7 Quick Tweaks for Mac OS X Lion

Lion is a welcome progression in the Mac OS X family. It, however, has changed the way a few things work from Snow Leopard and before, so I’ve compiled seven quick tweaks I like to perform.

1.) Unhide the Library folder for your particular user account:

chflags nohidden ~/Library/

2.) Easily install Java SE 6:

java -v

3.) Turn off window-restore when quitting and re-opening apps:
Apple Menu -> System Preferences -> General

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Installing wget in Mac OS X 10.6

The exclusion of wget in OS X is rather mystifying.  In any case, its quite easy to build from source and this post will explore how to do just that.

First, you need to have Xcode installed with “Unix Dev Support” which includes gcc and other packages for software compilation.  Xcode is located on your Mac OS X install DVD under the “optional installs” section.  You can also download Xcode from Apple. If you aren’t sure if Xcode is already loaded on your system or not, if you don’t have a “Developer” folder listed in the top level of your HD, then it is not installed.

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Restoring Horizonal iTunes 10 Window Controls

With the introduction of iTunes 10, several new and rather unusual UI changes have arrived as well.  Perhaps the most troublesome, for me personally, have been the vertical window control buttons.  I prefer consistency in all of my applications, so luckily a quick fix is available to restore the standard horizontal buttons.

Simply run the following command in your Terminal:

defaults write com.apple.iTunes full-window -1

Now, just restart your iTunes application and you should be all set. A special thank you goes out to Ars Technica’s Review of iTunes 10 for this information.

Font Anti-Aliasing and Mac OS X 10.6

Mac users may have noticed the options for adjusting font anti-aliasing / smoothing in Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) have mysteriously disappeared from the “Appearance” section of System Preferences.  With Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and before, users could control the level of font smoothing with classifications such as: Automatic, Standard, Light, Medium, and Strong.

Luckily, this now hidden preference, can still be accessed via the Terminal. Run the following command as the local user:

defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 1

and replace the number at the end for the selection you wish:

1 – Light
2 – Medium
3 – Strong

Finally, log out and log back in to see the changes applied to the Finder and all applications.  A special “thank you” goes to Mac OS X Hints for supplying the information for this post.

Slow Shell Prompt in Terminal.app

Have you recently noticed your shell prompt taking longer and longer to show up after you open Terminal.app in Mac OS X Leopard or Snow Leopard?  In some cases, I’ve seen the delay to be as long as 7-10 seconds.  Well, here is a quick tip to alleviate the issue.

cd /var/log/asl
sudo rm -rf *

The above commands clear the Apple System Log and the problem is instantly resolved.