Monday, August 25, 2008

Finally taking a closer look at OS X

I had this MacBook for one year now (other than about 5 weeks when it was hors de combat due to losing its HDD in Brazil and being unable to get it replaced until I got home) and I have almost exclusively used the various Linux OSes I have on this machine.
But today, I made the move and stayed with OS X all day. So what did I do? Well, I think I just basically tried to see how close to Linux I could make OSX.
Here's a list of the things I did:

1. The fact that my browser page stops quite a bit above the dock has annoyed me for some time as I'd prefer for it to go down in behind the dock as well just as it does in Ubuntu and all the other Linux OSes. Just today I discovered in the bottom right hand side of the browser page a small "drag-thing" with which I could make the page as big or as small as I wanted. Perfect? Well, not quite as when i restarted Opera it goes back to its shorted version. Will look into how to make this permanent.

2. Give a right-click button to Mighty Mouse.
This is very easy once you know what to do as, in all honesty, the ctrl-click thing is a PITA and, in my view, to be avoided wherever possible. Well, it is possible and here's how:
System Preferences >> Keyboard&Mouse >> Mouse (tab). Here select Secondary Button for the right side mouse button. then shut down System Preferences and start right-clicking.

3. Add more commands to the right-click menus
Using the OnMyCommand free app you can add almost 600 more items to your context menus. Here's a tutorial on how to use it. I've used this and it works without problem.

4. As I am extremely sloppy and undisciplined, I do at least try to control this lack of responsibility by using Tasque in Linux. However, Tasque is not available in OSX. Of course, there are alternatives.
First i tried this dashboard widget for Remember the Milk (for which Tasque is a front end). However, although it works it does not allow adding new tasks which seems a major oversight. So then I discovered Remember the Moof (yeah, that's the name). This is also a dashboard widget and is basically what I was looking for. What I downloaded and installed was

5. Getting my Dashboard set up.
This very simple guide was useful at first. However, there are an awful lot of widgets available (of which I was not aware). As you can launch dashboard just by clicking the middle mouse button, this is an ideal way to call up small apps/information you might need now and again but don't want them cluttering up your Desktop.
So, I was able to add remember the Moof and an English-Portuguese translator to the dashboard. However, the widgets for lastFm and BBC_Radio4 just didn't work for me. Certainly there's nothing wrong with my sound system so don't understand this. But, I'll investigate it.

6. I like to have not just the time but the full date (25-08-2008) in my top panel. However, if I right-click on the Date/Time in the panel, and select Open Date&Time >> Clock in the dialog that opens, I check the box that says Show Date and Time in Menu Bar. However, while it shows the time and the day of the week (because I selected this latter in the same dialog), no date appears. Another thing to investigate.

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