This is a page full of changes, additions, programs, and preferences that I like to often set on my mac platforms. Refer to it when you get a new mac, or have recently reinstalled the OS.

Cool Mac programs

Duhs - You have to have these

  • Safari or Firefox - Interweb :-) ; free open source
  • Apple Mail or Thunderbird - email galore; free open source
  • VLC - plays all movies; free open source; thought now I use Plex
  • Dropbox - Cloud file system, synced everywhere you go

Everything else

  • Firefox Add-ons
    • Lazarus: Form Recovery; free / donationware
    • Firebug - HTML DOM viewer / editor
  • Clipboard integration
    • Jumpcut - KISS - Nothing beats it yet for simple text clipboard mgmt
    • Clyppan
  • iTerm - terminal / shell client for mac - nothings beats it
  • Mercury Mover - Sizes and moves windows with keyboard; no more constant mouse dragging
  • Image editing - Photoshop rules, but takes too long to load for little repairs; Here are alternatives:
    • Acorn; free and commercial - Absolutely the best
    • LiveQuartz; free
    • Doubletake; panorama stitcher, pay
    • Seashore; free
    • Chocoflop; free
  • UnRarX - RAR utility; free open source
  • Transmit - sFTP, FTP, etc, really fast; pay
  • SwitchResX - use non-standard resolutions; free
  • DashQuit - shows dashboard-widget ram usage and allows you to stop dashboard; free
  • CD Burning
    • LiquidCD - cd burning app, also opens images .iso, .toast; free
    • Burn - same as above
  • Parallels - Win XP on mac intel; pay
    • Microsoft Virtual PC - win xp on a power pc; pay
  • OnyX - Preventive system maintenance for OS X; free


  • Spotlight search speediness / usefulness
    • Following treats spotlight more as a application launcher, than search
    • System Preferences > Spotlight > uncheck all but ‘Applications’ and ‘System Preferences’

Tabbing between fields doesn't work

  • In firefox, you must correctly set the tabFocus option.
  • You can set the OS X keyboard focus option
    • Go to System Preferences > Keyboard & Mouse > Keyboard Shortcuts tab
    • Under ‘Full keyboard access:’, select All Controls

Various preferences

  • Turn on Text to Speech
    • Turn on System Preferences > Speech > Text to Speech > Speek selected text...
    • Command+Control+S for keyboard shortcut
  • Turn on Apple Screen Zoom
    • System Preferences > Universal Access > Zoom On
  • Show server icons on desktop
    • Finder > Preferences > General > select “Connected servers”

Sleep vs Hibernation

To easily switch between sleep and hibernation enter the following commands:

Hibernate On
sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 1

Normal Sleep
sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0

Weird Mode - save to disk but use RAM if possible. If you lose power you are not dead in the water, but if you are powered up it is still fast.
sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 3

Show settings
pmset -g


Puts key components off, but keeps RAM in RAM and power to many components.


Saves RAM to HDD and turns off entire computer. When it boots back up, it loads the RAM image from disk and you start from where you were.

technology/mac/customizations.txt · Last modified: 07.26.2010 12:56 by
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