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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."
Chris's picture

I've come across a 'clutter...

I've come across a 'clutter fixer' app that one-ups MenuShade --- menufela.

Last time I played with MenuShade it (quite annoyingly imho) still reserved that space at the top of the screen. If you were to 'turn off' the menu you would simply make it black which, while limiting distraction now had the top pixels of my screen occupied by a black strip. If you're screen is black is doesn't look too goofy... but moving windows around the screen still has this strange 'hands-off' area at the top of the page..

Enter menufela from Ninja Kitten software. Like MenuShade of clears your desktop of the menu bar at the top but, unlike Menushade, this space becomes available desktop -- so drag those windows to the tippy top of your screen until you hearts desire is filled.

Need to see the manu? Just mouse to the top of the screen and the menu bar neatly slides down a la an autohide.

Check it out -- http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/30322

  • Chris



An Oblique Strategy:
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