Mac OS X Customizability – Part 1: Desktop

Waiting for an 21GB game to install, I found time for a short burst of blog posts about really cool stuff you can do to customize your Mac OS X experience. I wish I had known this stuff earlier, so here you go with part 1.

Let’s customize the Desktop with dynamic data. This is mine:



If you want dynamic text on your desktop too, download GeekTool from the Mac App Store. For the quotes, you can use the settings you see on the screenshot with my ruby script (download herethat gets quotes from For the process list, use the following settings and command:


top -l 1 | awk '/PhysMem/ {print "Used RAM: " $8 " Free: " $10}';echo "";echo "  PID  CPU% RAM_MB  Process";ps -arcwwwxo "pid %cpu rss command" | egrep "$1" | grep -v grep | head -12 | tail -11

The calendar stuff in the middle are multiple “geeklets” that use the following commands to get the different parts of the calendar and that are styled slightly different:

date +%A (outputs “Friday” in my german localization)

date +%d.; (outputs “08.”)

date +%B (outputs “February”)

date '+%H:%M' (outputs “23:46”)

The resulting calendar then might look like this, if you’ve styled the geeklets like I did and positioned them in the same way (the borders will vanish, when GeekTool is not the frontmost app):


By the way, when you have so many strange apps installed (I have), your appbar gets icon creep. But if you saw my screenshots above, it wasn’t so bad, was it? May I introduce: Bartender. Look at this


Bartender lets you configure what you want to see, what you don’t want to see and what is only shown in the Bartender bar that opens when you click it.

Part 2 of this customizability posts will follow soon with a better finder and better touch input.

, Posted Saturday, February 9th, 2013 under Tipps.

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