Bryan Chaffin

This is a short series of tips for setting up your Mac OS X machine. These tips come from people who have been running Mac OS X since the release of Public Beta and some of the many builds that have since been leaked. After installing OS X the 10th time, you get to learn how to set it up just right rather quickly. Each of these articles will tell you how *we* like to set up our machines, so take what you like and use it as you want. Mac OS X is highly customizable, and there will be as many tastes as there are users.

Todayis entry comes from our own Editor-in-Chief, Bryan Chaffin.

Launch CPU Monitor. Move CPU Monitor to the Dock. Get URL for Understanding and Working With The Dock for those who may not know how to add things to the Dock. Add it to Login Items in System Prefs. Open CPU Monitor prefs. Turn on Display Expanded View, turn off the normal view. Adjust colors so that they donit induce vomiting. Choose a rich yellow for user processes and a blood-red color for root-level processes. Change background to a charcoal gray.

Add Process Viewer to Dock and Login Items. Launch Process Viewer, Change view to User Processes only.

Launch Terminal. Adjust settings so that I get white text on a black background. Wish that that very cool ASCII Star Wars movie site was still up. Add Terminal to Dock.

Read Late Breaking News, Remove Late Breaking News from Dock. Briefly toy with removing the funky X Web site link from the Dock. Put it off until later. Wonder why they got that @ symbol for a link in the first place.

Remove QuickTime Player from Dock.

Remove Sherlock from Dock.

Remove Displays control from Dock. Think about removing AirPort control. Decide to leave it alone.

Change Dock prefs to Auto-hide, Turn Animate Opening Applications off. Turn magnification off.

Turn Keyboard repeat rate up, Turn delay down.

Speed up mouse tracking. Wish for scroll wheel support in Carbon and Classic apps, and support for my two extra buttons. Wonder when Apple or Microsoft is going to deal with this.

Open Finder Preferences, turn Icon size up to the maximum size and think how cool that is. Turn it back down to being just smaller than it was. Turn on Keep View Same When Opening Folder In Same Window. Turn it back off once I realize what it does.

Replace Internet Explorer Favorites file with an alias to Favorites file in my Classic System Folder so that the two are the same. Add Classic IE icon to dock, realize how ugly it is compared to the beautiful IE X icon.

Add both hard drives to the Dock.

Add "Columns" folder to Dock. Explain that this is the folder where all the articles I edit for TMO reside. Realize that I have a ton of really cool X icons. Replace Columns icon with new X icon from Mendelini. Realize that I will have to remove Columns from the Dock and then put it back in order to see the new icon there. Do so.

Add Terminal, Word, GoLive, Photoshop, Eudora, and Cyberdog (GO CYBERDOG!) icons to Dock. Briefly think about how cool it is that OpenDoc works in X through Classic emulation. Arrange all the icons in the Dock so that those I will be working with most often are grouped together.

Become annoyed that Command-Tabbing to switch apps doesnit bring up a separate popup box. Wonder when Power On Software will be releasing GoMac for X. Think that it would at least be cool if Command-Tabbing only switched one app at a time. Wonder why Apple implemented it in the way that they did.

Change Background to something less psychotic, use that cool nighttime map of the earth. Be secretly amused at how clever I think I am for noticing that there can be no "nighttime" picture of the entire planet. Wait for readers to catch up.

Enable Root access. Wage internal debate on whether or not to get into how to do that in this piece. Apparently decide not to do so.

Install Fire, Set up my AIM account, move Fire icon to the Dock. Remember that Fire keeps getting blocked by AOL. Wonder if Eric Payton could ever work out something with AOL to keep that from happening. Read Kyleis piece about the Java AIM client. Fire up AIM, transfer all of my AIM buddy information to Fire by hand. Remember that I ran across a comment somewhere about this saying that AIM will export its buddy list. Silently curse my lack of organization.

Get Classic to launch, wait forever for it to finish launching, wonder why. Remember that I forgot to change my Extension Set to a minimalist Mac OS X Set. Once launched, change Classic Extension set to Mac OS X Set. Chuckle at what Dave Hamilton would think of what I consider to be minimalist. Restart Classic with Mac OS X Set. Marvel at how much faster it is.

Sit back and look at Aqua. Think to myself "Damn, this is so cool." Think about the long path we have all taken to get to Mac OS X. Think more "coolness" thoughts. Tip my hat to Steve Jobs, Avie Tevanian and the other folks at Apple.

Get to work.

Elapsed time? 23 minutes.