Just in case we're not all tired of hints about Spotlight's Privacy panel, I thought I'd mention this one...
By default, Spotlight searches include items in the trash can. While this may be a feature to some ("where did I put that file? Oh yeah, it's in the trash."), it can be quite a frustration to those of us who are constantly throwing away files of the same name. You can add your trash can to Spotlight's Privacy panel to stop this behavior.
Because the folder is hidden, though, you'll need to locate it in the Finder first. Choose Go -> Go to Folder (or just hit Shift-Command-G), and type in ~/.Trash. The Trash folder will show up in a Finder window, and from there, you can drag the folder over to the open Privacy panel. Now all of your garbage will be garbage.
I noticed today that I could repair my FAT16 formatted SD card from within Disk Utility itself. The card and its associated "device" showed up in the left-hand column, just like any other OS X volume, as they usually do. However, when the disk was selected, the Verify and Repair buttons weren't grayed out (as they used to be).
Selecting Repair seems to have worked, as shown by the output log:
Verify and Repair disk "OTHERâ€?
** Phase 1 - Read FAT
** Phase 2 - Check Cluster Chains
** Phase 3 - Checking Directories
** Phase 4 - Checking for Lost Files
1269 files, 82576 free (5161 clusters)
1 non HFS volume checked
No repairs were necessary
I don't know if this works for FAT32 volumes as well...
Last year I was forced to create a hack with AppleScript Folder Actions and the Desktop Printer Utility in order to print from Classic using the OS X printer drivers. Now, I'm glad to say, Tiger has made my hack obsolete. Quietly, Apple changed Classic so that it automatically recognizes the OS X print queues. This simple little change is a huge boon for me in managing hundreds of OS X machines at the K-12 where I work, because it means I can eliminate AppleTalk, the Chooser, and the confusion that comes from multiple dissimilar printing methods.
To see this change in action, open SimpleText and choose File -> Print. The pull-down menu at the top of the print dialog box will be populated with your Classic printers as well as your OS X printers. Choosing an OS X printer will pass the job off to OS X, which will treat it like any other print job.
If you have a lot of old and unused printers in the pull-down menu, the simplest way to remove all but the currently configured OS X printers is to stop Classic, delete either /System Folder -> Preferences -> Printing Prefs or ~/Library -> Classic -> Preferences -> Printing Prefs (depending on whether or not you've selected "Use Mac OS 9 preferences from your home folder" in the Advanced tab of the Classic Prefs Pane), and then restart Classic. Classic will then automatically rebuild the list from your OS X setup.
I don't know if this is useful for anyone else, but I posted a couple of scripts to rotate the display in Tiger on ATI Radeon-equipped machines.
[robg adds: Even though I have an ATI machine, I have no Rotate button in the Displays panel (no idea why not, though I can rotate using the ATI software), so I can't test these scripts. I have also mirrored the scripts on hints, so they'll be accessible in case the above link goes away.]
Some people have claimed memory or performance problems with Dashboard. In my case, I just don't use it, and dislike having applications running that I don't use or need.
After some searching, I found this hint, but didn't find anything similar on MacOSXHints. So here it is, with thanks to the original poster who found it. Launch Terminal and then enter the following commands...
defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean NO
You have to restart the Dock after making either change for it to take effect:
[robg adds: I'm thinking this might be a pretty popular hint :). I tested the commands, and they definitely work. When I ran ps ax | grep Dash with Dashboard active, my three open widgets showed up in the process list. After changing the defaults, F12 no longer worked, and the same ps command didn't find any matches for Dashboard (OK, technically, if found the grep, but that's because I'm too lazy to add it as an ignored match). When I re-enabled Dashboard, I was somewhat surprised to find that my three open widgets were indeed still open.]
Somewhere in the 10.4.1 or 10.4.2 update cycle, I noticed that all but two of the users on my computer disappeared from the Fast User Switching menu and the Login Window list. I think it was after I updated to 10.4.1, but I'm not sure (I didn't get around to trying to figure out the problem until today). Thinking that it was probably a permissions problem, I repaired permissions using Disk Utility, but that didn't fix it.
I finally discovered that the common characteristic between all of the accounts which had disappeared from the menus (but which were otherwise functional) was that I had set their shell to /usr/bin/false in NetInfo Manager. I tried changing one of the account's shell values back to /bin/bash, just to see what happened. Sure enough, when I went to the Login Window, that account had reappeared on the list. I subsequently changed the shell setting for the other accounts, and they reappeared as well.
So if anyone is tearing their hair out trying to figure out why a bunch of users have suddenly disappeared from the list of accounts, this might be your answer. I just hope this is a bug, because I liked the ability to set the shell to false for non-administrator accounts.
I recently bought myself a cheap prepaid Motorola C975 3G phone in the hope that it would able to sync with iSync. It's not officially supported, but some minor modifications to a couple of files on your Mac will have it synchronized with the best.
The two files to edit need special permissions to do so. If you're comfortable with the Terminal, the fastest way to do this is sudo vi filename, replacing vi with your editor of choice, of course.
Add this text to /Applications -> iSync.app [control-click and Show Package Contents] -> Contents -> PlugIns -> ApplePhoneConduit.syncdevice -> Contents -> PlugIns -> PhoneModelsSync.phoneplugin -> Contents -> Resources -> MetaClasses.plist. Add the text directly after the very first <dict> tag.
Now add the following text to /System -> Library -> SyncServices -> MotorolaConduit.bundle -> Contents -> Resources -> USBDevice.plist after the very first <dict> tag:
Plug the phone cable in, run iSync, and "Add new device" (Command-N). With luck, the phone should show up for syncing. If not, reboot and try again. Now I just have to find a way to send Java apps to the phone by USB...
When I first got Tiger, I thought that Spotlight could replace Quicksilver, which I couldn't live without, but I realised that I couldn't. Spotlight was simply too slow in the face of Quicksilver.
But then I realised that both applications had advantages of their own. Quicksilver's interface was perfect for launching apps and Spotlight was perfect for finding documents and information. So what I did was configure Quicksilver to only search for applications, and told Spotlight to search only for documents, email, etc, but not applications. Spotlight is configured through the Search Results tab of the Spotlight System Preferences panel; just uncheck Applications in the list.
This gave both applications a dramatic boost in performance, but it was especially notable in Spotlight.
[robg adds: This is good advice, regardless of which launcher you may use -- Butler (my launcher of choice) and LaunchBar would probably benefit from similar chagnes. I tested it with Butler (just disabling Spotlight's application searching), and Spotlight did indeed seem a touch quicker.]