Mac OS X Questions

When I was new to the exciting world of Mac OS X, I created this page of questions that I had about Mac OS X. Since then I've found some of the answers and people have been kind enough to send me some answers. So, even though I'm no longer new to OS X, I figure I should leave this page here with those answers as a community service.

Unfortunately, I still finding the Mac OS X experience to be very frustrating despite my familiarity with UNIX™ and Linux and my early exposure to the Xerox Star and Apple Lisa and now, more than a year of constant use of Mac OS X. The following is a list of questions, peeves and misunderstandings that I've run into and a few answers. If you're an expert, feel free to pass on the asnwer to any of the unanswered questions or any refinement on answered ones and I'll post it under the question. I've tried to be as accurate as possible here, but if some of my bold statements are wrong then please forgive my ignroance and let me know so I can correct the page.

Questions that I have been lucky enough to find the answer for are gray'ed out and the solutions should be indicated by a Small Happy Face happy face icon

How do I...


  1. start up a second copy of an already running application, but as root?
  2. add to the effective host table?
  3. execute a .app?
  4. record Text-To-Speech as a .wav file?
  5. set the monitor power/sleep button to put just the display to sleep and not my machine?
  6. Set the monitor and CPU power button lights to not be so bright that they cast shadows at night? It would be really nice if I couldn't see the pulsing of the computer under the desk in my dining room from my bedroom, even when the door is shut!
  7. get OmniOutliner to recognize .scriptSuite files?
  8. get the pointer back when it's been "lost"?
  9. add root to the login window?
  10. set an image's icon to a thumbnail of the image?
  11. set all folders except the actual desktop to show hidden files?
  12. stop a finder network search? (eg: did a finder - lookup server - nfs://, and the finder spinning colour icon appeared and stayed for an inordinate amout of time.)
  13. remove a Quicktime icon that I don't want any more (eg: techTV)?
  14. get more of those auto releasing cable ties that came with the monitor cable?
  15. wake on LAN?

Application Specific

  1. Spaces
    1. Open multiple windows of an application in different views?
      • for example, if you have multiple Mozilla windows open in one view, then switch to another view and try to open just one of those Mozilla windows, then you will get them all. There doesn't seem to be a way to get it to open just one window in a particular view.
  2. Adobe Acrobat Reader
    1. keep it from opening up the window (as opposed to the document view) maximized?
    2. Get it to work right with the cinema HD format monitor.

Peeves, Problems and Suggesions for Improvement


  1. Shouldn't have to pay for Jaguar!!!
  2. Java
  3. Inadequate back-up software
  4. Can't size windows bigger than the screen limits.
  5. Wake-up with brightness button breaks sleep!
  6. Help really needs some more work.
  7. Pop-up dialogs are attached to the title bar of the app and can obscure information that is required
  8. Middle Mouse button scroll is great, but doesn't work everywhere that it should.
  9. Where's the tutorial?
  10. Where's the "Missing Manual"?
  11. The help key doesn't do anything. It should.

Application Specific

  1. Sherlock
    1. Doesn't find files I KNOW are there! (eg: tcsh.defaults -- in /usr/share/init/tcsh, though Sherlock won't say so.)
  2. Qicktime Player
    1. TechTV is no longer available, but I can't figure out how to delete it from the list of icons on the main page.
    2. Dragging a playing window that is streaming a live broadcast such as the npr stream, is enough to lock up the streaming.
  3. Eskape's MyTV (Version 0.1b)
    1. Audio is right channel only!
    2. Suffers from timing difference between video and audio when using iMic, but not as bad as with the 0.3a version
    3. Needs a mechanism to prevent sleep and screen locking.
    4. Doesn't survive system sleep
      • Version 0.1b causes a kernel trap!!! This locks up the system.
      • EskapeTV cannot find the MyTV device again after that. Have to disconnect and re-connect MyTV device before it will work again.
    5. Full-screen mode doesn't show image as large as possible on 1900x1290 display.
    6. Needs to be able to show letterbox programs even larger so that they will work well with the Apple Cinema HD Displays.
    7. Needs more extensive keyboard commands to make it easier to integrate with the Keyspan Digital Media Remote
    8. Minimized view should show TV screen -- active
    9. About EskapeTV menu item doesn't work
      • Makes it hard to be sure I've got the right version installed
  4. tinkertool
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