Tag Archives: shiny

New Shiny! Welcome, Hermione!

This is is somewhat of a follow-on to my previous post about the farewell of my old MacBook. Read that too, if you want.

Yeah, that Hermione. As in Hermione Granger? As in Hermoine Jean Granger, one of the very best witches in the Harry Potter series? Who is played by the stunning Emma Watson in real life? Yeah, the one and the same.

I’ve blogged about this before, but any geek worth their salt has changed the hostname for the computers. Those geeks that really know what they’re doing even have themes for their names, and it just so happens that I have Harry Potter-related names for all my computers (I don’t think you can change the hostname on an Xbox 360, otherwise I totally would). Say what you want about the Harry Potter theme, just don’t go downplaying the impact it has had on my generation; so much so that (my potentially very naive self thinks) it’s really quite comparable to even Pokemon in terms of global impact and how much money has been spent on associated merchandise…

Anyway, sectumsempra was the old name of my old white MacBook, named after the seemingly-harmless spell in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince that turned out to be not-so-harmless. In the most tangential of ways the real sectumsempra has a similar story to my old white MacBook, but that’s for another time. Severus (yes, that Severus, as in Severus Snape) is the name of my ultra-powerful gaming rig. i7 930, EVGA X58, GTX 480, Vertex 2 SSD, 6TB of internal storage. Like I said, pretty powerful stuff. It’s hooked up to a Dell U2711 for the most part, except when it needs to pull LAN duty when it gets the pixels of a tiny 20″ to push.

Previous computers me or my family have owned have taken on such names as Fawkes (after the phoenix), Protego (the spell), and Sonorous (also the spell). They all have stories behind their names, but that’s definitely for another time.

Which brings us to Hermione.

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I’m impartial to a little bit of shiny every now and again; so sue me.

shiny gui

shiny gui2

via Sleek Interface Designs from DeviantART.

Okay, I’ll admit it – being a Mac user, I usually prefer to having things that work, even if that means sacrificing a little bit of customisability here and there. Every so often though, I like to go all out with UI customisations and tweak every setting/interface I can.

I didn’t even realise it until just now, when I saw the two pics at the beginning of this post. For some reason, they reminded me of the dark old days when I used to used  Windows ME machine with a little program called Musicmatch Jukebox, which was almost infinitely skinnable and could be made to look pretty similar to the screenshots above.

If I’m honest, it’s one of the things I miss about “the Apple experience” – the ability to customise UIs to however you want. Then again, I’m kinda glad – Apple gear (usually, haha) lets you get stuff done, without worrying about all of that kind of stuff. It’s probably one of the reasons it’s more user-friendly as well, but we wont’ go into that.

Yet, even after being a “true Mac user” for the past three years or so (PPC is so dead to me), I’m not ashamed to say I’ve relapsed once or twice. I jailbroke my iPhone 3G and installed a different font (which, interestingly, made it slightly less readable, but so much more enjoyable on the eyes), I’ve experimented with Enigma for Windows, and more recently, I’ve also considered changing the standard Mac UI scrollbars to something a little more, er, modern.

Bottom line? It’s not that I don’t like having control over how I think things should look – far and away, themes are great. However, it’s the time required to make everything “just right” that kinda puts me off – one of the main reasons I didn’t stick with Enigma was that as powerful as it was, I wasn’t really prepared to go diving into lots of customisation files for all the tweaks I needed to make, which is also one of the reasons why I haven’t tried GeekTool yet, either.

As I’ve said before – Linux is only free if your time is worthless, and that still holds true for (most) of these customisations, as well. Be content with what you have – experience has always told me there will always be a better version out there, but oh wait – did you just waste an hour trying to get it to work?