Avoid Current Firmware Updates -- Apple's just-released firmware updates (4.1.7 and 4.1.8) for recent iMacs, plus the iBook, G4 Cube, Power Mac G4, and PowerBooks with FireWire ports have caused much gnashing of teeth. The firmware updates, which were released both on the Internet and on the Mac OS 9.1 CD-ROMs that come with Mac OS X, claim to make improvements to FireWire target disk mode, network booting, gigabit Ethernet networking, and overall stability. They also enable password protection of Open Firmware booting to increase the security of Mac OS X (which can protect its files via user privileges, but can't do so when booted from Mac OS 9). The significant problem with these firmware updates is that something in them can prevent the Mac from recognizing some RAM modules from third party vendors. Apple has yet to make an official statement about the situation. Our advice: don't install these firmware updates until there's word from Apple. [ACE]
Avoid Simple Typos
If, like me, you find yourself typing 2911 in place of 2011 entirely too often, you can have Mac OS X (either Lion or Snow Leopard) fix such typos for you automatically. Just open the Language & Text pane of System Preferences, click the Text button at the top, and then add a text substitution by clicking the + button underneath the list. It won't work everywhere (for that you'll want a utility like Smile's TextExpander), but it should work in applications like Pages and TextEdit, and in Save dialog boxes.