How To: Disable Dashboard in OS X

How To: Disable Dashboard in OS X

Dashboard in Leopard is a love it or hate it application. There are several useful applications that can make life easier. On the other hand, it’s easy to hit the activation buttons on Mighty Mouse by accident. Other people may begrudge Dashboard’s use of memory. It’s not much, but on low end machines every bit counts.

This is how to disable Dashboard:

Open Terminal (as an admin user)

type: defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES

Hit Enter

type: killall Finder

When Finder restarts, Dashboard should be gone. To turn it back on follow the same instructions, but replace YES with NO.

The first command is the powerful one. There are a lot of default behaviors that can be changed in OS X if the write command is known.

The second command, killall Finder simply does the same as force quitting Finder from the GUI. It forces the Finder to quit, relaunch and reload everything, including the Dock. In this case it does not relaunch Dashboard though.

Please let me know if you find this helpful. Also suggestions for other terminal commands would be appreciated.

How To: Check OS X Disk Usage

How To: Check OS X Disk Usage

In OS X there are two ways to do everything. Via the GUI, or Via the command line. Frequently the GUI method does fine for most uses. But sometimes a bit more information is needed.

In the GUI, getting Disc Usage is simple. Open Finder, click on the drive and look at the bottom of the finder window. The number of files selected and the space available is displayed. But, this only shows the current directory and includes ALL sub folders under it.

But with a little use of the command line we can get a lot more information. Opening terminal defaults to the active user’s home directory.

At this point type du -sh * We’re adding the s for “Display an entry for each specified file,” and h for “Human-readable” output.

This will give a readout like this:
28G Desktop
41G Documents
13G Downloads
3.9G Library
0B Movies
5.1G Music
42G Pictures
121M Public
374M Sites

As can be seen this then gives a readout of each directory in the current one and provides the total space it takes up. In cases of low hard drive space this gives a good way to quickly find folders that may be too big. It could also be run in the /Users folder on multi-user machines to find out who it using all the hard drive space.

How To: Enable Disk Mode for iPod

How To: Enable Disk Mode for iPod

This is a cool little hack. Enabling Disk Mode for iPods allows it to become just that, a nice USB Disk drive, or a way to get those MP3’s back after a hard drive crash.

In Terminal type: defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

Then type: killall Finder (make sure to capitalize Finder)

When the iPod if plugged in it’ll automatically mount on the Desktop like any other USB drive and your files will be accessible.