How Not to Hack the Dock

I was very busy last night, complaining to my dad and brother about how ugly the new dock was and how even if you hacked the shiny away with the Terminal, it was still ugly. I had to re-shiny the dock to demonstrate it.  And The Husband, who had not previously seen the dock in all its shininess, said, “Oh, that looks cool.”

Well crap.

Since he liked it, I decide to try and hack it to something that I could live with.  While we were watching a movie. This turned out to be a bad decision. Fortunately, I set up Time Machine earlier in the day, and it backed up the dock package.

Now obviously, I should back up the files I am about to meddle with. But do I just back up the files that I know I will be meddling with? No! I decide it would be best to backup the whole package, just to be safe. This was bad idea #2.

I copy in the new files. I kill the Dock, and it restarts, looking much better. And that’s the end of it, I get rid of my working files and carry on with life, watch a little of the  movie, and accidentally hit F13, triggering Dashboard.

This causes all hell to break lose in my Dock.  No less than 3 Dashboard Clients to appeared, using that default Application icon that just screams “I’m broken!” Killing the dock again or shutting down and restarting gets rid of them, but they appear every time I open Dashboard.I check my copied backup, and Dashboard Client has the appropriate icon in that folder, but I can’t move it back to where it belongs no matter what I try. At this point, I decide to cut my losses and restore the whole dock with Time Machine.This also doesn’t work. The dock package is there, I just can’t replace the busted one with the TM backup because the busted one is running. Eventually, this is how I fixed it.

  1. I restored the Dock package with the “Keep Both” option. This marks the non-restored one as “(original)”
  2. I killed the Dock. This started the dock up with the restored Dock package.
  3. I deleted the Dock (original) package.
  4. I shut down and then restarted.
  5. I emptied my trash can.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until Dock (original) is actually deleted, throwing in a couple more Dock kills.
  7. I went back, backed up ONLY the appropriate files, and installed Just Darker again.
  8. I found out it put a stupid white line at the bottom of the screen and installed the frontline.png from Black Glass to fix it.
  9. Then I deleted the separator.png crosswalk thingy.

This setup solves most of my issues with the dock. It’s not glaringly bright anymore, and you can actually see the little blue glowing dots that indicate an active application. And the ugly crosswalk is gone. I’m pretty happy with it now. Here’s how it looks:Leopard Dock

And here’s my whole desktop.

The view is looking out on The Loch in Rocky Mountain National Park from the trail leading to Andrew’s Glacier. I can’t believe I took that amazing a picture, but I did.

And this was my dock-hacking adventure.  It’s clear now that I know just enough to be dangerous and give IT Support headaches.

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