Dean Putney, author at Cult of Mac

Macs in Parisian High Fashion



I spent a week in Paris recently, and although I was on vacation, I was still on the lookout for Macs. I almost missed this homage to the Apple design while I was out shopping with my uncle. Fortunately, he saw this excellent window display at the Printemps department store and stopped me to take some photos.

The display case, several large windows long, was completely littered with Apple products. See if you can count them all. You can also see the reflection of the other side of Boulevard Haussmann.

Macs In The Media: Watchmen



Watchmen, the just-released film adaptation of the dramatic and incredibly detailed graphic novel by the same title, is set in an alternate version of 1984 and 1985 America. Not all of the details of America have changed though, and most importantly, the Mac is still present. As the film neared its climax during the midnight showing I attended, a friend elbowed me vigorously to point out this key snippet: 

There comes a point in the film where one of the characters is viewing a bank of monitors. The camera shows a close shot of the character and just a couple of the monitors. In one monitor on his right, you’ll recognize Apple’s 1984 Macintosh ad being played.

That should make it relatively easy to find the Apple-centric easter egg without revealing the plot. Good luck finding the video of Big Brother’s defeat in Watchmen!

MegaZoomer Beats You Over the Head With Full Screen Everything



Come with me on a journey: It’s two in the morning, you’ve been working on a report for ages and you’re hitting the hard part. You’d better do something to focus on this paper right now or you’re going to wind up fiddling with iTunes playlists and blindly posting on unsavory websites.

Enter MegaZoomer. With one stroke of command-return your paper just engulfed your entire screen. The WHOLE thing. You finish your paper in record time! The day is saved! Here’s an image of Safari filling my entire screen using MegaZoomer:

MegaZoomer can take any Cocoa-based application and zoom it up to the size of the whole screen. This means you’ve got great screen use for Safari, Aperture, most text editors and lots, lots more.


It even works with Terminal for those… really important coding projects.

The only downside of MegaZoomer is that you have to have SIMBL installed. If you don’t already have SIMBL installed, I’d suggest you look into it not only for MegaZoomer, but for the myriad of other great plugins that require it.

[thanks Larry]

Dress Up Your Nokia As a Mac



Can’t afford an iPhone? Me neither. That’s why I was so excited to see this photo of a Nokia phone dressed up as a Mac on Flickr. My old phone could use some panache.

A quick search through the comments shows that this is a theme from Dan Schwartz, and it’s compatible on quite a few different phones. It’s hard to find on his website, tucked into the About pages, but you can get the theme for your Nokia phone here.

Source: Dan Schwartz

The theme imitates the Mac without interfering with the phone’s functions. Dan used the application icons from Mac OS X’s system and one of the gorgeous Apple default backgrounds to give you the full experience. The theme even goes so far as to closely imitate the fonts used in the Mac system. All in all, these themes are an excellent escape for those of us who want to keep a little Apple with us all the time.

Secrets: Like Reading Your Mac’s Diary



Have you ever dreamed up a new feature for an application, like using network drives for Time Machine backups, or changing the sounds Mail makes when you send messages? Sometimes these features actually are in the application, they’re just difficult to find and change. Most of them require you to know how to use the Terminal or find files deep in your Library or System folder.

Secrets from the awesome people at Blacktree lets you change those settings through a preference pane in System Preferences. Suddenly all those features your Mac’s been hiding from you are just a checkbox away. Be careful though, changing the settings marked as “dangerous” might not be a great idea.

EverSave Is My Knight In Shining Armor



I really enjoy doing design work, but the weighty programs I’m using to do it make fighting the risk of losing my work a major battle. My latest project is laying out my resume on a grid to squeeze three pages of text into one. With all that fiddling, and switching back and forth between applications as I try to multitask, the software I’m using is prone to crashes. It was ugly, but thanks to years of practice back in the day, I managed to avoid a few serious issues thanks to a regimen of Command-S kung-fu training.

Then I found out about EverSave. EverSave is another quiet little freeware menu bar item you don’t know how you lived without. It’s got two key settings: time increment saving and application switch saving.

Time increment saving is pretty self explanatory, and I’m a little hesitant to use it for fear of losing my Command-S embouchure. Application switching saving just saves your current work every time you switch to another application. It’s a great time to save, since processing-intense programs seem likely to crash when you switch back to them, and it doesn’t interrupt your work flow.

EverSave also lets you choose which applications you want to automatically save, so you can keep it from accidentally pushing out new web code or overwriting your programs with new errors. You can also turn EverSave on and off through the menubar or through a customizable hotkey.

Take Firefox on Safari



Want the power and Windows compatibility of Firefox with the sleek look and style of Safari? Since the update to Firefox 3, it’s been difficult to find a good theme to transfer Safari’s UI experience. Luckily, has two excellent themes that will make you feel much more at home in Firefox.

The GrApple Yummy theme is almost an exact copy of Safari, right down to the tab stylings. GrApple Delicious is slightly different, mostly in the look of the tabs. The feel of Safari is still there though, so this might be a nice middle ground. It could definitely be handy in telling the applications apart if you have both open at the same time, as I do when I’m testing web site compatibility. Both themes come in “blue” and “graphite” styles.

Ads Getting… Bigger? Make Vimax Ads Disappear



I’ve received two “friend tech support” complaints about slow Internet access and seeing lots of ads for Vimax on just about every website all of a sudden. Today, I found the solution thanks to an article on Boing Boing referencing an Apple Support thread on the issue.

The software causing the problem is related to your DNS. Instead of showing your usual ads, they’re replaced with the offensive advertisements. Mulder on the Apple Support thread provides this insight and fix:

Reinstalling Mac OS X will not solve the problem, as it’s not with anything in OS X. If you have no Trojan Horse, then it would seem your ISP is doing this. So try this:

Open System Preferences > Network > Configure > TCP/IP and paste these two DNS servers into that field:

click Apply Now and quit System Preferences. Then restart Safari and see if the problem continues.

Results as follows: “Its worked zoop!! Zoop!!” and “I too obtained immediate results – thank you!“. If you have any problems, consult the thread itself for details on the debugging process and solution.

Sleep Deprive Your Macbook With InsomniaX



As a student, one of the main advantages of having a laptop is that you can study in quieter places with fewer distractions. As a photographer, you’re probably excited about using your laptop for tethered shooting on the go.

Here’s the paradox: if you try to shut the lid to focus on your term paper while you’re listening to music, or want to put your laptop in your backpack while you’re shooting, everything turns off.

Thanks to InsomniaX, you can get complete control over the system’s sleep cycle in a neat little menu item. To get this functionality on my old iBook I completely disassembled it and removed the bits that detect when the lid is closed. You don’t want to do that!

Download InsomniaX! Go ahead and listen to your music! Fill your hard drive with photos direct from your camera! The world is your oyster.