Apple Archive

Aquify the Mac OS

- 2001.04.20

OS X version 10.0.1 is now available, but unfortunately it doesn't run on all Macs. Since this is Low End Mac, not everybody here has an OS X-ready computer. If you happen to have one that OS X doesn't run on, you don't have to suffer watching other people run an OS with that beautiful Aqua UI.

You can make your older Mac look like it has OS X on it with very little effort. Here is how:

First, you need to get a piece of software called Kaleidoscope. I talked about this in Make Your Mac Your Own last month. Kaleidoscope lets you have all different types of User Interfaces. It will also let you change your System font.

After you install Kaleidoscope, you will need to find an Aqua scheme. You can do a search online for one, try Google to search. There was once a good scheme called Aqua III. Once you download a scheme, drop it in the Kaleidoscope Schemes folder.

You aren't done yet. Open the Kaleidoscope control panel and select your scheme. You will have the Aqua UI on your computer now. (The red button closes the window, yellow hides it, green fits to view).

Next, you will need to download PowerWindows. This gives you the fading window effect and the solid window dragging of OS X. Set the control panel for solid window dragging and fading menus, nothing else.

After this you will need to extract the Lucida Grande font from iTunes. Open iTunes in ResEdit, or Resorcerer. Also create a new ResEdit file on the desktop, and name it Lucida Grande. From iTunes, copy the "stfnt" and "FOND" resources and paste them into your new file. Get info on the new file (in your resource editing program), and change the type to FFIL and the creator to DMOV. Save the file. You will now notice that the file has a font icon on it when you return to the Finder. If you open it, you will see the Lucida Grande font sample. Drop it onto your system folder to use it.

In the Kaleidoscope control panel, change the system font to Lucida Grande. In the Appearance control panel, change the Views font to Lucida Grande as well, and the size to 12.

You might be asking "why doesn't the font look as smooth as in OS X?". Well, to fix that you will need to download SmoothType. Once this is downloaded and installed, you will notice that your fonts are very smooth.

To get the dock, you will need to download and install A-Dock. With A-Dock installed, you will have a dock which works much the same as the one in OS X.

Even if you don't have a G3 or G4, you can still experience the beauty and even some of the functionality of OS X, all in OS 8 or 9.

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