Category Archives: Mac

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.

The billionth download in the App Store

If you keep up with Apple-related news, you’re bound to know that Apple is approaching 1 billion downloads at the App Store, and will be giving 13.000 USD worth of gifts to whomever either downloads the billionth app, or sends a form right after the 999.999.999th app has been downloaded.

So, the question is: when will that be?
Turns out the counter can help us have a certain strategy.

Continue reading The billionth download in the App Store

The Heist

There we go, I’ve finally done it. The Heist of the year is over for me. It took time and dedication, logical thinking and puzzle-solving, but I managed. I am talking of course of MacHeist 3.

MacHeist is a web community of Mac users in which the Directorate (the big bosses) organise “Heists”, missions for the community members to solve in exchange for free software, and once the missions are over, a bundle of applications is revealed.
A few days ago, finally, the MacHeist 3 bundle was revealed, and I’ve shelled out 31 US dollars (thanks to my Heister discounts) for the nice applications that compose it.

It was loads of fun, and now it’s over. Well, almost: the Directorate should be revealing one or two other apps in the coming days, or something like it. We’ll see what happens next.
If you’re a Mac user, have the available funds and haven’t done so yet, go get your bundle now.

Proof of the advantages of MacHeist for users: in total, when all applications are unlocked, I’ll have obtained over 1500 USD-worth of applications during MacHeist 3, all for 31 USD. Awesome!

Still, I should add that I’m slightly disappointed in the bundle, which has many applications that I shall not be using all that often. Previous bundles, especially the MacHeist 2 one, seemed to be more interesting overall. However, this opinion may change in the coming days if the Directorate announces new applications to go with the bundle.

The MacBooks have landed

PC makers, run! The cause is lost: Mac laptops rule the world!

While this statement may be somewhat exaggerated (ever so slightly), it is based on the ultimate proof: my observations.

During my first year at university, back in September 2004, there were probably 10 laptops present during lectures, while we were 300 students in our first year of Law. Laptops were marginal, as they have been for many a year in universities in Continental Europe, where courses are often given ex cathedra and aren’t highly interactive.

Continue reading The MacBooks have landed

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

Exams finished; Lemmings too!

On this day, the sixteenth of January of the year 2009, I bear great news for the unwashed few: the Lemmings have been vanquished. It took me well over a decade, but I finally mastered the art of construction and forward-thinking well enough to beat them.

And finally, the exam period has come to a full stop. At least, temporarily. Though that’s hardly news compared to beating Lemmings!

Continue reading Exams finished; Lemmings too!

We Mac users who iWork

On Tuesday (the 6th), Philip Schiller set out to deliver the last Apple keynote at MacWorld. Internet coverage was more than ample, from AppleInsider to Gizmodo, though some problems occurred (the live feed by MacRumors was hijacked by 4chan hackers, for example).

I had an exam the following day, and a power cut right when Phil Schiller was on stage, so I was unable to follow it immediately. However, when I did read up about it, I was surprised by the reaction of some of those large websites who covered the event.

Continue reading We Mac users who iWork