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10.6: Lock the screen via a keyboard shortcut System 10.6
When I step away from my Mac at work, I want a quick way to lock the screen, and hitting a hot-corner with the mouse is problematic for me. This hint details how to lock the screen from the keyboard by using Automator to build a Service in Snow Leopard.

First, check the General tab on the Security System Preferences panel to ensure that the Require password [some period] after sleep or screen saver begins box is checked.

Then, open Automator in the Applications folder, and select Service from the screen that appears. At the top of the new Service's actions, in the Service receives drop-down, select no input from the options. Make sure that any application is selected in the second drop-down.

Add the Start Screensaver action (in the Utilities group of actions) to the Service by dragging it to the right. Save the Service (Automator does not ask you where to save it, just to name it). Next, open System Preferences and select the Keyboard preference pane. Select the Keyboard Shortcuts tab at the top, then the Services group on the left. The service you created should be near the bottom of the list of Services under the General disclosure triangle.
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10.6: Avoid relaunching System Preferences in 32-bit mode System 10.6
If you are like me, you have quite a few 3rd party System Preferences panes installed. In 10.6, if any of them are 32-bit panels (in my case, that's most of them), then you need to re-launch System Preferences in 32-bit mode to load them. I was getting bored of this and discovered a very simple workaround.

Select System Preferences in the Finder, select File » Get Info (Command-I), and tick the 'Open in 32-bit mode' checkbox. Job done.

I have not seen any problems using the Apple-provided panes in 32-bit mode. This simple trick will help any applications which are not fully 64-bit, particularly people who have a 64-bit app with 32-bit plug-ins, as described in this hint.
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10.6: Replace Exposť's blue 'glow' outline effect System 10.6
If you dislike the blue glow around Exposť windows in Snow Leopard, here's a simple fix.

Go to System » Library » Core services » Dock » (Control-click and choose Show Package Contents) » Contents » Resources. There you will find two files: expose-window-selection-big.png (for normal windows) and expose-window-selection-small.png (for minimized windows below the horizontal line).

If you change the color of these pictures in some image-editing program that preserves transparency, it will change the color of the 'glow' effect. Tip: To me, it looks the best if you use white, but pick whatever you like.

[robg adds: While this works, note that it breaks code signing on the Dock. This may or may not cause problems -- technically, I believe it means that the Dock no longer has access to anything in the keychain. Whether or not the Dock needs such access, I don't really know. But I tested this, and with the modified resources, code signing on the Dock is definitely broken. More info on code signing.]
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10.6: Fix a possible Snow Leopard/Boot Camp install issue System 10.6
Snow Leopard is here, so I thought I would install on a few machines to get a feel for the issues/problems before trying to deploy.

Two out of the five machines I tried would not allow the install to take place. Curious indeed, as all machines were pretty much identical, or so I thought. After going through my notes, I realized that these two machines had Boot Camp installed ages ago, so a partition had been added and then removed.

As such, the partition map was not allowing the install. To correct this, I used Disk Utility. I highlighted the main boot drive, clicked on the Partition tab, and then moved the partition line and moved it back to its original size. I then clicked Apply, and effectively the partition map was rewritten.

After that, the installs worked as expected.
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10.6: Automatically set time zone by location System 10.6
In 10.6 you can let Mac OS set the time zone automatically. Open the Time & Date System Preferences panel, and select the "Set time zone automatically by location" option.

This works using CoreLocation, just like the iPhone. Even though it's just an option, I thought I'd post it because people probably don't use the time zone settings very often.
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10.6: Address Book 'negative' groups can cause issues System 10.6
After what appeared to be my straight-forward upgrade, I found my Address Book reported no content and then froze -- requiring a Force Quit. When I launched Mail, initially it would open looking normal, but then it, too, would freeze. (Note: Once the problem with Address Book was solved, Mail was then OK.)

For me, after several hours working with AppleCare technicians, the cause turned out to be that my Address Book under v10.5.8 included a Smart Group with a negative condition (i.e., "Card is not a member of any group"). This was the only Smart Group I had created. The AppleCare technician ultimately found a report that such Smart Groups are not being handled properly during the upgrade.

I had done a SuperDuper! clone (on an external hard drive) of my MacBook Pro immediately before doing the upgrade. With the AppleCare technician pointing the way, I rebooted into Leopard from that external hard drive, launched Address Book, and deleted the Smart Group. I then copied the ~/Library » Application Support » AddressBook folder from the external hard drive (after adjusting Permissions, as needed) to the comparable location on my MacBook Pro once it was rebooted from its internal hard drive in Snow Leopard. But I wasn't out of the woods quite yet. Address Book would now launch, but it still claimed no cards existed. (There were, however, the proper 5,000+ cards in the Metadata folder within that AddressBook folder.)
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10.6: Set precise screensaver password activation delay System 10.6
One of the new features in Snow Leopard is that you can set a delay before the password is activated for your screensaver/wake from sleep. This is helpful because I had my password disabled previously, since I didn't want to enter it in all the time. However, the only options for the delay are: Immediately, 5 Seconds, 1 Minute, 5 Minutes, 15 Minutes, 1 Hour, 4 Hours.

For me, 15 minutes is too short and 1 hour is too long: I want 30 minutes. Fortunately, there is a way around this -- a simple Terminal command. The Terminal command is:
defaults -currentHost write com.apple.screensaver askForPasswordDelay -int 1800
To set it to however long you like, edit the last item (1800, which is 30 minutes * 60 seconds/minute) to the desired delay in seconds. Copy and paste the command into Terminal, change the time limit, and hit Return. Now, all you have to do is log out and back in again and you're good to go!

Note that this hint originally appeared here.
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10.6: Quick Look windows while using Exposť System 10.6
I was playing around with Exposť in Snow Leopard, because I really like the new algorithm (or whatever they did to change it to make it look better).

I had my cursor hovering over a window and I hit the Space Bar, and the window zoomed up, just like using Quick Look on a document in Finder. This also works when using the arrow keys to select the windows.

I can see the benefits of this for if you have a lot of small windows that look the same, or if you just want to take a quick glance at a window before proceeding to another one.
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10.6: Enable autoplay of movies in QuickTime Player System 10.6
As most people are probably aware, the new QuickTime X Player in Snow Leopard has no preferences. One of the preferences I greatly missed was to automatically start playing a movie when it was opened.

Well I'm happy to say you can re-enable that behavior with the following Terminal command:
defaults write com.apple.QuickTimePlayerX MGPlayMovieOnOpen 1
The movie will now start when opened without you having to press the Play button.
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10.6: A fix for mouse button assignments not sticking System 10.6
After upgrading to Snow Leopard, I had issues with assigning Exposť and Dashboard to extra mouse buttons: I could assign them in the System Preferences panel, but some would not work.

I have found the solution in this Apple Discussions thread: you need to delete ~/Library » Preferences » com.apple.symbolichotkeys.plist, then log out and back in again.

This fixed the issue for myself, as well as others in the linked discussion.
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