MainMenu Makes Mac Maintenance Manageable

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Date: Wednesday, November 1st, 2006, 00:00
Category: Software

SantaSoftware has released MainMenu. The blurb on the homepage reads:
Don’t have time to run all the various tools and scripts to keep your Mac running smoothly? MainMenu makes these tasks quick and easy, right from your menu bar.
Rebuilding your Spotlight library for faster searching, repairing permissions, cleaning caches to improve application performance, and even more advanced settings — such as enabling and disabling the Dashboard — are no more than two clicks away.
MainMenu is full of powerful maintenance tools to keep your Mac running like new, within a slick, simple interface.
It doesn’t do anything that can’t already be achieved using freeware utilities, but it does bring a lot of useful functions under one easy-to-find/easy-to-navigate menu. I’ve been using it for a while now, and it does all the above functions, along with a number of others that I usually have to use a separate utility for, including ‘force empty trash’.
And it is free. Thank you Santa Software for my early Christmas present.
Contributed by: Brett Jordan


Fan Control 1.1 is a Must-Have for MBP Owners

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Date: Thursday, October 26th, 2006, 09:00
Category: Software

Fan Control 1.1 is an appication for controlling the fans in the MacBook Pro. It is is a prefpane than goes into your System Preferences and requires a restart after installation whereas smcFanControl is a standalone application.

Instead of setting the fans speed (like smcFanControl does) Fan Control 1.1 allows you to set an upper and lower temperature threshold for your MacBook Pro. The software then dynamically adjusts the fans speeds to keep your MBP at the temperature that you want it. Plus it displays a nice GUI with a graph to show you what is happening.

I set my base fan speed to be 3500 RPM (the max) and the upper and lower thresholds to be 104 and 158 degrees (the minimums) and my MBP (2.0GHz, week 7) barely breaks the 100 degree mark (according to CoreDuoTemp). My previous temps were consistently 135-165 degrees.

A little fan noise is small price to pay for a much cooler running MacBook Pro.

This software is required for all MacBook Pro owners and should be acquired by Apple and bundled into the Energy Saver System Preference. Period. End of story.

Lobotomo Software: Fan Control 1.1


Hack Your Ambient Light and Sudden Motion Sensors with Lilt

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Date: Monday, October 23rd, 2006, 08:00
Category: Software

lilt.jpgJon Nathan has released a new application called Lilt that uses the ambient light and/or the sudden motion sensors in recent Mac portables to launch apps, files, or AppleScripts. Triggering a script allows you to do some pretty cool things (several example script actions are included).
Wave your hand over the light sensors (located under the speaker grills) and play your next iTunes track. Tilt the computer back and hear the time spoken to you. The possibilities are endless.


Apple Releases Mac OS 10.4.8

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Date: Monday, October 2nd, 2006, 08:00
Category: Software

In addition to Aperture 1.5, Apple also shipped a major update to the Mac OS on Friday, 10.4.8.
The update is available for PPC (31MB) and Intel (206MB). Combo and Delta versions are also available. The best way to get the update is via Software Update.

What’s New in this Version
The 10.4.8 Update is recommended for all users and includes general operating system fixes, as well as specific fixes for the following applications and technologies:
– connecting to wireless networks using the EAP-FAST protocol
– Apple USB modem reliability
– using OpenType fonts in Microsoft Word
– compatibility with 3rd party USB hubs
– scanner performance
– RAW camera support
– printing documents with Asian language names
– performance of the Translation widget
– broadband network performance
– security updates


Aperture 1.5 Update Squeaks out as Promised

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Date: Monday, October 2nd, 2006, 08:00
Category: Software

Apple slipped out the 1.5 update to Aperture late Friday, just inside of Steve Jobs deadline of before the end of the week. Aperture 1.5 may not show up in Software Update (it didn’t for me) and it requires that you have Mac OS 10.4.8 installed. You also have to register your copy of Aperture 1.x with Apple (this is not optional) and enter your serial number before it will let you download the 125MB update.

Aperture 1.5 delivers more than 20 new and enhanced features that improve file management, metadata handling, and image adjustment. This update also addresses numerous issues related to overall reliability, performance, and compatibility.

Apple – Support – Downloads – Aperture 1.5 Update


iLife and iWork Updated for Aperture 1.5

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Date: Thursday, September 28th, 2006, 20:09
Category: Software

ilife-iwork-updates.jpgiPhoto 6.0.5 (57.7MB) contains new calendar, greeting card, and postcard themes for use with Apple print services, including a variety of holiday card designs. It also addresses compatibility for accessing Aperture 1.5 content in iPhoto.
iMovie HD 6.0.3 (6.6MB) addresses compatibility for accessing Aperture 1.5 content in iMovie HD. It also improves overall stability and addresses a number of other minor issues.
The rest of the software updates address compatibility for accessing Aperture 1.5 content:
iWeb 1.1.2
Pages 2.0.2
Keynote 3.0.2
iDVD 6.0.3
GarageBand 3.0.4


MSN Messenger 6 adds Mac IM Interoperability

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Date: Thursday, September 28th, 2006, 13:35
Category: Software

Messenger for Mac 6.0We need a universal IM protocol and we need the sotware vendors to support it. The fact that you can’t IM your friend because they’re on x service is almost is bad as the whole BluRay/HD DVD fiasco.

Microsoft on Wednesday released Messenger 6.0 for Mac, allowing Appleusers of its instant messaging software to connect to Yahoo Messengerusers. The company added that feature for PC users in July, but Mac support has been notably absent. >> Yahoo! MSN adds Mac IM interoperability


VersionTracker Pro 4.2 Adds Features, Goes Universal

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Date: Monday, September 25th, 2006, 10:00
Category: Software

Are you a serial upgrader? Constantly looking for new versions of your favorite software applications? Take the leg work out of staying current with all your software with VersionTracker Pro 4.2, a software application that automagically checks your installed software and tells you when versions are out of date.
VersionTracker Pro 4.2 is now a universal application that boasts several new features:

– Filter updates by operating system: Allows filtering by OS compatibility on a dot level (i.e. OS X 10.4.3 or 10.4.5) giving user complete control over information presented
– Scanning of Unix volumes: Scans applications for every OS X file type or format the system supports including support for UNIX
– Enhanced Support for External Drives and Partitions: Includes new algorithms for more accurate application lists and matching, as well as complete user control over what devices are scanned
– Universal Application: Runs natively on both Power PC and Intel-based Macintosh computers

VersionTracker Pro costs US$49.95 for up to three Macs and a 14-day free trial is available. More information is available at VersionTracker.


REVIEW: Fission – Lossless Audio Editing for Compressed Files

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Date: Wednesday, September 20th, 2006, 13:50
Category: Software

rogue-amoeba-fission.pngRogue Amoeba (makers of cool sound tools, such as Audio Hijack / Pro and Airfoil) has released Fission, a unique sound editor that allows for “Lossless” editing of compressed (mp3, AAC) audio files. The compressed formats split up a sound file into a series of small frames (~1/40 of a second each), which are very difficult to manipulate independently. Most applications simply decode an mp3 or AAC file to uncompressed audio for editing, and then re-compress the edited sound for export. The additional re-compression step results in some sound quality degradation.
Fission allows you to perform simple edits (cutting, splitting, and fading) in the compressed domain (without having to uncompress and re-compress), resulting in no additional quality loss (of course, the mp3 or AAC files you started with are lossy formats to begin with), hence the quotes around “lossless”. It is ideally suited for the editing and splitting of large compressed files recorded from radio streams (e.g., using Audio Hijack Pro or a Griffin radio SHARK). Fission also includes a “Smart Split” feature that can automatically segment your files by searching for silence (that typically occur before and after songs or commercials). Very cool!
The interface is extremely easy to use (simple for novices, but familiar to anyone who’s ever used a sound editor). I do have two small feature requests: 1) The ability to add split-markers in real-time during playback would be really helpful, and 2) Allow time to be displayed in units other than just minutes:seconds (e.g., samples). Overall, Fission is a great addition to any Mac/audio/music-lover’s set of sound applications.
UPDATE: I just heard from Rogue Amoeba that my first feature request is already there (choose “Split at Playhead” or Cmd-T). My mistake! So my revised (very minor) feature request is to make this keyboard shortcut a single key, or allow it to be user-assignable.


Parallels Workstation 2.2 RC Runs Windows Vista

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Date: Wednesday, September 20th, 2006, 09:14
Category: Software

Everyone’s favorite virtualization tool, Parallels Desktop, has released an update that allows users to runs Windows Vista RC1 as a guest OS and eliminates the need to manually limit RAM via the command line.

We also released a new build for Desktop for Mac that eliminates kernel panics and substantially improves the performance of virtual machines running on Mac Pros and 64-bit iMacs. The build eliminates kernel panics and major bugs and adds support for Windows Vista RC1 as a guest OS. The new build is available at the main Desktop download page (

In previous builds, Mac Pro and 64-bit iMac users who have machines with more than 2GB of RAM had to manually limit RAM via the command line in Terminal. In this build, we’ve included a tool that will help you take this action without any command line coding. With a single click you can limit your RAM and make your Mac Pro fully compatible with this build. You can easily revert your memory back at any time to the full configuration with the same tool. Its very important to note that limiting your RAM configuration to run Parallels Desktop will NOT prevent you from running any other OS X application (although they may run slightly slower). It simply helps our hypervisor “play nice” with the Mac Pro.

Download Update RC of Parallels Desktop for Mac