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Backup Utility Smackdown (OS X)

04/16, 7:15am

Carbon Copy Cloner vs SuperDuper! vs ChronoSync

This is a rubbish smackdown. Where's the drama? Where's the bit where one of these backup utilities gets voted off the island? Here's the thing, though: over the last month or so, we've reviewed three very powerful applications that broadly do the same thing. They all back up your data to external hard disks, and they all create ways that you can startup your Mac again even if your internal drive dies on you. Carbon Copy Cloner, SuperDuper, and ChronoSync are surely the leading applications in this, and they are certainly needed. We just wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't pitch them against each other to help you pick one.


Telecommunication providers issue letter to FCC Chairman Wheeler

05/13, 4:40pm

Providers urge Wheeler to stick to initial plan, avoid reclassification of broadband

Senators, Internet companies and citizens aren't the only groups issuing letters to the Federal Communications Commission over proposed changes to net neutrality. CEOs of major telecommunication companies have stepped in, issuing a letter to Chairman Tom Wheeler and the FCC commissioners, asking that changes in policy stay away from the concept of possible reclassification of broadband as public utilities.


Briefly: Controls+ brings iOS control to Mac, X-Mirage mirrors iOS

10/17, 1:10pm

iOS 7's Control Center feature brought to Mac OS X by Controls+ app

Controls+, an app for OS X, is available at an introductory sale price since its launch at the beginning of the month. Priced at 80 percent off until Friday, Controls+ offers the features of iOS 7's Control Center, which includes quick access to commonly used utilities via a menubar icon. Controls+ presently includes brightness controls, a flashlight mode (white screen), screen saver locking, iTunes controls, and a timer. Its user interface emulates the visual aesthetic of iOS 7, with a compact drop-down menu for accessing all features. Currently available for download for $1, Controls+ can be purchased on iTunes.


Stellar updates Drive Toolbox to v2.0, adds data encryption

01/20, 7:05pm

All tools now 30 percent more efficient

Stellar Data Recovery, makers of Stellar Phoenix and other utility tools for Mac, has updated its Stellar Drive Toolbox to version 2.0, offering 12 "vastly improved utilities that have been made 30 percent more efficient, as well as a new bonus tool, says the company. The various tools in the kit include utilities to handle disk defragmenting, drive cloning, a raw data editor and others, now including a bonus "Data Encryptor" that lets users secure selected files.


Dalamser debuts Folder Dater, Date Paradox Resolver

06/23, 11:00pm

Utilities adjust folder, file date stamp settings

Dalamser has launched two new apps for working with folder and file date stamps, Folder Dater and Date Paradox Resolver. Folder Dater is a utility for setting folder date stamps based on the files within the folder, easing the sorting process in the Finder. Date Paradox Resolver fixes problematic date stamps, where a file or folder has an out-of-range date stamp, like a year of 1904 or 2063, due to improper copying or computers with inaccurate clock times.


E-on releases Vue 8 learning and trial editions

12/09, 6:55pm

Free trials of 3D modeling and animation tools

E-on has announced several new software options in the Vue 8 family of 3D rendering and animation tools. The Vue 8 Personal Learning Edition (PLE) is essentially a fully functional version of the company's xStream/Infinite utilities. Users can create and complete projects, save the work, and render stills or animations without any size or length limits.


Apps: BurnAgain FS, Apimac Timer, PortAuthority

05/07, 11:30am

Snowtape, EarthDesk

  • BurnAgain FS 1.3 ($22) is a multi-session CD/DVD burning utility. BurnAgain FS treats CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-RW and DVD+RW discs like hard drives, mounting them as a volume on the desktop for adding files, changing disc titles and "erasing" files by making them inaccessible. The 1.3 update adds the option to erase RW media and improves the integration with Mac OS X by always displaying an opened disk in the sidebar and on the desktop. The update also include several minor bug fixes. [Download - 6.7MB]


  • DiskTools Pro launches, features Mac disk utilities

    03/31, 12:10pm

    DiskTools Pro now shipping

    Macware has launched DiskTools Pro, a collection of utilities for hard disk maintenance on the Mac platform. Developed by Intech for Macware, the main features of DiskTools Pro are bad sector detection and repair, file defragmentation, S.M.A.R.T. monitoring and analysis and bootable disk backup with automated scheduling. The utilities allow for scheduling defrags, back-ups and bad sector repairs. It can run on the start-up volume and test/repair multiple volumes concurrently.


    Apps: Involer, World Clock Deluxe, JigSaw

    03/18, 7:45pm

    Webbla, Willow, JigSaw

  • Involer 1.2 ($20) is an invoice building application that features support for multiple companies and clients. The software allows users to manage past an present invoices, search through an archive of your invoices and track which clients are up to date with their payments. Version 1.2 has added support for company logos and also allows users to add a full client address. The application also can now automatically create unique invoice numbers and includes several new preferences. [Download - 2.7MB]


  • Apps: SnapMeasure, ProfCast, Accordance

    03/10, 8:20pm

    Rulers, Orbiter

    SnapMeasure 1.8 ($24) is a plugin for Adobe Illustrator that acts as an alternative measuring tool. Unlike the native measuring tool, SnapMeasure snaps with visual feedback to elements on the page and can put measurement data next to the cursor. The software also offers an alternate measure line color for better visibility and can optionally change the constrain angle and/or cursor key distance without having to open the preferences window. This release adds CS4 compatibility, measuring along a path, scale measuring, path direction arrows, and more. [Download - 1.9MB]


    FruitMenu, App Enhancer, Smart Crash support Leopard

    08/18, 11:40pm

    Unsanity updates 3 utils

    Unsanity says it has brought Mac OS X Leopard compatibility to three of its utilities: Smart Crash, FruitMenu and Application Enhancer. Designed to allow users to repurpose menus, FruitMenu 3.7 includes various bug fixes and drops QuickTIme in favor of ImageIO to process images. Support for Mac OS X 10.3 has been dropped, and the launch time has been "significantly reduced." FruitMenu allows users to customize Mac OS X menu functions, create hot keys linked to files, folders and commonly used tasks, and instantly set desktop pictures.


    Many iPhone utilities available at the AppStore

    07/11, 4:00pm

    App Store:iPhone utilities

    Among the dozens of new product announcements today are a wide variety of tiny utiity programs to enhance the new iPhone 3G. Whether it's copying a file from a Mac, writing a shopping list, searching for restaurants, sharing and organizing photos or securing the iPhone's Wi-Fi connection, there are utilities available at the iTunes AppStore.


    BusySync 2.0 brings Google-iCal sync

    04/18, 11:05pm

    BusySync 2.0 released

    BusySync on Friday released an update to its iCal sync utility. BusySync 2.0, a free upgrade for all existing customers, brings new Google Calendar syncing features and fixes many bugs. Users have the ability to sync iCal with Google Calendar, including the ability to map iCal Message alarms to Google pop-up, SMS or Email alarms as well as the option to filter out Alarms and To-Dos from subscribed calendars on your LAN. The developer says the update brings LAN/WAN synching improvements, VPN compatibility, IPv6 and Back to My Mac compatibility. In addition, version 2.0 features improved performance, fewer conflict resolver disputes, auto-repair of damaged iCal databases. Users can install the upgrade by opening the BusySync prefpane and clicking the Check Now button. For a limited time, BusySync 2.0 is available at an introductory price of $20 per computer (offer good until April 30, 2008 when the price will increase to $25).


    iToner 1.0.6 adds sound formats, languages, more

    02/22, 11:45am

    iToner 1.0.6 adds formats

    Ambrosia Software today unveiled iToner 1.0.6, an update to its custom iPhone ringtone software, adding support for various sound formats, language localizations, and intelligent audio processing. iToner can now use MP3-, MP4-, WAV-, and AIFF-formatted files to create ringtones, and is localized for French, German, and Italian customers. Ambrosia is seling iToner 1.0.6 through its website for $15, while a 30-day demo is also available.


    Google Toolbox source code for developers

    01/31, 12:30am

    Google Toolbox source code

    Google has unveiled the release of the Google Toolbox for Mac source code, joining the ranks of Google Data APIs Object-C Library of open source materials available from the internet services giant. The development team calls the collection eclectic, containing apps that are required for most every day tasks. Eventually, the Google Mac Team hopes to have additional utilities, with "more interesting and complex classes".


    Jolt defeats Mac OS X energy saver

    01/23, 3:00pm

    Jolt delays Mac dimming

    Independent coder Bryan Hansen has released Jolt, a system utility for Mac OS X. The tool defeats a common problem for Mac owners, in which a user wants to keep the default timing for the energy saver, but is continually interrupted by it when watching videos or reading long documents. By clicking on the Jolt icon located in the Menu bar, users can temporarily delay screen dimming by several minutes. A timer within Jolt's own menu shows how long it will be before a system returns to normal.


    BusyMac 2.0 syncs iCal and Google calendars

    01/14, 12:45am

    iCal and Google cal sync

    BusyMac today announced BusySync 2.0, a free upgrade to the calendar sharing utility for iCal. In addition to its existing ability to sync iCal calendars over a LAN or the internet, BusySync 2.0 now enables users to synchronize iCal with Google Calendar, providing Web-based access to calendars from anywhere. BusySync is a Mac OS X System Preference Pane that adds peer-to-peer calendar sharing and synchronization capabilities to iCal. Designed for families and small workgroups, BusySync allows users to easily and cost-effectively share iCal calendars on a local area network and over the internet without the need for a dedicated server. Shared calendars can be viewed and edited by multiple users and changes are instantly synchronized between users. Version 2.0 also now offers bidirectional synchronization between iCal and Google Calendar.


    Ambrosia updates WireTap Studio, iSeek, pop-pop

    12/21, 11:30am

    Ambrosia issues updates

    Ambrosia Software has released updates to two applications and one game, signaling the arrival of WireTap Studio 1.0.4 along with iSeek 1.1.3 and pop-pop 1.0.6. WireTap Studio 1.0.4 is a free update to the audio recording and management application that offers enhanced Leopard compatibility alongside other fixes and enhancements. WireTap Studio is priced at $70 and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later. Upgrades for WireTap Pro users are priced at 30.


    Ambrosia updates iToner, iSeek, Dragster

    12/19, 10:20am

    Ambrosia updates four apps

    Ambrosia Software has updated four of its software utilities for Mac users, offering various improvements and bug fixes. The company released iToner 1.0.5, iSeek 1.1.2, EasyEnvelopes 1.0.6, and Dragster 1.0.5. iToner 1.0.5 ($15) enhances the iPhone custom ringtone transfer tool with improved support for iPhone OS 1.1.1 as well as bug fixes and other enhancements. iSeek 1.1.2 ($15) adds Leopard compatibility alongside an integrated registration system to the internet search utility, and fixes various bugs.


    Apps: MaxMenus, Meridian, Sapiens

    12/17, 6:00pm

    Application Wizard

    • MaxMenus 1.5.1 ($30) haxie-free utility and launching application. Allows access to your commonly used applications, documents, folders, volumes, preferences. The new version 1.5.1 addresses several compatibility issues with Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). The release of MaxMenus 1.5.1 is for compatibility purposes primarily and is available immediately in download form at no cost to registered users of the software. For non-registered users, a 30 day trial version of the preference pane is the default configuration. [Download - 568KB]

    • Meridian 3.3.3 ($20) alarm clock and timer for Mac OS X that features improved compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). Meridian starts with an improved Menu Bar Clock, and adds Alarms, Time Zones, Timers, Stopwatches, and Chimes. It can show you the time in any city, remind you when it's time for an important meeting, track a parking meter, or help you time your latest podcast. [Download - 3.2MB]

    • Application Wizard 2.3 ($20) lets you quickly open, quit, show and hide applications, open them automatically at startup and force them to open using Rosetta, turn single application mode on and quit background-only applications and the Finder. The Address Book item can now be added to the Special menu, so that you can quickly access your contacts. Application Wizard lets you view cards, display phone numbers in large type, create pre-addressed email messages, visit home pages, invite contacts to a chat, copy mailing labels and create vCards. [Download - 2.3MB]

    • Sapiens 1.1 ($20) application launcher. It predicts the applications you will likely need and offers a visualization of this prediction in an intuitive way. Sapiens is activated by moving the mouse in a circle therefore touching the keyboard is really the last resort to be used in case you want to search for a specific application. New in this release: launch animation improved in Leopard, double icon Leopard bug fixed. [Download - 968KB]

    • Valentina 3.5.1 ($200) build Local Applications in Ruby and Web Applications with Ruby on Rails. Provides improvements to time/date handling and encryption in all Valentina products, and 12 improvements in Valentina Studio. Documentation is now available for setting up Valentina with Ruby on Rails and support for ActiveRecord 1.5. Support for ActiveRecord 2.0 is currently under development. Support for is also available on the Windows and Linux versions. [Download - 21.8MB]



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