Mac OS X

Mac OS X is a Unix-based operating system that competes with Windows. Here's a list of software and one-time procedures for Mac OS X that will make your computer work better or look purtier.


Dashboard Widgets

See Dashboard Widgets


Synergy is a neat little program for controlling iTunes while another program is in the foreground. For example, you can configure it so that pressing Cmd-right goes to the next track. In addition, it displays a translucent pane with information about the tune that's starting to play. The full version of the program will set you back five euros.

More info:


LaunchBar is a way of life. Hit Cmd-space and start typing the name of a program, document, folder, URL you've visited, or a song, and it brings up a list of matches almost instantaneously (even faster than Spotlight). You can use it to find and play songs quickly and navigate folders. It even "learns" the keyboard combinations you use to launch particular program; for example, you can train it to launch Firefox whenever you press Cmd-space then "F" then return. LaunchBar is shareware.

More info:


Quicksilver is a more configurable and extensible application similar to Launchbar. It also has sweet visual effects and it is FREE.


Namely is exclusively an application launcher and is a lighter weight alternative to LaunchBar or Quicksilver. It is also FREE.


GeekTool is also a way of life, in addition to being a nice Dashboard replacement. It provides a System Preferences Pane for displaying information on your desktop. It can run and display the output of anything (non-interactive) you can run on the command line. For instance, I have it displaying the output of cal, uptime, a script that grabs my IPs, and a todo file. You set a window size, location, and refresh time for shell scripts. You can also display a file or image...

Unfortunately the current version doesn't support Tiger fully. There is an unofficial version which does, available here: JAW Software

See also: MacGeekery Post on GeekTool

Delicious Library

See Delicious Library.


DarwinPorts is a package manager for automatically downloading and installing a lot of useful programs, mostly command line programs. If you're used to Linux, you will find DarwinPorts absolutely essential.

Apple Mail

See Apple Mail.


Full keyboard access

If you're not a big fan of the mouse, consider flipping on "Full keyboard access." This means you can use the tab key to focus buttons and panes, not just text fields. In Tiger, go to System Preferences -> Keyboard & Mouse -> Keyboard Shortcuts and select "All controls" at the bottom; or press ^F7 (Control-F7) to toggle this setting.

Kill the Dashboard

If you never use the Dashboard in Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger), don't be afraid to kill it. Open a command line and type:

 defaults write mcx-disabled -boolean YES
 killall Dock

If you ever want to get it back, type:

 defaults write mcx-disabled -boolean NO
 killall Dock

Courtesy [1]

Connect to a PC

  1. Go to the Finder.
  2. Select Go -> Connect to Server... (or Command-K if you're a badass)
  3. If you want to connect to \\firecat, type "smb://firecat". Click the + button if you want this address remembered.
  4. Click Connect.
  5. It'll ask for a username and password. Type GUEST for the user name, and leave the password blank.