Longing for FinderPop in X?

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Date: Thursday, February 27th, 2003, 06:14
Category: Archive

Ittec by Balance Software is a worthy successor to the old “pintware” utility by Turlough O’Conner called FinderPop. Before my switch to OSX, I used a single button mouse and relied on FinderPop to bring up contextual menus without the need to control click. After switching to OSX, I opted for a two button mouse with a scroll wheel. Great solution for contextual menus with built-in OSX support, but I still needed a better way to navigate and launch than just the Dock. In OS9 I could just click on the unused portion of the menu bar and access a folder with various aliases of applications and data with FinderPop. In OSX, I kept that folder in the dock and then tried Max Menus which provided hot buttons in the corners of my screen to bring up various menus with files and applications. I kept data in the upper right and applications in the lower right. Eventually, I found hitting the corners tedious and tried PiPop. Click ‘Read More’ for the full story.


Ittec by Balance Software is a worthy successor to the old “pintware” utility by Turlough O’Conner called FinderPop. Before my switch to OSX, I used a single button mouse and relied on FinderPop to bring up contextual menus without the need to control click. After switching to OSX, I opted for a two button mouse with a scroll wheel. Great solution for contextual menus with built-in OSX support, but I still needed a better way to navigate and launch than just the Dock. In OS9 I could just click on the unused portion of the menu bar and access a folder with various aliases of applications and data with FinderPop. In OSX, I kept that folder in the dock and then tried Max Menus which provided hot buttons in the corners of my screen to bring up various menus with files and applications. I kept data in the upper right and applications in the lower right. Eventually, I found hitting the corners tedious and tried PiPop.

With PiPop, I settled on hiding Apple’s dock at the bottom of the screen and set PiPop to activate when I moved the mouse to the right edge. I had some problems activating PiPop unintentionally when the dock enlarged to near full screen width and when accessing items on the rightmost edge of the desktop. The biggest problem was the sluggishness of the interface. I eliminated icons and transparency and experimented with the memory cache size, but always seemed to be waiting for the menus, even with a 733MHz G4.

Enter Balance Software and Ittec at US$14.99. This launcher works with contextual menus. It is very fast and will display items in a contextual menu whenever you control click above the desktop. It installs a preference pane and a contextual menu plug-in and can be configured via system preferrences. You can add aliases to the Ittec folder and they appear below the other contextual menus items. You can opt to have mounted volumes and open apps appear along with other useful items. The ability to set Ittec to open a contextual menu when you right or left click on any portion of the menu bar makes Ittec very useful for those who use a single button mouse. You can also set a delay for clicking a single button mouse over the desktop and then have a menu appear, just like FinderPop and PiDock. Ittec also supports what they call Actions, but I have not yet gotten the hang of assigning keys to support actions for contextual menu items. One missing feature is the ability to drag and drop files and organize them in the Ittec folder. PiPop does this very well and the folks at Balance Software are working on providing this in a future release. There is also a bug that makes the application less than ideal for an inexperienced user. When you reboot your machine, clicking on the menu bar does not work initially. You must either right click or control click first and then the feature works fine until you reboot again. Not good for someone with a single button mouse unfamiliar with control clicking.

For me, the speed and simplicity of activation far outweigh any shortcomings.

http://www.balancesoftware.com/ittec/index.php http://www.proteron.com/maxmenus/ http://www.pidog.com/pipop/

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