The Adventures of Systems Boy!

Confessions of a Mac SysAdmin...

The Death of Metal

Well, I finally got bored enough and bothered enough to mod my Tiger install to look the way I want. Essentially, I wanted to get rid of brushed metal and go more towards the "Unified" look. There are some utilities and what-not floating around out there that do a really nice job of this. I've been using the excellent UNO, but for my needs, even it took things a bit too far, and in the process created some rather bothersome visual artifacts. I had no idea I was so picky, but apparently I am.

Turns out, if you just want to do what I wanted to do, you need only modify one small but important file, which can be found here:

(This should all be on one line. BTW, anyone know the right way to post long lines?
UPDATE: Got it! At long last! -Jan 11, 2006)

So that's exactly what I did.

This is actually a bit harder than it sounds. A resource file of this kind is not something many applications can read. In fact, the only app I found that could view this file was the recently updated ThemePark. And read it it did. I used ThemePark to modify existing .rsrc files I had. The hard part, really, is that there are so many little tiny resources -- small pictures that make up most of the OSX GUI -- that finding the handful you want can take forever. So comparing and contrasting the original Tiger .rsrc file with the one that comes with UNO took some time and effort. But I was finally able to come up with something close enough to exactly what I want.

Now That's More Like It
(click for larger view)

If you like what you see, well, today's your lucky day. I've decided to share the fruits of my labor. Here, in all its glory, for you to use, is my Modified Extras.rsrc file. You are free to use it as you see fit. Drop me a line if you end up using it or sharing it, and give me a little credit. Send people to the blog. That's all I ask.

Please note:
  • This file goes in the aforementioned path, and should have the aforementioned name (Extras.rsrc).
  • Make a backup of the original Extras.rsrc file.
  • This is an important file. Using my modified version of the file could break your system (seriously).
  • It has only been tested on Mac OSX Tiger 10.4.2.
  • If you're uncertain about whether or not to use this file to modify the appearance of your OS X install, you probably should not attempt to do so.
  • If you need further instructions, you should probably try something less risky like ShapeShifter.
  • I am, needless to say, not responsible for any damage you incur on your system, or the systems of others, from your use of this file.
  • I will provide no support whatsoever.


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10:49 AM

Hey, you might want to check out Iridium for the system-wide Unified look. Uno is actually a rip of Iridium, and Iridium looks and feels better. Plus, since you've been dabbling in Firefox, I've got a Unified Firefox theme going. Check it out on my site: Feel free to drop me a line; you can find my e-mail address on my site.    

1:16 PM

"Rip off" is wrong. Iridium is free to modify under a Creative Commons licence. (Details.) Uno attributes its ancestry, so all is well.

Pedro Grilo also provides far better installation and removal scripts for Uno. Steven Cohen ain't much of a scripter, and admitted as much to me.


3:10 PM

This is true. UNO does borrow from Iridium, and gives credit. I've tried both, and for whatever reason, I preferred UNO's appearance over Iridium's. But they both create some undesireable artifacts, which is why I rolled my own.

Christian, your Firefox skin looks nice. Any way to download it? I'm currently using "GrApple (Eos)" which I like a lot. But yours looks a bit nicer.    

6:27 AM

Nice modifications! And, thanks for clearing up the UNO/Iridium relationship thing. It's good to see that someone actually reads the documentation :)

Let me know if you would like to apply your changes to the Iridium "trunk" (if you have a 10.4.4 version).

I'm working on Intel compatibility at the moment.    

10:21 PM


I'd be happy to apply my changes to the Iridium trunk, though I must say, I'm not sure what that entails, and it does sound a bit naughty.

But seriously, if you want to use my mod, go right ahead. I think most of the elements were taken from UNO, if memory serves, so I can't really take credit for much. All I did was leave out a lot of the stuff you guys put in, mainly the pointed bottom window corners (which look weird in Quicktime), and whatever causes the divider line to disappear in TextEdit and non-metal Finder windows. All the gradients and graphic elements were, I believe (can't remember for sure), copied and pasted from either UNO or Iridium, or some Frankenstinian combination of the two.

Maybe the theme should be called Frankenmetal.

In any case, I'm still using the version linked here on the site, and I'm running 10.4.4, so apparently it is compatible, though the 10.4.4 update did initially overwrite it.



11:37 AM

Works great! Thank you.    

12:07 PM

Your welcome!


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