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10.5: Prevent Stacks from changing docked folder icons System 10.5
If you have multiple stacks in the dock, it is helpful to be able to quickly identify them. Unfortunately, in 10.5 the way in which Stacks work causes, for example, Address Book (or whatever your first app in Applications is) to be used as the icon for the Applications folder in the dock. This makes it hard to identify your docked folders at a glance.

To work around this, open Automator and create a new fake Automator project -- it can be completely empty, in fact (choose Custom from the selector when Automator launches). When the project window appears, choose File -> Save, set the Format to Application, give it a name that comes very early in the alphabet -- AAA or similar. For the save location, point to your Applications folder and save it there.

Back in the Finder, Get Info (Command-I) on both the Applications folder and your new AAA "application." Copy the icon from the Applications folder (by clicking on the icon in the Get Info window and pressing Command-C), then paste it onto the icon in the AAA Get Info window. Finally, drag the Applications folder into the dock. (You may need to remove and re-add it if it was already there). Make sure that it is set to display sorted by name.

[robg adds: This is the best solution I've seen to this problem, though I think it can be simplified: you don't need Automator. Just create a new folder, name it AAAA (I use underscores, to make sure it will always come first: ___A), and then paste on the custom icon. It seemed to work just as well as the Automator solution. The only downside to this method is that you'll see your custom folder/app as the first item in your stack, but that's a small price to pay for icon consistency in the Dock.

The other solution I've seen mentioned is to put an alias to the folder in the folder, but this leaves you with the alias arrow (and can be quite confusing in the Finder if you click the alias). Note that this is different than this hint, which explains how to basically disable the Stacks functionality of docked folders.]
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10.5: Change login panel background System 10.5
While attempting to get rid of the gaudy pink and purple Aurora login picture, I found that it is no longer enough to simply rename your picture of choice to Aurora.jpg and drop it in Desktop Pictures a la Aqua.jpg in previous releases.

To change the picture behind the login panel in 10.5, one must name the picture of choice DefaultDesktop.jpg, and drop it in to /System » Library » CoreServices. Doing this as the admin user is required for authentication purposes.

[robg adds: It's the simple things that can make using one's OS of choice more pleasant :). I used Terminal to create a backup of the original image first, just in case. After cding to the CoreServices directory, I then did sudo mv DefaultDesktop.jpg DefaultDesktop_old.jpg, then moved my new image in.]
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10.5: How to use InputManagers (Inquisitor, etc) in 10.5 System 10.5
I discovered a general technique to enable input managers in Safari 3.0 in 10.5, and used it to enable Inquisitor, David Watanabe's great auto-complete web search plug-in. Here are the steps:
  1. Install Inquisitor if you don't already have it. No, it won't work until you complete the following procedure, but it must be installed first.
  2. Move the plug-in from your user-specific input manager folder to the system-wide input manager folder, using Terminal:
    sudo mv ~/Library/InputManagers/Inquisitor /Library/InputManagers
  3. Change the ownership of the entire plugin directory to root/admin:
    sudo chown -R root:admin /Library/InputManagers/Inquisitor
  4. Restart Safari
That's it. Inquisitor is now enabled in Safari 3.0 on Leopard!

[robg adds: The top-level InputManagers folder is the new 10.5-approved way of doing these things. As noted on the linked blog (or in Apple's developer note, there's a hint that this function may stop working entirely in a future update.)
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10.5: How to modify user-created Smart Folders System 10.5
If you are wondering, like I was, about how to modify user-created Smart Folders, here's the trick. Select the Smart Folder to see its results, and then click the Action (gear) icon in the result window's tool bar. From the drop-down menu that appears, select Show Search Criteria.

[robg adds: This option doesn't appear in any menu other than the Action icon -- it took me forever to find it, too, as I usually remove the Action icon from the menu bar. In 10.5, though, I'm forced to keep it present if I want easy edit access to saved searches. I filed this as a bug against 10.5, but I don't know if that will do any good or not.]
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10.5: Change icon view options in Open and Save dialogs System 10.5
Whenever you decide to open (or save) a file from within an application, a sheet or dialog box will display. New in 10.5, the icon view push button at the top left of the sheet/dialog box can be held down to give you a menu with the ability to change the Icon Size between 16x16, 32x32, 64x64 or 128x128, and change the Label Position to either Bottom or Right:


Also new is the MEDIA section in the sidebar of the sheet/dialog, which gives you quick access to Movies, Music and Photos. The Photos item, for example, lets you peruse Aperture and iPhoto libraries and events, etc.
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10.5: One way to put Stacks to good use System 10.5
This may seem like a really obvious life hack, but for all the rankling about the new Stacks feature, I wanted to share the thing that has really won we over to Stacks and the new Dock.

Maybe some people take pride in having a tiny dock filled with a ton of apps, but I find that if the icons are too small, and there are simply too many of them, it's not usable. At the same time, I want to have all my apps, even infrequently used ones, immediately accessible. I've tried launchers, but it just feels like too much clutter.

So in Tiger, my dock had 30+ hard to see tiny tiny app icons. But in Leopard, using the following method, I am finding the 10.5 dock to be the best launcher ever. I've created little stacks of apps for each app area and the big suites:
  1. Productivity: MS Office and iWork
  2. Creative: Adobe CS3
  3. Utilities: Just the ones I use most
  4. iLife: iLife applications
  5. Media: Players, download tools, etc.
To do this, I created new folders for each stack. Each of these is a real folder with aliases to the respective apps. It took maybe two minutes. The benefit over Tiger is that stacks are all visually identifiable, because the stack of app icons show thru, no thinking up some custom icon for an office suite or mousing over identical folder icons trying to figure out what's what.

The result is that my dock is down to 18 reasonably-sized app icons, easy to see and use. Seldom-used apps are all easily found and launched. It's exactly what I have always wanted since the OS 9 days, a simple gateway to managing active and available apps. And as long as you keep the number of things in the stack down to less than 10, it looks cool and is very usable.

One additional stack for key project folders, and I am much happier than I ever was in Tiger. I hated those identical folder icons. Note that contrary to the online demos, you can't really grab a set of items and put them on the dock to create a stack. You can only create a stack with a real filesystem folder as far as I can see.
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10.5: Magnify Dock items on the fly via the keyboard System 10.5
I just noticed when I was trying to fool around with Spaces that by holding down Control and Shift, and then moving the mouse along the dock, the icons will magnify -- even if you have the Dock's magnification feature disabled. Pretty nice touch, if you ask me.

[robg adds: This shortcut isn't documented in either the general help for the Dock's keyboard shortcuts, nor in the Keyboard Shortcuts tab of the Keyboard & Mouse System Preferences panel. The icons will magnify based on the setting in the Magnification slider in the Dock System Preferences panel. So to change the magnification setting, enable magnification, change the slider, then disable magnification (assuming you don't want it on all the time).]
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10.5: Set the default Space to something other than #1 System 10.5
On my new Leopard system, I have decided to go with nine Spaces, but I wanted to have Space number five (the middle space) be the "default" space, so that all other eight spaces would be adjacent to it. I stumbled across a way to make it so.

The trick is to assign the Finder to whatever Space you want to be your default, or home space. In Spaces' preferences (located in System Preferences), click the plus sign to bring up a file browser dialog box to select an app. Navigate to /System» Library» Core Services» Finder.app and assign it to the space of your choice (number five in my case).

Whenever you quit an open app and are returned to the Finder (rather than another app), you will go to your default space. Also upon login, you will be sent automatically to the space that you assigned the Finder to.
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10.5: Go back to where you were in Cover Flow mode System 10.5
When browsing in cover flow mode, if you use the Go » Enclosing Folder command (or its Command-Up Arrow keyboard shortcut), not only will the system move up one folder, but it also goes back to the folder icon (of the folder that you are in) directly. This saves a lot of time trying to figure out where you were before, as the folder icon and its name are shown in the cover flow window.
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10.5: Create a single Intel+PowerPC diagnostic drive System 10.5
There are many purposes for a single partition to boot multiple architectures. Running diagnostics and repair utilities is just one of them. You can use this tip for many other purposes as well.

Background: Tiger only allowed you to boot either an Intel or a PPC Mac, but never was there a choice for a heterogeneous boot partition (without some drastic measures; here's one hint) because the binaries are different. Leopard gets one step closer because they are the same binaries. One might think that you could easily build a diagnostic drive out of an old FireWire drive that will boot either Intel or PowerPC machines. And you can, but there's a catch. Intel Macs can "only" boot to a drive that is partitioned using the GUID partition table scheme, while PowerPC Macs can "only" boot to a drive that has an Apple Partition Map scheme.

The exception is for the Install DVD. You can boot either kind of Mac using the same DVD. I believe that this is because of the special partition map that DVD's use. In any case, you can use this to your advantage if you need to make a single drive that can boot either type of machine. This is especially helpful for people who support multiple CPU types in their Mac OS life.

Disclaimer: Please be sure that you have the appropriate legal rights to follow these steps before proceeding (i.e. be sure to own enough copies of Leopard for the number of machines you intend to support with this disk.)
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