Our 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 on bringing you those tools that help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems. This week we have had updates to a few notable maintenance utilities, as well as an update to a small system-monitoring menu extra and an NTFS filesystem driver.
In maintenance utility updates this past week, MacCleanse now has support for Microsoft Office 2011. The program offers a number of cleaning and maintenance options for OS X, removes only the necessary files, and provides thorough logs of all activities. A full license of the program is $19.95.
The other maintenance updates this past week are for Maintenance and OnyX. Both of these are free utilities, and the latest updates have improved the options for deleting the Application and System caches as well as Web histories.
System monitoring and filesystem
Besides the maintenance utility updates there is an update for one system-monitoring utility as well as a filesystem support option for the NTFS format. The tool MiniUsage is a small menu extra for OS X that provides a quick view of CPU usage, network activity, battery status, and various other statistics. The program is free, and the latest version fixes a small display error associated with using the rotated display feature.
The next tool is the Tuxera NTFS driver for providing OS X with more complete support for the NTFS filesystem. While the built-in NTFS driver will allow you to read NTFS and can be tweaked to allow for writing, its features are not all supported, and Tuxera NTFS not only provides these but is far more optimized for handling NTFS disks. The latest version implements better handling of invalid characters, and the driver is further optimized for the 64-bit kernel. In addition the calculated free space is now correct in Snow Leopard, and the driver's handling of resource forks is more compatible with OS X. A full license for Tuxera NTFS is 25 euros (about $31), but there is a free version that is developed in parallel with the Tuxera release.