As we install more applications on a mint mac, our login/ bootup time becomes increasingly longer. No longer do we have the speedy bootup when we first got our macs! Although I rarely shut down my mac, thanks to the almost-immediate wake up time of the mac, I try to shut it down every 7-10 days just to make sure the entire system gets a bit of rest.
I realize though, that I have a ton of login applications that start up automatically with my mac, which, aesthetically, tends to clog up my menubar quite abit, and more practically, it takes my mac a way longer time to get everything set up on reboot.
Here’s a quick tip to get your mac booting up quickly just like it did out of the box - at the login window, after typing in your password (or if you have none, after clicking on your user profile), simple hold down the shift key. this should prompt the mac to start off loading only the default menu bar applications, which you can see in the screenshot below - I only have time machine, the battery meter, airport, language, time/date, bluetooth and spotlight. I haven’t done a time check yet but I think it’s safe to say that my mac goes from zero to hero in less than 15 seconds flat!
i think this is important for situations when you need to boot your mac from cold to access something quickly, and you don’t need menubar applications like dropbox for the moment.
hold SHIFT at the login screen to ensure speedy bootup!
TextEdit has a very simple outlining mode, perfect for jotting down quick notes with a bit of structure. To activate it, hit ⌥ + ⇥ while editing an RTF document.
Notice how the ‘close’ radio button on the top left of the window shows a darker circle when it is unsaved!
If you haven’t realised, I’m abit of an OCD nut (although I realise this may be an understatement). I can’t stand clutter, although god knows why since I practically live in filth of my own making every day.
One of the easiest ways to declutter your dock (i.e. prune it of all the unnecessary icons and make sure it doesn’t look like an entire eco-system of applications and documents live on it) is to minimize open application windows into the application icon itself.
The default setting is to minimize application windows (e.g. word documents) into the right portion of your dock, but I dislike seeing my dock have so many icons open since I tend to have about 5 windows open when I am working.
The default setting:
Note that the application icon at the bottom right to indicate which application it belongs to.
to change your settings, just go to system preferences > dock and work from there.
Check ‘minimize windows into application icon’. To see all the windows of that application at once, click and hold the application icon, and you should see an expose of all the windows:
This is a decluttering tip that may not be useful for everybody especially if you need your windows to be displayed all at once.
Hidden secrets from the Textedit icon (enlarge to 512x512 px)
The draw of macs for me is that it is minimalist and clean until people decide to clog up their macs with unnecessary applications that they don’t use after the first time, or when they chuck files on the desktop (guilty on both counts).
Every once in a while though, the OCD side of me kicks into full gear and I embark on a mass clean-up of my mac and putting things in the right place where they belong, sweeping unwanted files and folders off the desktop into the trash. One of the easiest things to do when you have the time to fiddle about with your mac is to declutter your menubar.
Most macs come with a pristine menubar. And then people discovered the joy of installing useless applications and it began to resemble a hodge-podge of application icons that ate into the left portion of the menubar.
Presently, my menubar looks like this -
It’s not the three icon menubar that minimalist nazis go for but it is functional without being obtrusive. I have quite a few applications that open at log-in but aren’t reflected in the dock nor the menubar, because I don’t see a need to have them in the fore when I work. Also, I am a frequent user of the application switcher so I don’t like to have any unnecessary applications that get in my way when I hit cmd + tab.
Most applications come with an option of removing either the dock or menubar icon (with the application active, open preferences by hitting cmd + ,) and hunt around.
For the default system icons, you may remove or shift around the positions by holding down cmd and clicking on the menubar icons or dragging them out of the menubar tray to remove them completely.
Make your dock icons semi-transparent when you hide your applications so that it will be easier to distinguish between active applications and the applications you want to leave out without quitting.
1. Open terminal
2. Type defaults write com.apple.Dock showhidden -bool YES
3. Type killAll Dock
This restarts the dock and the next time you press cmd + h the icons should be invisible
one of the utilities i miss from os x in an all pc work environment is spotlight, which acts as a search dog for all your files and folders.
typically, the default keystrokes to call up spotlight is cmd + space. the beauty of spotlight is that it is fast (could do with a few speed pickups but for normal use it will suffice) and relatively accurate (qualifier here because there have been times when spotlight has dropped the ball on me).
but trust me when i say this - spotlight is a lifesaver in class when you get picked on and you have no effing clue what just happened for the past 30 minutes while you entered the stone zone. been there, done that, bought the tshirt.
the standard use for spotlight is usually limited to searching and opening documents (presentations, word documents and the like). but with a few tweaks and good practice habits, you can train spotlight to jump hoops of fire for you.
1. Application launcher
As mentioned previously, I rely heavily on keystrokes to get around my mac. spotlight is no different. I prefer to call up spotlight, type in the application name (e.g. itunes, safari) and hit enter.
speedy, efficient and minimal hand work required.
2. Refine your search parameters
You can narrow spotlight’s search parameters in two ways - through categories (called ‘kinds’ in spotlight) and by date.
Open spotlight under system preferences and you should see this window appear -
select the categories you think you would be searching in most often. i’ve chosen not to have spotlight display search results for webpages, fonts, contacts and mail messages.
also if you have sneaky folders (pr0n possibly) you don’t want spotlight to throw up for you while giving a talk for example, you can click the privacy tab and take out certain folders from the spotlight indexing (which is basically a process where spotlight scans your harddrive periodically to get its search database up to date).
here, you can see that i’ve chosen to disable the spotlight sweep for my icons folder.
okay kids, that’s all for today. study hard and stay in school!