In memory of Falco

Do you use Amadeus as your Mac's interface regularly?
Please register your copy of Amadeus and show your support.

download Amadeus - the classical composer's style
a colour scheme created for Kaleidoscope
by Lloyd Wood (
MacUser Kaleidoscope contest judge

Amadeus 1.5.8 for Kaleidoscope 1.5 or later - with additional functionality for Kaleidoscope 1.7.3, 1.8.2 and later.
Validated with the essential Scheme Checker 1.2, from Sven Berg Ryen, to assure reliability.

If you enjoy using Amadeus, you can register your copy of Amadeus online (secure) and register your other favourite Kaleidoscope schemes at the same time.

download Amadeus 1.5.8 (135K, stuffited, 10 May 1998) for Kaleidoscope 1.8.2 or earlier

Recent Amadeus sightings:

Amadeus has provided the basis for the creation of Ric's Grayscale by Ric Zito (now thankfully withdrawn) and the later original Dollydots by Roger van Erven, Flat-O by Leo Prieto, and Espresso Neue by Mark Daniel, amongst other schemes.

Amadeus is a colour scheme created as a plug-in for the popular Kaleidoscope MacOS human interface munger by Greg Landweber and company. Amadeus replaces and rejuvenates your Mac's interface to provide an improved-on-OS8 look ideal for extended periods of use.

Installation instructions
If you don't have the Kaleidoscope control panel installed, download the Kaleidoscope package from your local info-mac mirror or via the Kaleidoscope Way web page mentioned below. Once you have Kaleidoscope installed, drop an Amadeus colour scheme file into the Kaleidoscope Color Schemes folder in the Extensions folder of your System folder, open the Kaleidoscope control panel, and select the Amadeus scheme.

The Kaleidoscope World
The home of the most recent version of Amadeus, of The Kaleidoscope Way, or Zen and the art of the Kaleidoscope color scheme, of the original Kaleidoscope scheme designers' mailing list archives, and a complete introduction to the world of Kaleidoscope:

What others think of Amadeus - reviewers speak
Here's what users have been saying to the world:

to Apple's Platinum Appearance what Mozart was to Salieri. Where Apple extrudes the horizontal bars at the top of the window, Wood subtly retracts them. The 3D effect is far more graceful, far less intrusive. Although at first glance the color scheme seems so similar to Apple's platinum appearance that you wonder why Wood bothered, after using Amadeus for even a day you can't go back to the standard look, which seems clunky, amateurish, and unworthy of a company with Apple's superb design heritage.

- Jeffrey Zeldman, Macintosh OS8 Blues (27 July 1997)

easy on the eyes, making it perfect for everyday use

- Rainier Arangcon, ZDNet

an improved version of Aaron

- Andrew Gore, MacUser's Gorey Details (4 March 1997)

one hell of a scheme

- Leo Prieto

Design rationale
Amadeus is a classical interpretation of the much-anticipated platinum appearance that Apple eventually shipped with Mac OS8. It is similar to the varying Aaron, Apple Grayscale and Apple platinum schemes that have been bundled with various revisions of Kaleidoscope.

However, Amadeus draws more from classic System graphic design, common sense, and awareness of display limitations than those schemes do, and when used with Kaleidoscope Amadeus offers an improved, extremely useable alternative to the Mac OS8/Aaron Light interface.

Where other schemes are blatantly three-dimensional with twee highlights merely for the sake of looking cool, Amadeus attempts to remember the user and to provide a clearer interface. Amadeus aims to allow the user to spend less time thinking 'Wow, drawing that pointless and ugly highlight must have taken ages - why is it there? What does it mean? Why am I thinking about this?' and more time simply using a more transparent interface. The design of Amadeus bears in mind that your Mac's interface is a means to an end - using your Mac to accomplish a goal - and is not merely an end in itself.

The Amadeus interface is intended to remain clear and useable under as wide a variety of conditions as possible. In particular, Amadeus pays more attention to the needs of users of display modes showing less than 256 colours than most other colour schemes do. This attention to detail can be discerned in 256 colours if you use applications whose own palettes differ considerably from the standard Apple system palette.

Design features
  • Classical System 7-style folders or fashionable three-dimensional edge-on OS8 folders? The choice is yours.
  • Full support for screen depths of 16 colours and less. This is often overlooked or handled badly in other color schemes.
  • Buttons, checkboxes and menus that stand out clearly from the backdrop so that you can see them clearly.
  • Scrollbar track and arrows that can really be pushed for increased feedback.
  • Truly dimmed elements that you don't try to select. They fade away!
  • No irritating highlights when you're pushing.
  • Clearly-named resources, providing a useful reference for scheme designers.
  • Engraved window dragging zones, or 'racing stripes', for a more subtle three-dimensional look.
  • Bevel buttons that you can even use in black-and-white mode.
  • Finder balloon help under Mac OS8.

A note on naming
Amadeus is named for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the dead famous 18th-century Austrian composer responsible for the chart-topping 'The Marriage of Figaro', 'Don Giovanni', 'The Magic Flute' (hear samples and try CyberMozart), and a host of earlier, less polished, works. These works would not have been possible without the tutoring and encouragement of Wolfie's forebear, Leo, who was renowned as a teacher, as an authority on the tools of the trade, particularly the violin, and as a composer in his own right.

Why Amadeus? Both Apple's ill-fated Copland operating system and Greg's Aaron extension, which helped popularise the grey interface that Copland was to introduce to the Macintosh, were named for Aaron Copland, a relatively obscure modern American composer. Thinking about vintage Macs and the reasons behind the classic Mac user interface design led to the choice of a classical composer - one whose music is still widely played today.

This is in memory of two famous Austrian composers: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann 'Falco' Holzel.

Rock me, Amadeus!

A note on culpability
I blame Greg Landweber first and Leo Breebaart foremost. In the final analysis I would like to thank Arlo Rose for helping to create the perceived need for Amadeus and other improvements to the standard Apple interface.

I'd also like to thank the denizens of Leo's original scheme designers' mailing list and of the Interfaces list maintained by Ed Deans, whose technical discussions have made ongoing development of Amadeus considerably easier than it would otherwise have been.

This release of Amadeus would not have happened at all without the feedback I received from satisfied Amadeus users around the world over the last twelve months. Speaking of which...

Unlike the designs of Aaron, Apple Grayscale and Apple platinum, the design of Amadeus is not dictated or constrained by Apple. Your comments and suggested improvements are welcome; just email.

Distribution and legal information
Amadeus is copyright (c) 1996, 1997, 1998 Lloyd Wood, all rights reserved.

Modification of the contents of the Amadeus for Kaleidoscope package for redistribution is prohibited. Modification of the Amadeus colour scheme for redistribution without my express permission is prohibited. Make your own colour scheme and name it yourself; The Kaleidoscope Way will show you the way towards getting started in colour scheme design.

Amadeus for Kaleidoscope may be included on CD-ROM, or redistributed by or in any other medium, physical or electronic, without charge, provided that the full Amadeus for Kaleidoscope package is kept intact and unmodified, with all accompanying files and documentation.

Amadeus for Kaleidoscope is shareware and there is a small $3 registration fee; please support shareware in general, and further maintenance and development of Amadeus in particular, by registering the copies you use. Please see the 'Registering Amadeus' textfile for further information on how to register, or register online.

Suggested use
Here are some suggested modifications I make to tailor the Mac desktop to my taste while using Amadeus.

Under System 7, I prefer the original Windowshade double-click functionality to the windowshade widget introduced in Aaron, which always hangs off the right side of the screen whenever I need it most and gets confused with the window resize box it often sits alongside. I suggest turning off this spurious widget by ResEditing the WPrf resource in an inactive copy of Kaleidoscope. I don't recommend turning on active scrolling with the SPrf resource, since you will soon discover that no Mac is fast enough to make active scrolling truly seamlessly possible in popular up-to-date bloatware such as Netscape or Word.

I do recommend installing SideFX (local mirror, v1.0.1) by Sylvain Demongeot. SideFX allows you resize your windows from the edges that Kaleidoscope makes movable, via your choice of click-modifier keys. It's incredibly useful, and is available from /info-mac/gui/ on your local info-mac mirror, just as Kaleidoscope itself used to be before they had to create /info-mac/gui/ks/.

Greg's Espi Sans Bold 10, included with Kaleidoscope, is my system font of choice, with Geneva 9 for Finder views.

I use Amadeus f+, with additional folder icons, to give the familiar System 7-style folder icons I've used for the past five years, instead of the three-dimensional OS8 look. I'd rather have those familiar flat folders than think about replacing a disk full of custom icons based on the flat shape, and the larger the clickable area the better. Familiarity breeds contentment.

Known issues
Full support for 16-colour mode is only available under Kaleidoscope 1.7.3 or earlier.
Full support for 16-greys mode is only available under Kaleidoscope 1.8 or later.

On-the-fly folder switching is only available under Kaleidoscope 1.7.3 or later, running on Mac OS8 or later.

The aquamarine scroll thumb was previously labelled turquoise. This change matches Kaleidoscope 1.7.3, Mac OS8, and later.

With Kaleidoscope 1.5, the ghost thumb can obscure the edge of the scrollbar arrows and leave a line. This bug in Kaleidoscope 1.5 is fixed in later revisions of Kaleidoscope.

A note on versions
Amadeus 1.0.9 is the final release of Amadeus for Kaleidoscope 1.0.1, and is still available as freeware to support remaining Kaleidoscope 1.0.1 users. Kaleidoscope 1.5 and later use a different internal file format, requiring this completely redone Amadeus for Kaleidoscope for Kaleidoscope 1.5 through 1.8 and later.

Amadeus for Kaleidoscope 1.5.8 is the final version to support Kaleidoscope 1.5 to 1.7.3. Future versions of Amadeus for Kaleidoscope are expected to require Kaleidoscope 1.8 or later.

Revision history
moved mono pressed titled popup menu arrow; minor tweaks to various resources as suggested by Ed.
increases OS8 folder support; uses Kaleidoscope 1.8 popups, bevels, and embossed accents; various tweaks.
fixed scrollbar tracks for Kaleidoscope 1.8.
added support for new accent colours in Kaleidoscope 1.7.3; various tweaks.
fixed horizontal scrollbar pattern heap bits, popup menus, f+ file dialog popup folder and alert dialog cicns.
added more icons to Amadeus f+, final tweaks for Kaleidoscope 1.5.1. First full public release.
many minor documentation changes and scheme tweaks as suggested by Leo.
fixed popup masking and inactive window header line clut problems shown by Simon Fraser's MT-Newswatcher.
first, limited, release of Amadeus for Kaleidoscope 1.5 to Leo and Simon for comments.

final release of Amadeus for Kaleidoscope 1.0.1.

Lloyd Wood
this page last updated 12 September 2003