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Troubleshooting utility news and update

Our utilities update report is a column on updates for Mac utilities that have been released in the past week, which include maintenance tools, monitoring utilities, and file-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 a couple of popular maintenance utilities, some file recovery and management tools, and a package manager and system monitor.

Two maintenance utilities were updated this week: the popular MacCleanse and OnyX tools for running general maintenance routines in addition to providing system tweaking and customization options. The update for OnyX is to the Snow Leopard version (unlike the Lion version that was issued last week), and corrects bugs encountered when managing Safari cookies, among other small improvements and bug fixes.

The update for MacCleanse brings its version number to 3.0.5 and adds a number of new features to the program, including inspector windows to show additional information about files and results, and optimizations to the code to reduce CPU usage. Also, many tools now show the full path to the files being acted on.

OnyX is a free maintenance program, but MacCleanse will cost $19.95 for a license.

Files and filesystem
In filesystem-related utilities, the cloning tool Clone X has been slightly tweaked to adjust recent changes to its French localization, in addition to fixing a few minor interface bugs. The program is a good alternative to the popular Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper cloning tools, but will cost $49.00 for a full license.

If you regularly work on OS X's invisible files in the Finder, then you may wish to keep them visible at all times; however, if you only sometimes need to do this, or wish to keep your system appearing cleaner, then having a quick option to toggle the view of invisible files may be beneficial. There are a few tools available with which to do this, with the free iShow Invisible utility being one of them. The program presents a simple dialog box from which to show or hide invisible files, and has been updated this week to fix a bug that caused folders to close when changing visibility.

Another filesystem-related tool updated this week is a $2.99 utility called GrupaDupa, which is a duplicate file locator that can be useful for managing duplicates on your system after migrating, cloning, upgrading your OS, or otherwise managing your files and folders. It may also be useful if you have recovered a number of lost files and need to sort through them to find any duplicates. The tool has been updated to version 3.0, which adds a large number of new features including using multiple checksums, repeating searches, drag-and-drop support, better options for managing active searches, tooltips, and new menu options.

The last filesystem tool is a relatively new and popular recovery tool called Disk Drill, which adds support for recovering more filetypes (ORF, FFF, IPA, MMAP, RVT, FP7, and ENL). In addition it improves the efficiency of scanning and fixes bugs involved in the Deep Scan routine and some odd crash and hang situations. Disk Drill is a free file-recovery tool, but does have tiered pricing for additional options and installation situations.

The other tools updated this week were the system monitor utility AtMonitor and the package manager MacPorts. Both of these were updated last week, but have been released with small bug fixes. The AtMonitor update includes a more robust helper process and a few interface tweaks, and MacPorts offers better Lion compatibility and better handling of subports. Both utilities are free.

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