For those who use Apple's wireless mouse or keyboard, you might find the appearance of a flashing Bluetooth menu bar item bothersome when the batteries in your device run low. Disabling the item from the menu bar by command-clicking and dragging is only a temporary solution, as it will continuously reappear until you have recharged or replaced your batteries.
Since there is no option to prevent this warning from appearing, the following hint may be useful for those who do not use and will never need the Bluetooth menu bar item: Simply move or rename the Bluetooth.menu file from the /System » Library » CoreServices » MenuExtras folder.
[robg adds: In general, I do not advocate moving or renaming system files. However, as a user of both the wireless mouse and keyboard, the flashing warning is annoying -- as is the fact that it will automatically add itself back to the menu bar even if you remove it. If you try this hint, I strongly suggest putting the menu extra back before running any Apple Software Updates. If anyone has a better solution, please post it in the comments.]
It is very difficult to create a disk partition of the exact same size as an existing partition of another disk using Apple's Disk Utility. Whenever I try this, I always find the size of the partition created by Disk Utility is slightly different from the partition I'm trying to clone. Here's a way using the command line that allows you to get the size exactly right.
The standard warning applies: Be very careful. This will wipe the entire disk that you are repartitioning. One small typo could result in the wrong disk being wiped!
In the Spotlight menu's search box, you can control-click a word and use the contextual menu to spell check your search term, or run a Google search with that term, etc.
[robg adds: This may be obvious to others, but I'd never thought to try control-clicking in the Spotlight search box. I'm not sure I'll ever use the feature, but now at least I know it's possible. Obviously, this hint is for 10.4 and 10.5 only, but I don't have a category for "10.4 or newer." As such, I chose to leave it uncoded, given that the vast majority of users here are on at least 10.4. That's how I'll probably treat all such hints going forward, too, unless someone has a better suggestion.]
Even when a Java program doesn't display any windows or other visible elements, if it accesses the AWT subsystem in some way (e.g., to do image processing internally), OS X will still put an icon for the Java program in the dock as if it were a GUI-based app. (When the program quits, the dock icon goes away as usual.)
Because of this behavior, even console-based Java programs sometimes have icons show up in the dock. This is most noticeable in apps like Eclipse that launch console-based Java programs for background processing. Dock icons will sporadically bounce into view and then disappear as the Java programs are launched. It's very distracting, and it's not how Java behaves on other platforms.
Although there doesn't seem to be any global fix for this problem, one solution can be applied on a per-app basis. You will need to modify the command that launches the Java program so that the java.awt.headless system property is set to true. For example:
If you type in a language that requires accents (such as Spanish), OS X provides a quick way to make them and delete them without changing your keyboard layout. To make an accent, hold Option then press E, and you will see the accent character. Then press any other key, such as A, E, I, O, or U, and it will place that character beneath the accent. You can also make other characters such as ñ with Option-N then N or ç with Option-C. But most of you probably knew that already.
If you want to delete the accents easily, however, OS X provides a very useful shortcut: Control-Delete. Try typing an accented character and then using Control-Delete instead of just plain Delete. When you do, OS X will convert the accented character into a normal character. I do not know if this works for other characters other than the ones I know from Spanish and Portuguese, but I do know that it works in 10.4 and 10.5.
[robg adds: This won't work in absolutely every spot in OS X. In text input boxes in Safari and Camino, for instance, nothing will happen with Control-Delete. But it seems to work most everywhere else.]
In the Media Browser -- the floating media chooser found in 10.5's Open dialogs in some apps, or in the iLife and iWork apps -- you can Control-click in the lower pane to show a contextual menu. From that menu, you can choose to either Display as List or Display as Icons, as well as other options.
Once you've switched to list mode, you can Control-click again in the lower pane and use the Show Columns sub-menu to pick which columns to show. You can also open a media file in its respective app, or show it in the Finder.
[robg adds: I had no idea there was a contextual menu hiding in that portion of the Media Browser. Once in list view, you can also click on column headings to sort the list by that column; click the same heading again to switch the sort order.]
This is a non-rebooting workaround for the situation where your login screen gets locked up because you mis-entered your login password three times while trying to log into an account on a Mac that has set a master password for FileVault (it does not matter if the account uses FileVault or not). The login box displays the error 'Type the master password to reset this user's password and to unlock FileVault. Master Password hint: ...', with no ability to log in as the correct user with the correct password, or to log in as another user or back out of the FileVault password.
ssh enabled on the locked-up Mac.
Administrator user name and password known for the locked-out computer.
Someone noted earlier that Apple DVD Player now accepts ripped VIDEO_TS folders. But you have to drag the folder to the application to play the movie. You can't just double-click it, because that would only show the contents of the folder in the Finder.
Solution: Display the folder containing the VIDEO_TS folder (the one you probably named after the movie title). Click on the name to change it, and add .bundle to the end. The movie is now displayed as a generic bundle file. Press Command-I, then Open With, Other, and select Apple DVD Player -- uncheck the 'recommended applications' option to be able to select it). Finally, select Always Open With this Application, and click Add.
Now if you double-click this bundle, Apple DVD player will launch and play the movie. You can, of course, choose to hide the extension, and paste a movie frame onto the icon (both in the Finder's Get Info window). The only problem: it does not work with Front Row. Front Row does recognize ripped folders, but not bundles. So the bundled movies will not show up in the Front Row menu.
[robg adds: Queue user fds notes that you should probably use the .dvdmedia extension instead of .bundle. This will automatically associate the folder with DVD Player, and add a nice DVD icon as well.]
Have you been frustrated with how the slightest touch on the trackpad causes the text cursor to jump to a different line when you're typing away, especially when you're in mid-thought and wanted to capture everything? (This only applies, of course, if you've enabled trackpad clicking.) Have you been even more frustrated when the Ignore accidental trackpad input setting within the Keyboard & Mouse preferences still doesn't work 100% of the time?
I've been very frustrated with that, and went looking for a Mac Gem or AppleScript that would allow me to disable the trackpad with a keyboard (similar to the PC laptops that have an extra button near the trackpad). I couldn't find anything out there (yet), but as it turns out, Apple has something built-in that allows you to accomplish something very close. And surprisingly, it's actually very effective.
Just visit the Universal Access System Preferences panel, click on the Mouse & Trackpad tab, and enable the Press the Option key five times to turn Mouse Keys on or off option and the Ignore trackpad when Mouse Keys is on setting.
Now, whenever you press the Option key five times, you'll enable Mouse Keys, and at the same time, disable the trackpad! Type away, and have no fear of the cursor jumping around. Then when you're done, and want to use the trackpad again, just press the Option key five more times, and you've got the trackpad back.
The best part is that the enabling of Mouse Keys doesn't take over your arrow keys, so you can still use the keyboard arrows to move the cursor around your document, etc. You can move the mouse using the keyboard, but you'll have to hold down the function (fn) key, and use the "cursor" keys on the number pad. If someone has a single (or combo) keystroke (through AppleScript etc.) to enable/disable the trackpad, I'd love to know about it, too. Thanks!
[robg adds: A decent macro program, such as QuicKeys or Keyboard Maestro should be able to script the pressing of the Option key five times. This older hint includes an AppleScript to disable trackpad clicking, which should also make the problem less troublesome -- the cursor would move, but not the insertion point. The AppleScript could be easily bound to a keystroke.]