Leopard Tricks!

New additions to my ever changing mac! Notice anything different? The menu bar on top is not translucent anymore! Yay! Old tigger goooodnesssss… Did it with 2 programs. And I’ll guide you through how.

First, I made it white. It used to be difficult, having to go into terminal and edit system files yourself.. But the great guys at eternal storms software made a really nice software that does everything for you, free of charge! Here it is: http://www.eternalstorms.at/utilities/opaquemenubar/index.html
Run it, change opacity to 1, restart. You’re done.

After this, you’re done, with a really really white bar. Like.. bleached. That’s kinda ew and bright, not like the Tiger one with a gradient, so we have another app to help you out. You can adjust the gradient, the colour, mouse over opacity, yadda.. but I adjusted a global setting to look as tiger as I could, as seen above. Nice and yummy. I like. Here is the second app you need: http://www.manytricks.com/menubartint/
Run this one, fiddle around, and you’re done. For reference, I used black for all the base colours, and set 0% opacity for top, 5% opacity for middle, and 15% opacity for bottom. Both opacity sliders for mouse over and away are all the way to the left. Once you’re done, you can hide/close the settings window, and it will be tucked away nicely without knowing it’s there. Oh and you need to add it in your login items for it to take effect, just tick the hide button after adding it so you won’t see it or even know that it’s there.
UPDATE: You can just use opaque menu bar to set the opacity to 0.62 to get the bar on older macs running leopard. It doesn’t look exactly like tiger but at least it looks official, and it’s less troublesome. Also with menu bar tint the white words when you click any menu item turns out grayish. And the blue doesn’t quite match the rest of the menus. So well, you decide.

So there. Hope it helped. If you wanna know how I got the song title up there, I use a program called QuickTunes, and I have a software called GimmeSomeTune (also from eternal storms software) that grabs and updates the lyrics for all the song that is playing, and you can set a shortcut key to display the lyrics anywhere. No more breaking your flow to find lyrics, just control-command-L (that’s how I set mine) to show the lyrics in a nice, translucent black, resizable window. Lookee here:

It comes with a menu icon, but you can hide it, but remember to set a global shortcut to call the settings page up before you do! If not you can’t see it again unless you delete the preference file, which is.. really tedious. I set mine to control-command-comma, as command-comma is the normal preference shortcut key for the mac. Easy to remember.

I also have a QuickLook plugin that displays the contents of a folder, rather than a boring icon. Check this out:

You can get this from http://homepage.mac.com/xdd/software/folder/. Also, I have one that QuickLooks zip files, rar files, any archive file as well! You can get that one here http://macitbetter.com/BetterZipQL-1.0
Also, have you ever surfed the net, or talked to your friend, and not know what a word meant? Did you have to go to dictionary.com or worse, flip a real one? Well in leopard it’s built right in, you just select the word and press control-command-d. Yes it’s that simple. Look here:
Works anywhere with selectable text. For any other word, just call spotlight (command-space) and type it in! Spotlight is just too flexible to document here.. Basically you can run programs, choose songs, search the dictionary, do simple math, all in spotlight!
“But what about my spanking new PC with Vista?” you might ask. Well, too bad. Get a mac. 🙂


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