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10.5: Disable the 'use this disk?' Time Machine dialog System 10.5
This hint will be useful for those who use an abnormal amount of removable devices on their personal or work computer, or those who deploy 10.5 in a multi-machine environment. When you connect such devices, Time Machine asks if you'd like to use them for backing up. You can disable that warning -- just launch Terminal, and paste this line, then press Return:
defaults write DoNotOfferNewDisksForBackup -bool YES
Time Machine will no longer ask to use the devices you connect.

[robg adds: To reverse this, you can repeat the above command with NO at the end instead of YES.]
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10.5: Prevent users from ejecting CDs with dscl System 10.5
Sometimes in may become necessary to restrict access to local resources to certain users on a given workstation. In the past, NetInfo was the easiest way of accomplishing that finite control. Now with 10.5, that tool is no longer available, but has been replaced with the ever-popular dscl.

Recently I acquired a 10.5 machine for my two kids, and it became necessary to lock their access to the CD-ROM (since they broke the one on the 10.3 machine). Using some of the information I've gathered in the past from this site, I managed to put together the necessary command line arguments to lock that access. Read on for my solution.
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10.5: Expand compressed files on read-only media System 10.5
Try opening a zip, gzip, or other compressed file on an unwritable volume such as a CD or read-only disk image. Instead of giving you an error (as happened in 10.4) saying "Volume is not writable," OS X 10.5 will expand the archive into your Downloads folder.
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10.5: Assign a set of apps to Spaces via AppleScript System 10.5
This previous hint on using AppleScript with spaces got me to thinking about ways to get two (or more) different sets of spaces. So, for instance, you could have a 'work' Spaces set with Terminal, Safari, Mail, and an RSS Reader, and a 'home' Spaces set with Safari, Mail, GarageBand, and iPhoto.

The easieset way I've found to do this is with a couple of AppleScripts that basically look like the following: Note: Setting an app to 65544 will set it to "every space." You would then do a similar script as above for your 'home' space.

[robg adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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10.5: Control the firewall from the command line System 10.5
It appears you can turn the Leopard firewall on or from the command line with this command:
sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ globalstate -int 1
The last value represents the state of the firewall, where:
  • 0 = off
  • 1 = on for specific services
  • 2 = on for essential services
There are other settings in the /Library/Preferences/ file that you can explore and test to control other aspects of the firewall.
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10.5: View Trash via spring-loaded Dock System 10.5
To see the contents of the trash prior to dropping something on it, just do this: drag files onto the Trash icon in the dock and hold them over the icon for a few seconds. A new window will open in the Finder, displaying the current contents of the trash.
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10.5: Use certain iTunes visualizers as screen savers System 10.5
You can now use Quartz Composer-based iTunes Visualizers as screen savers really easily. Just make a copy of the visualizer and put it in ~/Library/Screen Savers.

Open up that copy in Quartz Composer (Developer Tools required) and, while in the Editor window, choose Editor » Edit Protocol Conformance. On the new screen that appears, check off the Screen Saver option and save the file.

To have the visualizer actually work as a screen saver, a QTZ visualizer must be running in iTunes.

[robg adds: When I tested this, I was able to get the screen saver to work even when iTunes wasn't running, so I'm not sure about the last bit of the hint. I found one sample Quartz Composer visualizer in the Developer Tools install, on this path: /Developer/Examples/Quartz Composer/Compositions/Music Visualizers. This MacUpdate search shows a few others that match the terms iTunes, visualizer, and Quartz, but I haven't tested them.]
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10.5: Set Time Machine disk via AppleScript System 10.5
Like many users of Time Machine, I have a need to back up to different disks at different times. For instance, when my laptop is at home I want to back it up to an external drive for data security, but when I am on the road, I'd like to have it back up to a partition on the internal drive so I can use it as a way to "undo" file changes and quickly access deleted files.

This normally requires manually setting the Time Machine preferences every time you want to switch drives. So I put together an AppleScript to do this, and launch it automatically when my external drive is mounted or unmounted (using the free utility Do Something When).

The script uses GUI Scripting to set Time Machine to backup to a "primary drive" (the primarydrivename variable in the script) if it is available, and if it isn't, it will attempt to have it backup to a "secondary drive" (secondarydrivename). Failing that, it leaves the Time Machine preferences unchanged.

[robg adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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10.5: A warning about Time Machine and battery power System 10.5
A warning: I just noticed that when my MacBook runs from battery power, Time Machine will temporarily stop making back-ups. As this happens without a clear indication, I thought I'd submit this warning. If you look at Time Machine in System Preferences while on battery power, you'll see that there's no time indication for the next scheduled back -- but there's no reason shown for why there's no backup time. (I'm backing up to a dedicated partition on the same disk, but the same holds true for external drives.)

[robg adds: I thought I remembered reading this somewhere in Apple's documentation, but a search didn't find anything, nor is it mentioned on Apple's site. Logically, it makes sense due to the impact on battery life, but it's something you should be aware of.]
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10.5: Create Quick Look-capable 'webloc' files System 10.5
When I am working on a project I tend to save many different types of files in that project's folder. For example, research for a recent music-related article contained: PDFs, Pages documents, mp3s, Text documents, jpgs, and webloc files. While I really appreciate the new file types that are Quick Looked in Leopard, I am frustrated that bookmarks/weblocs just show up with the "@" icon.

Of course what's really called for is a Quick Look plugin, but until that time, here's what I did:
  1. Email webpage to yourself. In Safari, choose Safari » Mail Contents of This Page (or command Command-I).
  2. Drag that email from Mail to the project folder. This will create an email 'document' in that folder (linked to the message in Mail). The message has a low-res HMTL preview of the site that you bookmarked.
Now just highlight the file and hit the Space Bar to activate Quick Look. You will now have a properly-rendered HTML preview of the linked URL. This is kind of kludgy, but it seems to work. Also, if you click on a link inside the Quick Look preview, that link will open in your default browser.

This is tantalizing if nothing else, as it shows that most of the functionality is already there -- the Finder is now rendering HTML (for emails, at least) dragged to a folder. Of course, support for weblocs in Quick Look would be even better.
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