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Control Time Machine from the command line with tmutil System
The ability to control Time Machine from the Time Machine preferences in System Preferences is quite limited. You can choose exclusions, turn Time Machine on or off, and force backups, but that's about it. Fortunately, a command-line tool, tmutil provides much more control over Time Machine. The man page for tmutil says the following:

"tmutil provides methods of controlling and interacting with Time Machine, as well as examining and manipulating Time Machine backups. Common abilities include restoring data from backups, editing exclusions, and comparing back-ups."

For example, you can compare backups to see what has changed from one backup to another, inherit a backup (which you can do from the Time Machine menu, when you set up a new Mac and want to use a backup from an older Mac), or set up fixed-path exclusions (excluding items at a specific file path).

Check man tmutil to see all that you can do with this command.
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Have Spotlight results show Dictionary words just below Top Hit (or anywhere you want) System
If you use Spotlight to look up Dictionary definitions, you may find it annoying that they show up near the bottom of the list. While you can change the order of most Spotlight categories from the Search Results tab of the Spotlight pane in System Preferences, Dictionary isn't in that list.

However, there is a hack, involving some simple editing of the ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.spotlight.plist file. A recent post on Stack Exchange explains what to do. You open the file with Xcode, then add a Dictionary item, which will allow you to move the Dictionary category to where you want in the Spotlight results. See the post linked above for full details, or see this blog post in Chinese explaining the procedure.
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Add folders of wallpaper to Desktop & Screen Saver preference pane System
If you like to use different wallpaper on your desktop, you might want to add folders of graphics you've collected to be selected at random. You can do this by opening the Desktop & Screen Saver preference pane, then clicking on the Desktop tab, clicking on + and navigating to your folder. But there's a quicker way: just drag the folder to the Folders section of the sidebar. You can add one or more folders here quickly.

H/t OS X Daily.
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Scripts to disable and enable password for lock screen after sleep or screen saver System

Here is two small scripts that I use to set and unset the password prompt when I lock the screen, or put my Mac to sleep. It is a nuisance to have to unlock the screen by entering the password, when at home. But I wouldn't leave my Mac anywhere without it.

I have called them setScreenPassword and unsetScreenPassword. I call them from QuickSilver, and you could use another launcher to do the same. The nifty thing about Quicksilver in this matter, is that if I activate it, I can see that I have turned on setScreenPassword, as it displays the last command before I start typing again.

I prefer to see the box in the System Preference pane get clicked, and unclicked. I have an old MacBook Pro, so I have added the delay of 0 so you can see where to add increments of 0.2 seconds, until you see the check box gets checked, or unchecked.

script EnablePasswordPrompt
	tell application "System Preferences"
		tell anchor "General" of pane "com.apple.preference.security" to reveal
		activate
	end tell
	tell application id "sevs"
		set UI elements enabled to true
		set a to value of checkbox 2 of tab group of window 1 of application process "System Preferences" as integer
		if a = 0 then
			tell checkbox 2 of tab group of window 1 of application process "System Preferences" to click
		end if
	end tell
	delay 0
	tell application "System Preferences" to quit
end script
tell EnablePasswordPrompt to run

---------------------------------------------
script disablePasswordPrompt
	tell application "System Preferences"
		tell anchor "General" of pane "com.apple.preference.security" to reveal
		activate
	end tell
	tell application id "sevs"
		set UI elements enabled to true
		set a to value of checkbox 2 of tab group of window 1 of application process "System Preferences" as integer
		if a = 1 then
			tell checkbox 2 of tab group of window 1 of application process "System Preferences" to click
		end if
	end tell
	delay 0
	tell application "System Preferences" to quit
end script
tell disablePasswordPrompt to run
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Make home Library sub-folders available to Spotlight System
Here's one approach to making items in your home Library folder searchable in Spotlight.

Spotlight searches exclude items that exist in the user's home Library folder (now hidden by default). There are some items that normally reside in the home Library folder that I want to be available for my Spotlight searches. Rather than trying to find a hack to defeat the system's exclusion of the home Library folder for Spotlight, I use a method that doesn't require crossing the boundaries of what the OS permits users to do.

I simply select folders, the contents of which I would like to appear in Spotlight searches, such as Scripts and Favorites, move them up a level to the home folder, then create a symbolic link to the moved item to serve as a substitute for it in its original location. I'm including source for an AppleScript droplet that I use to automate this process. If your Library folder is already open (one way to open it is to hold down the Option key then select it from the Go menu in the Finder), just drop one or more of its folders onto the droplet. If you double-click the droplet created from the AppleScript, it will open your Library folder so that you can drop one or more folders into the ensuing dialog box.
on open the_items
        my up_one_leave_link(the_items)
end open

on up_one_leave_link(the_items)
        display dialog "This will move dropped folders
up one directory and substitute symbolic links
that point to their new location.

Is that what you want to do?"
        repeat with the_item in the_items
                set the_item to the_item as alias
                tell application "Finder"
                        set sost to ((container of folder 
                                (the_item as string)) as alias) as string
                        set sost_Parent to (container of folder 
                                (sost as alias))
                end tell
                set sost to POSIX path of sost
                set sost_Parent to POSIX path of (sost_Parent as string)
                set this_filepath to (the_item as string)
                if last character of this_filepath is ":" then
                        tell me to set it_is_a_folder to true
                else
                        set it_is_a_folder to false
                end if
                set thesourcename to (name of (info for the_item))
                set the_source_file to POSIX path of this_filepath
                set pos_filepath to sost
                if it_is_a_folder then
                        try
                                set my_command to "mv" & 
                                        space & (quoted form of the_source_file) 
                                        & space & (quoted form of sost_Parent)
                                set my_command to my_command & 
                                        ";ln -s" & space & (quoted form of sost_Parent) 
                                        & (quoted form of thesourcename) & space & (quoted form of sost)
                                do shell script my_command
                        on error onerr
                                activate
                                display dialog onerr
                        end try
                else
                        display dialog "Folders only, please!"
                end if
        end repeat
end up_one_leave_link

on run
        display dialog "This will move selected folders
up one directory and substitute symbolic links
that point to their new location.

Is that what you want to do?"
        do shell script "open ~/Library"
        do shell script "sleep 1"
        activate
        set the_items to ((choose folder) as list)
        up_one_leave_link(the_items)
end run
[kirkmc adds: Paste the above script in AppleScript Editor, then save it as an application. This solution should work, but be careful if, after an OS X update, something is broken.]
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Increase volume on Apple Cinema Display System
I have a 27" Thunderbolt Cinema Display, and I use its built-in speakers for the output of alert sounds. (In System Preferences > Sound > Sound Effects, you can choose this.) But the volume wasn't very loud, even though I had set the Alert volume slider to its maximum setting. I'd been trying to figure out why, because when I listen to music, the alert volume - and a sound I use to alert me when VIP e-mails arrive - isn't loud enough to be heard.

So I remembered that Audio-MIDI Setup has a number of tweaks for system sound settings. This app is found in /Applications/Utilities. When I opened it, and clicked on Display Audio, the two volume sliders (right and left channels) were nowhere near the maximum volume, so I raised them, and now I can hear my system beeps and other sounds.

So if you have problems with the volume of any audio outputs, you might want to check Audio-MIDI Setup and see if it can fix the issue.
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See Cover Flow framerate System
I stumbled on this useless but curious "defaults write" trick for the Finder that displays the frame rate when you flip through files in Cover Flow. I've only tested it in Mountain Lion.

The following will show the cover flow frame rate (as frames per second) within the Finder alongside each filename when flipping through files. On my system I get around 58 FPS consistently; try and beat that! I'm interested to see how retina MacBook Pros do, and, as such, this could be a useful if non-scientific benchmarking trick:

defaults write com.apple.finder IKImageFlowShowFrameRate 1;killall Finder

To get rid of it:

defaults delete com.apple.finder IKImageFlowShowFrameRate;killall Finder

[kirkmc adds: I, too, get 58 fps on my Mac mini, the same on my retina MacBook Pro. (Actually, it looks like it peaks at 58.87.) This suggests that there's something in the system that is limiting it, or that it simply can't go any faster.

I'll agree with the terms "useless but curious," but I'm sure someone will find something interesting to do with it.]
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Create custom keybindings System
If you'd like to easily type some non-standard glyphs, adding a custom keybinding might prove useful.

The keybindings file is located in ~/Library/KeyBindings/ (You will probably have to make this directory and then add a file named "DefaultKeyBinding.dict".]).

The syntax for these keybindings are:
"[keycombination]" = ("insertText:", "\[unicodenumber or actual character]");
Example:
"~*" = ("insertText:", "\U0215"); /* the times-symbol "" */
In this "Keycombination" field:
@ = cmd key
$ = shift key
~ = option key
^ = ctrl key
# = keys on number pad

More on the keybinding syntax at http://xahlee.info/kbd/osx_keybinding_key_syntax.html.

[kirkmc adds: We've also got a 2006 hint that goes into some detail about similar keybindings.]
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Disable Go to Folder in Finder's Go menu System
You may be familiar with the Go > Go to Folder menu item in the Finder. You can use this to go directly to any folder in your Mac's file system. But on some Macs, you may not want users to be able to access that menu item. For example, Macs in public places - such as schools or libraries - or Macs that your kids use. OS X Daily recently posted a method for hiding this menu item. Run the following command in Terminal:
defaults write com.apple.finder ProhibitGoToFolder -bool true ; killall Finder
Not only will the menu item be gone, but the Command-Shift-G shortcut that brings up the Go to Folder dialog will no longer work.

Want to get it back? Just run this command:
defaults write com.apple.finder ProhibitGoToFolder -bool false ; killall Finder
Note that this command does not prevent access to the user's Library folder; if you press the Option key while displaying the Go menu, you'll see Library show up as an option, between Home and Computer.
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View multi-page previews of Word files on Finder icons System
Mountain Lion has added the ability to view multi-page previews of Word documents when you hover your cursor over the icon, as has been possible with PDFs since Lion.

To see a preview, hover your cursor over a Word document. You'll see two arrow icons on the document icon; you can click to the right or left to view different pages.

However, in Icon View, these previews only display if the icons are 64 pixels or larger. They display in Column View, and in Cover Flow View, no matter what size the icons are in the top of the Cover Flow View window.
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