# NerdTool over GeekTool

GeekTool went up on the Mac App Store on August 21, which explains why my various GeekTool posts have seen a jump in traffic.

I’ve been using NerdTool since I saw this Brett Terpstra post several months ago. I had to abandon it for a while on my MacBook Air when I upgraded to OS X 10.7, but I’m running it again now that Mutable Code has made it Lion-compatible.

Since GeekTool is free, and Brett seems to have gone back to it, I figured I’d run the two programs head-to-head to see how they compare. Based on a short test, I’ll keep using NerdTool, mainly because of this:

I suppose I shouldn’t be concerned about a hundred megabytes or so, but I’ve had trouble with GeekTool eating up memory in the past and just don’t want to worry about that again. For reference, both Tools were running my old Date and Time scripts and this set of Spotify scripts I wrote a couple of months ago.

Another point in NerdTool’s favor is its support for shadowed text. The Finder uses shadowed text for files on the Desktop and for good reason—it definitely makes the text easier to read.

GeekTool doesn’t have a checkbox to shadow the text, although I’ve found that you can edit an exported Geeklet file (it’s just a plist) and turn on shadowing. The code to look for is this:

xml:

Just change that false to a true and reimport the file to get shadowing. Unfortunately, GeekTool’s shadowing looks like shit with smaller fonts: