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 tools that help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems. This week's updates include file recovery software, application management utilities, a number of system cleaning and maintenance utilities, and more.
In file recovery utilities this week, the program "Treasured" is part of a movie repair service by Aero Quartet that will locate corrupted movie files on your hard disk, and develop a custom solution for fixing them. Depending on the extent of the corruption, you may be able to use various encoding software and media players to read and re-encode the video to fix numerous file corruptions; however, if a file seems completely lost, then having a service manage it and send it back may be useful.
CNET has migrated the old VersionTracker Pro software into CNET's "TechTracker" service, which is continually being updated. The latest version fixes a few minor notification and date-stamping bugs, and adds features for new users to run trial scans.
Cleaning and maintenance
In the past week, cleaning and maintenance utilities have been updated the most. These include Blueharvest, which removes and manages the .DS_Store files that can cause problems with item views in the Finder. This utility can also be used to prevent the .DS_Store files from being put on shared folder and external disks.
MacPilot is more of a feature enhancing and tweaking program that enables hidden features in the OS, but it can be used to optimize and repair the system as well. Other programs more tailored to cleaning and maintenance are OnyX, Purity (formerly MacDust), and MacCleanse. These updates add small features such as cleaning temporary files in Google Chrome and QuickTime X.
Beyond system and application maintenance utilities, there are a few others that have been updated which could be useful for troubleshooting hardware problems. iStumbler is a program for locating wireless hot spots, and may be handy in determining whether network problems are with the Mac or external networks. Remote Buddy is a remote management utility that, similar to VNC solutions, lets you manage your Mac using various remote devices (iPods, iPhones, universal remotes, and other controls). Lastly, coconutBattery is a utility that displays statistics and information about the battery.
Recently updated utilities:
- Remote Buddy 1.16.2 - Control mac via iPhone, iPod Touch, Wii, Keyspan, Apple remote.
- BlueHarvest 4.0.1 - Manage .DS_Store files, resource forks, trash, and so on.
- iStumbler 99 - Find and map 802.11b/g wireless networks.
- Singlemizer 2.0.1 - Remove file duplicates from your disks.
- Treasured 2.0 - Find and preview video in corrupt movie files and disks
- MacPilot 3.5.2 - Access and tweak 900 hidden Leopard and Snow Leopard features.
- CNET TechTracker 1.3.1 - Detect and download updates for all of your installed software.
- Purity 1.03 - Recover disk space and maintain your system (was MacDust).
- MacCleanse 1.5.4 - Scan and delete unnecessary files on your Mac.
- DMGConverter 126.96.36.199 - Disk image (DMG, CDR, ISO) creation and conversion tool.
- OnyX 2.1.4 - Maintenance, optimization, and system personalization tool.
- coconutBattery 2.6.6 - Battery information tool.