The filesystem in OS X is relatively clean by default when viewed through the Finder. The only folders you see are the system folder, applications folder, user home directories, and a few others that might be useful when configuring the system for your needs. In reality there are a number of hidden files and folders that help govern the behavior of OS X, and occasionally when configuring software packages you have to interact with these items.
OS X is a very attractive operating system; however, it has received some criticism for having a relative lack of customization options. While Windows and Linux have had fairly detailed options for adjusting overall themes and individual colors and fonts used, OS X has kept its visual elements fairly standardized.
The only options Apple offers for changing themes are in the Appearance section, where you can choose between the default Blue or Graphite options for buttons, menus, and windows. In addition, you can change a few other features such as placement of scrolling buttons, text highlight color, scrolling behaviors, and … Read more
TinkerTool is a small, free app that lets you tinker with your user preferences, allowing access to options that you can't find through System Preferences. These "hidden" preferences--extras like adding scroll arrows to both ends of scroll bars--exist for a variety of reasons, but are usually invisible to users without the help of an app like TinkerTool.
TinkerTool's preferences are organized under 10 main headings: Finder (for options like showing hidden files or restricting the Finder), Dock, General (a lot of useful options, including control over scroll arrows and screenshot file formats), Applications, Snow Leopard (with … Read more
One of my main uses for the second-generation iPod Touch was to connect it to a pair of docking speakers at home and then stream music using Pandora, Slacker, or Rhapsody. Not only am I sick to death of my own music collection, but using these services means I don't have to exert time and energy on making playlists. Of course, there was a major drawback: when a less-than-spectacular song came on, I couldn't use the speaker's remote to skip it from across the room, whilst I relaxed in the considerable comfort of my couch. It seems … Read more
As you probably suspect, Windows doesn't show you everything that's on your hard drive. However, Disk Investigator does. It's a free, compact tool that searches your hard drives and displays everything that's on them, bypassing your operating system and reading the raw data, sector by sector. With it, you can examine raw directories, files, clusters, and system sectors, which is especially useful when you're reusing a disk or upgrading your OS. You can also use it to verify the effectiveness of disk-cleaning utilities and even recover deleted files and lost data, in many cases.
This … Read more
MacPilot is another good option for fiddling around with your Mac, optimizing it to run better and unlocking the hidden potential of OS X and many applications--all without having to use the command line. MacPilot's graphic interface and file browser give you access to an almost staggering number of customizations, commands, key combos, and more, all organized around specific applications (include Apple and some third-party apps) as well as categories like Disks, Startup, Logs, Tools, and Power. You can do everything from changing the boot mode (64-bit or 32-bit) to tweaking the behavior of the Finder and Dock to … Read more
PDF Info is a basic program that allows users to edit PDF header information. Although it is not a full-featured PDF editor, it works just fine for changing a PDF's title information.
The program's interface is sleek and simple, consisting of a single screen. The program's functions are represented by four large rounded buttons, with no menus. Users browse to the PDF they want to edit and open it, and the editable fields are displayed within the program. These include the file's name, author, title, keywords, and so on. Users simply make the desired changes and … Read more
WinMend Folder Hidden is an interesting security utility that can safely hide any file or folder on a Windows partition or removable device, which covers most users' hard drives and external drives as well as flash drives, memory cards and sticks, micro devices, and anything else you can store a file on. Your files and folders stay safe and hidden even if they're reinstalled on another computer, and they can't be seen or accessed by other programs and operating systems. You can enable password protection for specific files and folders or whole volumes of data. WinMend claims that &… Read more
Wizard's Pen is a high-quality puzzle game in which users must identify objects by viewing bits and pieces of images and completing other visual puzzles. The professional graphics and variety of puzzle types make this game highly entertaining.
Wizard's Pen is published by SpinTop, a division of PopCap, which never fails to impress us with its games. The premise of the game is that a wizard has disappeared, and users must solve a variety of puzzles to find out what happened. The main component of the game is a puzzle in which users click on a blank page … Read more
Windows-based computers come with an almost dizzying number of options, from Internet Explorer to Notepad and everything in between. Trying to manage all these functions may be a lot easier for users with Fresh UI.
This free download gives users an unprecedented look and incredible control over their system. The Fresh UI display is that of an expandable file tree, giving a general look at all programs that can be tinkered with. This overview is what really makes this program special. By erasing the countless minutes that could be spent opening each individual program and learning how to make alterations … Read more