Displaperture

In Mac OS 10.4 Tiger, Apple had a nice detail in the GUI, rounded corners on the screen. The rounds were small, but simulated the rounded corners of older CRT monitors on modern LCD displays. To me, though, the rounded corners meshed well with the precise radiuses that adorn the corners of Apple hardware. Apple got rid of this detail in Mac OS 10.5 Leopard and left a hard 90º corner with no artificial radius.

Displaperture

Tonight I came across a small application by Many Tricks (you may know them from their popular application launcher Butler) called Displaperture that adds radiused corners back to Leopard. An added bonus, you even get control over the size of the radius, and you can scale it from barely visible to impractically intrusive.

Considering that every Apple device sold today runs a LCD display, using this application may seem like a step backward. However, the effect looks GREAT on the new Macbook screen with it’s borderless black bezel. Setting a tight radius on the corners of the screen gives the bezel a consistant and polished look. Below you can see a picture of the effect on my Macbook Pro. It’s not for everyone, but it’s great to see such a simple free tool to set the effect.

Displaperture on my unibody Macbook Pro

10

My Windows Icon for Leopard

New and Old Windows Icons

As you may know, Leopard ships with a controversial icon for Windows Machines on the network, it’s a beige monitor with a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). While this was pretty funny in the developer builds of Leopard, I think it’s a little tasteless for the retail release. I use a Windows machine right alongside my Macs every day, and I didn’t want to stare at this icon when I was networking between them. I was reading how to replace the BSOD Windows Network Machine icon from Leopard with a generic Mac monitor icon at Engadget. I wanted to replace it, and I thought this might be a good time to find out how icon creation works on the Mac. This was my first icon (on any system really) and is really just a modification of the existing BSOD icon and the Bootcamp icon.

If you want to use this icon yourself, you can grab the icns icon file here.

Here are the instructions on how to install it, modified from Engadget’s article.

  • In Finder, go to /System/Library/CoreServices/ and find CoreTypes.bundle. Right click and choose “show package contents”
  • Now go to Contents/Resources/ and you will see a bunch of icons.
  • Drag the wincomp.icns file into this folder. It will prompt you to authenticate and enter your admin password to make changes to this folder.
  • Open up Terminal and type the following 3 commands:
    • cd /System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources/
    • sudo mv public.generic-pc.icns public.generic-pc_lame.icns
      [enter your admin password]
    • sudo cp wincomp.icns public.generic-pc.icns

Powerbook next to Windows in Leopard Networking

Now log out and log back in and things should be swapped. This is my first icon, ever, so I know it’s not pretty… hopefully I’ll take another shot at it once I know Illustrator better and I can make some nice vector art. Above, you can see my Windows icon next to my 12″ Powerbook on my network.

19

Leopard Synergy Solution – SynergyKM

SynergyKM

I was just talking about how I couldn’t get QuickSynergy to work in Leopard. Thankfully, I did a little digging and quickly found a solution. Using SynergyKM I have Synergy running between Leopard and XP Pro with no problems. SynergyKM looks a lot more mature than QuickSynergy, and is probably the software package I should have been using all along.

At any rate, I’m happy now!

1

Leopard Casualty – QuickSynergy

R.I.P. QuickSynergy

[Update: My problems have been solved with SynergyKM]

I’ve switched both of my machines (12″ Powerbook and Intel iMac) to Leopard now, and I’ve run into my first major application loss. QuickSynergy no longer works for me.

My workstation setup is a 20″ iMac on the right, with a Windows machine hooked up to a 20″ LCD directly to the left. I use the Windows machine for 3D modeling and rendering. Having both machines on the desk lets me use both systems without having to reboot my iMac or run a virtualization program. I use Synergy to control both computers with one keyboard and mouse. If you haven’t heard of Synergy, and you use more than one computer at a desk, check it out immediately. It’s nearly life changing.

QuickSynergy is a great GUI for using Synergy on the Mac or Linux. Before QuickSynergy came along, everything was command line. Well, QuickSynergy doesn’t seem to play nicely with Leopard. My Windows machine won’t connect to my iMac as a Synergy server, and when I try to quit QuickSynergy I get an error mentioning something about Applescript.

I’m going to try using the command line Synergy setup, but if that doesn’t work it looks like I’ll be rockin’ out old-school with two keyboards and two mouses (mice? mii?) on my desk.

If anyone has run into this and knows a solution, please enlighten us in the comments!