Just a quick desktop update for the New Year. I know these may be dull entries for some people, but I like tinkering with OS X’s various eye-candy and posting the results, so suck it.
This holiday season has been extremely busy, but good, and productive. I have lots of stuff to write about, but a lot of it can’t be posted for a while yet. More updates to come, no doubt about it!
Some background on my current desktop setup:
The terminal windows I have are saved as window group that is automatically open whenever I start Terminal. The TODO list is automatically loaded up, and I find this a convenient place holder to store anything that mentally pops up and needs to be dealt with. The windows are made transparent using the native controls for Mac, and is saved for each window. I use a slightly dark background, and have also installed a program called “Deeper”, which allows me to set a gaussian blur for the transparency. As you can see, this allows transparency to still be used, but slightly blurs the background and makes transparency actually functional eye-candy, instead of mostly a distraction. In a pinch, I can still read the page directly beneath the terminal, so I can make use of transparency the way it works best.
I also run Safari and Mail.app, simply because they are native to OS X, meaning they are well integrated with the OS, and also allow me to adjust their transparency on the fly using a program called Afloat. Afloat allows me to dynamically adjust transparency by clicking control and alt, and scrolling up or down. I can also move the application from anywhere within the window (as opposed to just from the title bar) by clicking the same keys and dragging with the mouse. When I’m working directly with Safari or Mail, I generally reduce the transparency, then turn it back on when I’m finished so that it blends into the background.
You can see Adium (my MSN/ICQ/etc. client) in the background, in the upper-right, but I have since moved away from this list layout to the “Concise” skin provided by the application. This skin allows me to simply list all of the contacts as a vertical list, without any window decorations other than their buddy icon. It makes for a nice clear look.
I think this looks pretty good, and it’s really pleasing to work within. One thing I would really like to be able to do is hide the menu bar and the scrollbar for the terminals. I could still drag them around using Afloat, but the unnecessary bars really take away from the true beauty of what I think I could achieve. I’ve got google alerts set up for “terminal without menubar”, but haven’t had any results show up yet that achieve what I want. If anyone knows of anything, please let me know.
Okay, well, that’s all for now. I’ve actually just updated my desktop, so this screenshot is a little dated – I’ll post a new one in a month or so. The other thing I’d really like is to be able to apply a gaussian blur to Safari and Mail, so that their transparency can be left on more often, rather than having to adjust it whenever I need the app.
To some people all of this may seem frivolous – why not just turn off transparency and deal with it. In truth, I actually find that my layout is very practical – being able to see through the current app to the other windows open beneath helps make it easier to keep in mind exactly what I’ve got open and what I’m working on.
, a program that allows you to drag your windows from anywhere by holding down control and alt, and also allows you to adjust the transparency on the fly (if needed)