Christmas Lights For Your Mac Desktop or Dashboard - The Festive Mac 2009

17010 Christmas lights don't have to be only for your Christmas tree or house decorations. There are several Christmas lights utilities will illuminate your Mac's Desktop with festive cheer as well.

MacLampsX 2.0

MacLampsX is a Mac OS X native app that is similar in function to Holiday Lights for Mac OS 9 (see below).

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You can I add bulbs to MacLampsX. Bulbs go in "~/Library/Application Support/MacLampsX/" or in "/Library/Application Support/MacLampsX/". You can install bulbs that you find, or you can make your own, using the instructions that are linked from the MacLampX Web page.

Unfortunately, there is no large archive of bulbs available on the Internet for MacLampsX. The developer plans to start an online archive, hopefully starting this Holiday season (2006).

Version 2.0 adds lots of new features like a screensaver with snow, support for multiple displays, a music player, and new bulb options to allow different sizes and animation patterns.

New in version 2.0:
• Added a welcome dialog
• Added a screensaver, along with screensaver mode in MacLampsX
• Added a basic music player
• Added random flashing mode
• Added support for multiple displays
• Sides/corners of the screen can now be configured to be empty
• Changed data handling for bulbs to reduce memory usage
• Bulbs can now be dragged from the list, even in detail mode
• The bulb list is now sorted alphabetically (as opposed to randomly)
• Fixed a bug which caused opacity preferences to be ignored
• MacLampsX now stops animation calls when you switch to another user account
• Reorganized preferences to give more flexibility and control
• Bulbs can now have a custom "preview image" that they draw in the list - useful for spacer bulbs, or bulbs bigger than 32x32
• Bulbs now support irregular dimensions and more than two states
• Began preparation for localization. Many English strings are now localizable, though there is still a lot left to do

For those of you who haven't upgraded to 10.4 or later, MacLampsX 1.2 for OS X 10.3.9 and MacLampsX 1.1.1 for OS X 10.2 are still available.

MacLampsX Bulb Archive:
http://arcticmac.home.comcast.net/~arcticmac/software/bulbArchive/

A How To Make Bulbs tutorial can be downloaded.

System requirements:
Mac OS X 10.3.9 or later

System support:
PPC/Intel

Free

For more information, visit:
http://arcticmac.home.comcast.net/~arcticmac/software/maclampsx.html






Festive Lights 5.0 Widget To Decorate Your Dashboard With Animated Lights

Decorate your Dashboard with twinkling lights for any occasion. Festive lights dress your Mac in elegant animated lights with 8 available motion patterns including blink, twinkle, and chase. Get just the look you're looking for by downloading any of a number of custom lightsets to suit every season and taste. The lights offer you every adjustment you could hope for, from the set and pattern to scale, placement, and animation parameters.

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interdimensionmedia.com say they've spent many hours preparing a brand new version of the Festive Lights widget for you this holiday season, adding many new features and a whole lot of polish. As just one example, they've finally introduced dimming light patterns to give a softer glow to your dashboard. Check out the full list of new features below,

This year, a lot of changes have also happened under the hood to improve reliability and future extensibility. For this reason, you may want to close the widget before installing the new one if it's open. Also, your existing preferences will be overwritten the next time you restart your Mac. This is a one-time thing, and future reboots and updates will go smoothly.

Features

  • Choice of white, multicolored, or a multitude of custom lightsets

  • Over a dozen available light patterns including blink, twinkle, and chase

  • Adjustable speed and scale, with live resizing

  • Beautiful graphics

  • Multiple placement options

  • Multiple monitor support



New in Version 5.0

  • Attribution tag for custom lightsets

  • Better lightset removal support

  • Six new light patterns, including new dimming patterns

  • Updated standard lightsets are livelier than ever before

  • Animated tags add a bit of festive flair

  • New rendering engine with improved performance

  • Improved multi-monitor behavior

  • Simplified lightset format makes creating lightsets even easier

  • Minor bug fixes


System requirements:
Mac OSX 10.5 or later

System support:
PPC/Intel

Free

For more information, visit:
http://www.interdimensionmedia.com/widgets/?widget=lights







NightLights Blinking Holiday Lights Screensaver

Who needs all those headaches competing with the neighbors? Why break your neck falling off the roof this year? Heck, all you need is a copy of NightLights to get your festive spirit across. It's cheap, and the bulbs never burn out.




It doesn't matter which holiday you're celebrating, there's a color combination for every need. NightLights comes with both "Mini", and "C7" type light bulbs. You can choose to display either or both. You can also choose the blink time, blink random, or choose to have your lights burn steady.

So install NightLights, turn off the lights, and kick back with a hot cup of Cocoa. Let the guy across the street blow his circuits, and set his house on fire.

Features:

• C7/C9 and Mini Bulb Shapes.
• Three Different Colors.
• Choose Bulb Size.
• Choose Number of Lights.
• Vary the Blink Speed.
• Individual Random Light Blink.
• Steady Burn.
• Choose to Frame Screen.
• Choose to Scatter Lights Across Screen.

You may use NightLights for FREE, but if register for $5.00, you get these additional features:
• Three Additional Colors.
• Choose to Display Text Message.
• View Desktop.
• Change Background Color.
• Import Background Picture.
• MP3 or AIFF Sound/Music Playback.
• Snow, Falling Leaves, or Rain.

Want a unique viewing experience? Purchase a NightLights Registration with a pair of ChromaDepth® 3D Specs for a cool holographic effect.

$7.45 Includes Registration, Glasses, and Postage.

NightLights Preferences:

Lights TAB:

Bulb Type: Click on the bulb icons to choose whether you want "C7", "Mini", or both.

Colors: Click on the bulb icons to choose the colors to suit your mood, or holiday theme. If you register, you get three more colors!

Bulb Scale: Drag the slider to decrease, or increase, the scale your lights from 10% to 100%.

Blink Speed: Drag the slider to decrease or increase the blink speed of the lights. Moving the slider all the way to the right makes the lights burn steady. Check the "Random" switch to enable each bulb to have it's own random blink time.

Number of Lights: Drag the slider to decrease or increase the number of lights to display.

Pattern: Choose whether you want your lights to display scattered randomly across your screen, or framed around the edges of your screen. You can also set to have the computer choose randomly between the two, by checking both switches.

Registration: After registering you will receive a registration code via email. Enter the code here to activate your new features!

Background TAB:
The following options are only available when you register.

Text Message: Use this to display you own personal message.

Click on "Edit Text" to unlock the text field, and enter your message, press the tab,
or return key when done.

Choose the text color by clicking on the color well and selecting a color.

Click on "Choose Font..." to bring up the Font Panel. Select your desired
font and size.

Check the "Display Message" switch to make your message appear.

Weather: Add weather effects to NightLights! Choose from Snowflakes, Falling Leaves, or Rain Drops. Control the Speed by dragging the slider to increase, or decrease.

Background: You can change the background color, or load your own custom backdrop.

Color Well: Use this to choose a background color.

View Desktop: The lights appear atop your desktop and open windows.

"Back..." Button: For importing your own artwork, or photo to use as a backdrop.
Click this to navigate to any graphic image on your hard drive. To remove backdrop art, click this button, and then "Cancel" from the "Open" box.

"Sound..." Button: For importing your own ambient background sounds or music.
Click this to navigate to any sound file on your hard drive. To remove sound, click this button, and then "Cancel" from the "Open" box.

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You may use NightLights for FREE, but if register for $5.00, you get three more bulb colors, "Desktop Mode", and "Text Message" options.

New in this version:
• Now works correctly with multiple monitors.
• Fixed bug that was preventing the options panel to open with MacOSX 10.3.7.

System requirements:
• Mac OS X 10.1 or higher

For more information, visit:
http://www.skyrocketsoftware.com/skyrocket/NightLights.html






Holiday Lights 5.2

Tiger Technologies' Holiday Lights is no longer being supported after the end of 2010, but you can still download the program, and the Holiday Lights add-on bulb center will be available until the end of 2010, although they are not accepting new bulb submissions.

For full details, visit:
http://support.tigertech.net/old-software

Holiday Lights was a little shareware application for OS 9 that strings rows of Christmas tree bulbs and/or other small decorations around the borders of your monitor, with festive music playing the background. It even includes a screen saver with gently falling snow that gradually builds up on the glowing lights, and other seasonal choices to put you in the festive spirit.




The colorful lights blink (or optionally just glow) on your desktop while you continue to work, so it's not just a screen saver. You can choose from a variety of different bulbs and decorations, and change them as suits your fancy by simply clicking and dragging bulbs in the Holiday Lights Bulb Factory dialog box. Holiday Lights also includes a large selection of Christmas and Hanukkah music (as well as other music files), but most of them are not accessible until the program is registered. You can also easily add any MIDI tune to the music selection.

The settings for the bulbs, music and screen saver are now all in one window, which is accessed by choosing "Settings" from the "Edit" menu.

The settings for the bulbs, music and screen saver are now all in one window, which is accessed by choosing "Settings" from the "Edit" menu.

Support for themes. Arrange your bulbs, music and screen saver settings the way you like them, then click "Save Theme" in the theme area of the Settings window. Your settings are saved as a theme for later use.

Better randomization of music: songs won't repeat until you've heard each of them.

The music now supports MP3 and AIFF files as well as MIDI songs. It supports aliases; you can put an alias to your folder of MP3 songs into the Holiday Lights Music folder and it will work. (Requires QuickTime 4.)

You can check out the Add-On Bulbs page for extra Mac and Windows bulbs. There are also offer free additional screen saver background pictures. You must be using Holiday Lights version 5.0 and later on the Mac.

System requirements:
• The Macintosh version Holiday Lights is available for Windows and Mac OS Classic; it works with Windows 95/98/NT4/Me/2000/XP, as well as Mac System 7, Mac OS 8 and Mac OS 9. (This version of Holiday Lights is not compatible with Mac OS X) QuickTime is required for background music. Holiday Lights for Macintosh is an application program — not a system extension — so it can't cause extension conflicts.

For more information, visit:
http://support.tigertech.net/old-software


Charles W. Moore



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