Modding Mac OS X: Extreme Makeovers for Your Mac


Modding Mac OS X isn't about cutting up your Power Mac's case with a saws-all; it's about modifying Mac OS X's user interface and unlocking secrets and dispelling your fears of the Unix command line so you can take command of your Mac.

Modding Mac OS X starts out with the very basics of showing you how to configure your Mac and do simple things like change Finder views, use an image from iPhoto's library on your desktop, and how to find and use...

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Modding Mac OS X isn't about cutting up your Power Mac's case with a saws-all; it's about modifying Mac OS X's user interface and unlocking secrets and dispelling your fears of the Unix command line so you can take command of your Mac.

Modding Mac OS X starts out with the very basics of showing you how to configure your Mac and do simple things like change Finder views, use an image from iPhoto's library on your desktop, and how to find and use screen savers. From there, Modding Mac OS X shows you how to:

  • Find hidden features in your favorite applications
  • Dive inside application bundles to find hidden resources
  • Change application and system-wide keyboard shortcuts
  • Work with the Property List Editor to read and edit property list files
  • Wrap your head around the defaults command to tweak an application's settings
  • Hack on NIB files to change an application's interface
  • Control an application with AppleScript, even if it isn't scriptable

Each Modding example includes detailed step-by-step instructions that even a novice Mac user can follow, while also providing the necessary detail to satisfy the experienced hacker. The knowledge you gain from tweaking one application can be easily applied to the next.

So go on, empower your inner Mac geek. You know you want to.

Sadun shows users how to take control over the way their applications look and behave and provides a structured overview of how to hack system and application preferences and resources to change the look and feel of their Macs.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596007096
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 302
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 9.64 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Erica Sadun holds a PhD in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She has written, co-written, and contributed to almost two dozen books about technology, particularly in the areas of programming, digital video, and digital photography. An unrepentant geek, Sadun has never met a gadget she didn't need. Her checkered past includes run-ins with NeXT, Newton, and a vast myriad of both successful and unsuccessful technologies. When not writing, she and her geek husband parent three adorable geeks-in-training, who regard their parents with restrained bemusement.

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Table of Contents

About the Author;
Goals of This Book;
Audience for This Book;
Organization of This Book;
Preparing to Dive;
Using Code Examples;
Conventions Used in This Book;
Comments and Questions;
Chapter 1: Transforming Your Mac;
1.1 Desktops;
1.2 Screensavers;
1.3 Altering the Dock;
1.4 Changing the Look of Finder Windows;
1.5 Customizing Standard Icons;
1.6 Custom Themes;
1.7 Changing the Boot Panel;
1.8 Final Thoughts;
Chapter 2: Inside Application Bundles;
2.1 Application Bundles;
2.2 Understanding Bundle Structure;
2.3 Building Bundles;
2.4 Exploring the Resources Folder;
2.5 Understanding Localizations;
2.6 Plug-ins;
2.7 Property Lists;
2.8 Shrinking Applications;
2.9 Final Thoughts;
Chapter 3: Application Dumpster Diving;
3.1 The Xcode Tools;
3.2 Finding Goodies;
3.3 Changing Sounds;
3.4 Searching Through Alternate Locations;
3.5 Finding and Changing Images;
3.6 Peeking at (and Playing with) String Files;
3.7 Final Thoughts;
Chapter 4: Changing Icons;
4.1 Mac OS X Icon Files;
4.2 Viewing Icons;
4.3 Creating Custom Icons;
4.4 Changing Icons;
4.5 Creating a Pseudo-Application;
4.6 Final Thoughts;
Chapter 5: Preferences Files;
5.1 Preferences Files;
5.2 Managing Property Lists;
5.3 Real-World Preferences Files;
5.4 Discovering Undocumented Preferences;
5.5 Final Thoughts;
Chapter 6: Discovering Domains and Support Files;
6.1 Folders;
6.2 Libraries and the Applications That Use Them;
6.3 Preferences Domains;
6.4 Recovering Preferences Settings by Domain;
6.5 Final Thoughts;
Chapter 7: Changing Interface Elements;
7.1 Making Alterations;
7.2 Getting Ready to Hack;
7.3 Meeting Interface Builder;
7.4 Changing Window Styles;
7.5 Adding a Tool Tip;
7.6 Adding an Item to the Contextual Menu;
7.7 Adding a New Button;
7.8 Adding a Custom Drawer;
7.9 Adding Objects from Another NIB File;
7.10 Changing Object Classes;
7.11 Restoring the Terminal Application;
7.12 Final Thoughts;
Chapter 8: Altering Keyboard Shortcuts;
8.1 Philosophy of Keyboard Shortcuts;
8.2 Panther’s New Keyboard Shortcuts Preferences Pane;
8.3 Changing the Keyboard Shortcuts;
8.4 Adding Application Keyboard Shortcuts;
8.5 Keyboard Shortcut Equivalents;
8.6 New Ways to Define Keyboard Shortcuts;
8.7 Speakable Items;
8.8 Viewing Keyboard Shortcuts;
8.9 Final Thoughts;
Chapter 9: Basic Application Scripting;
9.1 Discovering Scriptable Applications;
9.2 Getting Ready to Script;
9.3 Talking to Applications;
9.4 User Interface Scripting;
9.5 General Application Scripting;
9.6 Final Thoughts;
Chapter 10: Scripting the Unscriptable;
10.1 Activating Application Scriptability;
10.2 Expanding Suite Possibilities;
10.3 Updating the Core Suite;
10.4 Reverting to the Original NSCoreSuite Files;
10.5 Final Thoughts;

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2004

    go further

    Aimed at a Mac user who wants more personalisation of her OS X machine. Sadun immediately jumps into showing how to tweak your Desktop. Like changing the background and screensavers. For both, you can even import external files if you're not satisfied with what Apple offers. Plus many other options that most users never avail themselves of. To be sure, linux/unix and Microsoft machines have also had similar options for years. But the Mac tends to do it so elegantly. Much else is covered by the book. There are several examples of internationalisation. She shows how an application bundle is a directory with subdirectories of local specific data like text, audio and video, arranged in a very logical fashion. You can get an appreciation for what it means to have a program be used in a global way. Plus, you can ease into unix. Unlike simpler Mac books, Sadun describes extensively how to use the command line to delve deeper into the system.

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