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10.4: A few tips on the new Mighty Mouse System 10.4
Tiger only hintI had some problems with my Mighty Mouse in that the Primary and Secondary clicks were reversed, so that if I had set a clicker to be a Primary (left) click, I would get a Secondary (right) click from the mouse. This can usually just be changed in System Preferences (by just setting it as a Primary where you want a Secondary), but I wanted to set up my mouse so that both the left and right clicker would be a normal/Primary click, and you cannot change both clickers to be Secondary there (had I had a fully funtional mouse, I would just set both as Primary and there would be no problem).

This led me to discover where these settings are stored, and it seems to be in the file com.apple.driver.AppleHIDMouse.plist in your user's Library -> Preferences foler. Open this file with Property List Editor (installed when you install the Developer Tools), and you can change the settings to whatever you like. What I had to do was to change Button1 to 2 (normally this would probably be 1) and Button2 to 0 and ButtonDominance to 1. After you change this file, log out (I'm not absolutely sure that you need to this but it seems to help) and make sure that you do not change these settings in the Keyboard & Mouse panel again -- that will, of course, reset your changes. You can, however, change the other mouse settings like scroll speed as you like.

You can also use this file to change the behaviour of the other mouse buttons. I wanted to change to scroll ball button clicker to act as a secondary-click (control-click), and I could not do that in System Preferences. However, in the plist file, I just changed Button3 to 1 (on a normal mouse, this should probably be 2).

And remember that you cannot only launch 'normal' applications by selecting them with Other in the pop-up menu in the Keyboard & Mouse prefernce panel. You can also save AppleScripts as applications in Script Editor, and then launch those scripts with a mouse button -- so that way, you can make it do nearly anything you wish. In the plist file, the Class of the button changes to String and the Value is simply the path to the application.
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10.4: Change a disk's mount point System 10.4
Tiger only hintIf you're interested in changing a disk's mounting point in 10.4, here's how to do it. One might use this to move the /Users directory to some other drive, for example.

[robg adds: A little pre-hint warning; I haven't tested this one, and mucking about with a drive's mount point isn't something to be done lightly. If you're going to use this hint, please make sure you have a good backup, and know what you're doing. You'll also need to have root powers for most of the following steps...]
  1. Using Disk Utility, read the drive's Universal Unique Identifier (UUID). Click on the volume you wish to move, then click the Info button and find the Universal Unique Identifier line. You can select the text here and copy it to the clipboard, too. For this example, we'll assume the volume's UUID was 12345.

  2. Create new directory where you want to mount your drive. For example, sudo mkdir /foo.

  3. Edit your /etc/fstab file, and add a line with the UUID and mounting point information (don't forget to add appropriate r/w and file system information):
    UUID=12345 /foo hfs rw 1 2
  4. Load the updated /etc/fstab file into NetInfo:
    niload -d fstab / < /etc/fstab
  5. Mount drive using Disk Utility. The drive should be mounted in your new directory -- /foo in this example.
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10.4: A fix for a 'SuperDrive not supported' error System 10.4
Tiger only hintWhile trying to burn my first DVD-R with a new SuperDrive, I got following error message:
The disc could not be used because the disc drive is not supported. (Error code 0×80020025)
The SuperDrive is OK, as is the DVD-R. The solution to this problem was to reset PRAM during a boot -- hold down Command-Option-P-R during restart, and wait for the machine to restart again.

After that, all was fine.

[robg adds: I've seen this error a couple of times myself since upgrading to 10.4. For me, a simple restart got the drive back. I haven't seen the problem recur under 10.4.2, so perhaps it's been squashed...]
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10.4: A workaround for a Spotlight / Norton AV issue System 10.4
Tiger only hintTHE PROBLEM: Tiger's Spotlight indexing processes, when combined with Norton AntiVirus 10 Auto-Protect processes, have blocked mounting and unmounting of volumes by Disk Utility or such diagnostic/repair applications as DiskWarrior 3.0.3 and TechTool Pro 4.0.4.

THE WORKAROUND: With thanks to Symantec tech support for help. Exclude the Spotlight-V100 folder on all volumes on internal and external hard drives from NAV's auto-protect scanning. In NAV 10 Preferences -> Auto-Protect Preferences -> SafeZones, select "Everywhere EXCEPT in:" and then do this:
  1. Click on NAV 10 Auto-Protect page lock and authorize with password
  2. Click on box below above "Everywhere EXCEPT in:?
  3. Click on Add button
  4. Click on (Name of) Computer and then on .Spotlight-V100
  5. Click on Add button
  6. Click on first volume below (Name of) Computer and then on .Spotlight-V100
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for each volume on each hard drive, internal and external
[robg adds: I haven't tested this one...]
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10.4: A shortcut to reset the printing system System 10.4
Tiger only hintIf you find your Printer Setup Utility crashing all the time, or you simply need to delete all your printers and start again, launch Printer Setup Utility while holding the Option (Alt) key.

[robg adds: Your Finder window will vanish when you do this--Option double-click closes the window from where you launched the program. You can also reset the system from within Printer Setup Utility itself; this hint is just a shortcut to the Printer Setup Utility -> Reset Printing System menu item. This feature did not exist pre-Tiger, as far as I can tell.]
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10.4: Quickly free up RAM used by Dashboard widgets System 10.4
Tiger only hintIf you want to quickly free up the memory being used by all your Dashboard widgets, simply restart the Dock application. Open /Applications -> Utilities -> Activity monitor, and find the application named Dock in the list. Select it and then click Quit Process in the toolbar. In the sheet that comes up, click Quit.

The Dock will quit, unloading all its Dashboard widgets. Then the OS will immediately restart the Dock. The Dock then will not load its widgets again until you activate Dashboard again and open a widget.

[robg adds: You could also use the Terminal and type killall Dock for the same result. The effect is the same as manually closing all your widgets, but if you've got a bunch open, this is definitely the faster "sledgehammer" solution. As noted in other hints and comments, the amount of RAM used by Dashboard isn't necessarily huge, so don't expect a large jump in available memory.

You can see how much real RAM your open widgets are using by launching Activity Monitor and entering 'dashboard' in the Filter box at the top of the window. In the resulting list, look at the Real Memory column to see your widgets' memory usage (my five open widgets are using about 45MB of RAM).]
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10.4: Use Automator to ease podcast preparation work System 10.4
Tiger only hintSal Soghoian, Apple's AppleScript Product Marketing Manager, has done some cool stuff with Automator. On the Automator.us web site, he's got a bunch of resources for using this nifty new tool in Tiger -- a brief tour, a set of links to additional resources, and, most interestingly, a few examples of putting Automator to use.

One of these, Automate Podcast Preparation, really eases the workload for those interested in creating their own podcasts. Note that this is not a tutorial on how to create a podcast; the assumption is that you've already read Apple's tutorial on how to do just that using GarageBand. But once a podcast has been created, how do you take your podcast and get it ready for distribution? That's where the Automator action comes into play. Now, I'm not a huge podcast fan (understatement?), but I am quite interested in Automator, and this action really shows how you can do a bunch of relatively complex things with it, without too much work. Sal walks you through each step of the action, explaining the settings required for each step, which really helps with the learning curve.

Note that this particular action requires a special set of actions for podcasting (downloadable from the site), 'Enable access for assistive devices' must be enabled in the Universal Access system preferences panel, and you'll need QuickTime Pro to export to MPEG audio.
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10.4: Use a Dashboard widget to play any iTunes track System 10.4
Tiger only hintSymphonic is a dashboard widget that allows you to simply type in a song name or artist name and voila, iTunes does its thing. It works great, say, when writing a proposal and you just have to quickly hear Dig For Fire or your brain will explode.

If random play is also turned on, you have a system that will continuously feed music into which you can quickly inject requests with minimal effort.

[robg adds: This is a pretty handy widget; it has some other inquiry and search modes as well -- be sure to read the Help Page for info on the various modes and search abilities...]
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10.4: An overview of NTFS support in Tiger System 10.4
Tiger only hintThis has saved me a lot of trouble: It is now possible to reliably read NTFS disks (NT File System, as used by modern Windows versions such as 2000 or XP) under Mac OS X 10.4 (tested under 10.4.1).

Since I have been interested in using disks usable by both Windows and Mac computers and found info in several other hints on this site which, however, are sometimes rather old and have a long comments section which take a while to read and new points spread in between, I thought maybe some people are interested in a short overview on what can currently be done in this area. As I said, several things here may not be big news to some readers, but I am sure at least some people will appreciate an overview, so here we go...
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10.4: Using certain Dashboard wigets' contextual menus System 10.4
Tiger only hintWhen trying to use a Dashboard widget recently, I was not able to pull up a contextual menu in a text field, where I thought I should be able to do so. Well, it turns out that the menus are in fact there, but there is a bug in Dashboard with accessing them.

So what is the problem, you might ask? Well, if you're working with one of the Apple-shipped mouses, or the trackpad on a laptop, you're not likely to see the issue, because if you Control-click to get the contextual menu, it will appear as expected. If, like me, you prefer to use a more functional mouse, which Apple generally supports very well, the contextual menu does not pop up with the second mouse button as one would expect.

[robg adds: I don't know that this is a bug in Dashboard; it could be something related to how the widget was coded ... but if you're having trouble with a certain widget's contextual menus, remember to try a good 'old fashioned' control-click...]
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