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OS X settings, apps and tweaks that make life better - Joseph Duchesne - Apr 13, 2007 11:39 AM

I was playing around with system prefs today and I checked "use smooth scrolling" in Appearance. At first I had no idea what it was but then I clicked the scrollbar in safari. What a world of difference. Finally, an easy way to read massive threads on slashdot.

I also use Quicksilver. Impossible to explain, but it feels like having a computer that reads thoughts when used. Or at least it feels like having a computer that doesn't understand you when it's not installed after you use it for a few months.

And recently I tried out xGestures. I have very few gestures and all of them are for the websites which I follow a little too closely. S for slashdot etc. I have it set to the scroll ball on my Mighty Mouse (I still want a logitech for gaming but I'm used to this one now). Click the scroll ball, draw an S, *boom* slashdot pops up. Nifty. I may even pay the $5 when my demo runs out. I've payed more for less.

I was wondering what other seemingly simple things people have found that make the "mac experience" that everyone raves about all the better?

(oh, and is there any way to do multi-screens ala unix/linux where you have emulated full screen terminals like alt-f1 to f6 on Ubuntu. I really enjoy the geekyness of that feature.)


OS X settings, apps and tweaks that make life better - unknown - Apr 13, 2007 11:56 AM

Dunno about "making my life better" but I like to be able to select some files, right click and put them in a new folder.
http://fax.twilightcoders.net/files/MoveSelectedItemsToNewFolder.zip


OS X settings, apps and tweaks that make life better - maximile - Apr 13, 2007 12:52 PM

Wow... I spent a few hours a few weeks ago trying to do something like that. I'm an AppleScript noob, so it was an ugly thing, but I finally got it to work. I sent it to everyone on my IM who I thought would be interested. Then I ran it once more, and all of a sudden everything on my Desktop had gone. Gone for good.

Luckily no one else had run it, and nothing on my Desktop was too important, but I haven't done any AppleScripting since.

Anyway, yours looks awesome. And I also love Quicksilver.


OS X settings, apps and tweaks that make life better - Marjock - Apr 13, 2007 01:43 PM

For a while there I couldn't live without Virtue, which is a Desktop Manager allowing you to have multiple desktops that you can switch between, thus keeping the configuration of all of, for example, your coding windows in tact, when you want to switch to web-surfing or IMing for a while.

I also use Quicksilver. Who uses it for more than just typing in either an application name or a filename and banging return to open, out of interest?

Care to explain to me what Smooth Scrolling does? Maybe I'm blind, but I wasn't really noticing a difference.

Checking out xgestures now...

-Mark


OS X settings, apps and tweaks that make life better - PowerMacX - Apr 13, 2007 03:13 PM

A couple of SIMBL plugins (aka Input Managers):
megazoomer (really useful for Mail on a MacBook) and ForgetMeNot - I couldn't live without cmd-z = unclose tab in Safari now!


OS X settings, apps and tweaks that make life better - Skorche - Apr 13, 2007 03:41 PM

Smooth scrolling animates the scrolling process. Scrolling down a page, or a tick, makes it take several scrolling steps instead of just one.

I'm not really a fan of it myself. It just seems to make it less responsive for me.


OS X settings, apps and tweaks that make life better - Joseph Duchesne - Apr 13, 2007 04:33 PM

Smooth scrolling make what I'm reading seem more coherant to me. It's probably just me. To see what I mean get a really long thread:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=296020
and click the scroll bar below the blue segment once or twice on a fast mac. You'll get a nice logarithmic slide.


OS X settings, apps and tweaks that make life better - Leroy - Apr 14, 2007 03:41 PM

Just thought I'd slip this in, do not under any circumstances download and install ApplicationEnhancer, ShapeShifter, CandyBar, MightyMouse, or any of those other interface apps.


OS X settings, apps and tweaks that make life better - PowerMacX - Apr 14, 2007 04:28 PM

Input Managers a standard part of the OS (well, maybe not anymore in Leopard, at least according to ArsTechnica), SIMBL simply makes it easier to target specific applications (otherwise I.M. modules load for all Cocoa apps).


OS X settings, apps and tweaks that make life better - Marjock - Apr 14, 2007 07:51 PM

Leroy Wrote:Just thought I'd slip this in, do not under any circumstances download and install ApplicationEnhancer, ShapeShifter, CandyBar, MightyMouse, or any of those other interface apps.

Why?

Also, for those of you using xGestures, I think I should point out that there is a plug-in for Quicksilver called Abracadabra, which allows you to use mouse gestures with Quicksilver triggers. For me, this sounds much nicer. Haven't actually played with it yet, only just heard of it.

-Mark

ETA: Yep, Quicksilver/Abracadabra gestures are nice. Prettier than xGestures, too.


OS X settings, apps and tweaks that make life better - Leroy - Apr 14, 2007 09:53 PM

Marjock Wrote:Why?

I'm not sure if it's the combination of candybar and shapeshifter, but they can cause severe damage to your disk permissions, and thus result in such catastrophies as locking you out of your account, forcing you to reinstall os x, and resulting in the loss of all of your private data(as happened in my case, not once, not on a single computer, but twice, on two seperate computers, under two seperate 10.4 revisions).


OS X settings, apps and tweaks that make life better - PowerMacX - Apr 15, 2007 07:49 AM

Leroy Wrote:I'm not sure if it's the combination of candybar and shapeshifter, but they can cause severe damage to your disk permissions, and thus result in such catastrophies as locking you out of your account, forcing you to reinstall os x, and resulting in the loss of all of your private data(as happened in my case, not once, not on a single computer, but twice, on two seperate computers, under two seperate 10.4 revisions).

It would have been funnier if you had said, in your original post:
"Just thought I'd slip this in, do not under any circumstances download and install the catastrophic-data-erasing app [x]... a third time"
Smile

Well, in case you eventually fall for those apps again Wink a couple of tips:
- Start up in single user mode, you should be able to access everything from there
- Don't use the administrator account as your regular account


OS X settings, apps and tweaks that make life better - Nevada - Apr 16, 2007 10:17 AM

Anyone ever heard of the Dvorak keyboard layout? I just switched recently so I can touch type in both QWERTY and Dvorak, and I must say that it seems much more comfortable, and with a little practice, I can tell it will be much faster than QWERTY. QWERTY was invented around in the days of the typewriter to address the issue of keys sticking when you type too quickly--it was actually designed to slow you down. Obviously we don't have to worry about that anymore in the days of the computer, but evidently, it was too much trouble to retrain typists so QWERTY stuck. I would encourage those who have the time to learn a new layout to try it out. A few weeks of slow typing is worth the long term benefits of faster typing and comfort... Just a suggestion...


OS X settings, apps and tweaks that make life better - Skorche - Apr 16, 2007 12:22 PM

I wouldn't be so sure about the "QWERTY is meant to slow you down" bit. It seems nobody really knows the truth about that anymore.

However, I've been using DVORAK for two years now. I really like it as it's a lot easier on my hands. I've certainly noticed the difference. It hasn't improved my typing skill that much though. My real problem is that my brain isn't fast enough to type more than 80wpm. Sad The real bummer is that you have to remember to change the layout before launching most video games, or redo all the keys.

Also, make sure that you use QWERTY once in a while, or it will go away. I can only hit 20 wpm on it now. It can be kind of awkward when it's non-trivial to change the layout quickly.

edit: Oh, I'd like to point out that switching isn't really that hard. I spent an hour a day for a week over a school break. By the end of the week, I could type a comfortable 40 wpm. It didn't take long after that to feel that I had matched my QWERTY skills.


OS X settings, apps and tweaks that make life better - Nevada - Apr 16, 2007 04:16 PM

Yeah. I switch off every now and then to keep QWERTY up to speed. Oddly enough, I learned Dvorak over my week off of school as well...