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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 system 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 four updates, for a display manager and customizing tool, a file renamer, a file recovery tool, and a popular maintenance tool.

The first utility update this week was for SwitchResX, which is a tool that can help you fine-tune the output of your video cards so you can highly customize the use of your monitors. This can be exceptionally useful for people in science and engineering fields, or for people who have old or unique monitors that require nonstandard timings and output from the computer. The latest update for SwitchResX adds compatibility for Lion to prepare for the 10.7 OS upgrade, and also fixes a couple of crash situations. A license for the software costs $19.

If you ever manage large numbers of files in the Finder, and need to name them by various schemes and naming conventions, then a tool like A Better Finder Rename ($19.95 for a license) might be useful. While the tool's name lacks a bit in creativity, the tool does live up to its title. The latest version addresses an issue with its ability to read MP3 tracks and CD numbers.

The next utilities updated this week are TestDisk & PhotoRec, which are free data recovery tools to recover lost files from digital camera media in addition to hard drives and optical media. There is no information on the changes in these latest releases.

The last utility updated is the popular MacCleanse maintenance tool that can be used to regularly clean out caches and other temporary items in OS X as part of general maintenance routines. This update adds a helper utility that runs various repeated commands in bulk, instead of starting up individual processes for each instance of these commands, resulting in the program using far less CPU. In addition, the program bring in a number of bug fixes when calculating file sizes, obtaining file paths, and managing some user interface elements like checking and unchecking all items in lists. The tool is $19.95 after the 15-day trial period.

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