Even with Check Spelling As You Type enabled, OS X does not spell check filenames when you enter them into the Save As dialog boxes. To check to see if your spelling is up to snuff, press Command-; while the filename box still has focus. Then Control-click on the red underlined word to see what OS X's suggestions are. Press Command-; again to move on to the next misspelled word (if one exists).
This will not work on already-saved files, nor on folders in the Finder, only in Save As dialog boxes.
This hint may seem obvious, but it may save many people a lot of time and trouble with reinstalls. I ran Repair Permissions from Disk Utility and got the following error: "Error: No valid packages (-9997)." Going to Apple's website for help, I found this page, wherein Apple believes a full reinstall is needed to get the file BaseSystem.pkg back in the /Library » Receipts folder, which is what causes this error.
I've spent a lot of time getting everything right on my Mac, and do not want the hassle of doing it all over again. So I inserted my install disc and ran a search for the file. Sure enough, I found it and copied it to /Library/Reciepts. When I next ran Repair Permissions, it ran perfectly, not even needing a restart before trying to do so.
[robg adds: I'm not willing to delete my BaseSystem.pkg receipt to test this one! On the Tiger Retail disk, you'll find the 1.8MB BaseSystem.pkg file here: System » Installation » Packages. Note that Apple's first recommendation is copying this file from another computer (running the same version of the OS), but advocates reinstalling if you've only got an install disc with an older version of OS X than that of the computer (which will be true for most everyone).]
Obviously hard drive capacity is limited, especially on laptops. Using FileVault, I find that every few weeks, I need to restart, as my free hard drive space has been depleted with the things that I have been doing, and obviously, this munches into the available hard drive space. Furthermore, when restarting, the FileVault box which says "Would you like to free up the space? Although this may take a while and cannot be stopped, it is reccommended you do this now" appears. This dialog only seems to appear at certain times, and not on every restart, but I may have found a way to trigger it so that any free space that is still being used by FileVault but which is actually empty can be freed up:
Run Disk Utility
Select the disk on which you want to free up the space
Choose the Erase tab, and click Erase Empty Space, and then pick the Zero Out Deleted Files setting. This will try to create files (I think to back some stuff up?) which usually tends to munch up the rest of the available hard drive. When this is done, restart, and then the FileVault space-recovering dialog should come up.
The only downside that I can see is that it may not work for large drives (ie. the files created may not fill up the entire disk), or that it may take an age to free up the space.
If you only use Dashboard on rare occasions, and don't want all those widgets to stay running forever, try the following AppleScript:
tell application "Dock"
This will relaunch the Dock and, since all the Dashboard widgets are subprocesses of the dock, they will be closed. Widgets will stay closed until Dashboard is invoked again.
[robg adds: This is a handy way to quickly free up the RAM used by open Dashboard widgets. Run it, and the RAM is released. Press F12 again after that, and you'll see that your open Widgets are all still open (you'll just have to wait through that slight delay as Dashboard 'activates' them again). If you're interested in permanently disabling Dashboard, then you want this hint instead.]
So now there's no excuse not to back up. Be carefulm, though: if your trigger starts a clone automatically when your backup drive is connected, chances are someday you'll hook up the drive to recover a file, and end up overwriting what you intended to restore!
This might save someone some frustration. A DVD I just bought would not mount. The optical drive would spin up for a few seconds, and then nothing. DVD Player and MacTheRipper could not see the disc, but Disk Utility could. So I just made a disk image of the DVD and watched the movie from there.
Incidentally, I've never had a problem with a DVD before. I think the issue with this one was that the two layers were very, very slightly misaligned. But I guess that was enough to cause a problem for the vertically-oriented drive in my iMac (the disc played in my DVD player just fine).
I have one of those 24" iMacs that hums loudly whenever the display is any dimmer than max. Luckily I like maximum brightness, but I've always had to set Energy Saver to never turn off my display because the dimming creates a loud hum. I have, however, found the solution. Go to Terminal and type this command (and enter your password when prompted):
sudo pmset -a halfdim 0
The halfdim mode is now disabled, and your display(s) will simply turn off at the interval designated in Energy Saver without ever dimming. Now I can stop leaving my display on permanently and get a bit more life from it.
[robg adds: We've run a number of hints on using pmset in the past, but the halfdim setting hasn't been covered before.]
I've been struggling quite some time to get this done and couldn't find anything about it on macosxhints, Apple Discussions, or the Roxio Toast forums, so here we go...
I wanted to burn a folder to DVD and needed it to look exactly the way I set it up in Finder (custom background image, icon view with custom positioning), just like a lot of install media or downloadable DMGs. You could do something like this with earlier versions of Toast, but I never got it to work with OS X 10.4.x and Toast 7/8.
So I created a folder, put everything in it, hit Command-J, and tried burning it with Disk Utility and Toast 8. Since the background image and the size of the folder window got lost, I decided to give disk images a try. I used Disk Utility to create an image, put the folder content directly into it, put the folder itself into the image and so on. I even used all of the available options in Disk Utility to convert the image and did the same (image creation, conversion, etc.) within Toast.
Eventually it worked, and I had burnt a Mac-only DVD with my folder (and its custom look) on it. I put the DVD in my trusty Cube just to see if it works there, too. And guess what? It did not, the background image was not there, but still visible on my MacBook Pro where I had burnt the DVD!
Now I realized that the folder on the DVD had the same properties as the original on my Desktop. Using Command-J on it, revealed to me that its associated background image was the file residing still on my Desktop and, of course, removing this image file resulted in the same "background-less" view as on the Cube. So the trick is to also burn the background image.
A while back, I noticed that my user's Preferences folder was staring to accumulate some very oddly named (but empty) folders. How odd? Consider these actual folder names from my machine:
The folders would appear at seemingly random intervals, and I could safely delete them with no apparent ill effects. At first, I thought it might some weird form of hard drive corruption, but everything else was fine, and the folders only showed in my user's Preferences folder, so I was pretty sure it was related to an application. After a few months of manually deleting these empty folders every so often, I finally took the time to look for an answer...and found one, right here on the macosxhints forums.
It turns out it's related to the Epson TWAIN plug-in for Photoshop CS2. With the plug-in installed, a new randomly-named folder is created each time you launch CS2. I confirmed this by putting a folder action script on the Preferences folder, asking to be notified whenever a new item was added. Sure enough, the new folders were created only when launching CS2. If I removed the TWAIN driver, then no odd folders were created.
For now, I'm living with the randomly named folders, as I do use the TWAIN plug-in somewhat regularly. I've checked Epson's site, and there don't appear to be any newer drivers, so it looks like I'm stuck with the issue for a while. Hopefully this hint will allay the fears of anyone else seeing very strangely-named empty folders in their user's Library » Preferences folder.
Put this in the "almost useless, but interesting feature" category. I recently realized that when working on a new document in most OS X applications (Text Edit, Word, and many others), the icon in the title bar of the document is slightly grayed-out until you save the document. As soon as you edit it more, it goes gray again. Additionally, if you use the Undo feature enough to get your document to match the saved version, the icon will brighten again. If you go past your last save using Undo, you can Redo until the icon brightens again.
I can't imagine a really good use for this feature except that you can quickly tell if you've saved a document since your last edit.
[robg adds: I must admit, I'd never paid much attention to the icon in the title bar, so I hadn't noticed this behavior. I usually just glance at the red "Close" button, looking for the black dot in its center, which is another way OS X lets you know a document has unsaved changes.]