Chapter 5. Customizing the OS X Look and Feel

Customizing the Macintosh operating system has been one of the most enjoyable hacking experiences for Mac users since the earliest days of the Macintosh. This isn’t a surprise. By and large Mac users don’t follow the herd (they’d use Windows if they did), and they put a premium on individuality. This chapter explores ways to personalize your Mac. For bonus points, it turns out that some of these touches of personalization also make your Mac more useful.

HACK 37: Customize the Login Window

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It’s your computer; you should be able to personalize the machine in any particular manner you wish. Here’s how to use the Terminal, Nano, and Interface Builder to add an entire new level of customization to your set up.

One thing that classic Mac operating systems had over Mac OS X was the ability (with a little manipulation of a resource fork) to change the startup screen. Some may argue that losing the ability to easily change the startup screen is a small price to pay for protected memory and a delicious GUI, but the old-school users among us still yearn for the days when a black-and-white representation of Cyndi Lauper was displayed as our faithful compact Macs booted to life. While you can’t change the startup screen as easily in Mac OS X, you can modify the login window until that feeling of calm contentment returns.

Let’s begin by adding a bit of ...

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