Tag Archives: Customisation

Big cats and themes

As of yesterday (Thursday) evening, my MacBook runs Snow Leopard, the latest version of Mac OS X. I’m very pleased of the functionality changes, even though I was saddened to see that the user interface hasn’t changed one bit.

There had been rumours of the “Marble” interface, but nothing (I repeat: nothing) has changed visually as regards the general interface (bar a few luminosity adjustments and the changes required by the new functionality). Icons, scrollbars, list headers, the “traffic lights”, …, everything with which Mac OS X themes generally deal, it’s all unchanged.

Except that Apple decided to change a couple of things in the structure of its theme files, which means that a) we can’t simply copy our theme files from Leopard to Snow Leopard, and b) we haven’t a clue how to decode one of the core UI files, “SArtFile.bin”. Hopefully there will be a decoder soon.

In the meantime, I’ll be using my external drive every now and again to boot under Leopard, because the only theming tool we can use (Themepark 4) works only under Leopard.
If you are an iTunesque user, expect a bunch of new packs for Snow Leopard in the coming days/weeks.

Edit: many iTunesque packages are now available. See the iTunesque page for more details.

A little icon order

A few days ago, MacThemes user spiralstairs released a set of Finder background images, entitled Shelves. Tell you what, it turns out it was just what I needed to change the look of my Leopard.

What’s the purpose of Shelves? It makes your Finder look as ordered as a nice, clean shelf of documents. And with a few tricks, you can apply that look to all your folders.

Continue reading A little icon order

Office suites and user interface

I decided to re-download OpenOffice and NeoOffice to see if anything had changed. After all, OpenOffice 3 came out in October, and I hadn’t taken the time to try it out.

However, there is a huge problem with these productivity suites: the interface. No matter what features they add, they still haven’t changed the GUI (graphical user interface), and that pains me.

Continue reading Office suites and user interface

iTunesque update: glyphs for Mail & Preview

Finally. It took me some time, because my law internship kind of broke the pace of things (wink wink nudge nudge), but I have finally completed reworking the glyph designs made by Dustin Schau for Mail.app and Preview.app in order to replace the “Aqua” ones that have existed for the past X years, and have compiled the whole thing into one package with automated installer & uninstaller and with manual installation instructions.

So, what exactly do these glyphs look like?

Continue reading iTunesque update: glyphs for Mail & Preview

My Leopard’s Look: part III

In this series, entitled “My Leopard’s Look”, I talk about the different aspects of customising the appearance of Mac OS X “Leopard”: icons, the Dock and wallpapers, and finally theming.
Check Part I of this series to read about icons, and Part II to read about the Dock and wallpapers.


I never was interested in themes under Tiger (Mac OS 10.4), partly because I had a 1999 G3 iMac, and partly because the only tool “average users” could use to apply themes was Unsanity’s ShapeShifter (which came at a hefty price for a student, and which is a “haxie” that requires “Application Enhancer” [APE] to run, and APE has caused me a couple of problems in the past).

Then Leopard came along, and while I was very happy with the new unified metal look for all applications, the blue aqua (scrollbars, list headers, …) was starting to feel old.
So I decided to take a look at Leopard theming options.
Continue reading My Leopard’s Look: part III