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 are a couple of updates for maintenance utilities, and a few for managing filesystem activity, fragmentation, and cloning. Lastly, only one hardware-utility has been updated, which targets MacBook and MacBook Pro users who have the older Core2Duo CPUs in their systems.
Only a couple of maintenance utilities were updated this week. MacKeeper ($39.95) is an all-in-one maintenance and cleanup utility that can be used to run gneral maintenance routines among other useful routines such as securely deleting files, uninstalling items, and removing unused code from universal binary applications. The program has been updated to fix a few bugs in the "Old Files Finder" routine.
Snow Leopard Cache Cleaner ($9.99) is the second maintenance utility updated this week, and updates the ClamXav antivirus definitions along with other minor bug fixes and provides official support for OS X 10.6.4. When running any maintenance utility it is highly recommended you use the latest version that is released with specific support for your version of OS X.
One relatively new utility on the scene is DaemonFS, which is a free file monitoring utility. While you can use the Finder's "List" view to show recently changed documents by sorting by modification date, this utility allows you to select specific files or folders and then be notified when they are changed. This can be excpetionally useful for locating which files and resources a specific program or system setting uses.
For the most part OS X does not need regular defragmentation of files; however, there are several utilities that can defragment your files if needed. Some of these are part of larger disk management suites, but iDefrag ($29.95) is a utility with the sole purpose of providing defragmentation and optimization options for drives in OS X. The utility has been updated to fix a few rare bugs with creating boot disks, some interface glitches, and a data corruption bug. While these are rare, we recommend you update if you use iDefrag to avoid any potential data corruption issues.
Lastly in filesystem utilities, the drive cloning utility "Clone X" ($49.00) has been updated with a small maintenance release. Like the popular Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper utilities, this program allows for fully cloning your system and data disks for backups, creating portable boot clones, or migrating to a new system.
Only one hardware-based utility has been updated this week. CoolBook ($10.00) is a CPU-management utility that underclocks Core2Duo-based CPUs (no Core i5/i7 support yet) to better control both its temperature and power usage. This can allow for better battery life for MacBooks, but also can help you diagnose hardware problems with the CPU that could if, for instance, you are experiencing overheating when running certain tasks that result in crashes or slowdowns.