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]
Keyboard-based Dock Navigation
If you're a fan of keyboard shortcuts and navigation, you may want try accessing the Dock from your keyboard. Press Control-F3 to enter the Dock's keyboard access mode. Then you can press a letter corresponding with an item's name to select it; press Return to open it, Command-Q to quit the selected application, or Escape to exit keyboard access mode. You can also use the arrow keys, Tab key, and other keyboard navigation keys to toggle between the Dock items.
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