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Weekly Utilities Update: Little Snitch, gfxCardStatus, WhatSize, more...

Our Weekly Utilities Update report is a list of all the updates for many Mac utilities that have been released in the past week. Though utilities can be any tool that helps you perform a routine task (including image manipulation and synchronization), our focus in this column is to bring you those tools that help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems. This week we have updates for graphics and display managmenet utilities, disk and file management and recovery utilities, as well as a few small updates to maintenance utilities

Our Weekly Utilities Update report is a list of all the updates for many Mac utilities that have been released in the past week. Though utilities can be any tool that helps you perform a routine task (including image manipulation and synchronization), our focus in this column is to bring you those tools that help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems. This week we have updates for graphics and display management utilities, disk and file management and recovery utilities, as well as a few small updates to maintenance utilities.

Hardware

This week, there are a couple of utilities for managing display hardware, and a couple for managing hard disks. The relatively new (and highly useful) utility "gfxCardStatus" has been updated to version 1.7, bringing support for older MacBook Pro models that utilize the GeForce 9400M/9600M combo. The program's key benefit is allowing for GPU switching without logging out on these older machines. SwitchResX has also been updated for new MacBook Pro models, and corrects bugs with display sets when using multiple displays, among other small bug fixes.

For disk utilities, SMART Utility has seen a small bugfix update, that addresses problems with scanning and crashing when reading logs and report files. If you use NTFS volumes, the utility SL-NTFS enables write support for NTFS volumes using Apple's supplied NTFS driver, and has been updated to include Italian and Spanish localizations, but otherwise is not changed.

Data Management and Recovery

Stellar Phoenix has updated their Mac Data Recovery software with a small release that adds support for bootable optical discs as well as the FAT filesystem, and Whatsize is also a small update that fixes several crashes in Snow Leopard. If you use BatChmod for changing permissions on multiple files, an update addresses an issue with removing extended attributes, and adds localizations for several new languages.

Maintenance

OnyX has a new beta out for version 2.1.5, which improves upon cache management and also adds new configurability for interface management as well as the option for the system tweak to show or hide alert messages for newly-downloaded applications. Another utility, MacKeeper, has seen a more substantial update, which adds new options to the uninstaller feature, and also fixes several crashes pertaining to the undelete and backup features. Lastly, Snow Leopard Cache Cleaner adds a couple of options to test an application's code signature, as well as an OpenSSL speed test, and an update for its ClamAV antivirus engine implementation.

While not a full system maintenance utility, the free utility "FontNuke" that can be used to clear and manage font cache files, has been updated to fix lengthy launch times and correct error handling and logging.

Other

The popular outgoing-firewall Little Snitch was updated this week with a small bugfix for localization issues and rule management. Additionally, a few UI adjustments have been made, such as applications now showing proper icons. Lastly, Keyboard Maestro has been updated to fix crashes and high CPU usage with script execution and device triggers, as well as enhanced macro support for window movement.

This weeks updates:

  1. Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery 4.0.1.0 - ($99.00) Recover lost volumes, data, pictures, music, videos.
  2. SMART Utility 2.2.2 - ($25.00) Checks hard drives' internal diagnostics systems.
  3. MacKeeper 0.9.2 - ($39.95) Set of clean-up utilities, standalone tools, online services.
  4. FontNuke 1.1.7 - (Free!) Remove font cache files.
  5. WhatSize 4.9.5 - ($12.99) Measure sizes of your files and folders.
  6. Little Snitch 2.2.3 - ($29.95) Informs you when an app tries to establish an outgoing Internet connection.
  7. BatChmod 1.6.2 - (Free!) Changes file ownership/permissions & empties the Trash.
  8. gfxCardStatus 1.7 - (Free!) Manually switch between Intel and NVIDIA GPUs on Core i5/i7 MacBook Pros.
  9. Keyboard Maestro 4.3.1 - ($36.00) Assign your hotkeys.
  10. Snow Leopard Cache Cleaner 5.0.7 - ($9.99) System maintenance, optimization, antivirus.
  11. OnyX 2.1.5b2 - (Free! Beta) Maintenance, optimization and system personalization tool.
  12. SwitchResX 4.1.4 - ($14.00) Custom resolutions, desktop icon position saving & more.
  13. SL-NTFS 2.0.4 - (Free!) NTFS disk writing enabler.


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