Windows users are familiar with a number of utilities for setting system preferences, but Mac users have not had as many options. GeekTool is a solid attempt to remedy that situation by bringing an alternate way to handle many Mac system settings. The app installs quickly and opens to a simple interface allowing you to create "geeklets," which accomplish specific tasks. You drag the geeklet icon to your desktop, which then opens a dialog allowing you to customize the behavior of the geeklet. Options in the dialog vary depending on the type of geeklet you are creating.
To really get the most out of GeekTool you need to be familiar with some basic UNIX/Linux commands. Fortunately, there is a growing library of geeklets already on the Internet for download that allow those without command shell knowledge to use GeekTool. It's simple to create geeklets that allow your desktop to come to life, animating and updating in real time. Within 10 minutes of our beginning to learn GeekTool our desktop was showing a moving clock, disk and battery capacity meters, and a running log of iTunes music being played.
It does take a while to get used to using GeekTool, but once you're used to it the sheer flexibility of the tool to let you modify your system any way you want is exhilarating. For advanced users, there's virtually no limit to what you can make your Mac desktop do, and even for novices there's some great preprogrammed geeklets for use. While it's unlikely any novice users will get the full capabilities of GeekTool in play, for experienced users this is a tool like no other.