Our utilities update report is a column on 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 past week there were only updates to two utilities: a popular OS tweaking and maintenance tool, and a file recovery tool.
Mz StartUp Manager makes it easy enough for beginners to tell Windows which programs to load on boot, which isn't quite the same thing as pinning and unpinning programs to the Start Menu. These are programs that the system loads when booting up, sometimes unnecessarily. This free tool not only removes unneeded startup entries but also adds new ones, such as apps you use every day and are just plain tired of launching. It also helps users learn about their programs.
Mz StartUp Manager's simple, efficient interface offers numerous optional skins. The program's left-hand Tasks panel replicates … Read more
After installing the 10.6.6 update and launching the new Mac App Store, a few people are noticing that the window for signing into the store seems to be missing. If Expose is activated, the window will be shown as being available, but when it is clicked the window will remain hidden.
Some have found that the main App Store window seems to be hiding the log-in window, and though it can be moved to reveal the log-in window, the window seems to be inactive and will not accept user input.
This problem appears to be associated with the … Read more
It's a small world, but try telling that to anyone who shares a PC with someone who not only speaks a different language but uses an entirely different character set. Diplomatic relations are possible, thanks to Quick Locale Switcher by Captain Caveman. It's a free Firefox add-on that lets users quickly switch locale-related settings, including languages, spell checkers, context menus, and more. It will even translate complete Web sites automatically, if your browser settings support it. You can configure Quick Locale Switcher for automatic switches or manual function with notifications. Even if your locale isn't listed, you'… Read more
Winstep Xtreme is a customizable Windows interface suite that combines enhanced functionality and attractive effects with a wide variety of widgets, utilities, task managers, and power tools, all designed to work together seamlessly. It bundles the NeXuS Ultimate dock system; WorkShelf, a versatile tabbed dock; NextStart, an enhanced system taskbar; Winstep Start Menu Organizer; FontBrowser; and more. Not to mention a wide variety of desktop widgets such as weather monitors, system meters, and time/date displays.
We opened Winstep Xtreme, and first to appear was NextStart, a skinnable, totally customizable taskbar replacement that basically lets you park anything you want … Read more
Portable Start Menu is portable freeware that lets you quickly launch applications from the System Tray. You install it on a portable drive and carry it between your work and home PCs for instant access to just the programs you need most often. Removing the drive or closing the program automatically closes open applications, too.
Installing Portable Start Menu involves choosing a local PC or a portable drive; we chose to install the program on a USB drive. Portable Start Menu opened with a simple tabbed dialog displaying the Start Menu folder icon in the main window. Clicking Help called … Read more
Like most Windows users, we've gotten used to the Windows Start menu, and we hardly even think about how annoying it can sometimes be to navigate. Start Menu 7 improves on the default Start menu design by making this important piece of Windows navigation more intuitive and useful.
Start Menu 7 replaces the default Start menu with a similar layout that has some distinctly different characteristics. There are four skins to choose from, and we didn't find any of them to be particularly attractive; Start Menu 7 is rather utilitarian in appearance. But what the program lacks in … Read more
Classic Menu for Word 2007 recreates the look and feel of Word 2003 in Word 2007. Why would anyone want to do that, especially now that a new version is available in Office 2010? Some users don't want, need, or like change; Word 2003 was more than good enough for them. That's where Classic Menu for Word 2007 comes in. It integrates all the improved functionality of Word 2007 in Word 2003's style and interface, so you can enjoy improved performance with a familiar, comfortable feel--and the productivity that comes with it.
Like most Office add-ins, Classic … Read more
We've seen quite a few screen capture utilities, and although most of them are pretty similar, occasionally these programs have features that set them apart from the competition. CaptureScreen is one such program; although it's not quite as easy to use as some other applications we've seen, it does offer features that we don't think we've come across in similar programs.
CaptureScreen's interface is plain, consisting of a resizable, transparent rectangle. For basic screenshots, users simply drag the rectangle over the portion of the screen they wish to capture, right-click on it, and select … Read more
In setting up OS X one of the convenient options is to add menu extras to the right-hand side of the menu bar, providing convenient access to system settings as well as functions provided by third-party utilities (virus scanners, activity monitors, etc). Sometimes, however, some or all of these menu extras may become nonfunctional and show the spinning color wheel when you mouse over them.… Read more