Enclosing Folder. However, when looking at a search results window, this menu item is grayed out, and can't be selected. Because of that, I'd been using the Finder's Open Enclosing Folder contextual menu item, not even thinking to try the shortcut. But it seems the shortcut is independent of the menu item's status, because it works perfectly.]
I store all my photos (iPhoto) and music (iTunes) on an external FireWire drive. Normally the drive is attached to my iMac, but when I travel, I take the external hard drive and hook it up to my laptop. I want to have my iTunes work whether or not the drive is attached, and have it work automatically.
The quick summary of my solution is:
Move ~/Music/iTunes to ~/Music/iTunes.local
Move ~/Pictures/iPhoto Library to ~/Pictures/iPhoto_Library.local
Make a link from ~/Music/iTunes to ~/Music/iTunes.local
Make a link from ~/Picutres/iPhoto_Library to ~/Pictures/iPhoto_Library.local
Write a script to change the links to the appropriate library upon mount
Write a script to change the links to the appropriate library upon unmounting the external disk
Use Lingon to make my mounting script run when a disk is mounted.
Use Lingon to run my unmounting disk when the mount point changes.
A friend buzzed me with an icon problem this morning: all of his zip icons had incorrect icons. Not just one wrong icon, but three different types of icons, none correct, and all on zip files (see an example at right).
I hadn't ever heard of this issue before, and I wasn't sure what to suggest as a fix. Almost on a lark, I asked him to rebuild the LaunchServices database, which traditionally is used to fix duplicate entries in the Open With menu. (If you're not yet running 10.5, you need this version of the hint.)
Surprisingly to me, this fixed the problem for all his zip files (and he noticed a few other files' icons had been corrected as well). So, perhaps common knowledge, but rebuilding the LaunchServices database can help with wrong icon associations as well as Open With menu issues.
I've now taken my own advice from the original hint and added an lsrebuild alias to my .profile file, just to make it simpler to rebuild when required.
Occasionally one has to use an annoying PDF that one can't re-save, but can only print. My sister had this situation dealing with some obnoxious state-run Microsoft system that didn't allow the user to save a completed form, only to print it from a browser. The individual administering the system apparently flipped the wrong bit, as last year, the form could be saved.
Here's a workaround, various versions of which can allow you to save the PDF:
Turn off the print queue for the printer by going to Printer Setup Utility.
Print the file, but don't reactivate the printer -- choose the Add to Queue option.
Go into the terminal and su to root. (If you haven't enabled root, use sudo -s to start a root shell.)
Type cd /var/spool/cups, then identify the file you just printed. Do this by matching the queued file's time stamp to the time you printed the file (ls -l; the file of interest should be at the bottom).
Copy (don't move) that file out of the spool folder: cp filename ~/Desktop. I don't know what a move (mv) will do to the print system.
Type cd ~/Desktop to move to your user's Desktop folder.
Type chown myaccount:myaccount filename to make sure the Finder in your user space will play nicely with the file.
Peek inside the file and determine whether it's a postscript or PDF file -- you can drop it on TextEdit to see its contents. If it's a postscript file, rename the file to filename.ps. If it's a PDF file, rename it to filename.pdf.
Confirm the above by dropping the file on Preview. If the file is a postscript file, you can then save it as a PDF file from Preview.
[robg adds: I haven't tested this one. This older hint suggests an alternative method of saving a non-savable PDF from Safari by dragging the page's fav icon to Safari's Downloads window.]
If you use NTFS-3G, a known problem with it is that you cannot see your Windows partition in the Start up Disk System Preferences pane. The following will enable you to get your Windows partition back under Start-up disk.
Click on System Preferences » NTFS-3G. Under Volume Options » Mounted NTFS-3G Volumes, select your Windows volume and then check 'Disable NTFS-3G for this volume.' This will enable the Mac's own NTFS utility to mount to your Windows volume and you will see your Windows partition back in your Start-up Disk pane.
It had been bugging me for some time that I was no longer able to start up my machine in Windows by directly selecting it from Start-up Disk, doing the above fixed it. Thought this may help others in the same situation as I was...
[robg adds: On the NTFS-3G site, they list this as a known issue, probably not solvable, and offer workarounds: use the Option key at boot time, or install rEFIt for better control over the boot process.]
Did you know that you can use your Apple Remote to active the boot drive switcher? While booting your Mac, hold down the Menu button on the Apple Remote; this will bring up the boot drive selection. This saved me when my keyboard was half-dead and the computer was booting into a broken Windows install!
[robg adds: This was originally posted as a comment to this hint, but I felt it worth posting as a full hint. I've credited it to GanjaManja, the author of the original comment, though I've edited it somewhat to make it work better as a standalone hint.]
I just got into Path Finder (finally) and, like many other Path Finder users, quickly grew annoyed by the useless Finder and Trash icons in the Dock. So, through some digging, I found out how to kill them once and for all (kind of).
Navigate to /System » Library » CoreServices, Control-click on Dock.app then select Show Package Contents from the contextual menu. In the new window that opens, navigate into Resources and open DockMenus.plist in your favorite editor.
Find the entries for finder-quit and trash. In each, change one of the commands so that the command entry is 1004 and the name entry is REMOVE_FROM_DOCK. Save your changes and restart the Dock (killall Dock), and you can then choose Remove From Dock for those two items -- assuming Finder is quit, which Path Finder will do for you.
Unfortunately, it would appear that these entries come back every time the Dock is relaunched, but it beats not being able to remove them at all -- plus, I think this could be easily handled by an AppleScript.
[robg adds: You'll need to do this editing as root (at least in 10.5); I did it in Terminal with sudo vi. Instead of changing an existing entry, I added a new DICT entry for the 1004/REMOVE_FROM_DOCK values in the trash and finder-quit sections. After saving my changes and restarting the Dock, I was able to remove the trash icon via its new Remove from Dock contextual menu entry, so this hint does seem to work as described.
Important note: Making this change in 10.5 will result in breaking code signing for the Dock app. You can confirm this by running this command before and after making the change:
I do not know what the implications are of using the Dock with broken code signing, but potentially, it may affect how it works. Proceed at your own risk -- and back up the original DockMenus.plist file before you start, in case you want it back!]
A reader emailed me a question; he wanted to know how to identify what sort of recordable media (CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, etc.) was in his machine's optical drive. Obviously, you could hit the eject button to answer the question, but I wondered if the system would be able to help. After a bit of testing, I found three ways to find this info, though I suspect there may be more.
The first solution is to use System Profiler (hold down the Option key, click the Apple menu, select System Profiler). Select Disc Burning in the Contents column, click on your optical drive in the Burning Device section of the window, and then look in the Media section below -- you'll see not only the media type, but also whether or not it's blank, erasable, overwritable, appendable, and the disc's available write speeds. This is the most-detailed information about the inserted media that I was able to find.
The second solution is to use Disk Utility, in Applications » Utilities. Select your optical drive in the sources list, and then look at the bottom of the Disk Utility window. Among the other items shown is Media Type, and that answers the question -- it will read CD-R, DVD-R, DVD-ROM, etc. based on what's inserted in the drive.
The final solution works in Terminal (also in Applications » Utilities). diskutil is somewhat like Disk Utility for the command line; it can provide a lot of information about the drives in your machine. First, though, you need to know the device ID for your optical drive. If you already know your optical drive's ID (let's say it's /dev/disk3), you can see what type of media is inserted by typing diskutil info /dev/disk3. In the output, you'll see an entry for Optical Media Type which tells you exactly what type of media is in the drive.
If you don't know your optical drive's device ID, read on for one way to find it using Terminal.
You're probably aware that you can add modifier keys to the Exposť, Dashboard, and Spaces activation keys. Hold down any/all of Shift, Command, Option, or Control while setting any of those features' activation keys, and the modifier keys will then be needed to activate that feature. This isn't a hint per se, because Apple documents it in the small text that appears above those sections of the Exposť & Spaces System Preferences panel ("for more shortcut choices, press Shift, Control, Option, or Command").
What does strike me as a hint (perhaps obvious to some/many of you) is the fact that these modifier keys can also be added to the Active Screen Corners section of the Exposť tab on that panel. Click the top left menu in that section, for instance, and then hold down the Command key, and you'll see that each option is displayed with the active modifier key(s). I rarely use the screensaver, but there are times when I'd like to activate it, but never accidentally due to a mouse drag. So I've now got it set to activate only when I have the Command key down when I drag the mouse to the top left corner of the screen. Perfect.
Unlike the panels for Exposť, Dashboard, and Spaces, there's no explanatory text for the Active Screen Corners section that would let you think this possible, but it seems to work just fine.