Poll Test: Chicken Pie

by Scott ChitwoodFriday January 26th, 2007
Posted in More Than Words

How many chickens does it take to make a chicken pie?
View Results

Thanks for playing along at home kids :^) This chicken is history!

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Safari Makeover

by Scott ChitwoodThursday January 4th, 2007
Posted in More Than Words, Tips and Tricks

Get Unified and grow those Toolbar icons!

Ready to have a little fun and get away from Safari’s brushed metal interface at the same time? A few quick hacks to the Browser.nib file with Interface Builder is all it takes to replace Safari’s heavy metal with a nice dose of Aqua Unified.

Want to go a step further? Make a few alterations to the icon containers located in the ToolbarItems.nib — a nifty hack which will enable larger icons of 32×32 pixels. That’s a nice jump up from the default size of 28×25 pixels.

Here’s a quick look of the mod. Screenshots always help one visualize the possibilities :^)

Before and After

Continued →

Winter Holiday GUI Adventure Guide

by Scott ChitwoodMonday November 27th, 2006
Posted in More Than Words

Hey kids! It’s time to break out your secret decoder ring and play along at home in our first annual attempt at compiling a list of GUI Goodies to help you trim your desktop in a cheery Winter Holiday theme.

I’ll start the list with a few items of interest — then it’s your turn to share your favourite icons, desktops or wintery whatevers. Hop into comments section to add links to the Winter Holiday GUI Adventure Guide — it’s fun and easy! Please don’t link directly to files or images owned by other artists, sites or communities. As an alternate method, I’d be more than happy to accept links via email.

Holiday GUI

Our snazzy little preview showcases some mighty fine Winter Holiday GUI.

The lights and holly around the edge of the desktop are powered by MacLampsX, a Mac OS X native app that is similar in function to Holiday Lights for Mac OS 9; the idea is simply to draw strings of lights around the sides of your display.

And how about that floating Snö? It doesn’t get any easier than this handy little application that can also be run as a screensaver module. Snö features configurable snowflakes that offer you full control of transparency, size, environmental variables and more.

Icons you say! Where do that cute little Snowman and Candy Cane hail from? You’ll find those, along with more of Eugen Buzuk’s talented work, at IconDrawer.

The desktop picture is an image from my Tannebaum series.

ResExcellence Returns…

by Scott ChitwoodThursday November 2nd, 2006
Posted in More Than Words

…or Dead on Arrival?

I’ve held the faith in seeing ResExcellence resurrected for as long as could be expected. And now, nearly five months after the original publish date of this article, I feel an apology is due to all who, in turn, put faith in my words that things were moving forward.

As a former fan, editor and owner, I’m saddened by the current state of the site. Having stepped aside way back on March 1st of 2006 it seems incredulous that we’re staring at thirteen months of no progress on the front page and a complete lack of access to the older content for the past eight months.

It would be unfair to dump a rant on the shoulders of the current ownership group; the previous hacks did their share to anger fans and mis-managed the whole affair from square one; I also bear some responsibility for this mess — hindsight is wisdom, but one can’t go back and ask for redo either.

March 27th, 2007

For those of you eagerly awaiting news of ResExcellence, I’m quite happy to help spread the word of its return to the Mac GUI community!


The site is currently broadcasting via blog while the back end delivery system undergoes a massive transformation billed as “a powerful and robust engine for the GUI archives.” Speaking as one who knows what a mess the old static html system was, I can truly appreciate the efforts of those taking on the task.

The GUI gurus at Unsanity along with Phill Ryu of MacThemes.net (and other endeavors) are the talented Mac enthusiasts dedicated to resurrecting ResExcellence and taking it to a new level; “The place for all things Mac GUI”.

As former owner/lead editor, I’m very pleased and excited for this new era dawning at ResExcellence. This group has the skills, dedication and knowledge of the inner workings of Mac OS X in its current forms (PPC and Intel) — and get to have fun tampering with developer releases of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Damn right, these boys know their stuff.

The future of ResExcellence is in good hands!

For my part, I’d like to thank everyone who dropped a kind note over these past few months; those waiting for any news of ResExcellence; those who needed a PDF of a REALbasic article or two; those of you looking for a favorite icon set; and those who just wanted to toss a few friendly words back and forth. You, as fans of ResExcellence, are an amazing group of Mac enthusiasts, I’m proud to be counted as a friend and fan.

Though my days on the front page are long past, I look forward to the day when the ResExcellence Users Forum returns. I’ll see you there!

Ah, that feels better…

by Scott ChitwoodThursday August 3rd, 2006
Posted in More Than Words

I’ve had a hankering these past few weeks to drop a new skin on ye ol’ Rampant Mac — so, with a stir of the pixels along with a few tweaks of the CSS code, this colourful, expressive face was whittled together over the course of my Tuesday evening. Hope you like it! The place feels/looks quite nice after a long spell of years where the primary colours were indigo blue and dark charcoal.

If you can’t see the new stuff or if it kind of looks “Frankensteined” a few gentle hits of your browser reload button should force it all into place.

Feels Better

On top of the new graphics, I also spent some time reworking and condensing the sidebar desktops category in order to include all DPs under the primary umbrella, then toggled hierarchal mode to more readily identify the sub-categories of the Desktop Gallery.

What’s next? For starters, I’m thinking it would be nice to post something new every Monday or so (loose schedule, don’t hold the fire under me!) as I’ve started to gather a nice pile of desktops to share. Screen savers will also be part of that effort.

And, to make things really interesting and diverse at the Rampant Ranch I think it’s high time to invite some other kids to the party! The idea being that I’d like to take things up a notch by partnering with a select group of artists who are actively creating top quality desktops, icons or other GUI brick-a-brack that may fit into our little stretch of the internet dirt road.

With that in mind, our first contributing artist/author has accepted the invite. Please offer your warmest welcome to MacHeadCase! MHC has a great eye for photography of the natural world that surrounds us — it will be a genunie pleasure to have her works showcased in our galleries. Posts from MHC will hit the air very soon — make sure you stop by for the view, your desktop will thank you!

Unplugged, Unfettered, Unshaven

by Scott ChitwoodFriday May 26th, 2006
Posted in More Than Words

Where does the time go? My days are spilling into one another in an uncontrolled frenzy even though I’ve been unplugged from my Mac for the past ten days or so — I was so looking forward to a life of leisure and ease in my post ResExcellence semi-retirement. So it goes.. but that’s enough whining for one day. The flip side is having regained an unfettered schedule which allows for all kinds of extra fun. Woot!

On the GUI side of things I’ve got a thing or two in mind to tackle, finding a few spare hours to dedicate is all I need to get there. A pair of new links have found their way into my daily browse; Desktopcustomize and GuiKit. Both are foreign language sites that feature links to various desktops, icon and theme releases — each is well worth checking out even though there is a certain amount of overlap between the two.

As much as I’m a Mac enthusiast, that aspect of my life is far outweighed by a passion for music — more so for artists that express themselves from the heart. Neil Young, in particular, has been a longtime favourite, and the old boy is aging very well with his recent releases “Greendale”, “Prairie Wind” and “Living With War”. If you’ve yet to hear anything from LWW, load up Neil’s Garage and you can listen to the entire composition from start to finish — I did that for four straight days when it first debuted and then promptly purchased the CD as soon as it hit the stores. Be warned, LWW is politically charged, many ideas and expressions are there to be discovered, one just has to listen closely and not be put off by the incendiary “Let’s Impeach The President”. And kudos to Neil for posting both pro and con reviews of LWW. Next up on my “to buy” list is the latest from the Dixie Chicks, “Taking The Long Way” — give ’em hell ladies, country radio is sure to see a dark spot on their souls in years to come for their present day actions.

[steps off soap box]

Okay, I’m out of here — gotta get back to cracking open the pool and seeing just how nasty it is under the lid…

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16 Days, 64 Desktops

by Scott ChitwoodFriday April 14th, 2006
Posted in More Than Words

My backwards trip through the archives of RM has been quite rewarding these past two weeks — a nice selection of images dating all the way back to 1999 are up on the site and ready to play on your desktop. As a bonus, many of the images are now available in standard and widescreen resolutions up to 1920×1200 pixels. Next up on my to do list is to make my way through the 3d archives, should be an interesting ride :^)

I’m also very pleased with how the site looks and performs. Skinning the default WordPress template wasn’t too much of a hassle, other than me being extra fussy with the graphic images. Overall, the code is very clean and validates as “XHTML 1.0 Transitional” — I just had learn a few things about how I was entering my posts to ensure the validation. I did toy around with a static build of the site, here’s a peak at it… Links for adding comments are available for most posts/pages, feel free to use ’em without the hassle of having to register.

Peace out, hang tight and party on!

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Rampant (dash) Mac (dot) com

by Scott ChitwoodThursday March 30th, 2006
Posted in More Than Words

Hold on to your hats boys and girls, the Rampant Ranch™ is back up to broadcast speed!

There’s much to upload and rebuild here at our new home but I’m thinking things will move along nice and quick, so feel free to bounce in as often as you like or play along at home via our handy RSS feed.

Here’s the plan… Initially, I want to upload a good handful of desktops that were only published at ResExcellence over the past year or so. Next up from there is to add goodies from the most recent version of RM, then I’ll be digging way back into my personal archives to showcase stuff that hasn’t seen light of day in several years. With any luck, there should be a good dose of new goodies posted along the way along with a few words here and there on the front page as the rebuild process unfolds.

This version of RM also marks my first attempt at using a dynamic content system for site management. So far, I’m very pleased with how easy it is to use, for those who’ve used WordPress, I’m sure you can see that I’ve only modded the default skin just enough to give the place a little RM personality. I do like having the ability to “back date” a post — quite a wonderful thing to have for putting releases in proper chronological order — I never would have even attempted that with a static build!

c ya soon!