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.
The popular "memtest" GUI wrapper "Rember" was updated. This update fixes a couple of bugs and refines how the program interfaces with other programs and the system during the memory test. Memory testing is exceptionally useful if your system is freezing at seemingly random times, or if it is otherwise behaving erratically. The "memtest" tool is a well-known option for testing your system's RAM and can detect if a chip needs to be replaced.
In addition, a small file recovery program "TestDisk" has been updated, which supports fixing and rebuilding several file systems, including NTFS, FAT, EXT2, and EXT3 partitions. It has the capability to find and restore lost files as well.
A couple of system maintenance options have been updated as well. Yasu, Cocktail, and IceClean all will run various optimization and cleaning routines on the Mac. While I use OnyX more regularly, these other options may have additional features. Regardless of the tool used, I always recommend that you keep a maintenance utility around to fix various software and configuration-related slowdowns.
Besides testing and maintenance utilities, the universal scanner interface VueScan has been updated, which can revive old and out-of-date scanners that are missing software drivers and utilities. Lastly, the utility "Keyboard Maestro" has been updated to address numerous bugs and odd behavior, including those with Dvorak keyboards, and running in 64-bit mode in 10.5. If you use keyboard Maestro, this update may be helpful.
Other recently updated utilities
- TestDisk & PhotoRec 6.12-WIP - Recover data and photos from lost partitions and drives.
- Rember 0.3.6b - GUI wrapper for the Memtest CLI memory/RAM tester.
- Yasu 2.6.6 - Run system shell scripts to perform maintenance routines and clear cache files.
- Cocktail 4.6 - (Leopard Edition) general-purpose system modify/repair utility.
- Keyboard Maestro 4.0.2 - Hot key/macro tool, switcher, multiple clipboard.
- VueScan 8.6.07 - Scanner software for most scanner brands.
- IceClean 3.3.5 - System maintenance & optimization tool.