Five awesome, useless MacBook tricks

While you were consumed in your MacBook's helpful features, we put together a list of the five best, useless OS X tricks.

Hold shift, then click the minimize button to watch your windows slowly melt away. Screenshot by Sharon Vaknin/CNET

MacBooks are well-known for doing awesome, useful things--they don't (usually) get viruses, the battery life is great, and the user interface is simple. 

What they didn't tell you is that your MacBook can do a lot of awesome useless things. Take a moment and indulge in the (mostly) unnecessary features available:

5. Invert desktop colors. Tired of the same look and feel of your display? Press CMD-OPT-CTRL-8 and the colors on your screen will be inverted--white pixels turn black, blue turns orange, etc. This seemingly useless trick is actually an accessibility feature, and can be helpful in bright-light situations, but we all know it was really implemented to let geeks prank their unknowing friends. 

4. Talk to me, Terminal. Most Mac users will likely never touch the Terminal, a built-in program that allows users to run commands for the OS to perform. It does do a couple awesome things, though. In Spotlight, type "Terminal" and hit enter. Here, type "say" followed by a word or phrase. Useful? No. Awesome? Yes.

3. Slow-motion minimize. You have two choices: a) you can click the minimize button on any window and get on with your life, or b) hold the Shift key, then click minimize to escape into a moment of life in slow motion. 

2. Zoom in anywhere. If you find yourself interested in a very specific part of the screen, or struggling with diminishing eyesight, there's a useless feature for that. Mouse over the part of the screen you want to magnify, then press Control while scrolling up (two fingers up on the trackpad, or with the mouse scroll wheel). 

1. Play retro games in Terminal. With games like Angry Birds and World of Warcraft available, you've probably forgotten about the good ol' games like Tetris, Pong, and Snake. Go to Spotlight, type "Terminal" and hit enter to launch it. Then type "emacs," and hit enter. Once the new screen loads, hit Esc, then type "x" followed by "tetris," "snake," or "pong." Enjoy!


 

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