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Ten Mac OSX utilities you'll find you can’t live without!
Users are always looking for ways to make their Apple Macintosh OS X systems more efficient and easy for daily work.
These ten utility jewels will become must haves if you’re interested in suspending sleep mode, quickly monitoring system resources, syncing bookmarks, configuring Time Machine or quickly ejecting mounted disks. If you’ve had problems locating good software, have lots of cluttered files, want to keep a specific folder locked and the application dock is getting cluttered, then read on.
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Does your Mac go to sleep at the wrong time? If you’re like most, you have your power settings set just so, but during certain operations, like large file copies, your computer can go to sleep suspending the copy. Along comes caffeine. A simple straightforward application that will suspend the sleep mode insuring your Mac continues running as expected. Caffeine can be configured to run at startup, a small coffee cup icon will display in the top bar. Simply click the cup to set it to non-sleep mode or back to the current sleep settings.
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Apples TimeMachine, while a great backup option, will run any time during computer use. When running, it can affect normal operations and performance, especially when that big report is due. To correct this, a small free application, TimeMachineSchedule can configure the settings to run at a preset intervals and define the hours of operation to not run, like the middle of the day.
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Many aren’t aware of the hidden features within the OS X operating system. Cocktail can uncover many of these hiding jewels, like setting the DS Store ._* files to not be generated on server shares. One of the best aspects is the ability to clear system, user and internet cache, clear log files and repair disk permissions. Cocktail can also run the periodic daily, weekly, monthly maintenance scripts built into OS X, which can boost performance.
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This handy utility keeps all browsers bookmarks in sync on your Mac. One of the best features is support across multiple browsers and with other systems. If you use both Mac OSX and Microsoft Windows, all bookmarks can be managed easily in one central location. On the Mac, Xmarks put a small icon in the top bar for configuring and instant syncing.
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iStat Menus (shareware)Rating
When you need to monitor physical system hardware like CPU, Memory, Network, Wireless and temperature, iStat menu delivers. By placing a series of icons in the top bar, Mac users can keep a close eye on their system. Each primary monitoring function can be configured to display separately.
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Extremely simple utility that ejects mounted drives without going to the finder. It can eject one at a time or multiple devices at once. Very handy for after watching DVD’s, popping out USB drives or un-mounting multiple devices at once.
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When you have a lot of files cluttering up the old hard drive, one of the toughest tasks is figuring out if there are duplicates. Decloner to the rescue, it will scan large volumes of data, quickly indicate which files are duplicate and how much space is wasted. Quickly delete, but not remove files, Decloner simply puts extra’s in the trash, you remove them later. This utility is wicked fast for cleaning up hard drives.
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One of the toughest things is finding good software. Apple has a site for download site, however, unlike iTunes, there is no central place for finding great software. Bodega is a free utility that acts like iTunes. It’s well organized, has lots of software available and does a lot of the work for you like downloading and installing in one step.
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Doc Spaces (free)Rating
While the application dock is easy to manage by adding application icons, it can often time get cluttered. Doc Spaces creates multiple docs perfect for different functions. Like a number of the other utilities, it will create a small icon in the top bar for quick access and switching between docs.
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While the Mac is generally secure, there are times when some folders need to be kept from prying eyes. Espionage will encrypt individual folders and groups of folders, you define the password.
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Wrap it up!
While some Mac users may not need all of these Mac OSX utilities, many of them are extremely useful for daily use depending on how you use your Mac. Fortunately, most work with 10.4 OSX and above, so even older macs can benefit. All of the shareware versions provide time trials before you buy. Go give them a whirl, see how long you can live without them.