Our weekly utilities update report is a list of 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 to bring you those tools that help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems.
A number of maintenance-related utilities were updated this week, most of which are minor releases for bugfixes.
Purity (formerly MacDust) was updated to fix a small bug where commands had to be entered twice in order to work, and Snow Leopard Cache Cleaner has been updated with the latest version of ClamAV, along with minimal other bug fixes.
OnyX adds some code optimization and improves the internet cache removal routine, and the popular system tweaking and maintaining application MacPilot fixes a small issue with search bars not displaying properly.
If you manage cross-platform networks and have problems with hidden files showing up on network drives, such as thumbs.db and .DS_Store files, you may consider CleanDisk, which is built to locate and remove these files (BlueHarvest is another such utility). The latest update mainly adds support for a few more hidden file types.
Lastly, the popular file defragmentation "iDefrag" has been updated with a few more significant bugfixes, and addresses a flaw where the program could stop midway through a defragmentation routine and leave the drive in an inconsistent state. Because of this, if you use iDefrag, I highly recommend you update the software.
While Apple's "Get Info" feature is useful, it is not as complete as many would like, so applications like FileXaminer may come in handy. The update to this utility fixes crashes when managing "_unknown" user types.
The file duplicate locator Tidy Up! has been updated to improve iPhot and Aperture searching, as well as fixed crashes when managing AAC files and when saving the search results.
Hardware and Monitoring
In hardware and monitoring utilities, the Activity Monitor alternative "atMonitor" has been updated to fix a timeout issue that would force the application to quit.
When it comes to laptop batteries, the general maintenance suggestions are to use and regularly calibrate them. The utility Watts is a notification system that alerts you when to next calibrate your battery, and instructs you on how to do so.