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Troubleshooting utility news and updates

Our utilities update report is a column on updates for Mac utilities that have been released in the past week, which include maintenance tools and file recovery and handling tools for OS X.

Our utilities update report is a column on updates for Mac utilities that have been released in the past week. Though a utility can be any tool that helps you perform a routine task (including image manipulation and synchronization), our focus in this column is on bringing you those tools that help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems. This week there were updates for one maintenance tool, some file management tools, and a terminal emulator.


The maintenance utility Cocktail has been updated to add OS X 10.6.8 compatibility. The tool is used for running maintenance routines in OS X, and may help people who are having issues with OS X 10.6.8. The update also improves on the option for clearing up inactive memory in the system. Cocktail is $14.95 for a license.

File management

In file management utilities, the popular cloning tool SuperDuper! was updated to be compatible with OS X Lion, so people will be able to continue cloning their systems without problems after upgrading. SuperDuper is $27.95 for a license.

The next file management tool is a data recovery tool called PhotoRescue, which can scan flash media for traces of lost photos and provide options for recovering them. Data recovery software packages can be hit-or-miss, so its good to have a couple options around to be able to ensure lost files get properly located and recovered.

The last file management tool is iShow Invisible, which is one of several options to quickly show hidden files in OS X. iShow Invisible is a crude window with two options, that always runs and toggles the Finder's hidden file setting on and off with a click of a button. There are better options for this, but iShow Invisible does what it claims to do, and may be convenient for some people. Luckily it is free.


Beyond direct troubleshooting tools is an alternative for the OS X Terminal called MacTerm. For Terminal users, Apple's Terminal application may be a bit slow and clunky, especially when running elaborate scripts. While Apple does include the open-source xterm option as part of its X11 package, using that requires you to first start up the X11 suite. MacTerm may offer a better terminal experience for people who regularly use the OS X command line interface. MacTerm is free software.

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