Mess With Your Computer’s Guts With Mountain Tweaks [Review]


Mess with your Mac's mind
Mess with your Mac's mind

We all love OS X, but sometimes there are little things about it that annoy, or get in the way, or just don’t work the way we’d like them to. For power users, the solution to these little niggles often lies in Terminal, the command line application that lets experts dive into the heart of OS X’s innards. But for the rest of us, there’s always Mountain Tweaks.

Mountain Tweaks is a smart little piece of donationware, created and maintained by Norwegian teenager Fredrik Wiker.

Despite its name, it works with both Lion and Mountain Lion. The tweaks it contains are helpfully arranged by OS version into tabs, so you can ignore the stuff that doesn’t apply to your computer.

And what a selection of stuff there is. It starts with simple cosmetic changes, like enabling the 2D Dock instead of the default 3D one. Then moves up to slightly more complex things, such as showing hidden files or highlighting Stack items when you roll your pointer over them.

The deeper you delve, the more powerful the magic becomes. If you’re on Mountain Lion, you get to re-jig some of the defaults that Apple doesn’t, under normal circumstances, want you to jig with at all. So if the default background image for Notification Center isn’t to your liking, you can change it easily here. And if it drives you crazy when iCloud pops up as the default save location for every single thing you try and save – arrrrrgggh! make it stop! – well, you can fix that here too. With a click.

All versions of OS X have had countless little options like these, hidden away from us mortals behind the Terminal and the special incantations needed to switch them on and off. It’s true that if you know what to search for, you can find those incantations on the internet and just copy-and-paste them into Terminal without causing any harm, but the fact is that a lot of people (particularly newcomers to OS X) don’t feel comfortable about doing that.

The end result might be exactly the same, but Mountain Tweaks (and predecessors like the Secrets prefpane from a few years ago) makes the process so much simpler and easier to grasp.

Click this if you get lost

Mountain Tweaks isn’t finished, either. Wiker is working on additional system maintenance features too, which will be a perfect addition to what’s already here.

It’s clear that he’s put a lot of work into Mountain Tweaks, and is very humbly asking for donations to support future developments. If you download this app and find yourself making use of it, do the decent thing and throw a few dollars in his direction.

One last thing: the problem with tweaking your system is remembering what you’ve tweaked. This app comes with a handy “Restore” button, which when clicked will put everything back the way Apple intended it to be. So even if you break things while tweaking, you’ll still be able to magic them back together safely.

Source: Mountain Tweaks


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