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 to bring you those tools that help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems. This week there are a number of maintenance utility updates, and one update for the handling of hidden files on the filesystem.
The popular OS tweaking utility MacPilot has been updated to fix some crashes when running root operations, and adjusts listings to sort numerically by default. Besides tweaking hidden settings, the program has options for clearing numerous caches and running other maintenance and system management routines. MacPilot is $19.95 for a license.
The second maintenance utility this week is MacCleanse, which fixes a problem with the latest update where people would get an "Improperly Signed Update" error. Unfortunately the built-in updater will not work for the program with this bug, so you will have to download the latest version manually. MacCleanse is $19.95 for a license.
The next updated maintenance utility is IceClean, which is freeware and has been updated to be fully compatible with OS X 10.6.5. The program supports a number of convenient maintenance routines that are found in many common maintenance programs, but being free makes this option much more appealing.
The last maintenance utility is CheckUp, which has been updated to support both OS X 10.6.5 as well as the latest MacBook Air models. CheckUp is a $40 program that will continually monitor your Mac and notify you of errors, but also provides options for maintaining your system, removing programs, and testing hardware.
The only other utility this week is the file management tool BlueHarvest, which can be used to remove hidden files such as the .DS_Store or "._" files appearing on networked volumes or on other disks that might be used with non-OS X systems. If you have a network with multiple systems on it, this utility might be useful for keeping "OS clutter" to a minimum. The program is $16.95 after the 30-day trial.