Icons, Stacks, Dock and Wallpaper: Leopard Fixing and Tweaking

 » 04 Dec 2007

In Tiger, one of the first things I did was to download UNO in order to eliminate the brushed metal/aqua mashup that was the previous version of Mac OS X. However in the bright shiny world of Leopard, there is little need for that particular hack, as we welcome consistency to our desktops with open arms. Hurrah for the unified look.

However you have to take the rough with the smooth. The rough being the new shiny psuedo 3D dock and the face-on low contrast folder icons. While I don’t hate the dock with the passion of some, the icons had to go.

Icons

Previously I’d been using Candybar 2, and David Langham’s Agua icons to give me some tasty UI goodness in Tiger, but as reported by Cabel, CandyBar 2 and Leopard would not be getting along nicely. This bad news was tempered with the announcement of a sparkly new Candybar for Leopard that’d arrive soon.

Fast forward a few weeks, of using ‘vanilla’ Leopard, and CandyBar 3 arrives looking luscious, and and bringing with it all the nice icon-y goodness I had become used to. However as much as I disliked the lack of colour on the new icons, I did prefer the face on look in the new OS. I downloaded Agua and applied them as before, but the side on folders look a bit funky with some of the new graphical elements to my eye; particularly the dock’s new stacks and the cover-flow view in the Finder.

On doing some googling I discovered the work of Jonas Rask an extraordinarily talented icon designer from Denmark. I’m using the folders from his QuickLook Canum set over the top of the Agua full system replacements. I hope he updates this darker blue set to include the extra icons from his updated Maji (light blue and graphite) set.

Dock

CandyBar 3 also has the ability to customise the dock, and after much deliberation I’m going with the simplified dock on the bottom. I just prefer the black background combined with the little blue lights; they’re almost indistinguishable on the 3D dock. I’m also experimenting with hiding the dock to give me some more real estate and also to remove distractions!

Desktop

I’ve been experimenting with Desktops, including the great photography of Hamad Darwish, Adam Bett’s Be Original and the lovely Ecto set but have settled (for now) on Flow by Bartlme design (thanks to Mr Boulton’s del.ici.ous feed), which is frankly awesome and has the pleasant side-effect of making the menu bar look whole again!

Stacks

Finally no ‘how I tweak my Mac’ article would be complete without the lovely stacks overlay tutorial which fixes the issue of not knowing what the bloody piles of random icons are.

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