10 Replies Latest reply: Nov 7, 2013 8:45 PM by Marianco1
William Donelson Level 4 Level 4 (2,495 points)

Are there any alternatives to Unsanity Haxies which run on Lion?

Mac mini, i5 2011, 8GB RAM, 750GB HD, Lion
  • Marianco1 Level 2 Level 2 (225 points)

    Any company, like Unsanity, who creates hacks to the operating system (software that uses undocumented and unofficial application interfaces) is always going to be at risk of becoming incompatible with any update to the operating system – even small updates.  With Apple's improvements to the system to make it faster, stabler, and safer, hacks always are at risk of becoming incompatible.  Through Unsanity's history, we've always experienced with regularity when its products become incompatible and thus fail.


    Unfortunately, it takes a lot of energy to figure out the new ways to hack the operating system.  Hacks often have to break through security features of the operating system, for example. This is why it usually takes Unsanity a long time to update their products.  It certainly took a long time to update for Snow Leopard, for example - so long that I stopped using their hacks and found replacements for almost all of them.


    1. Fruit Menu:  I use the Favorites folder feature - which is stored in the user's library to store aliases to my favorite applications and folders.  I dragged this folder (after changing the icon to a heart) to the right side of the dock.  There, I can pop it open in any application to activate my favorite applications or open my favorite folders. What is good about this replacement is that it is free and does not hack the operating system so will be available in any future update of OS X.  It is also easier to mouse to the Favorites folder since it is on the bottom rather than top of the screen.


    2. Labels X:  I recommend Path Finder.  It is an application which can replace the Finder.  It has many many more features than the Finder – including changeable labels, dual-pane Windows (allowing you to see the contents of two folders at the same time, so you can more easily organize the contents of each and copy or move items between each one). It also has the hard drives listed on top of the side bar rather than at the bottom like OS X Lion has (which is very inconvenient in Lion).  I turn on Path Finder generally only when I need it.  But you can use it all the time as a Finder replacement.  Path Finder is rapidly upgraded since it doesn’t hack into OS X like Unsanity’s products – thus you can expect it to be stable for years to come.  Path Finder is like a super duper replacement for Labels X.


    3. Menu Master:  This is the one I miss the most since it was so handy to change an application’s actual menu key.  This feature cannot totally be replaced.  But for nearly every situation, I’ve replaced it with Keyboard Maestro. Keyboard Maestro does more than Menu Master.  It allows you to create complex macros in OS X.  It has been very stable and compatible and has been rapidly updated since it uses official application interfaces and doesn’t hack into OS X.  There are other alternatives which are also excellent:  iKey and Quickeys.  But Keyboard Maestro is the one which has been most rapidly updated as OS X has been updated.  I’m pretty happy with it, even though I also bought iKey and Quickeys.


    4. Windowshade:  This is an OS X feature I also miss since in spots it can come in handy. Apple, unfortunately, decided that the Windowshade feature was not useful for the majority of people and overly complicated the user interface.  I bet Steve Jobs also thought it was UGLY to clutter up the desktop with partially closed windows - and I thought for years that it does look ugly.  For these reasons, Apple removed the Windowshade feature. Unfortunately, there is direct replacement for it.  I have instead accepted the fact that OS X will never have Windowshade again unless someone again hacks the system.  However, I have come to terms with this and have instead used these OS X’s features as a replacement:  1. Minimize to Dock: which minimizes the window to the right side of the dock. 2. Mission Control: which allows one to switch between applications and shuffle windows around. 3. Command-Tab to switch between applications (Command-Tab was originally from Microsoft Windows). 4. A Second Monitor (or more):  More monitors removes the need to use Windowshade since you can have numerous windows open at the same time.  With practice, these become second nature and just work.  Thus, since Snow Leopard, I haven’t found a need to come back to Windowshade.


    5. Xounds: I admit that I don’t use Xounds. When this feature first came out in Mac OS 9, I found it a distraction and turned it off.  It is, however, fun on occasion and I have saved the numerous sound files I had used with Mac OS 9 through the years.  If you want sounds for various system events, consider SoundNote 0.2.1 (http://mrgeckosmedia.com/applications/info/soundnote). It is complicated to use but it can do pretty much everything Xounds can do and more – e.g. growl notification sounds. If you want more sound from your Mac, you can also turn on the VoiceOver utility in the Universal Access preference pane.  This will then tell you the contents of every window you mouse to.  Note that, unless sight impaired, the extra sounds are more a distraction than not.  Again, I bet this is why Steve Jobs cut system sounds out of OS X except for basic ones like the trash sound and alert sound.


    6. FontCard:  I tried this but found it slowed my system too much when it did work.  I use simply use Apple’s Font Book when I want to organize my fonts.  It will forever be updated and supported in OS X.


    7. Shapeshifter:  I miss themes in Mac OS 9.  But I have come to terms with simply using what Apple gives us.  Note having to decide the flavor of the day is missed.  And, one can’t wow your friends with a Sci-Fi look to your Mac.  But at least the interface works.


    8. Silk: With OS X Lion, there are no longer any PowerPC apps and carbon apps are dying away.  Thus, Silk is no longer necessary.


    9. Mighty Mouse: There is no direct replacement for this in OS X Lion.  OS X Lion allows you to enlarge the cursor using the Universal Access preference pane.  It does this much more nicely than previous OS X versions.  Other mouse utilities that do similar things to Mighty Mouse to strongly consider include:  OmniDazzle (free from the Omni Group),  iCursor (free in the App Store), Mouseposé (from App Store), Star Trail (from App Store), and HotMouse (from App Store).


    There you go.  I've moved on.  I've  found replacements for almost all that Unsanity does. So I no longer wait for them.  And I don't have to worry any longer about system crashes from a hack to the system.

  • Matthias Grünewald Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    An alternative to some functions of WindowShade X from Unsanity is the software Deskovery from the developer Neomobili (http://www.neomobili.com/products/deskovery/). It works fine with Mac OS X 10.7.5 (Build 11G63).

  • Skyeword Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I came across an alternative that might be useful called IconXprit that apparently adds a layer color to the icon from a conctexual menu in addition to the default Apple Label colors.  It does not have a Window Shade feature yet but the many other useful features are promising that it will prove to be an integrated alternative to individual Haxies.


    http://download.cnet.com/iconXprit/3000-18487_4-191939.html?tag=centerColumn;dow nloadRatingModule.


    I also highly recommend XTraFinder which adds tabbed vrowsing, a black backgroiund, automatically resized columns, colorfin sidebar icons and a few other extremeley useful fatures like double pane finder windows.  It's free and the developer is actively improving it's features.  I suspect that he will sort out the labels soon as well. It's better than TotalFinder and does not require running a separate Finder-like solution as with PathFinder. 




    Hope this helpsand please note that both work with OSX 10.8.

  • rootscript Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)


    Deskovery from Neomobili.com isn't bad, it isn't perfectly smooth, but it does the simple job that no other app can do presently.


    To get windowShading to work in Deskovery you have to disable a setting in Preferences.

    In OS X 10.8.2 it is now here:


    Apple Menu --> System Preferences --> Dock --> [ ] Double-click a window's title bar to minimize.

    (make sure this is unchecked)


    It isn't as slick as 'WindowShade X' used to be, but it usable, and works in OS X Lion 10.8.2

  • Chris Kassa Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    WindowMizer from RGB World is a great replacement for WindowShade.



    WindowMizer provides all the basic functions of windowshade, plus  other great features such as collapsing all windows in an application or collapsing all windows system wide.


    Until recently, WindowMizer was even available in the Mac App Store, but the developer (me) removed it because I was not allowed to submit new features due to sandbox requirements.

  • mac midiguy Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    I am looking for a replacement for Xsounds that works in OS X Mountain Lion ( 10.8 ).


    The suggested alternative in Marianco1 posting is no longer available.

  • FloridaPilotBob Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Stay away from WindowMizer!  Poor customer service and angry staff when you do communicate.  Not worth the aggravation.

  • mac midiguy Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    WindowMizer version 2.1 works for me in MacOS 10.8.5 however it's a bit flakey in MacOS 10.9 (Mavericks). I've learned how to unflake it when working in Mavericks.


    There is a version 3.1 but developper wants another $4.99 to upgrade. Not worth the extra bucks at the moment.

  • mac midiguy Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    Recently discovered Flavours  a Mac application that allow users to create, apply and share beautifully designed themes similar to Unsanity ShapeShifter.


    Flavours works in MacOS 10.8 and 10.9.


    Excellent customer service. The price $19.90


    Take a look: http://flavours.interacto.net/#home

  • Marianco1 Level 2 Level 2 (225 points)

    Flavours looks fantastic!


    Another customization - this time for the dock - is DockMod.com for $8.