I’ve been a Mac user for many years and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s how to tinker with my Mac and be safe. Call it Safe Tinkering.
Mac OS X Leopard is out, it’s classy, sassy, and ready to unlock all those hidden features. Tinker away with Tinker Tool, the ultimate gotta have utility even if you don’t like to tinker with your Mac.
Here’s the story—Apple, since the original Mac OS X back around the turn of the century, incorporated all kinds of hidden features that never made it to the average Mac user.
Down through the years clever Mac developers found those hidden secrets and published nifty little utilities which unlocked those features. Apple, for whatever their reasoning, didn’t trust users with the same knowledge.
Now, thanks to Tinker Tool and other clever utilities, you can be like Adam and Eve, and know right from wrong. You’ll know what Apple has hidden from Mac users all these years.
Apple has dozens of additional preference settings already built in to Mac OS X, including the latest version, Leopard. Tinker Tool lets you tinker around with those settings with relative safety. The changes only affect the current user, not the whole Leopard system. You don’t even need administrator privileges to use Tinker Tool.
So what does Tinker Tool do besides let you tinker with features Apple has deemed unfit for public consumption? Yes, that’s it.
Launch Tinker Tool and you’re faced with a simple panel with a tool bar at the top, and various settings and preferences below. Click on the Finder icon and Tinker Tool lists all the changes you can make to the Mac’s Finder.
Do you want to see all those hidden and invisible files on your Mac? They’re a click away. Disable sound effects. Add Quit to the Finder menu. Relaunch the Finder. See? Easy, right?
How about the Dock? It’s everyone’s favorite feature to bash and mash, and now you can tinker around with it. Disable that gaudy 3-D glass effect with a single click.
Tinker Tool has settings for Applications, Fonts, Safari, General settings, and a Default Reset button just to get everything back to the way Apple wants it to be before you started tinkering.
Some of the tinkering is really old school, such as the ‘Reimport Internet Explorer favorites’ on the next launch. What’s Internet Explorer? That sounds soooo 1999.
None of the tinkering around that Tinker Tool imposes on your Mac should cause you or your Mac any grief, since these are settings Apple includes in Leopard but just doesn’t trust you to handle appropriately.
Did I mention that Tinker Tool is free? Leopard is still so new that I haven’t done the kind of tinkering that I managed to accomplish in 2 1/2 years of using Tiger, though I will admit that it’s been more fun.