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 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.
Staff Pick: LCD Scrub
Periodically LCD screens will get image persistance artifacts, where patterns will linger on the display similar to old CRT "Burn Ins." While burn-ins are usually irreversable, image persistance can be fixed by exercising the screen's pixels. There are a variety of ways to do this, including putting bold colors over the affected areas and using programs such as LCD Scrub that tackle the problem with patterns.
The latest version of LCD Scrub adds support for Snow Leopard, and contains several video sequences to use for stimulating the screen. In addition to image persistance, stuck pixels can be fixed with these patterns.
LCD Scrub can be downloaded from the developer's website: http://toastycode.com/lcdscrub/
Other Recent Utility Updates:
- Socks 1.3 - Optimization, maintenance and customization app.
- FileFinder 1.4.9 - Catalog, browse, search your disks & removable media.
- VirtualBox 3.0.6 - Virtualization package for Windows and Linux.
- Snow Leopard Cache Cleaner 5.0.2 - System maintenance, optimization, antivirus.
- Rescue Kit 1.0 - Bootable rescue system on CD.
- Space-In-Time 1.1 - Surveys ans records the space used by your data on your disks.
- Script Debugger 4.5.4b1 - Complete replacement for Apple's Script Editor.
- Carbon Copy Cloner 3.3-b5 - Comprehensive bootable backup solution.
- checkSum+ 1.5.3 - Handles and create sfv, md5 & csv checksum files.
- Little Snitch 2.2b2 - Informs you when an app tries to establish an outgoing Internet connection.
- BlueHarvest 3.0.1 - Manage .DS_Store files, resource forks, trash, etc.
- Cocktail 4.5.1 - (Snow Leopard Edition) general purpose system modify/repair utility.
- Xslimmer 1.7.4 - Strip ppc/intel code from universal apps/localizations to save space.
- ClamXav 2.0.3 - Antivirus app backed by the open-source ClamAV engine.
- Tidy Up! 2.1.0 - Locate duplicate files & tidy up your hard drive.
- SMARTReporter 2.4 - Warns of ATA drive failure before it happens.
Keep in mind that while utilities can help in a vast majority of cases, as with any software they can be buggy. Being recently updated utilities, these ones 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 website to be sure they are compatible with your system version. Incompatibilities with system software are the main reason why utilities and programs function improperly.