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10.4: Create strong and memorable passwords System 10.4
Tiger only hintAs seen at right, Tiger includes a new Password Assistant which helps generate passwords when setting up user accounts. To access, click the Key icon you see when adding a password to a user account (in Accounts in System Preferences).

The assistant can create the following types of passwords:
  • Memorable (the most useful to me -- secure & you can actually remember these!)
  • Letters & Numbers
  • Numbers Only
  • Random
  • FIPS-181 Compliant
A slider adjusts the length, and a bar graph shows the quality and security of your generated password.

[robg adds: Hopefully this will help users create longer yet memorable passwords; I'm glad to see the tool improved and moved out of the confines of the Keychain application.]
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10.4: View all of the weather widget's displays System 10.4
Tiger only hintThe Weather widget in dashboard is amazingly beautiful. However, one may wish to view all the possible pictures without waiting for snow ;-).

Just push the Option and Command keys while clicking the weather picture, and it will cycle through all possible pictures. The location will change, too, until you get back to the original display...
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10.4: Replace the phone book widget's mapping service System 10.4
Tiger only hintMapquest is an aging mapping system and doesn't fit in with the new shinyness in Tiger. Thats why I made the phone book widget use Google Maps instead.
  1. In the Finder, go to /Library/Widgets
  2. Control-click on Phone Book.wdgt, and choose Show Package Contents from the pop-up menu
  3. Duplicate PhoneBook.js so that you have a back up -- just in case.
  4. Open PhoneBook.js in your favorite Text Editor (I used BBEdit).
  5. Find the following block, which begins on line 802:
    var mapURL = "";
    mapURL += URLEncode( singleResult.address );
    mapURL += "&city=";
    mapURL += URLEncode( );
    mapURL += "&state=";
    mapURL += URLEncode( singleResult.state );
    mapURL += "&zip=";
    mapURL += URLEncode( );
  6. Replace that block with the following block:
    var mapURL = "";
    mapURL += URLEncode( singleResult.address );
    mapURL += "+";
    mapURL += URLEncode( );
    mapURL += "&hl=en";
  7. Save changes to the file and quit the editor.
Now open Dashboard and reload the Phonebook widget by hitting Command-R. Now whenever you click on an address in the phone book, you'll go to Google maps rather than Mapquest.

[robg adds: I received a similar hint submission from Anonymous, and the only difference was their code for the replacement section. Their code was:
var mapURL = "";

mapURL += URLEncode( singleResult.address );
mapURL += "+";
mapURL += URLEncode( );
mapURL += "+";
mapURL += URLEncode( singleResult.state );
mapURL += "+";
mapURL += URLEncode( );
Since I don't have Tiger with me on the road, I can't test either version right now -- so take your pick, and use the one that works the best!]
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10.4: Quickly close an open dashboard widget System 10.4
Tiger only hintThe UI of Dashboard widgets would suggest that you have to first click the plus sign in the lower left corner to reveal the Dashboard bar, which in turn will reveal any open widget's close button. However, the quicker way is to simply hold the Option key, and whatever widget you point at will show its close button.

[robg adds: I stumbled across this one myself, when looking for a better way to close a widget. As of the last developer release, it's behavior wasn't yet documented -- I'm not sure if that's changed in the shipping version or not.]
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10.4: See the RSS Visualizer screensaver in black System 10.4
Tiger only hintI love the way the RSS Visualizer screen saver looks, especially on my TV. The only thing I don't like about it is the blue background. So I opened it up in Quartz Composer (it's damn cool they offered it up that way), and I changed the background to black. It looks much cleaner now. Here's a link to the file. Enjoy!

[robg adds: If you haven't had the chance to play with Quartz Composer yet, it's worth the time. It's an amazingly useful little program. I was playing around with a macosxhints' RSS screensaver in it, and I was impressed at how (relatively) simple it was to figure out the basics. You'll have to install XCode to get it, but (in my opinion) it's worth the effort.]
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10.4: Detach widgets from the Dashboard System 10.4
Tiger only hintIf you'd like one of your Dashboard widgets to be available all the time, instead of only when you have activated Dashboard via F12, then activate the Dashboard dvelopment mode. Open the Terminal and type defaults write devmode YES and press Return. Then logout and log back in again. Now debugging mode is activated. To get a widget off of the Dashboard and onto your desktop, just do the following:
  1. Activate Dashboard by pressing F12 (or whatever key you've assigned to Dashboard).
  2. Begin dragging the widget.
  3. Press F12 again, before letting up on the mouse button.
  4. Drop the widget wherever you want it.
You can do the same thing in reverse to drag the widget back onto the Dashboard. Also of interest: while a widget is frontmost, you can press Command-R to reload it. (This may be necessary if a widget is buggy and gets messed up somehow.) There's even a nifty Core Image-based twirl effect to accompany the reload.

[robg adds: This isn't really a hidden hack; it's the official way of working on a widget before it's done. However, I find it extremely useful -- there are certain widgets that you'd just rather see and use all the time, instead of only in Dashboard mode. Note that the widgets float above all windows, so this trick is most useful if you have some spare desktop space. To disable this mode, repeat the above command, but replace YES with NO, and then logout/login again. Note that you can also restart the Dock to make the changes take effect (the Dock controls the Dashboard).]
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10.4: Create a larger mouse pointer System 10.4
Tiger only hintWhen the Macintosh first shipped, it had a 72 pixel per inch screen, and a 16x16 pixel pointer. Today, with Apple's 23 and 30 inch displays, we have a much higher pixel per inch count, but the exact same 16x16 pointer. One of the new features of Tiger is the ability to scale up the pointer for those people who have a hard time finding it. I find it's also quite useful if your Mac is hooked up to a TV, or if you have an absurdly high DPI count. Simply scale up the pointer, and you can find it anywhere on the screen. Be warned, the results are a little ugly.

To access this new feature, open System Preferences, then open the Universal Access pane, and click on the Mouse [& Trackpad] tab.

At the bottom of the tab is a slider that adjusts the size of the pointer. I've found that doubling the size (32x32) works best. Move the slider just to the right of the second hash mark; the right diagonal edge of the pointer looks squashed otherwise.
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10.4: Force Spotlight to reindex a drive System 10.4
Tiger only hintAfter mounting an external FireWire volume onto my desktop, I noticed the Spotlight icon in the right uppermost corner of my screen pulsing. Upon clicking on the icon, it told me that it was indexing the drives.

Following the indexing process' completion, I began using Spotlight to search for content on the drives. To my dismay, many files were missing. This included media, system, and other files and folders. The only way to get Spotlight to show them was to either open or edit each missing file/folder.

After studying resources around the web, I discovered that every volume contains its own Spotlight index (making perfect sense). Through closer inspection, each drive contains a file in its root named .Spotlight-V100. This is that index file.

If this file is removed from the root, and the drive is ejected and mounted, Spotlight will once again index the offending drive, creating a new .Spotlight-V100 file. This was able to fix my missing file/folder hiccup. Enjoy.
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10.4: A fix for broken Java after XCode installation System 10.4
Tiger only hintAfter I installed Xcode (I selected to install everything), Java produced same segmentation fault problem as in 10.3.9. I found a solution by applying steps for Java 1.4.2 in Apple's website. Here is a copy of the steps:
  1. Open Terminal
  2. Type cd /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.4.2/Libraries/; sudo java -Xdump and press Return.
  3. Type your password (you must be logged in as an administrator user) and press Return.
  4. Type cd /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.3.1/Libraries/; sudo java -Xdump:/System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.3.1/Libraries/classes.jsa -version and press Return.
After this, Java is working correctly again on my machine. Hope this tip is useful to you.
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