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 to maintenance programs, a number of filesystem and file management tools, and one hardware utility for managing battery calibrations.
The popular maintenance tool Snow Leopard Cache Cleaner was updated in this past week. There is no information on the latest features, but the update is just a small version increase so it likely is just a bug fix from the previous release. If you regularly run Snow Leopard Cache Cleaner then you should look into upgrading to this latest release. A license for the utility will cost $9.99.
The second maintenance-related tool updated this week is MacCleanse. The update adds tweaks to scanning by adding options to disable the display of custom icons and directory sizes, and has removed the ability to both scan and delete at the same time (a potentially dangerous operation). Beyond these changes, the program has some user interface reorganization and bug fixes. A license for MacCleanse will cost $19.95.
Files and filesystem
Most of the utilities updated this week are for handling files and filesystem problems. One such tool is DiskRadar, which can be used to check the health status of attached filesystems and drive hardware. The update improves the scanning algorithm for handling networked volumes, and adds an option to show or hide these volumes. In addition, the program addresses a crash during volume enumeration and fixes the handling of S.M.A.R.T. logs. The program is $12.95 for a license.
Next are a pair of search utilities for OS X. While Apple's Spotlight tool does a good job of many search and organization routines, it is lacking in a few areas. There are a couple of alternative search options for OS X, including FoxTrot Personal and Professional Search, which have been updated with small bug-fix releases to address a launch failure of the program.
If you have ever had problems deleting files from the OS X trash, the free tool Trash It may help. It is an AppleScript application that will run direct file-deletion commands to remove stubborn files that you have placed in the Trash folder. The latest update adds some stability and speed improvements, but no other new features.
The final filesystem-handling utility updated this week is FileUtility, which provides options for managing the resource forks of older Mac file formats (at times OS X may split resource forks from some files, resulting in files that begin with "._" characters). The program can also list attributes about resource forks and provides easy ways to directly delete files from the filesystem. The utility runs as a service, so its options are available through the Finder's contextual menu.
The final utility updated this past week is Watts, which is mostly a notification tool to remind you when to calibrate your Mac's battery. The tool will not only notify you but will provide you with instructions on how to do this for your system, so you can be sure to properly and regularly calibrate to keep your battery at its optimal performance. The latest version of this utility fixes an error involving the calibration timer getting stuck.