Our Weekly Utilities Update report is a list of all the updates for many Mac utilities that have been released in the past week. Though utilities 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. This week there were updates for several maintenance, cleaning, and file recovery programs, in addition to network monitoring and scanning utilities.
Cleaning and Maintenance
In cleaning and maintenance utilities, the freeware utility IceClean has been updated to fix minor bugs in the updater process. The MacKeeper update has addressed an issue where users could choose to erase all found files when using the duplicates feature, and fixes some minor interface quirks. Another relatively new maintenance utility is HDCleanUp, which has recently added new support for searching and zip file contents listing. The latest update provides an enhanced way of viewing eligible applications for the application slimming feature (removing unnecessary code in universal binary applications).
In addition to cleaning utilities, the application removal utilities AppDelete and CleanApp have been updated. The CleanApp update addresses a bug with crashing during its Universal Binary slimming procedure, and AppDelete has added a number of features, including a hidden mode, optimized searching, 64-bit support, and new localization among numerous bug fixes. If you are a regular AppDelete user then you might consider this upgrade.
Lastly, the commercially developed "Data Rescue" from Prosoft Engineering has been updated to version 3.0.2, which adds more support for FAT and NTFS drives, and more support for recovery of AVI files, Sony RAW, Digital Performer projects, orphaned files and folders, and various standard image file formats such as BMP. It has also been updated to be a 64-bit application when running under Snow Leopard on supported machines.
There are updates for a few network utilities this week. Cocoa Packet Analyzer and PacketStream are just bug fix releases, and the network scanning and monitoring utility AutoScan-Network has been updated to version 1.5. The program is freeware from SourceForge, and offers a variety of network tools including IP scanning, SNMP and port scanning, real-time detection of network hardware, and network discovery. In addition it has built-in VNC and terminal clients for connectivity to network devices, and offers XML file output of detected network trees. As a port from Windows and Linux it has a slightly crude interface layout and is not the most intuitive to set up, but may be useful for network administrators.
Beyond these utilities, the freeware Compressor Repair has improved compatibility with the latest version of Compressor, and ProcessSwitcher is a relatively new alternative to the Finder's application switching window (seen with command-Tab) that provides additional support such as quitting or killing hung processes.
This Week's list of updates:
- Compressor Repair 1.3.1 - (Free!) Finds problems that prevent Apple Compressor from working.
- ProcessSwitcher 1.01 - (Free!) Get the full control of processes.
- Data Rescue 3.0.2 - ($99.00) File recovery from crashed/corrupt drives or trashed files.
- Purity 1.04 - ($9.95) Recover disk space & maintain your system (was MacDust).
- CleanApp 3.3.5 - ($15.00) Analyse, remove, archive and restore application files and installations.
- HDCleanUp 1.8.3 - ($10.00) Clean up the clutter on your hard disk.
- AppDelete 3.1 - ($7.99) Search for and uninstall applications and more.
- Cocoa Packet Analyzer 0.67 - (Free!) Network protocol analyzer and packet sniffer.
- MacKeeper 0.8.9 - ($39.95) Set of clean-up utilities, standalone tools, online services.
- PacketStream 3.2 - ($24.95) Network monitoring tool.
- AutoScan-Network 1.50 - (Free!) Explore and manage your network.
- IceClean 3.4.2 - (Free!) System maintenance & optimization tool.