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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

MacBreak: Minimize distractions on your Mac

MacBreak 33: The Distracted Mac (Direct MOV Download)

Although it covers a lot of the same ground as a previous MacBreak we did on the subject, I think Leo and my segment on un-distract-ifying your Mac turned out pretty good (my atrocious hairstyle at shoot time notwithstanding). Download 10:28 MOV file now...

Here's the apps and tricks that we covered, with links:

  • Hide Others - In the front app, select "[Application name menu] > Hide Others"
  • Turn [Dock] Hiding On - In the Dock, CTRL-Click the Dock's vertical separator bar, and select "Turn Hiding On"
  • Backdrop - Create a black background that still lets you easily interact with Desktop contents
  • MenuShade - Alter the brightness of your Menu -- or totally black it out, like I do
  • Spirited Away -- Hides non-active applications after the interval of your choice (thanks for the legacy download link, Don)
  • Path Finder - Totally tricked out Finder on steroids that I love love love; where I made the Desktop black and hid all mounted drives, folders, etc. (doable in the regular Finder, too)
  • Hazel - Automagically clean up the contents of folders and the Desktop (e.g., "move old MP3s here" or "archive files older than a week" etc.)
  • Textmate - My favorite text editor. Which I apparently love to plug for no particular reason.

Edit 2006-12-21 16:51:22: Check after the cut for reader suggestions from comments for this post...

Recommended by 43f readers in comments

  • Witch - "Witch lets you access all of your windows by pressing a shortcut and choosing from a clearly arranged list of window titles..."
  • Desktopple - "With Desktopple, you can quickly and easily hide all of your Desktop clutter."
  • LiteSwitch X - Merlin's fave app switcher; handy also for quitting, hiding, or restarting apps without changing focus
  • [unsanity] WindowShade X - Hack control of your Finder Windows
  • Menufela - "Menufela is a haxie that lets you hide away the menubar and/or get rid of the spotlight menu item."
  • Doodim - "Doodim permits one to dim the background of the foremost application thereby enhancing its visibility."
  • ianhenderson.org - megazoomer - "Megazoomer makes windows full-screen. "
  • WriteRoom | Hog Bay Software - "WriteRoom is a full screen, distraction free, writing environment."
Greg's picture

I don't know what my...

I don't know what my issue is, but in Pathfinder 4.6.1 (command + j) does not give me the desktop view options. It only gives me view options for pathfinder itself. I'd like to hide my drives on the desktop. I checked the help files for pathfinder and it's perfectly inline with Merlin's description on MacBreak. Does anyone know what I'm doing wrong?




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