We’ve passed along information on using Terminal, the most useful app on your Mac, to tweak the Finder, change up some User Interface features you may not want or like, and to keep your Mac more secure and your data more private.
Today, let’s look at the Dashboard, with its widgets and things, and see what we can do to hack it a bit.
Well, so far this week, we’ve shown you how to tweak the Finder and change up some user interface types of things, all using the power of Mac OS X’s Terminal app, a window into the back end of your Mac. Today, we’re going to spend a little time with the Terminal commands to make your Mac just a bit more secure and private.
Yesterday, we spent some time with Terminal commands that tweak the Finder in different ways. Today, we’ll look at some commands you can issue in the Terminal to mess around with the user interface. Let’s get started.
The Terminal app is like a window into the inner workings of your Mac. It accesses the Unix core of your Apple computer directly and without any muss or fuss. It can feel pretty daunting at times, but it’s really the way to dig in and make your Mac work the way you want it to. The Finder can be hacked a bit using the Terminal, of course, so we figured we could show you a few tricks, too.
Here’s how to hack up the Finder a bit to make it work better for you.
I ran across an issue yesterday in trying to support a Macbook Pro at work. We wanted to reformat the Macbook to a clean system install, but we had no system disk for the computer (it was lost in the move to our new offices), and we didn’t know the admin password for the Mac. I thought we were out of luck, until I ran across a solution in Apple’s discussion forums that showed me how to reset the admin password without a system disk. I figured I’d share this process here, hoping it helps some of you out.
OS X’s Help menu is fantastic, if underrated. It even lets you find menu commands by highlighting them when you search within the Help search field. If you hit enter after typing in a search term, however, you’ll get the Help Viewer, a useful little hyperlinked app windwo that just, well, hovers over all your other app windows. This is good to start, but when you want to hope back into the app you’re trying to learn more about, the Help Viewer stays on top, even when it’s not the mouse focus.
There are bound to be times when you would like your OS X Mountain Lion Mac to not go to sleep. You can set you Mac to Never sleep in the System Preferences, Energy Saver preferences pane, but that’s not always going to work. Even when it’s set to Never, your Mac may still, in fact, go to sleep. The other problem with the Energy Saver preference is that you only have the ability to set the sleep action to hold of foor three hours, or never. What if you wanted to keep it from sleeping for four hours? Or four and a half hours? Or eight hours?
With a neat little Mountain Lion-only Terminal command, you can set it to whatever you like. Here’s the scoop.
Apple loves to hide little surprises, or “easter eggs,” within its software — such as the memorable quotes inside its OS X icons, or the temporary date (Jan 24, 1984 — when the first Macintosh was unveiled) given to apps downloaded from the Mac App Store. A new one has been discovered that’s sure to please Lord of the Rings fans.
Typing a simple comment into Terminal reveals a Lord of the Rings timeline that Apple has hidden in OS X. Here’s how to access it.