May 13, 2005

Friday Frippery

I’m hot on the heels of a fresh Tiger installation, and happy to report all systems seem normal. On the whole, I am quite pleased with Tiger’s pungent new car smell, though it should be noted a few things appear to be a bit wonky.

Some are confusing: like the seemingly random window chrome designs (of which we can add a new one to the list); and some are just downright annoying: why the hell can’t I display the date with the time? The System Pref is called Date and Time. As it stands, I can only show today’s Day and Time, and have to click on the day and time to see today’s date. It would be negligible for Apple to allow users to toggle this display the same way they do with the day of the week. I was using MenuCalendarClock (which still works), but Apple nixed it’s ability to move all the way to the right past it’s system menubar icons. So, now if I want to use it, I have to let it float out to the left of all the other handy stuff up there. As seen here: jsm_menubar.gif (System clock on the right and MenuCalendarClock on the left). Booooo.

On a different note, I am quite amused by the variety of tags associated with Virtual Stan on Some gems: clever, stanimation, cool, bored, beefcake. Beefcake?! Zorthron will be so proud.

Commentary (18):

1. Dmitry says… may 13, 2005 | 1:48 pm


Sorry for offtopic, but I just found your site and it looks really cooll! I like your design.

About your post - I never used a Tiger, but I use a Linux. But anyway good luck! And thanks for your site.

2. sxtxixtxcxh says… may 13, 2005 | 2:09 pm

there is an update to menucalendarclock that fixes the positioning. well.. except for the spotlight icon, it can be on the rightmost menu item…

3. Jeff Croft says… may 13, 2005 | 2:12 pm

I concur about the window styles. I’m a big fan of the new (so-called “unified”) style, which is used by apps like Mail and NetNewsWire. Before, i was pretty torn between aqua and brused metal — I liked both okay, but neither seems appropriate for all windows. Now, with the “unified” style, it seems we might have one that would work well on just about any kind of window — but, alas, Apple has simply added it to the mix, rather than standardizing on it.

And, sort of related: Spotlight (which uses the new window style in it’s results screen) doesn’t belong to any application. This is quickly becoming my biggest Tiger annoyance. For example, if I have a Spotlight window buried under a bunch of other windows, I can’t get it to the front by switching to it’s application, because there is no such thing. It can’t be found in the “Window” menu of any app. It’s just kind of “out there.” You can get it via Expose, but I’ve never really gotten into the habit of using Expose (despite the fact that I think it’s a great feature).

Anyway — I’m overall pretty pleased with Tiger, but there are definitely a few annoyances.

4. Jason Santa Maria says… may 13, 2005 | 2:25 pm

sxtxixtxcxh: I grabbed that update before, but still no dice. I added a screenshot to the above post, which you can see here, System clock on the right and MenuCalendarClock on the left. Though I see the “Far Right” option, it still doesn’t seem to win out over the system stuff.

Jeff: I hear that. Spotlight is very cool, but I haven’t found myself using it very much yet. The “speed” of it is greatly diminished by the constant reordering of the results. It’s maddening.

5. gb says… may 13, 2005 | 4:18 pm

I was using the precursor to MenuCalendarClock, prior to to my upgrade, but since the upgrade, i realised how little I actually used the features (and I can get the date on the system clock by just clicking it), and just ditched it in favour of freeing up some memory.
As for the “Unified” theme… i like it so much that I’m using a theme that kills the brushed metal and uses it instead…

6. Dan Boland says… may 13, 2005 | 5:20 pm

I’ve been annoyed by the whole “it’ll cost you a click to see the date” thing with OS X for a while now myself.

My take on Tiger is that, for me, it really wasn’t worth the money to upgrade… When Panther was released, it was a marked improvement over Jaguar, just like how Jaguar was a marked improvement over Cheetah (Puma? I don’t know… 10.1). But other than Dashboard, I’m not seeing that much of a difference between Tiger and Panther. I’m sure there are plenty of improvements under the hood, but I’m not that much of an “under the hood” computer user. And as much as I really want to use Spotlight and Automator because I think they’re really great features, I rarely need to search for things and I don’t have anything I can really automate.

I’m also annoyed that they haven’t made Chess any easier, that is to say, not impossible.

7. John Athayde says… may 13, 2005 | 5:33 pm

Jason -

Have you tried the old “command-click-drag” approach to moving things around up in the menu bar? I don’t have MenuCalendarClock installed anymore, so I don’t know if it responds to that or not.

8. Jason Santa Maria says… may 13, 2005 | 6:05 pm

John: Yeah I thought of that too, no dice.

9. zac says… may 14, 2005 | 9:19 am

did you do an erase and install, an archive and install, or an upgrade?

10. Jason Santa Maria says… may 14, 2005 | 9:53 am

Zac: I did an archive and install.

11. M.e. says… may 14, 2005 | 12:13 pm

I’ve done six archive and installs for my design group and in all cases, Photoshop looses the ability to open files by dragging and dropping onto its dock icon or double clicking a document created by Photoshop. A reinstall of Photoshop is required.

Illustrator also needs to have its AICB clipboard preference re-checked to support copying and pasting from other applications.

On the other side, the improved clarity of screen fonts kicks total and complete ass.

12. Max says… may 14, 2005 | 4:36 pm

Yeah, the Date & Time menubar thing is a pain. MenuCalendarClock is better, but what I really want is for it to behave the way it did in OS 9: Shows the time, and a click makes it show the date. The problem with the OS X version of this is that while a click reveals the date, to get rid of it necessitates a second click, because of sticky menus.

13. jody says… may 14, 2005 | 6:40 pm

Have you tried unchecking the selectbox in the Date & Time Prefs that says “Show the date and time in the menu bar” ? This should turn off the system date/time display and leave you with just your MenuCalendarClock.

14. Jason Santa Maria says… may 14, 2005 | 8:08 pm

M.e.: Yeah, I had to do that same thing. While most apps are nice, tidy, and self-contained, Adobe likes for their files to be scattered to the winds when they install. So, some Adobe files go away with the “Archive” portion during that install.

Jody: I know what you are saying, the screenshot was just to show where the two are, not that I use them both like that at the same time. I was just venting my frustration that Apple nixed some of MCC’s functionality :D

15. erat says… may 18, 2005 | 2:13 pm

Here’s a roundabout way to do what you want with Tiger.

First, open the Date & Time system preference pane and select “International.”

Click the “Formats” button/tab on top, then click “Customize” in the Dates section of the preference pane.

Pull down the Show menu list and select “Medium.” If the items in the text input bar are not blue/selected, select them with your mouse, then CMD-C to copy them, then cancel out of the window. You should be looking at the Formats preference pane again.

Click “Customize” in the Times section of the preference pane.

Pull down the Show menu list and select “Medium.”

In the text input area, position a cursor where you want to paste what you just copied, then CMD-V to paste it. Add spaces, commas, whatever, between the elements as you see fit to make the string look right.

Click OK to save the Medium Times format. Your menu bar clock should show your new date and time string.

Note, if you don’t have “Show the day of the week” selected in the Date & Time preference pane, you won’t get the day of the week unless you insert it in the Dates string described above. If you do have it selected, I believe it appears before the date & time string you built.

16. Jason Santa Maria says… may 18, 2005 | 2:19 pm

erat: WOW! That is so great, and so damn buried. MenuCalendarClock was just updated today, and it fixes all the tomfoolery. I will still probably use MCC because it does more, but thanks very much for the helpful info.

17. erat says… may 18, 2005 | 6:43 pm

Jason, no problem. And yes, it is quite buried. Had I not read about that solution on the macosxhints web site I would have never known how to do it.

Next to the lack of virtual desktop management (Expose just doesn’t cut it for me; I prefer multiple desktops), the whole date-in-the-menu-bar thing has been one of my major complaints about MacOS X. Other than that, I think it’s great…

18. cpawl says… may 24, 2005 | 1:26 am

There are plenty of virtual desktop applications out there.

Tiger is more than just Dashboard…

I am loving it.