NeXT Computer and NEXTSTEP operating system Tips from GURUS

Started by Rob Blessin Black Hole, December 15, 2015, 08:43:21 am

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Rob Blessin Black Hole

Tip Sheet

Even experienced users may not know some of these shortcuts and helpful hints. Our panel of tipsters: Andrew Stone, Glenn Reid, Greg Cockroft, Dan Lavin,  Simson Garfinkel and Rob Blessin.

1}   Use the Preferences application to add your own keyboard equivalents to different applications and make them work the same way. An example: Make Command-Shift-1 bring up the Inspector panel in every app.
2}Before mailing a WriteNow file, be sure to close it, scroll it to the beginning, and make sure nothing is selected. This avoids a multitude of problems.
3}Customize your system beep to recording your own, placing it in /LocalLibrary/Sounds, and selecting it in the Preferences app.
4}Have all your targets selected in Librarian and save the Bookshelf. That way, when you do a search, it will look in all selected areas.
5} People with poor eyesight can DWRITE terminal NXFixedPitchFontSize 14 and DWRITE terminal NXFIXEDPITCHFONT Ohlfs for a nice readable terminal.
6}Get the Opener app from the archives to automatically open files that have been archived and compressed by UNIX's Tar and Compress commands.
7}Don't put your external microphone too close to your monitor; it causes feedback.
8}Give every floppy disk a different name so that when you insert one into your machine you'll know which one you've inserted.
9}Buy more memory. This is the best investment you can make to upgrade your machine. Stock with 4MB SIMMs or better, the new 8 MB and 16 MB SIMMs.
10}Use the .EDITDICT facility to make keyboard shortcuts for use in Edit. See Edit's user documentation for details.
11} Leave your NeXT machine on at all times and use a screen saver. This puts less stress on your system (and especially your hard drive) than would turning it on and off.
12}Turn up the Key Repeat Rate in Preferences so your cursor keys move you around at a reasonable clip.
13}Save your money: Don't buy surge suppressors for your NeXT. They're built in.
14}    Use 70% isopropyl Alcohol on cotton balls to clean your screen. This preserves the glare coating. Use the same cleaner on the metal rollers of your mouse to keep it tracking smoothly.
15}    If you're dragging-and-dropping, get the window you are dragging from out of the way by hitting Command and the down arrow at the same time.
16}    Triple-clicking most applications highlights the entire line. If you then drag down, your selection advances by lines instead of words. This keeps your selection clean by lines. It goes faster too.
17}   In Terminal you can use the cut and paste UNIX commands to send the output to the NeXT pasteboard and vice versa. That way you can have the output from a UNIX command available to paste into WriteNow or make the text of a mail message the input for a UNIX command.
18}    If you tend to lose track, you can enable pop-up menus and find your cursor very quickly. This is especially useful if you have a NeXTdimension with two screens.
19}   If you have a resizable Shelf as a workspace preference, you can put stuff in it, shrink it again, and then use it like a dresser drawer. Use one for programming, one for projects.
20}    It's truly useful to slide the Dock down out of the way in order to work on document windows, especially in landscape format.
21}   If you're connected to the Net via UUCP, you can detect incoming read receipts by using the UUQ command: UUQ -L to view outgoing messages and UUQ -D to selectively delete them.
22}   Sometimes NeXTmail with no enclosed files shows enclosures due to bolding or underlining. To simplify the message, hit the NeXT Mail button twice to convert it into ASCII and then back into a nice font without messy enclosures.
23}    Large mail messages can take a long time to image. If you want to delete one to avoid clicking it again by mistake, highlight it by Shift-clicking and then delete it.
24}   To save time when copying a large number of files onto floppies, make a folder in your home directory, link the files to it, and then drag the folder onto the floppy.
25}   Leave an opening on your Dock and place a miniaturized Workspace Manager there for easy access.
26}    If you have a color monitor, turn it off when you're finished working - even if you leave your machine on.
27}   If you have an NEC monitor with both BNC and sub-D connectors, you can use it for both a NeXT and a Mac by using a switch to move between platforms.
28}   To copy and paste graphic images, open a Rich Text window (Command-Shift-R) in Edit for the best results.
29}   Use Scott Hess's TimeMon from the archives to track CPU usage, identify bottlenecks in your workflow, and find out when major tasks have finished without watching that window. Keep it on your Dock
 30}  Have FrameMaker (or any other "slow-booter") boot at login, since it takes so long to boot when you need it.
31}   Activate the Archive box in Mail's Preferences so that a copy of all your outgoing mail goes automatically into a special Outgoing.mbox.
32}   When replying to mail, forward the original with it so people won't lose track of the topic after a day or two.
33}   Put an empty window from often-used applications at the bottom of your screen and leave only the title bar showing. You can click on the bar to quickly make the application active.
34} If you go to NeXTLibrary/bookshelves/ chances are you have all the searchable system administration and developer documentation plus Unix mann pages installed drag this  to shelf as it comes in handy !  If not installed you can install it from the original NeXTSTEP CD documentation packages.

Feel free to add to list! Happy Holidays

Rob Blessin President computerpowwow ebay
303-741-9998 Serving the NeXT Community  since 2/9/93