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]
Option-click to Hide Apps Quickly
This trick has been available in the Mac OS for years, but many people still don't know it. If you have too many windows cluttering up your screen, you can hide specific ones easily as you work. When you're in any application, hold down the Option key and click on another app's window, on the Dock, or in the Finder to switch to that other app and simultaneously hide all the windows in the previously current app.