Mac Power Users 471: Menu Bars, Docks & Startup Apps, Oh My!


You can configure the Touch Bar to default to / permanently display the f keys although I can see that not suiting a lot of people as you then don’t have the physical / tactile feed back to find the buttons without looking down.
The track pad as a multi-function screen would be a pretty cool space to work with though I don’t think I’d like to have to press a button or trigger some other means to switch it between app function and track pad mode. It might seem a small thing but the Touch Bar is already far enough from the screen, I think having to move your focus from the screen all the way to the near side of the keyboard would bring its own comfort / usability issues. The Asus Zenbook does have a screen embedded under the track pad if such things pique your curiosity.
I can see a lot of people being put off by the idea of the Touch Bar (I was almost one of them), in some ways it’s a pity that it’s not available as a cheaper module or as a separate magic keyboard version so it can be tried out without committing so much cash.


I just want the touch id device on my keyboard.
It could easily replace the eject key.


Did you know you can set Bartender to use any icon you want? I have an Avengers icon on mine for giggles (it always makes an interesting conversation when I send someone a screenshot .). I’m surprised that @MacSparky doesn’t have a Star Wars themed icon…


So after David mentioned it, I downloaded the trial version of CardHop by Flexibits.

I like it and want to purchase it ($20). Should I purchase it through the Mac App Store, or directly from Flexibits???


Buying direct from dev has two advantages

  1. They earn more without having to give a cut to Apple
  2. In future, if there’s a new version, you can enjoy upgrade pricing.

Buying from Mac App Store is just to give a peace of mind, I think.


It is based on Chromium, the open source version of the engine, that only Google updates :slight_smile:


I’m fascinated of the extensive use of the Dock to place lots of Apps. My use of the dock is only to display currently opened app. The Dock is placed on the right of the screen. The main reason is that the more you have app, the smaller the icon is, and at some point, it gets too busy and small.

However I use Launchpad a lot and like to sort all the apps on a surface instead of a bar (dock). To make the switch fast, I use the gesture on the trackpad. (I have the trackpad on my left hand, the mouse on the right hand… And yes I use both hands :wink: ).

On the Mac, I don’t usually use the last recent opened apps (but it depends of the computer I’m on it), but I keep it on the iPad.


Consider the challenge accepted!


I’ve used Bartender for years on my MBP. Considered it the best utility I ever bought as part of a package. But after listening to MPU 471 I took a look at my 27" iMac and decided that the menu icons had gotten too wide (26 in my case) and just installed Bartender there as well. There are just too many icons for things that I never click on and usually access with Alfred.


Not quite. Chromium is completely open source and the Google-created parts are released under the BSD license. Any Chromium-based browser will lack API keys for Google services, and Google’s DRM, as well as Google’s user tracking and crash report modules, among other things that can watch you. And any Chromium-based browser can add on to the code to customize their browser in numerous ways.

It’s because of the openness of this that Brave - and now Microsoft - elected to dump their own homegrown browser engines in favor of Chromium, and why the privacy-first anonymous Epic browser is also based on Chromium. So are Vivaldi and Opera, by the way.


Turns out LaunchBar does a lot of the things that PopClip does, such as Title Case, dromedaryCase, etc. Had I realized, I might have held off on PopClip. It’s really nice that PopClip pops up when you highlight text though.


Correction: as pointed out by @olivier, Brave is based on Chromium before the evil is baked in to produce Chrome.


@timstringer’s recommendation of Displays sent me down a rabbit hole of playing with display resolutions on my primary display, an ancient Apple Cinema.

I finally settled on 16x9 resolution, which is three steps down, out of a possible four, from the maximum resolution.

My eyes are VERY happy with the increased comfortable reading, although my brain is unhappy to be once again reminded that I am not a perfect physical specimen. Sigh.

At some point I will upgrade the Cinema display, which is more than eight years old. But it’s still going strong so I’m in no rush.


My favorite part about listening to this show was testing to see what functions of these apps could be delivered already with LaunchBar. A good deal of them, for sure, especially in the case of Pop Clip. Saved me a ton of money and some real estate on my menu bar and gave me some fun new things to do with LaunchBar. :slight_smile:


Yes, PopClip is excellent. I use it many times each day. In fact I forget it is a separate app and not part of OS as it just happens as part of my workflow. Be careful of adding too many actions to it to begin with.


I can’t even connect to the PopClip website.


I agree with this. Don’t go nuts with the extensions, just install what you use most of the time. For me, it’s the “Open Link” shortcut, Send to Deliveries shortcut, and Call using iPhone shortcut.


Amazing episode.

The gents mentioned having multiple levels for your menu bar. But I may have missed how this is possible. Anyone know?


The Bartender app.


Does Bartender 3 still have multiple levels? I think not. It sounds like David is still using Bartender 2.