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OS X Optimization and Tweaking

freshmasterfreshfreshmasterfresh Registered User regular
edited February 2007 in Games and Technology
While looking through the Apple downloads page, I'm pretty impressed with all of the free software and shareware available. I just discovered InstantShot , a great screenshot alternative to Grab, and FontExplorer X. I have yet to use FontExplorer, but it seems very promising.

So what's the verdict on application uninstallation programs like AppZapper and CleanApp?

What about optimization, maintenance, and tweaking programs such as Mac Pilot, Cocktail (with or without Update Washer), Deeper, Maintenance, and Onyx?

Share all of your favorite tweaks, optimizations, and neat programs here. Also, if you've changed your theme or just want to share a screenshot of your desktop, please go right ahead, but keep the h-scroll rape to a minimum.

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freshmasterfresh on

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    LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    A lot of those you linked seem fairly unnecessary, unless you have a specific reason to use them. I haven't seen a runaway log file in ages, and permission repair and "optimization" are just zapping the pram for the new age. (Repairing permissions in particular sometimes creates problems, and optimization does nothing that wasn't already taken care of by the "optimizing" stage of a program's installer.) I don't see why you'd need an app uninstaller or update cleaner either (I can't even figure out what the latter is supposed to do) except in very specific situations.

    That said, interface tweaks are always welcome. And as a one-stop-shop for some tweaks and those pram-esque activities (which can for the most part already be done through the command line or other apps included with OS X), Onyx is quite nice. Can't seem to get Deeper to run though... InstantShot is of some interest as well, though it doesn't do much that Shift+Command+3 or 4 don't already do. If you really need power screen capture, Snapz Pro is the way to go.

    LoneIgadzra on
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    freshmasterfreshfreshmasterfresh Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    :shock:


    I had no idea Shift+Command+3 or 4 did that.

    I really need to find more information about OS X. I just know there are other features I'm totally oblivious about.

    freshmasterfresh on
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    doolallydoolally Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I've been using OS X for seven years and am still finding little keyboard tricks. Recently, I learned that if you hold down CTRL and roll your mouse wheel in the entire screen zooms in or out. 8)

    doolally on
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    twmjrtwmjr Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I don't quite agree that programs such as AppZapper are unnecessary. Yes, for the most part, you can delete apps simply by removing them from Applications; however, there are some remnants left behind in other places. Without using something like AppZapper, you either have to track them down or just leave them there. Big deal? No, probably not, but when I uninstall things I usually want them gone.

    As for other tweak programs, I'm personally fond of ShapeShifter from unsanity. It allows you to manipulate the look of OS X via various user created themes.

    twmjr on
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    DarkHawkeDarkHawke Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Tinkertool is worth a lot and also free. Lets you do crazy stuff to the dock, like stick it on the top (which is good if, like me, you don't particularly like it), pin it to different corners of the screen, make hidden apps appear transparent in the dock, that sort of thing. Plus you can edit to the Finder's default fonts and enabling the Safari debug menu.

    Oh, and Mac OS X Hints is great for this sort of thing.

    DarkHawke on
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    Epyon9283Epyon9283 Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I use appdelete since its free.
    http://reggie.ashworth.googlepages.com/appdelete

    A lot of applications that come with an installer put stuff outside of /Applications and most of them never seem to come with an uninstaller...

    I use onyx sometimes for maintenance but I find its not strictly necessary.

    Epyon9283 on
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    Brodo FagginsBrodo Faggins Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    doolally wrote:
    I've been using OS X for seven years and am still finding little keyboard tricks. Recently, I learned that if you hold down CTRL and roll your mouse wheel in the entire screen zooms in or out. 8)

    Another cool trick. Ctrl + Alt + Cmd + 8. My friend was doing a presentation on his powerbook, and ducked under the projector to mess with some wires. I did this keystroke, and he flipped out, thinking that a virus had somehow hit his mac.

    Also, on the topic of themes and shapeshifter, what are some good sites where I can get some skins? I already know of interfacelift.com and deviantart, but where else can I get them?

    Brodo Faggins on
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    Anime OwnsAnime Owns Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Also, on the topic of themes and shapeshifter, what are some good sites where I can get some skins? I already know of interfacelift.com and deviantart, but where else can I get them?

    MacThemes has some good themes. The forum especially is a good place for desktop customization tips.

    Anime Owns on
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    twmjrtwmjr Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Gigglio wrote:
    Also, on the topic of themes and shapeshifter, what are some good sites where I can get some skins? I already know of interfacelift.com and deviantart, but where else can I get them?

    MacThemes has some good themes. The forum especially is a good place for desktop customization tips.

    That's where I get mine from. I usually look around the release news forums for people posting new themes.

    twmjr on
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    LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Epyon9283 wrote:
    I use appdelete since its free.
    http://reggie.ashworth.googlepages.com/appdelete

    A lot of applications that come with an installer put stuff outside of /Applications and most of them never seem to come with an uninstaller...

    I was going to say I've never encountered an App that installed anything of significant import outside its bundle aside from prefs, but then I thought of The Sims 2's monstrous save files, so I'll just say I've encountered very few apps that I would want to do a clean uninstall of. For most they stick a few prefs files in your home folder. Which isn't really a big deal, unless there specifically is a problem with the prefs.

    LoneIgadzra on
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    TheFid2TheFid2 Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    doolally wrote:
    I've been using OS X for seven years and am still finding little keyboard tricks. Recently, I learned that if you hold down CTRL and roll your mouse wheel in the entire screen zooms in or out. 8)

    Another cool trick. Ctrl + Alt + Cmd + 8. My friend was doing a presentation on his powerbook, and ducked under the projector to mess with some wires. I did this keystroke, and he flipped out, thinking that a virus had somehow hit his mac.

    Is there some sort of list or repository of all these cool little commands?

    TheFid2 on
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    PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2007
    TheFid2 wrote:
    doolally wrote:
    I've been using OS X for seven years and am still finding little keyboard tricks. Recently, I learned that if you hold down CTRL and roll your mouse wheel in the entire screen zooms in or out. 8)

    Another cool trick. Ctrl + Alt + Cmd + 8. My friend was doing a presentation on his powerbook, and ducked under the projector to mess with some wires. I did this keystroke, and he flipped out, thinking that a virus had somehow hit his mac.

    Is there some sort of list or repository of all these cool little commands?

    Srsly, someone post a list. I had no idea you could do any of those.

    Pheezer on
    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
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    MarlorMarlor Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Marlor on
    Mario Kart Wii: 1332-8060-5236 (Aaron)
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    monkeypoxmonkeypox Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    pheezer FD wrote:
    TheFid2 wrote:
    Is there some sort of list or repository of all these cool little commands?

    Srsly, someone post a list. I had no idea you could do any of those.

    after you go through marlor's links, you'll also want to look at Keyboard & Mouse/Keyboard Shortcuts under your System Preferences, because you can assign a different shortcut to almost anything.

    monkeypox on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Yeah, I was just gonna say what Monkeypox said -- they're all listed under Keyboard & Mouse. Unfortunately that's pretty much it besides the obvious ones, although knowing how to hide/minimize things via keyboard can be pretty handy.

    Also, I happened upon apple-~ which is tres useful. Everyone knows apple-tab switches between applications, but apple-~ switches between windows. Not all that useful if you don't use multi-window applications, but if you do it's great.

    Apple 1,2,3,etc tends to select tabs for many tabbed programs, the notable exception being safari.

    A lot of features are context specific, which makes exploring fun. For instance, say you want to preview a bunch of images in full-screen, but you don't feel like dealing with Preview? And you haven't loaded them into iPhoto (or don't use iPhoto) but want to show them to poeple? Just highlight them all and right-click, select "Slideshow." Ta da!

    As for optimization re the OP, there really isn't much optimization to do. OS X seems to run just fine using defaults unless you're doing something that's particularly obnoxious. For instance, if you're generating a lot of trash files, adding "delete trash" to your cron jobs could be helpful. For the most part the only thing that tends to get "full" is the user preferences folder, but those are just text files (and tiny at that). They also follow a logical naming convention, so it's far better to simply explore them on your own rather than relying on a program to do it for you.

    I find that programs like Onyx and the like are really great for modifying the basic system features, but stay far away from APE. It tends to create more problems than it "fixes." I used the clearDock haxie for a while but it just created bizarre dock problems down the road. Onyx's little change that allows me to have the dock be right-aligned is perfect for my dual-monitor setup, though.

    EggyToast on
    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
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    MarlorMarlor Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    One optimization I do is to install USB Overdrive (a shareware app), then to bind Expose (F9), Show Desktop (F11), and Next Window (CTRL-F4) to the excess buttons on my MX510 mouse.

    This makes cycling between windows so much easier.

    Marlor on
    Mario Kart Wii: 1332-8060-5236 (Aaron)
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    lordswinglordswing Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Marlor wrote:
    One optimization I do is to install USB Overdrive (a shareware app), then to bind Expose (F9), Show Desktop (F11), and Next Window (CTRL-F4) to the excess buttons on my MX510 mouse.

    This makes cycling between windows so much easier.

    ?? I can do the first two without any extra programs. Macbook+MX518. I'm not certain about the Next Window, as I just use Apple+Tab

    lordswing on
    D2:LoD East -> *FlipPaulHewitt
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    doolally wrote:
    I've been using OS X for seven years and am still finding little keyboard tricks. Recently, I learned that if you hold down CTRL and roll your mouse wheel in the entire screen zooms in or out. 8)

    In the System Settings -> Universal Access menu, you can alter the behavior of that (it follows the Zoom tool for the visually impaired's settings) to only scroll whent the mouse hits the edge of the screen.

    Great for watching web-based video that doesn't go to full screen.

    mcdermott on
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    MarlorMarlor Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    lordswing wrote:
    Marlor wrote:
    One optimization I do is to install USB Overdrive (a shareware app), then to bind Expose (F9), Show Desktop (F11), and Next Window (CTRL-F4) to the excess buttons on my MX510 mouse.

    This makes cycling between windows so much easier.

    ?? I can do the first two without any extra programs. Macbook+MX518. I'm not certain about the Next Window, as I just use Apple+Tab

    Apple-TAB switches through applications, not windows. Ctrl-F4 is like a combination of Apple-TAB and Apple-~.

    It's quite possible that you can map the key combinations to your mouse without USB-Overdrive these days. I bought my license ages ago (mainly for its gamepad functionality) and have just kept using it since it is pretty handy.

    Marlor on
    Mario Kart Wii: 1332-8060-5236 (Aaron)
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    ZackSchillingZackSchilling Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Command-Control-Shift-3/4 sends the screenshot you take to the clipboard instead of creating a file. Then if you paste that into iChat, it auto-converts to a jpeg and you can send it via Direct IM quickly. I use this all the time to do tech support via IM. SImply SHOWING someone what to do is so much easier than trying to type out exactly which set of check boxes they need to click and where.

    ZackSchilling on
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    DarkHawkeDarkHawke Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Apple-and the first letter of a button will select that button in a dialog box.

    So I try and delete a track in iTunes, and I can just hit Cmd-M to select Move to trash straight off, no trackball bullshit necessary.

    DarkHawke on
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    twmjrtwmjr Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Also, for screen caps, hitting the space bar after (not with the other keys) hitting shift-cmd-4 or shift-ctrl-cmd-4 will give you a camera icon to take a shot of a particular window rather than the selection icon.

    twmjr on
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    sabyulsabyul Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    I suppose this is as good a place as any to post this.

    Whenever I try to work with .tar or .bz2 files (or similar) they invariably get all messed up. "An error occurred during the Stuff operation." What should I be doing?

    sabyul on
    http://www.frame-advantage.com - Specializing in high quality fighting game video content
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    sabyul wrote:
    I suppose this is as good a place as any to post this.

    Whenever I try to work with .tar or .bz2 files (or similar) they invariably get all messed up. "An error occurred during the Stuff operation." What should I be doing?

    To be honest? Using the command line.

    Though a little click-and-drag can make for less typing. Open a finder window where you have the tar/bz2 file you want to unzip. Open a terminal window and move to the directory where you want to unzip it. Make sure you can see both windows at once. Then enter the beginning of the command line, and simply drag the file from finder instead of entering the path/filename.

    Sounds more complicated than it is.

    So to open up a .tar, you'd just enter 'tar -xf *drag-from-finder*' Too easy. For .bz2, you'd go with 'bunzip2 *drag-from-finder*'

    For .tar.bz2, I believe you can substitute -xjf and it will do both in one pass. I do know that tar in general can handle bzip (both for compression and decompression), just never had to actually do it.

    mcdermott on
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    BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    mcdermott wrote:
    For .tar.bz2, I believe you can substitute -xjf and it will do both in one pass. I do know that tar in general can handle bzip (both for compression and decompression), just never had to actually do it.
    You can also replace 'j' with 'z' for gzip archives.

    Barrakketh on
    Rollers are red, chargers are blue....omae wa mou shindeiru
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    firesidefireside Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Marlor wrote:
    One optimization I do is to install USB Overdrive (a shareware app), then to bind Expose (F9), Show Desktop (F11), and Next Window (CTRL-F4) to the excess buttons on my MX510 mouse.

    This makes cycling between windows so much easier.
    You don't even need to use USB Overdrive for that. You can do it just fine with the shitty app Logitech gives you.

    fireside on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Barrakketh wrote:
    mcdermott wrote:
    For .tar.bz2, I believe you can substitute -xjf and it will do both in one pass. I do know that tar in general can handle bzip (both for compression and decompression), just never had to actually do it.
    You can also replace 'j' with 'z' for gzip archives.
    You can also get 'unzip' for .zip archives.

    Are there any filetypes that Stuffit handles that aren't easily replaced with a command-line app? 'Cause I'm thinking about just deleting it.

    mcdermott on
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    SenjutsuSenjutsu thot enthusiast Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    mcdermott wrote:
    Barrakketh wrote:
    mcdermott wrote:
    For .tar.bz2, I believe you can substitute -xjf and it will do both in one pass. I do know that tar in general can handle bzip (both for compression and decompression), just never had to actually do it.
    You can also replace 'j' with 'z' for gzip archives.
    You can also get 'unzip' for .zip archives.

    Are there any filetypes that Stuffit handles that aren't easily replaced with a command-line app? 'Cause I'm thinking about just deleting it.
    I don't think there's a command line utility for native .sit stuffit compressed stuff.

    Senjutsu on
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    eobeteobet 8-bit childhood SwedenRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    mcdermott wrote:
    sabyul wrote:
    I suppose this is as good a place as any to post this.

    Whenever I try to work with .tar or .bz2 files (or similar) they invariably get all messed up. "An error occurred during the Stuff operation." What should I be doing?

    To be honest? Using the command line.

    Though a little click-and-drag can make for less typing. Open a finder window where you have the tar/bz2 file you want to unzip. Open a terminal window and move to the directory where you want to unzip it. Make sure you can see both windows at once. Then enter the beginning of the command line, and simply drag the file from finder instead of entering the path/filename.

    Sounds more complicated than it is.

    So to open up a .tar, you'd just enter 'tar -xf *drag-from-finder*' Too easy. For .bz2, you'd go with 'bunzip2 *drag-from-finder*'

    For .tar.bz2, I believe you can substitute -xjf and it will do both in one pass. I do know that tar in general can handle bzip (both for compression and decompression), just never had to actually do it.

    Oh, fuck the command line for flying fuck's sake, this is OS X!

    Use The Unarchiver, please.

    eobet on
    Heard the proposition that RIAA and MPAA should join forces and form "Music And Film Industry Association"?
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    ZackSchillingZackSchilling Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    By the way:

    To anyone still using stuffit for anything but unarchiving sit and sitx files, please stop. You'll be happier and everything will work better.

    ZackSchilling on
    ghost-robot.jpg
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    eobet wrote:
    Oh, fuck the command line for flying fuck's sake, this is OS X!

    Use The Unarchiver, please.

    I know it's OSX...one of the things that most excited me about switching to OSX is having a bash shell that was well-integrated into the GUI. I love the command line, dammit!

    EDIT: And yeah, seriously...friends don't let friends use StuffIt. Oh, and thanks to eobet for pointing out The Unarchiver. Looks spiffy. I'll probably still stick with the command line, though, because I'm old.

    mcdermott on
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    TIE FighterTIE Fighter Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    By the way, the shortcut for Empty Trash is cmd+shift+delete. It's really handy to know.

    I use Onyx's maintenance scripts, and they do seem to improve performance, though that might just be a placebo.

    TIE Fighter on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    So for those against StuffIt, what do you use for creating archives that integrates into Finder? I use it regularly to make .tbz files, but don't feel like dealing with creating my own tar files in iTerm.

    EggyToast on
    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
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    ZackSchillingZackSchilling Registered User regular
    edited February 2007
    EggyToast wrote:
    So for those against StuffIt, what do you use for creating archives that integrates into Finder? I use it regularly to make .tbz files, but don't feel like dealing with creating my own tar files in iTerm.
    Right click, create archive. Built right in to the Finder, creates universal zip files with sequestered resource forks, so it's safe for all files, even Mac OS 9 apps.

    ZackSchilling on
    ghost-robot.jpg
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    EggyToast wrote:
    So for those against StuffIt, what do you use for creating archives that integrates into Finder? I use it regularly to make .tbz files, but don't feel like dealing with creating my own tar files in iTerm.
    Right click, create archive. Built right in to the Finder, creates universal zip files with sequestered resource forks, so it's safe for all files, even Mac OS 9 apps.

    Well yeah, there's that for vanilla zips, but I've found that .tbz gets things significantly smaller. I mean, I've already got Stuffit installed anyway so I'm not going to switch, say, tomorrow, but if there's a better way to make a variety of archives I'm up for it. And my wife wouldn't mind a nice thing, too (although she's probably fine with vanilla zips).

    EggyToast on
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