As I’m switching to a new machine, this is the ideal time for me to list all of the tweaks and changes I make to OS X and various core apps.
System Enhancements and Plugins
- FunctionFlip “individually controls your MacBook or MacBook Pro’s function keys, turning special keys back to regular F-keys, or vice-versa. FunctionFlip is a preference pane; you’ll find it in the “Other” category in System Preferences.”
These are the settings I flip for the newer model MackBook Pro:
- F8 for quick Spaces access
- F9, F10 and F11 – To provide quick access to Expose functionality
- F12 – To PRovide quick access to Dashboard
- Set it to start at login
- Growl is a must-have for every Mac.. It provides a platform for programs to notify you of activity.
- Start at login
- iStat Menus
- The Blaqua skin with the Fire skin color
- Disable checking for updates at startup, relying instead on checking every 24 hours
- I monitor the CPU, combining multiple CPUs into a single graph
- I monitor Memory
- I disable monitoring of other stats
- I enable Date & Time, using it as a replacement for the system time stamp in the top right because I like the compressed calendar layout
- Witch Thanks to Flip for the link
(The Developer appears to have disappeared altogether, so there isn’t a site to link to)
- Set it to ignore the LastFm.app
- Set it to “Ignore Windows that identify themselves as floating windows (tool bars etc.)”
Overlay Drawers for Dock Stacks are a nice touch, but do not provide anything beyond aesthetic pleasure
SymbolicLinker simplifies the creation of symlinks.
Preferences and Settings
- Disable Bluetooth I don’t use any Bluetooth devices, so there’s no need to drain the battery and chew up processing power for it. I also take it out of the menu bar to reduce clutter.
- Pair a Remote The Apple remote that used to come free with Macs can be really useful, to the point that I keep mine with the laptop wherever I go. You never know when a presentation will bust out in the street.
- Sound Effects – I go with Submarine as I like it a bit better. Exciting huh?
- Universal Access – I enable access for assistive devices, which provides hooks for a couple of other 3rd party tools.
- Enable Dock Magnification – I like to enable a subtle magnification, so the currently indicated icon has a bit more prominence.
- Enable Automatic Hiding and Showing of the Dock – I don’t like the Dock cluttering the screen and using up pixels when I don’t need it.
- Enable Spaces – I like to use four spaces to separate different types of activities. Additionally I select the box to show Spaces in the menu bar for easy access via Mouse.
- Disable Switching Spaces Shortcuts – I don’t typically switch to a space, more often I switch to an app which happens to be in a space, so the shortcuts aren’t useful for me and occasionally conflict with application short cuts. I leave the activation shortcut (F8) as it is.
- I bump up the default key repeat rate a notch
- I do not check the “Use all F1, F2 , etc. keys as standard function keys” as I install FunctionFlip which provides the granularity to select which action is taken for each key. See below for detail on my settings.
- Check Illuminate Keyboard in low light conditions and set it to turn off after a minute of inactivity.
- I change the Full Keyboard Access to “All Controls” as it makes it easier to navigate through some applications without the mouse.
- Customize the Tool Bar
- I add the Path button to the left of the display options
- Enable Use Small Size Icons
- Enable the display of Hard disks on the desktop
- Disable the display of iDisk in the sidebar
- Select “Show all filename extensions”
- Modify the search behavior so that Search defaults to searching the current folder instead of the entire machine