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10.5: Easily create iCal and Address Book entries in Mail System 10.5
If there is a date and/or time in a message in Mail, you can simply hover your mouse over that day and/or time to produce a pull-down menu that lets you create an iCal event with that date and time. It seems to smartly title the event as well. You just simply hit the create event after any tweaking you may want to do, and voila, you have a new calendar entry.

Also, if a message contains a street address, phone number, FAX number, etc., you are presented with the same type of pull down menu allowing you to add that information to your addressbook. You can add it as a new contact or associate it with an existing contact.

[robg adds: This capability comes from the new 'data detectors' in 10.5, and they seem to work quite well, at least in my initial testing. At the moment, it seems they only work in Mail (I tested iChat and TextEdit); hopefully that will change over time to include other Apple and non-Apple programs.]
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10.5: Set the Time Machine backup interval System 10.5
If you think Time Machine backs up too often (or not often enough) for your liking, navigate into /System » Library » LaunchDaemons. There you'll find a file named Open it in your favorite text editor, and look for this section:
Change the 3600 number to some other time interval in seconds, and you'll have changed Time Machine's backup interval.

[robg adds: Did you see that Apple now recommends that you set your machine to manual Time Machine backups if you use Aperture. This might be an easier option, if you set it to some large-enough interval (four hours?) so that it won't go off during your Aperture sessions. Ideally, of course, a coming Aperture and/or 10.5 update will take care of the problem in a more useful manner. I'm not sure what you have to do, if anything, for this change to take effect.]
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10.5: Spaces activation made simpler System 10.5
Hey guys this is a simple one but should be noted since it makes using Spaces even the Expose/Spaces prefs panel, assign one of your screen corners to Spaces. This will allow you to easily see the Spaces screen overview as if you opened the Spaces app or hit the F-key. I personally think it's faster than either one of those methods as well.

[robg adds: I'll always pick the keyboard over the mouse, but if you're the opposite, this will help. Also note there's a new active corner for Sleep Display, to quickly sleep your monitor.]
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10.5: Navigate, copy, and more in Quick Look mode System 10.5
When you have used the new Quick Look feature on any document, you can then use the arrow keys (or the mouse) to navigate, just like normal Finder operation. This means that with a little keyboard command wrangling (especially command-~ to cycle windows), you can keep Quick Look open as you browse through folders, connected volumes, etc..

Additionally, when in Quick Look mode, you can use Command-C to Copy the previewed items to your clipboard -- exactly like you'd expect.

[robg adds: The Quick Look window seems to behave as an Inspector window -- floating, and changing as your Finder selections change. Since the Finder is the frontmost app, the copy feature is that of the Finder, not Quick Look.]
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10.5: Add conditional Spotlight parameters to searches System 10.5
In a Spotlight search window, you can add exclusionary search parameters by holding down the Option key while clicking the add button. It changes the icon from a plus sign to three dots, and adds a line to the search query with a conditional pull-down menu, where you can select Any, All, or None. Nested below that is a standard search line. These conditional parameters can even be nested into each other. This is basically a GUI alternative to using boolean expressions in the Spotlight text search field.

This is how the Today, Yesterday, and Past Week searches that appear in the Finder's sidebar are built. They search first by time, then use a conditional line to exclude folders, presumably since folders aren't actual content but merely a way of organizing content.
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10.5: Change the Dock's background and separator System 10.5
I know a lot of you are not a fan of the 3D dock, however I love it. One thing that was bugging me was that little curve that was in it. It seemed so unnecessary and I felt made the dock look a little too busy. In trying to see if I could remove it, I found out that whole background is one PNG image.

The image is found here: /System » Library » CoreServices » Dock. Control-clik on the Dock file and select Show Package Contents from the pop-up menu. Once inside the dock's package contents, you need to go into the Resources folder. There is a bit of an unknown here: The dock's background image is called scurve.png, and if you're doing this as you read, you'll see there are several scurve files. The one that worked on my system was scurve-l.png. You may have to try some of the other scurve files (they range from sm to xl) to get this to work.

Copy scurve-l.png and place it somewhere so you know where it is and can edit it. I made a second copy of this as well, because you will have to replace the one in the package, and I wanted an original just in case. Fire up your favorite image editor that supports layer opacity. The reflection in the dock is actually a layer below the image you are editing, so the amount of opacity you set your image to in the image editor will determine how reflective your dock is when your all said and done.
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10.5: Verify partition map prior to upgrading System 10.5
If you have, in the past, swapped your system hard drive on your Intel Mac, you might want to check its partition scheme before upgrading to Leopard.

I swapped my MacBook's internal drive shortly after buying the laptop. I formatted it as an external drive, used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone my internal drive, then did the swap. It has been running fine until now. Then, when I tried to upgrade to Leopard, the installer wouldn't let me, telling me I need to repartition my drive.

Apparently, I had used the Apple Partition Map when I formatted the drive, which is supposedly only good for using as a bootable system drive for PowerPC Macs. Leopard, however, will only install (on an Intel Mac) on a drive formatted using the GUID Partition setting, which is designed to be used for boot discs for Intel based Macs. I don't know why my MacBook was working fine till now, but that's how it was.

So basically, I had to use CCC to clone my disk again, reformat the drive, and restore it with the clone, and finally after that, I got to upgrade to Leopard. You can check the partition scheme by going into Disk Utilities, clicking on the hard drive (NOT the partition under it) and clicking Get Info.
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10.5: Enable the root user System 10.5
Open Directory Utility located in Application » Utilities. You may have to unlock Directory Utility to make changes. Once it's unlocked, go to Edit » Enable Root User, and then type in a password for your root user.

Voila, you can now use the root user, and the 'Other Users' option now shows up on the login window.

[robg adds: Insert standard root user warning here -- it's dangerous, you can easily clobber your system, etc. I haven't ever really needed root in 10.4, though when I wanted to test root in 10.5, I had to "root around" for how to do it, so I thought a reference here was worthwhile.]
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10.5: Set different modifier keys for external keyboards System 10.5
I use a PC keyboard to go with my MacBook at home, which is fine until I need to use a keyboard shortcut that starts with Command. Then I sometimes get pretty confused figuring out just where the Command key is.

In Leopard, I can set different Modifier Keys for different keyboards, so I remap ALT to Command and WIN to Option on my PC keyboard. Here's how:
  1. Plug in a external keyboard to your Mac
  2. Go to System Preferences and open the Keyboard & Mouse pane
  3. Click Modifier Keys under the Keyboard tab
  4. Select External Keyboard, and change the modifier keys
End of confusion!
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10.5: Ease restore from Time Machine System 10.5
Time Machine backups are not bootable and require the Install DVD to serve as a restore. And you don't always have that disk handy. So just partition your Time Machine backup drive and copy the Install DVD to the first partition! This way, your data and the way to restore it stay together.

The easiest way to do so remains SuperDuper!. Be sure to give the DVD's name to the destination partition.

[robg adds: Disk Utility will also do this, as will CarbonCopyCloner 3.]
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