23 February 2009

Exposé (Or Lack Thereof) in Boot Camp

When in Boot Camp (also, for me, VMWare seeing the Boot Camp Partition) the Exposé buttons, (the buttons to either side of the Mighty Mouse) function by default as a browser back button. Since I have a habit of squeezing these, it is really rather annoying when your browser keeps jumping backwards on you. However, I did find this little programme called X-Mouse Button Control that allows you to disable that (and really customise your mouse to no end). Just another little Freeware programme that everyone should know about.

X-Mouse Button Control

22 February 2009

A Few Finder Tips

Here's some Finder tips that everyone should know. Some of them I feel stupid about for not discovering earlier, some of them are obvious, some redundant, but most all are helpful.

1. Icon View Sorting
When one views the finder window in icon view, it is helpful for sorting photos. However, when you start copying items into the folder or accidentally (or purposely) dragging the files around, it can get messy (and seriously bother one's OCD). However, there is a fix. Hit Command + A (to highlight all of the files) and then in the OS X toolbar click View -> Clean Up Selection. Voilà, all of the files will snap to a nice grid and be arranged!

2. Some File-Moving and Navigation Tips
You probably already know that when you hover a file over a folder it opens the folder (this is "spring-loaded folder" which is enabled by default). However, this can be shortened two ways: the first is to hit the spacebar when hovering over a folder, which will open it immediately; the second is to change the time the folder waits to "spring" in Finder's preferences. You can also press Escape to sop the file move before it occurs.

3. The Finder Toolbar
If you have certain programmes, files, or folders that you like to access on a regular basis, you can drag the file, folder, or programme into the finder toolbar (in the window itself, not the OS X toolbar) and hover it there for a second until the + sign comes up and allows you to add it. You can hold Command and drag the file/folder/programme off of the toolbar to remove it, and can right click (or control click) on the toolbar to mess with further options.

4. Finder Path Bar
This gives the option to see the file path of the folder you are currently in at the bottom of the Finder window. The added bonus is that you can click and drag a file into any of the listed folders to move it higher in the hierarchy and can double-click any of the listed folders to view it. To enable this, click View -> Show Path Bar at the top (OS X) toolbar.

5. Finder's Proxy Icons
The little folder icon you see at the top of a Finder window, next to the title, can be right-clicked (control-clicked) to view the file path to the folder you are currently viewing. (This is somewhat redundant to tip #4.) You can click any of the folders listed there to jump to it, or hold command while clicking it to open that folder in a new Finder window.

6. Arrow Key Navigation
As most of you probably know, you can use the arrow keys to navigate around finder (as well as the alpha keys to jump to files). The arrow key navigation is rather self-explanatory and intuitive, so I won't go into too much detail. The only real trick in this one is Spacebar (for Quick Look) when any object is highlighted, and Command + Down Arrow to open a file or folder.

A Few Firefox Add-Ons

A few Firefox Add-Ons I have been toying with lately:

Google Preview
Tab Mix Plus

Google Preview
This is a little tool that shows you a screenshot of the webpage in your Google search results. It slows down the page load a bit, but the added convenience of this is, in my opinion, worth it. It is quite likely I will change my mind later, but for now, it stays.

Tab Mix Plus
Tab Mix Plus is to tabs as Onyx is to OS X or TweakUI is to Windows XP. It allows you to tweak, edit, customise, and otherwise tinker with your Firefix tabs. Some of its default settings are downright awful, but once you get in and explore the options (and, of course, meddle with them) it proves quite useful.

This one I remain somewhat ambiguous/undecided upon. It goes in your search bar to the right of the address bar and provides suggestions for your search. It defaults to Yahoo, but can be set to Google (which is my personal preference). I have not found it all that useful yet, but it is a nicely polished little add-on that has a pleasing visual interface.

21 February 2009

Audio Issues in iDVD Menus

Whilst creating a DVD with iDVD, I encountered an issue. When I added music to the audio tracks, the submenus would play the files just fine, while the main (title) window would not.

A quick forum search at Apple Support Discussions led me to find that the problem was most likely due to the audio track being muted without one's knowing it. The solution: remove all the files so that one can see the audio file drop box in the menu inspector; if there are no waves coming out of it, that means it is muted and should be able to be fixed by simply clicking the speaker icon.

However, in some themes seem to have problems with this. The solution beyond this gets slightly more complicated. When you save the iDVD project, it creates a .dvdproj file, which is a file containing resources. Right click this file, and click "Show Package Contents," which brings up the contents of this file. Under this you follow Contents -> Resources -> Project Data and open that file. (If you have the Apple Developer's Tools, you have the XML reader so that you can view and edit this much easier.)

In the Property List Editor, find the section labelled "Doom of Fate Jump Targets." Under this, there are several random-looking strings of numbers and letters, and under one of these will be the menu with muted audio. There is a selection labelled "Menu Audio Muted" which will read "Yes," and should be changed to "No."

Save the file, reopen your iDVD project, and it should be fixed! I tried it while the project was still open, and thus it did not work the first time for me. If it doesn't work the first time, try saving and quitting iDVD, editing the file, and then reopening it.