I like to make a clean start from time to time. When you make a clean start you soon realise what applications you actually need and use and what’s just wasting space on your system. I decided to use the arrival of Leopard as an excuse for a long over-due clean start. A few weeks have now passed so it would seem like a good time to take stock and see what applications I’ve actually re-installed. It would take me for ever to write about all the apps I’ve installed so instead I’m just going to talk about a sub-set of the most visible of all apps, menubar apps. It should be noted that all the items in my menubar are either a part of OS X or free.

[tags]Apple, OS X, Menubar apps[/tags]

The simplest thing to do is to start with a screen shot of my menubar and simply go through each of the icons.

My Menubar

Starting from right to left you can see the new and more dull Leopard Spotlight icon. I don’t think you can actually get rid of it but I wouldn’t want to even if I could. Spotlight has improved so much in Leopard that I just couldn’t do without it anymore. I even use it as an application launcher in favour of my once beloved Namely.

Next you can see that I have Fast User Switching enabled and set to display the full name of the account currently active. If you share your Mac with other people this is a fantastic feature. It lets you keep all your windows and programs open while someone else uses your machine with a different account. Next to that we have some more standard OS X components, the time, volume, airport status, and bluetooth status. The date and time and volume components can’t be removed but the Airport and Bluetooth ones can. I like to keep them in the memubar so that I can keep them switched off at all times unless I need them. I don’t like my Mac talking wirelessly to anything unless I really need it to.

Next you can see that I use rogue Amoeba’s Sound Source, then two menus from iStat Menus, one to keep an eye on my CPU temperature, and one to show my current bandwidth use.

Then we come to two more standard OS X components. First the Spaces menu which I hardly ever use to actually switch Spaces, but which is handy for seeing what Space I’m in. If you’re wondering I almost always switch Spaces using the keyboard shortcuts. Then we come to the iSync icon. I use .Mac to keep all my Macs in sync and I like to know when my machines are syncing.

Finally we come to two more great third party menubar apps, the first is Caffeine which is great for preventing your machine from entering sleep mode when you don’t want it to. Lastly, we come to Teleport. This is a fantastic application which I use to share the keyboard and mouse of my Mac Mini with my MacBook Pro while working in my study at home.