For Mac Users: 36 Ways to Tweak Tiger

"How many functions does your favorite software package perform? Most of the time, we're happy to pay for an app that has one or two core functions, as long as it does those functions well.

How about a freeware package that sports about three dozen different functions? Unbelievable, but it's true in the form of TinkerTool.

How can a piece of software be so useful and still be free? TinkerTool pulls it off by simply being a front end to a Terminal command. The defaults command, which originated in NeXTstep and made its way to OS X, allows you to change application preferences, including stuff that's not available from the app's preferences window.

TinkerTool has been with us since at least Mac OS X version 10.0 (Cheetah, although Apple didn't use the big cat names publicly then). I can remember using it back then to pin the Dock at the top of the screen and hide it under the menu bar - and to add a Quit menu to the Finder."

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"From the TinkerTool site, here's a complete list of features available with OS X 10.4 (other features available in earlier OS versions omitted):

1. Prevent the Finder from using the Desktop background
2. Disable the animation effect when opening files in the Finder
3. Enable the Finder to show hidden and system files
4. Enable the "Quit" menu item of the Finder
5. Disable sound effects of the Finder
6. Disable display of the full user and group list in ownership settings of the Finder
7. Disable the animation effect when opening information panels or Desktop icons
8. Disable the animation effect when selecting information categories
9. Disable the display of arrows in the Finder's column view
10. Set the maximum number of label lines in the Finder's icon view
11. Disable the creation of hidden Finder .DS_Store files on network volumes
12. Use transparent Dock icons to show hidden applications
13. Display the Dock with a shadow
14. Put the Dock to the top screen position
15. Place the Dock at the beginning or end of any screen border
16. Set the Dock minimization effect to a "suck in" animation
17. Place both scroll arrow buttons of any scroll bar at both ends of the bar
18. Set the file format for the creation of Desktop screen shots
19. Enable extended options for conversion of disk images
20. Automatically skip checksum verification when opening disk images
21. Accelerate the animation of opening and closing sheets
22. Enable the diagnostic menu of the Address Book
23. Automatically activate Terminal windows by pointing at them with the mouse cursor
24. Control how Mac OS X handles application crashes
25. Enable the Mac OS X Menu Extra to open optical disk drives
26. Enable the diagnostic menu of Safari
27. Disable Dashboard
28. Enable the developer mode of Dashboard (allows you to put Widgets on your Desktop)
29. Force an updated import of Internet Explorer favorites into Safari
30. Set the number of visible entries in the main history menu of Safari
31. Set the maximum number of entries stored in the history list of Safari
32. Reduce the delay time of Safari before page content is displayed
33. Disable native PDF display support in Safari
34. Set nine categories of default fonts used in Cocoa applications
35. Enable or disable restrictions for the permission settings of newly created files or folders
36. Set font-smoothing limits for all types of applications

And all of this for free!"

Download TinkerTool.