UI mods you can't live without?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by crenz, Apr 9, 2004.

  1. crenz macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2003
    Shanghai, China
    I had to reinstall my PowerBook due to a security update glitch. After that, I noticed how awkward the out-of-the-box Panther configuration feels since I customized the user interface so much in the meantime. So far, I changed these (after a day):

    • Install SideTrack so I can scroll and control Exposé by tapping on the trackpad
    • Change access keys for Exposé (to F11 and F12)
    • Install Wacom tablet drivers, make middle mouse button trigger Exposé
    • Install Desktop Manager for virtual desktops
    • Install Quicksilver for fast access to apps, contacts and bookmarks
    • Install Peripheral Vision to show USB/Firewire/... device mounts/unmounts
    • Move dock to right side instead of bottom. Still have to tweak it to be bottom-aligned instead of in the middle (forgot the name of the app to do it)
    • Still have to retrieve my desktop images from my backup
    • Install MenuMeters so I see the network traffic

    Some of these have become very strong habits. When using other Macs running Jaguar or PCs, I get quite irritated when there's a lot of windows and I can't use Exposé (I usually push the mouse to the top left corner to reveal the desktop and then wonder why nothing is happening :p), or when I connect a USB device and there's no visual feedback. The funny thing is: When I first installed Panther, I felt Exposé is funky, but rather useless :)

    So what UI mods can't you live without?
  2. Giaguara macrumors 6502a

    Nov 22, 2002
    i can live without the GUI.

    i dont need the urge to force modify macs look. i have normally jsut a bunch of custom icons, thats it
  3. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    when i installed Gentoo you only get a text interface... and i actually quite liked that. :) nice and refreshing for a change. but since then i've done away with all the extra GUI stuff (at least as much as i can) like Konfabulator etc.

    i do like GeekTool though because it just displays text on your desktop. but i also find MenuMeters useful. i've got DesktopManager as well, but haven't touched that in a while.

    i used to have SideTrack, i'll have to get that again, but i hardly use the trackpad anymore since i've almost always got a mouse with me.

    i thought about changing the position of the Dock, but i tried it and it just seemed awkward to me.

    i've also got ShapeShifter with the Eylo theme currently installed. the only problem is that in some parts of windows there's light blue text on a white background and it's quite unreadable. so i might change to the MacOS XP theme soon. :D

    i'll try out Quicksilver as well. i last tried LaunchBar, but i haven't used it since. my all time favourite (and most used 'lauching' app) is DragThing. i just love the way the drawers come out. my Dock is getting a bit massive, so i might look into a laucher.

    i've also got some fun apps that i play with sometimes... there's one that leaves a trail wherever your mouse goes, kinda cool. and there's one that removes the icons from all the items on your Desktop, leaving just the names. i used to run a screensaver as my wallpaper as well, but haven't touched that one in a while. doesn't go too well when you're trying to work in Photoshop and other apps at the same time. :p

    actually, another app i've used recently is X Resource Graph. it's got all sorts of graphs and monitoring things in it.

    there's probably other stuff i've messed around with, but can't remember right now. also, i like seeing what other people use so i can try out new stuff. there's just too much out there to find it all by yourself.
  4. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    no one else uses any apps that aren't mentioned here?

    well i found a neat little iTunes control that sits in your menubar called Synergy. it's pretty good, it's got 'skins' as well.

    there's also an app called MenuCalendar. it displays the date (eg "30") in your menubar, really good because i don't know of any other way to get the actual date in the menubar, only the day. and it has a roll-out calendar, and if you click, it takes you to iCal.

    and i'm sure everyone knows iPulse, the system monitoring tool. well i just found out the other day that you can use 'jackets' to customize the look of the app. i don't know why i never realised that before, but i might try it out now... this might help to add to my complete Matrix style overhaul! :D

    and sorry i didn't link to those apps. but they're easy to find. :)
  5. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    i use transparentdock and menumeters but those are nothing i could not live without.
  6. Frisco macrumors 68020

    Sep 24, 2002
    The only one I can't live without is ClearDock, but I guess that's the same as Transparent Dock mentioned above.
    Once I found out I could have icons in my dock floating freely w/o any background I just couldn't have it any other way. I am surprised Apple hasn't offered this as an option yet.
  7. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    ClearDock. I install that on every Mac I use. The dock is a lot more "Apple" looking when the icons just float there.

    Apart from that I leave the UI alone, except for setting Finder/Dock preferences to my liking.
  8. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    eh, most things wrong with computers today are the mods. I swear, I remember 10.3 coming out and see practically 3/4th of the forum freak out when Panther became glitchy with their made for 10.2 mods. The system default is fine for me.
  9. melchior macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2002
    remember 10.3 coming and see practically 3/4 of the forum freak out when Panther turned their computer into an industrial stainless steel kitchen bench?

    i cannot be bothered mentioning all my mods, because there are so many, but quicksilver is the best launcher there is and i theme my desktop with Milk

    Milk by Max Rudberg. genious. and i have a clear dock as well.
  10. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    Not really a mod, but setting up my screensaver to go through my pictures in always one of my first priorities. I love the OSX screen savers, how the zoom in and out slowly and gracefully. OSX is so classy.

    I also change the dock size and magnifacation. Expose corners as well. Other than that I don't mess around too much. I like don't feel the need to modify other things.
  11. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003

    Wow that's insane. I'd hate to work on any other computer if it didn't have my mods--I hope you have both a Pbook/PMac so you have these both on the road and at home!

    Needless to say, that long list is surprising. I thought people loved OSX for "just working", but again, like anything else in this world, it can be tweaked to be faster, more efficient. Heck, people STILL feel the need to skin. It looks like when I make my jump to OSX, my tweaking will continue (except it will be more likely in S/W, and not hardware).
  12. encro macrumors 6502


    May 6, 2002
    Butler, Peripheral Vision and Salling Clicker.
  13. Awimoway macrumors 65816

    Sep 13, 2002
    at the edge
    Snow.E2 icon set
    Transparent Dock

    I've done a lot of other GUI adjustments in the past, but I've abandoned most of them. I'll theme again when ShapeShifter doesn't turn brushed metal into a flat gray. And Konfabulator got old. It made things cluttered. Panther's Finder enhancements made DockExtender superfluous for me. Sometimes I use Backlight, but not very often.
  14. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    that's not a UI mod... though very useful app and i simply love it :)
  15. Awimoway macrumors 65816

    Sep 13, 2002
    at the edge
    What do you guys get out of it? I have a T68 but I've never even bothered to download Salling Clicker because I never got the concept--a phone that's a remote control for your computer. It just sounds bizarre. But now that my T68 has been replaced by another phone, I'm willing to maybe give it a try just for fun.
  16. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    imagine giving a presentation in front of audience and controlling the slide show with the phone... far more reliable than any infra-red based remote control. and, you can set your computer to enable/disable screen saver when you walk out of the room, locking your computer from others in the office ;) and controlling playlist/volume in itunes, etc.
  17. dvdh macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2004
    Pretty much the only mod that I am running is the quit finder option. This is great because it frees up some extra ram and processor for tough stuff. Another couple of nice perks include that fact that after you quit the finder there is absolutely nothing on your desktop. Additionally, it automatically restarts every time you close all the programs you using.

    Nice touch, easy to do with a little bit of coding change. The instructions can be found by doing a search on google (quit the finder).
  18. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    windowshade and transparent dock.

    windowshade is great. it can make any window transparent but the main thing I like is that you can remove the shadows around windows and menus with it. it still leaves a border so windows don't appear blended together. you would be shocked how much removing the shadows speeds up things.

    I also use the quartz extreme pci hack for radeon cards which is a ui hack I guess since it speeds up the ui :)
  19. phreaker57x macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2003
    New York
    Shapeshifter 1.2 fixes that annoying problem :) They support custom textures in almost any application now. Its great.

    BTW, my own Mac GUI customization needs are all satisfied by the MacNN GUI Central Forums here. . You guys should check it out :D

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