Tweaking Mountain Lion

As in Lion, in Mountain Lion I disabled the annoying zooming rectangle that appears with each window opening.

Just copy-paste this single line in Terminal.app:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled -bool NO

Just Smooth scrolling is now mandated throughout Mountain Lion, as documented by John Siracusa amazing review. Fortunately Mr. Siracusa also found a solution:

defaults write -g NSScrollAnimationEnabled -bool NO

In Mail.app > Preferences, I set New messages sound to None.

In System Preferences > General, I set Appearance to Graphite to tone down Aqua's distracting colors. While there I bump up Recent Items to 50.

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