29.4.09

Making GeekTool Menubar friendly

I wouldn't call this part 2 of my GeekTool post, but it is the follow up I mentioned in the last post. GeekTool needs a little tweak to make it play nice on newer systems. Do you need to do this? No... but you'll loose out on some of the features if you don't.

Who needs to do this? Well I needed to when I installed it on my unibody 13" MacBook, which means Intel Leopard. It worked just fine on my PPC G4 iMac running Leopard without the change. So does that mean it's Intel Leopard, or just Intel systems? I don't know... but if the happy little 'pizza' doesn't show up in your menu bar when you check on 'Show Menu' in the PrefPane, then this will fix you right up. In that case, read on.

So you've installed GeekTool, and you're left without pizza, so you can't access the groups options, forced refresh, or disable/enable commands from your menu bar? First thing you need to do is download the most recent version of MenuCracker from sourceforge.net. As of this post that would be version 1.4. Also as of this version the .dmg seems to not actually have anything in it, so you'll want to get the file named UpgradeToUniversalMenuCracker1.4.zip.

Step 1: Download and open the file. That will give you an installer package. Don't actually run the installer.

Step 2: Right-click (control-click, or two finger tap... this is getting out of hand, Apple) the installer package and chose 'Show Package Contents'. You'll get a new Finder window with just a folder named Contents.

Step 3: Open that folder and double click on Archive.pax.gz which will give you another folder named Archive.

Step 4: Now open this folder and copy the file MenuCracker.menu into your work area of choice. The desktop works if you like. Now you can get rid of the installer package if you want, though I like to archive things like this as you never know when they'll vanish off the face of the net.

Now you need to put that file inside of the GeekTool PrefPane; which is a lot easier than it sounds. I will take this time to say that while if you do exactly what I tell you NOTHING BAD WILL HAPPEN™ if you go poking around in other files, and make other changes I will not take responsibility for loss of data, system failure, or all the Canadians bent on world domination (I know that was redundant) coming together and actually succeeding (I for one welcome our new Canadian Overlords) as a result of you not following my instructions to the letter. Come to think of it even if you do exactly what I say you're still on your own if Oh Canada becomes the world anthem.

Step 1: Locate the actual PrefPane file for GeekTool. If you installed it for all users then it will be in /Library/PreferencePanes/ from the root of your boot drive. If you installed it for just one user then it'll be in ~/Library/PreferencePanes/ (which means the Library directory in your home directory) The file is called GeekTool.prefPane and it's icon will look just like it does inside of the PrefPane.

Step 2: Open the contents of the file just like you did the installer package, and open the Contents folder.

Step 3: Now open the Resources folder and locate GeekToolMenu.menu and do another Show Package Contents. (these are just directories which carry a special flag that makes them look different to the system and in Finder)

Step 4: Once again we're opening the Contents folder and then the Resources folder.

Step 5: Replace the MenuCracker.menu file with the one you copied out of the installer package. Now you should be able to just disable then enable GeekTool from within the PrefPane, but if that doesn't work a logout and login will take care of it.

You'll now have the pizza in your menu bar, and have access to some of the options without having to open the System Preferences; you'll also have faster access to the PrefPane for GeekTool.

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