I wonder how how many people like Apple's Widgets?
I know I don't. The biggest problem is their isolation from
the rest of the system: they are a part of the Dock more than anything
else. If you haven't used them for a while, they tend to get
paged out so can take a long time to switch to.
For an iBook user, Widgets have another problem: their default
activation key is F12, which is the same key the iBook uses to open
the CD/DVD drive. You can change that, of course: I changed it
to F8, and while I was at it made Spotlight F7 (because I often
accidentally hit Apple-Space, which is Spotlight's default).
If you have a big screen, you can take some of the annoyance
of your favorite Widgets away by dragging them out to your real
world. To do this, you first need to (in Terminal):
defaults write com.apple.dashboard devmode YES
killall -HUP Dock
Now activate Widgets, and choose one as though you were going to
drag it somewhere. Start dragging, and hit your Widget activation key
again. That switches you out of Widget mode, so let go of the drag and
now you have your widget on your desktop. It's always on top of
any other window, so that's why you need screen real estate. If you
decide you hate it, drag it back to Widget-land the same way: select it,
hold the mouse, hit your Widget activate key, and let it drop back to
its other widget friends.
Even on an iBook, this can be useful if you are going to be using
a widget for a period of time. Drag it out, use it, and put it back when
you are done. Leave "com.apple.dashboard devmode" at YES and you
always have the option of doing this. By the way, it's not an
accidental hack; it works this way to help debugging during development.
If you have no use for Dashboard whatsoever, you can do what
I did: disable it.
defaults write com.apple.dashboard mcx-disabled -boolean YES
When the Dock restarts, drag the icon off and that's the end of Dashboard..
and you get a little memory back too.
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