It’s interesting how language can be modified to evoke different meanings and context. For example, a legal government can be called a regime by those who don’t like the government’s policies.
Likewise, language can be used to create fear or reduce fear. Do you want someone to hack into your Mac? Or, do you want to hack Mac OS X to add some unapproved functionality? Maybe. Maybe not.
Hacking A Mac vs. Adding A Haxie
Hacking a Mac carries multiple connotations. It’s negative if someone hacks into your Mac, as in breaks in. It’s positive if you know how to and need to hack OS X to add some new function not provided by Apple.
How about using a haxie on your Mac instead? It sounds OK, almost fun, right?
Compare the two meanings.
A hack “refers to the re-configuring or re-programming of a system to function in ways not facilitated by the owner, administrator, or designer.” Hacks can be good or bad, depending on your experience level.
A haxie “is a term which was coined by developer Unsanity to describe their products. It is a blend of “hack” and “Mac OS X”… typically small interface and functionality tweaks to the system or existing applications that work by injecting code into programs as they load.”
In other words, a haxie makes hacking your Mac sound like a good thing. Sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it is.
Bring Back A Classic With A Hack
Unsanity’s FruitMenu is a haxie app which adds more functionality to the Apple icon menu in your Mac’s Menubar—more or less like we once had in Mac OS Classic from the last century.
FruitMenu effectively hacks your Mac’s OS X system to put a bunch of new control features in one spot. Install FruitMenu and click the Apple menu. You can assign folders and files and apps in a contextual menu.
Assign hot keys to open files, folders, and many common tasks. Navigate through your Mac right from the Apple menu in the Menubar. Move files, preview graphics, Get Info, and make other changes to your Mac with just a few clicks.
Doesn’t haxie sound much better than hack? Generally speaking, hacking in this context means to make changes to Mac OS X’s functions or system files in ways Apple did not intend. In other words, FruitMenu might work perfectly for you and you may have no problems at all on your Mac.
Or, FruitMenu may cause problems or interfere with other apps following Apple’s next Mac OS X update.
How will you know?
You won’t, until something bad happens. FruitMenu’s functionality can be nice to have—until something goes dreadfully wrong on your Mac.
For the most part, Mac360’s staff reviews Mac apps we would use or use ourselves—especially apps we recommend to friends and neighbors. After all, who do they call on first when something goes wrong?
Apps that add functionality that Apple doesn’t provide are certainly acceptable (especially if they’re well behaved and provide value). Apps that provide functionality at the expense of system stability are an entirely different issue. By reputation and our experience, FruitMenu falls into the latter category. Caveat emptor is not paranoia. It’s good policy. What’s your view? Do you hack your Mac, or not? Share your perspective in the Mac360 reader Comments.