Our Weekly Utilities Update report is a list of all the updates for many Mac utilities that have been released in the past week. While utilities can be any tool that helps you perform a routine task (including image manipulation and synchronization), our main focus in this column is to bring you those that help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems.
Weekly Review: BlueHarvest
OS X uses hidden .DS_Store files in directories to store window preferences such as size and location, as well as window background information. When viewed from Macs these files usually stay hidden, but in multiplatform environments they can be annoying and will pop up on network shares.
BlueHarvest is a small utility that contains a contextual menu option which allows you to quickly and easily remove the .DS_Store and other ("._" files and .Trashes folders) from network resources and local disks. Just right-click the disk or share and select "Clean using BlueHarvest", and the resource will be wiped of these annoying files. The program can be configured to persistently keep certain resources such as file servers and non OS X disks clean of these files, and is highly customizable in the advanced settings, where you can:
- Never allow DS_Store files in specified disks.
- Remove resource forks for files with specified extensions ("._" files).
- Remove specified items from removable disks (ie, ".Spotlight-V100").
- Remove specified items from local disks (ie, "Thumbs.db").
I think the most useful aspect of this utility is the automated removal of these files from disks and shares that do not need them. The most recent version improves support for NTFS (via Paragon NTFS) and AFP shares. The utility runs in Snow Leopard, and is available on a trial basis for 30 days before you must pay a $13.95 registration fee.
Other Recent Utilities Updates:
- iMount 1.2 - Quickly mount drives or partitions.
- SMARTReporter 2.4.2 - Warns of ATA drive failure before it happens.
- atMonitor 2.1.2 - System monitor & process explorer tool for developers & power users alike.
- ZOC Terminal 6.17 - Telnet, SSH, SSH2, modem, ISDN terminal emulator.
- WhatSize 4.8.2 - Measure sizes of your files and folders.
- Display Maestro 1.0.8 - Access all display resolutions and bit depths.
- MacCleanse 1.5 - Scan and delete unnecessary files on your Mac.
- Singlemizer 1.0.1 - Finds all duplicate files in real time.
- InterMapper RemoteAccess 5.1.6 - Remote view on your network's health.
- InterMapper 5.1.6 - Monitors servers, networks & routers.
- BlueHarvest 3.0.2 - Manage .DS_Store files, resource forks, trash, etc.
- DarkAdapted 2.3.7b2 - Astronomy tool adjusts gamma to preserve dark adaptation.
- Apple Server Diagnostics 3X106 - Tests your server for hardware issues.
Keep in mind that while utilities can help in a vast majority of cases, as with any software, they can be buggy. Since these utilities were recently updated, these are actively being developed and are currently assumed to work. However, developers cannot take into account all system configurations, so be sure to back up your system before running any utilities for the first time. Additionally, double-check with the developer's Web site to be sure they are compatible with your system version. Incompatibilities with system software are the main reason why utilities and programs function improperly.