Archive for the ‘ Mac Customization & Hacking ’ Category


So obviously everyone knows that the Mac OS X Lion dev preview was released, swarmed, feed to the torrent hoard, and now everyone is tinkering with it. Most seem to have commented ‘meh’
It’s an early preview, So it’s likely very far from finished. I must say that this initial release already has more obvious ‘fundamental’ changes to look forward to. I recall being far less amused when I had checked our all the old Snow Leo betas.

The Lion 10.7 11A390 GUI

The newest Perian plugin for OS X seems to work in 10.7

I am looking for more intel on the new OS X. Not much out there yet. Though people mass-installing beta software in a frenzy of hype seems like a security nightmare. I observed some torrent files that were released “In order to be used by non-developers” Which could mean simply editing plist files, Or could be something more nefarious like the inclusion of malware or rootkits.
So far, I haven’t heard much, But I did find these updates on some of the bugs:

Posted by RoryPiper 9 hours ago

Heads up. These are the known bugs and stuff:

Known Issues
– If after enabling Disk Encryption you are rebooted back into Lion, and the Disk Encryption tab of the Security & Privacy System Preferences pane does not report that your disk is in the process of encrypting, please try re-enabling disk encryption.

– The Services menu may not be fully functional in applications utilizing Application Sandboxing, such as TextEdit and Preview.

– Application Sandboxing does not currently track renames while a document is open. If one opens a file in an application utilizing Application Sandboxing and renames the file in Finder while it is open, further attempts to save the file from the application will then fail until it is restarted.

– Network migrations are only supported from Mac OS X v10.6.6 with the Migration Assistant compatibility update installed.

– iPhoto pictures cannot be viewed in Full Screen on MacBooks with discrete video hardware.

– VoiceOver will not play a welcome message during initial user setup. VoiceOver works correctly otherwise, once enabled through System Preferences or by hitting‚ command-F5.

– If AirDrop does not appear to be working correctly, option-click the AirPort menubar item and ensure that the channel listed is not on the 5 GHz band with a channel between 52-64 or 100-140. Disabling and enabling Wi-Fi may resolve this issue.

– The Recovery partition may not be created when installing Lion on a drive with an unsupported partition scheme.

– In the open and save dialogs of Preview and TextEdit, the controls that allow you to specify formats, encodings, and other options may not be visible if the Dock is positioned on the right or left edges of the screen. If you encounter this issue, you can get around it by dismissing the panel, moving the Dock to the bottom of the screen, and bringing up the panel again.

– Multitouch trackpads that only support two-finger gestures will not have an option to reverse the scrolling direction in the Trackpad System Preferences pane.

– If your computer is unable to connect to your ethernet network, check to see that the Ethernet interface is listed on the left side of the Network System Preferences pane. If not, click the “+” button and add the Ethernet interface.

– If you are enabling MobileMe synchronization for the first time after installing Lion, go to the MobileMe System Preferences pane, select the Sync tab, and enable “Synchronize with MobileMe”. Next, deselect all synchronization options from Bookmarks to Preferences. Finally, reboot your machine and go back to the MobileMe System Preferences pane to re-enable all desired synchronization options.

– iTunes gift cards and other redemption codes cannot be redeemed in the Mac App Store.

– Saving a PDF being previewed in Safari is not currently supported. Instead, ctrl-click the link to the PDF and select “Save Linked File”.

Excerpt from:


Been a while

Looking to catch up on some new topics and projects. Having recently went through the whole process of re-configuring, jailbreaking, and customizing a used iphone 3Gs, I have also ended up discussing and researching smartphone security. I am starting a new post on that subject now. Be back soon with a post.

Oh, and you can follow me on twitter @metacym

imod on Twitpic

New MBP running Snow Leopard Server

So I never really dove into the newest OS X Snow Leopard until recently. I had my older Macbook Pro so dialed with OS X Server 10.5.4, I never cared to lose all my modifications. So recently I bought a used MBP with slightly better specs than my old one. With that, I installed Snow Leopard Server 10.6.5

The new digs

So I’ve already began modifying the GUI a bit, But the OS X GUI theming community has not yet PWNED the GUI to the extent that they had with Leopard. Overall, the UI is already a bit more aesthetically pleasing stock than it’s predecessor. This is all probably 2-year old to anyone active in the Mac Theming community, But l like I said, I sat this one out. And I intend to use this blog as an archive of this type of info regardless of the fact that I don’t really have traffic here. So meh.

And one more thing, I’ll be continuing researching new developments with theming SL until OS X “Lion” comes out. For anyone reading who is interested in modifying the Mac user interface, Proceed to MacThemes

Cheers !

Lately …

Not many new adventures in GUI hacking. Mostly just melee’s with IOS4 + 3G configurations.
Here’s my UI finally back to how i like it.

Same Ole’ Desktop UI

Also I’ve been continuing brand-consistency work with the promotional design for BIOTAXI LLC.

Eugene, Oregon’s First Bio-Fueled Taxi Company.
“Blue Cars, Blue Skies” is the company’s statement.
With a sustainable business model, This is great step
forward in lowering emissions, and re-using local food-waste.

And just for random sharing. Figured i ‘d post a scribble i did while trouble shooting a GRUB problem. did this while waiting for a 30 min disc check.

So much to catch up on !!

Greetings. sigh. So it’s obvious i hardly have the time i want to keep this page updated.
I promise to try more. I spend more time dealing with problems i cause through fiddling with my computers, so that leaves little time for writing about them.

Anyway, so Snow Leopard is out now, and everyone is constantly talking about it. Nothing major happened yet as far as the themer community goes. I expect when 10.6.1 comes out, most of the theme haX0rs will have ironed out a lot of kinks with themeing Snow Leopard. Then I’ll do a post on specific techniques to theme SL.

thanks to Toutheme of the Macthemes community. There is already
a theme available to mod Snow Leopard.

I havent got a copy yet, mostly because i use OS X Server, and and i dont see purchasing an upgrade for quite some time. But I beta-tested a random build of SL a while back to see how 3rd-party apps and typical themeing methods would work, and it was glitchy as all hell. But that’s to be expected, and to be honest, I still noticed some cool perks of SL. Very low CPU usage throughout a myriad of tasks. snappier opening and closing of apps and files, etc. No doubt it will be an efficient upgrade.

Here’s some tidbits that have been surfacing so far:

As far as UI-hacking:

    – There has been an update to Candybar that should make it work with SL.
    – Keeping CoreUI enabled in SL will insure better system performance.
    – Preview ( the native OS X image-viewing app) can now save files to ICNS format.

As far as general News:

    – Apple has a list of incompatible apps Here
    – Snowleopard has an invisible process that scans for malware. Crunchgear states that it isnt that thorough, but meh. At least it may help macs stay out of botnets.
    – Apparently, SL does NOT have full support for Sun’s ZFS filesystem.
    ”Sun’s licensing demands killed the deal”
    this sucks. i was looking forward to this filesystem as an option.

I will keep this list updated as i see new info arise.

OS *(ni)X

So i have started to actually “blog” on my blog now. Not much traffic coming through anyway. So whatevhs. So lately i have been messing around with Arch Linux, and Gentoo Linux.
All these sessions have got me thinking. All the configuring, testing, failing, retrying, re-editing config files in VIM, really gets me thinking about OS X + Linux a lot more. There are many parallels, and i love the idea of combining the things i like about all of them into one, open-source operating system.

For example, my everyday host-OS is the latest updated OS X leopard. One thing i dislike about the way OS X updates it’s software packages is that there are a bunch of applications i dont use, that software update always has updates for. All the time. I dont use iLife, iMove, iDVD, Pages, Keynote, iPhoto, etc. So why would i want to constantly install updates for apps i dont use? they can take up plenty of MB’s of space, that could be better utilized for a variety of different usages. This is why i prefer the Linux way of package-management.
Need to update an application you use everyday? Pop right into the terminal, and type
‘sudo apt-get udpate’, or ’emege –sync’, or ‘pacman -Syu’ depending on your system, and you can update packages manually, and Only update the ones you need.

Sure, you can always opt to just check off the updates you dont want in Software Update,
but Software Update doesnt additionally provide you with a multitude of other additional packages you might not need, but you may want.
This is why you may want to consider installing Fink, and /or Gentoo OS X. (portage)

An effort to bring Gentoo Portage to Apple Mac OS X. The goal of this project is to enable OS X users to enjoy the application richness of Portage on their favourite operating system of choice.

In its current incarnation, the project has its limitations on OS X which make the project for OS X as such incomplete. Embraced by the Gentoo/Alt project these limitations are recognised and being worked on with the purpose of finding a satisfying solution in the long run.

Currently there is no official installer for Gentoo for Mac OS X.

Detailed Info on Portage for OS X

However, the download link for the install files seems to be down currently. I’ll re-post
when i see that it is up.

The Fink project wants to bring the full world of Unix Open Source software to Darwin and Mac OS X. We modify Unix software so that it compiles and runs on Mac OS X (“port” it) and make it available for download as a coherent distribution. Fink uses Debian tools like dpkg and apt-get to provide powerful binary package management. You can choose whether you want to download precompiled binary packages or build everything from source.


The MacPorts Project is an open-source community initiative to design an easy-to-use system for compiling, installing,
and upgrading either command-line, X11 or Aqua based open-source software on the
Mac OS X operating system. To that end we provide the command-line driven MacPorts software package under a BSD License, and through it easy access to thousands of ports
that greatly simplify the task of compiling and installing open-source software on your Mac.

Installing Macports