Macintosh Enhancements

Camino® Utilities

I've recently written one useful utility for Camino®, the Mac OS X native web browser based on the Mozilla® Gecko® rendering engine, but I may write more in the future. The utility needed a place that talks about it, anyway, so it is also appearing now on this page.

Troubleshoot Camino

Starting with Camino® 1.1a1, it is possible to run the browser using a custom profile location. Starting with a fresh profile is a common troubleshooting step, but it could be easier for non-technical users to do this. Enter Troubleshoot Camino, which allows the user to drag his copy of Camino® onto the applet and have that copy of Camino® launched with a fresh profile. When the user quits, old profile will be untouched and ready for use again.

Download (v1.2.1; 85.1 KB .zip) (discussion)

Enable Cookie Logging

In 2007, trunk versions of Gecko browsers (Camino®, Firefox®, SeaMonkey®) were experiencing some unexplained cookie loss. In order to facilitate running the applications with cookie logging enabled, I wrote a small AppleScript to automate the command-line-based process for non-technical users. Simply drop your Gecko browser onto the Enable Cookie Logging icon, and the rest is done for you.

Download (v1.0; 70 KB .zip)

Other Camino Utilities

There are a number of other small Camino utilities I’ve written, including some toolbar scripts, available here.

NeoOffice® Utilities

Trying to make on the Mac suck less*With apologies to Dan Williams and Mike Pinkerton

Over the past several years, I've put together a number of hacks, scripts, and other items related to NeoOffice®, the Mac OS X-native port of the open-source office suite. I figured it was about time to collect them all in one place for easy reference, so they're appearing now on my Mac "software" page.

Add Microsoft HFS Codes – folder action script

One of NeoOffice®'s French users is in a situation where it is necessary to exchange documents with people using Macs running Microsoft Office 98 on Mac OS 9. Classic versions of Microsoft Office will not open files unless they have the proper HFS type and creator codes set, and because of bugs in (the file saving code provides the name of the file to be saved and whether it already exists or not, but not the type of file to be saved), NeoOffice® sets a type code of NO%F for all newly-created files (it preserves existing types and creators, however). This causes classic versions of Microsoft Office to fail to open the files.

The solution to this problem is a folder action script that sets the appropriate type and creator codes of Microsoft Office documents based on the document's filename extension. When a file with a Microsoft Office extension (i.e., .doc) is saved into a folder which has this script attached to it, the script sets the proper type and creator in preparation for transferring the files to a Mac running a the classic Mac OS.

Requires Mac OS X and folder actions enabled. Download add_ms_hfs_codes.dmg (84 KB .dmg; GPL)

NeoOffice TSV Helper – applet

NeoOffice TSV Helper is a sample applet to illustrate how to force certain document types (such as tab separated values, .tsv) to open in Calc instead of Writer. This applet can be extended to other document types simply by adding the appropriate entries for their extensions to the applet’s Info.plist file.

This applet will handle files opened by double-click in the Finder (if NeoOffice TSV Handler has been set as the default application to handle files with the .tsv files), by using the Finder’s “Open With…” context menu, by dropping files on the applet, or by selecting files from the applet’s “Open File…” dialog.

Download (96 KB .zip; GPL)

Toggle Patch Check – applet (obsolete)

Sometime during the NeoOffice®/J 1.1 Release Candidate cycle, Patrick added a feature to allow users to disable the function that checks for new patches. (In the NeoOffice®/J 1.1 final release and subsequent final releases of NeoOffice®, the patch check was disabled by default to ease mass deployment situations and because there would be few patches released for final versions as development shifted to the next major release.) The function to disable the patch check requires use of the Terminal, so this simple AppleScript accomplishes the task in a more Mac-friendly way

Beginning with NeoOffice 2.2.2 Patch-1, disabling patch-checking is controlled by the built-in ( UI.

Under development

Startup-and-Hide – script (obsolete)

Because of the behavior of Java 1.3.1, it is not possible to launch NeoOffice® as hidden item at login; Java 1.3.1 forcefully shows the application when the first window is created. The following script, when saved as an applet with the proper delay for each Mac, will launch NeoOffice® at login and hide the application once it finishes loading.

It is necessary to tweak the delay statement to match the startup time taken by NeoOffice® after login (subsequent startups will be much faster) on each Mac, in order to hide the application immediately after the first window has been displayed. Save the script as an Application and add the applet to your account's login items.

Download Startup-and-Hide (opens a new ScriptEditor document)

Keyboard Shortcut & Menu Configurations (obsolete)

While (and thus NeoOffice®) have many keyboard shortcuts and menu layouts that are not very Mac-like, the application also includes a facility for modifying the keyboard shortcut for almost every function in the program and for re-arranging major menus. To demonstrate this feature, I assembled some sample, more Mac-like, configurations.

These are English-only; the underlying code apparently rewrites entire menus rather than just including the modifications, so English menu item text replaces the native menu item text. They currently work only with NeoOffice® 1.2.2 and below. For more information on installing these, consult the appropriate article in the NeoWiki.

Download NeoOffice® Menu and Keyboard Configs (28 KB .sit)

libwpd Accessories

I'm also the packager of the Mac OS X version of the libwpd library and associated tools. libwpd is used in many pieces of software (AbiWord, NeoOffice®/, to facilitate import of WordPerfect documents. It's also available as a stand-alone download with a collection of command-line tools. To make the main tool, wpd2sxw, more Mac-like, I've written a basic AppleScript droplet/GUI, Batch wpd2sxw.

Available as part of the libwpd Mac OS X package (LGPL)

Classic Mac GUI Stuff

Smokey's Nifty Macintosh Enhancements

This page was mentioned on ResExcellence, the premier Macintosh resource editing site, on 10-12-98.

A special thanks goes out to Michael Coyle for the press, and for the great job he does coming up with *useful* little edits. Stop by and check it out sometime! (In fact, it was ResExcellence that inspired me to post some of the little edits I've done and that's why this page exists.)

As you might be able to tell from other areas of my site, I am rather partial to the Macintosh platform. Having used DOS and Windows, as well as the MacOS, for years, there is no doubt in my mind that the Macintosh is a much better—more efficient, cleanly and carefully designed, and powerful—choice than the other two. Windows 95 has improved Microsoft's offerings tremendously, but Win95 still pales before the Mac. Windows 95 is still kludgy and irrational, acting like the top-heavy clown on stilts it is, and it crashes more often than MacOS 8.0 or 8.1. And if you get your hands on one of the G3 PowerBooks, as I have, you'll really wonder why people bother dealing with Windows. Regardless, I'd rather use my little SE/30 (running System 7.5 with its 5 MB of RAM, 40 MB hard drive, and built-in 9" black and white screen) than any Wintel PC I've ever seen.

Anyway, that's my little foray into the great battle over OSes and hardware platforms. The purpose of this page is actually to show off the little edits, icons, and the like that I've made over the course of time. They're not anything to knock your socks off, but perhaps some people will find something they like and want to use on their Mac or web page. So, without further ado,


The PowerBook G3 Series is perhaps the greatest laptop ever built—certainly it turns heads everywhere it goes. I have two little buttons for webmasters to show their pride in using this beautiful machine to make their web sites.

Made with a PowerBook G3 Series (with Apple logo)
Made with a PowerBook G3 Series (4.x browser-type button)

I ask that you link these buttons to Apple or Apple's PowerBook page, so you point your visitors at information about these great machines.

Option-click the image to download G3 white or G3 grey (20 KB .jpg, 16 KB .jpg; emailware – please send me an email with your URL if you use them. Thanks!)


Nota Bene: All of the following enhancements require you to use ResEdit or a similar resource editor. Don't do this unless you are comfortable doing so, and ALWAYS, ALWAYS work on a COPY of the file and KEEP the original in case something goes wrong!

PowerBook G3 Series About this Macintosh resources

Appearing first on the ResExcellence user contributions page: The PowerBook G3 Series About this Macintosh Replacements for Mac OS 7.6.x-Mac OS 8.x.x

About this PowerBook G3 Series
About this PowerBook G3 (Series)

Download the replacement PICTs for Mac OS 7.6.x and Mac OS 8 (72 KB .hqx; emailware – please email me if you use them!)

And now the Mac OS 9.x.x version....

About this PowerBook G3 Series (Mac OS 9)

Download the replacement PICTs for Mac OS 9 (64 KB .hqx; emailware)

PowerComputing MacOS Licensing Extension resources

My previous machine was a PowerComputing PowerCenter 132, and I hated how the About this Macintosh and later About this Computer window didn't give much of an identification of my machine. So I downloaded the MacOS Licensing Extension 2.0.2 from UMAX's SuperMac software updates and modified it, since Power never distributed a version for its machines. As I read the license, I, not being a licensed clone manufacturer, cannot distribute the version I modified. Instead, I'm putting up a ResEdit file with the appropriate resources you can paste into the copy of the MacOS Licensing Extension you download. Included is a PICT for MacOS 8, and an icon and a text string for System 7.5. There also is a custom icon for the extension itself.

"About this PowerCenter" PICT
MacOS Licensing Extension with PowerComputing logo

The font used for the PowerCenter text is, if I recall correctly, 16 point bold italic Palatino (wouldn't Photoshop 5 be nice!).

Download the MacOS Licesnsing Extension from UMAX.

Download the MacOS Licensing Extension resources (16 KB .hqx; emailware)

PowerComputing case icons

Also for your PowerComputing machine, my versions of the low-profile case icons. This file includes both MacOS 8-style and System 7-style machine icons for your hard drive or anything else.

PowerComputing Low-Profile icons

Download the PowerComputing Low-Profile icon resources (8 KB .hqx; emailware)


If you have MacOS 8.1 or above and the contextual menu plugin Icon Tools, I have some icon stamps for you to download. None of them are very revolutionary, just other icons I've repurposed for Icon Tools. But then again, that's all most icon stamps I've seen have been . . . .

Smokey's Icon Stamps 2.0

Download Smokey's Icon Stamps 2.0 (32 KB .hqx)

© 1998-2010, Smokey Ardisson
This page was last modified on January 10, 2010.