Mac News Review

Leopard Install Guides, Apple Third in US Sales, Worst Apple Products, Leap Finder, and More

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2007.10.26

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

PowerBook, iBook, MacBook, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review. iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iNews Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

Leopard News

News & Opinion

Products

Software

Desktop Mac Deals

Leopard News

Guide to Installing Mac OS X 10.5 on Day One

Two a Day says:

"For PC users, they don't understand or even believe that on the Mac, you can randomly just upgrade your Mac and that for 99% of people, they can come back after 30-minutes when all is installed and ready, hit RESTART and while it might take a few ticks longer to reboot the first time, they are set to go.

"I have upgraded an old iMac from 10.1 to 10.4 with nary a problem and again, PC users will flat out not believe me when I tell it runs faster and more stable . . . of course, I witnessed a virus app upgrade killing a PC hard drive so I understand the pain on the other side . . . Perhaps this analogy will be useful for you:

"PC OS Upgrade much like a KIDNEY TRANSPLANT.

"Hopefully, it won't die on the operating table.

"Hopefully it won't rejected the transplant and die

"Hopefully it won't a staph infection and die.

"It's risky and if you can use the dialysis machine to get a few more months or years, so be it . . . it's the last resort and/or for the very brave to get the transplant.

"Mac OS Upgrade - much like buying a new SHIRT.

"The labels tell you exactly what you will get.

"You might have to wait 30-minutes after washing it before you can wear it.

"There might a tag you forgot to remove - causing you a minute discomfort.

"With that said - however - there's the 1% chance you could encounter major problems so you have to ask yourself if you absolutely need to do it on day one?"

Editor's note: What a superb - and accurate - analogy! Being a Windows-user is its own punishment. cm

Leopard Upgrade Guide Posted

Switch to a Mac says:

"This guide will describe the process of upgrading to Mac OS X Leopard. As Leopard has not been released yet, we've compiled this information based on our expectations and experience with previous upgrades of Mac OS X. This guide will get you to start thinking about the steps involved a Mac OS X upgrade. If this will be your first ever Mac OS X upgrade, you'll want to pay close attention. We describe the process in a few high-level steps. Before we get started, we'd like to point out that you will want to verify the system requirements as outlined by Apple. If you have a recent Mac, you'll shouldn't have any problems upgrading to Leopard."

Extra Tips to Get Your Mac Ready for OS X Leopard

Mac360's Kate MacKenzie says:

"How do you plan to upgrade your Mac to OS X Leopard? There are many ways to get your Mac ready to upgrade, but only two that we recommend at Mac 360.

"Both upgrade methods involve an extra hard drive, but you'll need that to take advantage of Time Machine in Leopard anyway.

"First, consider that the files on your Mac, whether Tiger or Panther, are valuable to you, and losing them would be catastrophic. Think of it this way: how will you feel if you turn your Mac on and all your music files, digital photo files, movies, and documents are gone?

"Anything as important as those files requires a backup plan anyway, and installing an entirely new operating system as complex as OS X Leopard requires an emergency plan. You know, just in case.

"Second, Mac users are somewhat spoiled these days because OS X has been so stable and secure. It's easy to get into a comfort zone and not worry about the inevitable? Inevitable? Yes, one day something will crash and all your files, or some of your files, could disappear than Britney Spears' career."

Leopard Selling Twice as Fast as Tiger Did on Launch

Macworld UK's Jonny Evans reports:

"Apple's Leopard is selling twice as fast as Tiger did on launch, as switchers reject Vista and Apple CEO Steve Jobs talks up the future of computing.

"Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 'Leopard' is being preordered at twice the rate Mac OS X 10.4 did in the week before its release, Mac Observer reports."

FastMac's T-shirt Give Away Commemorates Leopard's Launch

PR: FastMac has announced a free T-shirt give away outside select Apple stores on October 26th, 2007 to commemorate Apple's Mac OS X Leopard Launch Event. The T-shirts use movie inspired themes to poke fun at Microsoft Windows and celebrate Apple's latest (and greatest) operating system: Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. The T-shirts will be given away for free outside select Apple stores nationwide between 4 PM and 6 PM on the day of the launch. While supplies last, the T-shirts will also be available to order from FastMac's website.

"With 300 new features and an advanced GUI that pushes the state of the art, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard is sure to be a major hit," said Michael Lowdermilk, Business Development Manager of FastMac Performance Upgrades, Inc. "Our new soft wear complements Apple's latest software perfectly!"

free T-shirtsSpecifications

FastMac's Leopard Launch Event T-shirts are available in 4 limited edition designs: "Hasta La Vista" (which features a target scope lens focusing in on Microsoft Windows in the front and the words "10.26.07 Judgment Day" emblazoned in the back), "Mac to the Future" (which features a reference to the "other" Time Machine and the words "10.26.07 The Future is Now" on the back), "A Whole New Xperience" (which features a space theme in the front and the words "10.26.07 The Odyssey Begins" in the back) and "300" (which features a reference to the 300 new features in Mac OS X Leopard in the front and the words "Madness? This is LEOPARD" in the back).

Compatibility

FastMac's Leopard Launch Event T-shirts are 100% compatible with Mac or PC, though Mac OS X Leopard requires an Apple computer that is at least 867 MHz or faster. If you don't have an Apple computer, head on over to the nearest Apple store and buy one; if you have one that is slower than 867 MHz, upgrade your processor with one of our high performance G4 CPU upgrades that start at just $199. All FastMac products are 100% compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

News & Opinion

Macs Selling at Eight Times the Industry Rate?

eWeek's Daniel Drew Turner reports: :

"Apple and analysts quietly suspect that iPods and iPhones may be selling Macs nearly eight times faster than any major PC brand.

"Few analysts, if any, short the Apple company's stock any more and fewer still were surprised the PC maker posted positive, and record breaking, quarterly PC sales figures, which were announced Oct. 22.

"But few expected the pace Apple is making in PC sales.

"The manufacturer moved 2,164,000 Macs in the third quarter of 2007, up 400,000 from a year ago and eight times the industry average growth rate, propelling it to the number three PC manufacturer in the U.S., all despite the delay of Leopard, the new version of its OS X, which kept some potential buyers on hold.

"More surprising still is the fact that more than half of those Mac sales went to first time buyers, prompting the question: what is selling Macs at eight times the rate of any other PC on the market?"

It's Official: Apple's Number Three in the US

BusinessWeek's Arik Hesseldahl reports:

"The latest PC market share figures from Gartner just landed in my inbox about an hour ago, and they are very interesting.

"By Gartner's reckoning - and it should be noted that these are estimates - Apple has finally surpassed both Gateway (now part of Acer) and Toshiba to make it into third place in the U.S. PC market behind leaders Dell and Hewlett-Packard."

Apple's US Market Share Now 8.1% - or 6.3%

Fortune's Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports:

"Dueling reports from Gartner and IDC show Apple grabbing a larger slice of domestic computer market in the third quarter of 2007, although the reports disagree about just how large that slice is.

"Gartner has Apple's market share climbing to 8.1%, up from 6.2% a year earlier.

"IDC also shows strong growth for the company, but by its calculations, Apple now commands a 6.3% market share, up from 5.7% last summer.

"Their findings are summarized in the charts below...."

Aluminum iMac Users on Report Condensation Behind Glass LCD Panels

Daily Tech reports:

"Apple is certainly not without notorious build-quality problems. Users reported issues with almost every first-generation product: the iPod nano, MacBook Pro and iPhone all come to mind. Now Apple users report new iMac computers also carries this same stigma....

"This time iMac users are reporting condensation behind the glass panel that shows up after short periods of use. Some owners report that the condensation goes away shortly and doesn't come back, other users report the condensation stays for extended periods...."

Why Users Ditch OS X for Windows

OSWeekly's Matt Hartley says:

"Despite my continued reluctance to make the OS X plunge, I'm amazed that Windows users who are looking to upgrade their existing computers are automatically considering Vista as the best option.

"After looking into this closely, the reason why the casual user is still buying PCs despite hassles with Windows is not the common reasons that many Mac owners might suspect. It's cost, pure and simple.

"Macs Do Cost More for Comparable Power, But it May Be Worth it in the End. If one more person points me to a Mini and tells me this is going to replace a 2.00 GHz PC with standalone video and a SATA drive, I'm going to scream. Despite Apple providing a superior OS for the casual consumer, it remains a price issue for most people.

"You take any unsuspecting cash conscious family and if you actually tell me that they are going to be willing to drop $1,099 versus $499 on a notebook for their child, you had better present one serious sales pitch. Even considering the long-term value, malware-free environment, those parents would be presenting their soon to be college aged kid, the fact is they are not informed enough to understand that the $499 notebook is an utter junk, thanks to poor hardware quality."

16 19 All Time Worst Apple Products?

oobject.com says:

"The Oobject Rotten Apple Award. To mark this week's 10th anniversary of the death of the Newton we have picked some of the products from Apple, that we'd rather forget.

"We could have picked many more from the years when Jobs was in the wilderness and Apple attempted to be market driven rather than design driven, under Sculley. Reactive rather than pro-active. One problem, the gallery would have been a sea of similar, anonymous items. For the Sculley era machines, assume that we mean every product in the range....

"Vote for your all time worst product...."

Editor's note: When I checked, the LC 500 series was leading (?) in the vote tally. Hmmm. I used an LC 520 for several years, and it might have been ugly (definitely homely), but it was a good, dependable computer. Form follows function, IMHO. And yeesh - what's the Umax SuperMac S900 doing in sixth place? I've got one of those too, and it is a great computer. My daughter also had one, with a G3 upgrade, and got it to run Tiger successfully. With six PCI slots, eight RAM slots, six drive bays, and two SCSI buses, easily upgradable and a solid, dependable performer, what's not to like? Even the styling is inoffensive. cm

Other editor's note: The article originally listed 16 items and grew to 18 by the time we published The 10 Worst Macs Ever. The Performa 52xx/62xx was added after that. For another take on the subject, see The 10 Worst Macs Ever Built on Insanely Great Mac. dk

Products

Black Arrow - The New Label for Apple Addict Children Clothes

PR: Mum and Dad can easily find on the web any T-shirt they like, but concerning children choosing is always an hard task to accomplish, and all we're up to are always unarmed teddy-bears and little pink butterflies.

Black Arrow T-shirts'Black Arrow' steps into the scene to fill this gap providing you a tiny collection for our little Mac Lover friends. Or better: for those who will become Mac addicted thanks to the giving care of their parents.

T-shirts for the youngest are suitable for six months children up to 12 months. We provide you three different kind of design, that is for Vintage Apple lovers, iPhone future owners, and a 'keyboard shortcut' to show the world your 'New Document'.

Your children will never go unnoticed on the nearby playground park again in front of your Windows Victims neighbors.

T-shirts are now available on two different colors: steel gray or yellow.

They are ready to be delivered on 220 countries all over the world.

Mauro Minnone

Hitachi Unveils Low Power 3.5" Hard Drives

Hardmac's Lionel reports:

"The Energy Star label added to most of consumer electronics devices indicates that such devices follow regulations for low power consumption, especially in sleep mode.

"In order to follow specifications defined in the Energy Star Fourth Edition, Hitachi announced series of power-friendly 3.5" HDs: DeskStar P7K500. Storage space of those HDs will range from 250 to 500 GB and power consumption will range from 3.6 W in idle mode and 6.4 W in working mode for the 250 GB model....

"To achieve such performance, Hitachi has been using technologies developed for 2.5" notebook HDs...."

Tandberg Data Shipping VXA-320 Products with FireWire for Mac OS X

PR: Tandberg Data, a leading global supplier of backup and archiving technologies, today announced the availability of two new products for Mac OS X. The VXA-320 FireWire/USB Tape Drive, and the StorageLoader VXA-320 FireWire, designed for the Mac OS X platform, are now available and include backup and recovery software, providing Apple customers feature-rich data protection solutions at industry-leading prices.

The Tandberg Data family of data protection products for Mac OS X is designed and tested for compatibility with Mac Xserve and Xserve RAID to ensure reliable data protection. The new products complement the Tandberg StorageLoader with the LTO-3 half-height drive, the industry's first 1U, LTO-3 tape autoloader also Apple-certified for the Mac OS X.

The VXA-320 Packet Drive records up to 320 GB compressed data to a single cartridge at a transfer rate of up to 24 MB/sec. (compressed). The StorageLoader VXA-320 is a full-featured, sleek, 1u autoloader with 10 cartridge slots offering up to 3.2 TB of capacity and a bar code reader standard. Both the VXA-320 drive and StorageLoader VXA offer the flexibility and convenience of hot-swappable FireWire connectivity - ideal for the Apple user.

"As the only tape format with Packet Technology and the scalability of three different cartridge capacities, VXA is a smart choice for IT managers who want to step up to tape back up," says Pat Clarke, Executive Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing and Service. "VXA-320 FireWire products are all hot-swappable products, fully compatible with all Mac operating systems as well as all VXA-2 and VXA-320 products shipping today. This newest generation VXA drive also incorporates a high-speed USB 2.0 interface (drive only) for additional flexibility for both Mac and Windows applications."

About the VXA-320 FireWire/USB Tape Drive and StorageLoader VXA FireWire

Tandberg Data's award-winning Packet Technology enables VXA® Packet drives, autoloaders and tapes to read and write data in packets just like the Internet, providing far superior restore integrity, exceptional transfer speeds and scalable capacity. VXA Packet drives and autoloaders deliver transfer speeds up to 86 GB per hour with VXA-320, allowing network administrators to backup 320 GB of data in less than four hours. With Check-After-Write and 4-level Reed-Solomon Error Correction, VXA products are up to 180 times more likely to restore your data - even from a damaged tape. Superior product reviews and adoption by major OEMs have established VXA Packet Technology as the new standard in tape backup.

VXA-320 delivers full read-and-write compatibility with VXA's second generation, protecting the investment of users who have already stepped up to the VXA platform. With VXA-320, VXA-2 users can keep their same X Media tapes and immediately realize twice the capacity and speed. Only VXA offers three different cartridge sizes (320/172/80 GB), providing users the flexibility to choose the capacity that best meets their current storage and budget needs and giving VXA-320 users a clear price-per-gigabyte advantage over any other entry-level tape format.

The VXA-320 FireWire Tape Drive and StorageLoader VXA with FireWire include EMC (formerly Dantz) Retrospect Workgroup software. Both products will be available now through the Apple Store and through Tandberg Data's global network of resellers and distributors. Estimated prices for the VXA-320 FW drive and StorageLoader VXA-320 are $1199 and $2170 respectively.

DX QuikStor Available with 300 GB Capacity

PR: Tandberg Data, a global supplier of backup and archiving solutions, today announced the general availability of the internal RDX QuikStor with a USB connection, enabling customers to free up SATA ports for use with internal RAID configurations, and allowing simple integration without requiring a HBA. Tandberg Data is one of the first vendors to supply the 300 GB RDX® QuikStor cartridge.

The RDX QuikStor is a disk-based removable storage system with portable cartridges that offer rugged, reliable and convenient backup, ideal for the SMB market. It combines the benefits of tape - reliability, portability, archive life, and low cost - with the performance, speed, random access, and ease of use of hard disk technology. With 300 GB of capacity, the RDX QuikStor is an ideal replacement to entry-level tape drives like DAT and Travan.

The RDX closely follows the development of mobile hard disks. The 300 GB capacity (native), the largest "ruggedized" disk in its class, will allow customers with larger data sets to rapidly store their data on the RDX QuikStor. With its well-defined roadmap, a three-year warranty and full backward and forward compatibility, the RDX QuikStor offers users investment protection while providing a secure, fast, and easy-to-use backup and archiving solution for data.

"Our customers have been asking us for an internal USB device, as they require enhanced flexibility when integrating the storage devices into their systems," says Pat Clarke, Executive vice president of Global Sales, Marketing and Service at Tandberg Data. "The internal USB device makes for easier integration, and frees up SATA ports. The new capacity offers customers a lower cost per Gigabyte, while still providing full forward and backward compatibility."

About the RDX QuikStor

RDX QuikStor from Tandberg Data is designed to replace current low-end tape technologies such as Travan, DAT, and AIT, where ease of use and cost are prioritized. The device delivers all the benefits of tape and disk without the risks inherent in either technology. Like tape, the RDX QuikStor cartridges are removable and portable for off-site storage, disaster recovery and archival applications. They can be safely archived for more than a decade and it is an inexpensive backup and recovery solution. Unlike other low-end tape media that may need to be replaced after 50-100 uses, RDX QuikStor media has been built to endure over 10 years of average use.

Consisting of either a 3.5 inch or 5.25 inch internal drive by connecting to the host either via S-ATA or USB, the RDX QuikStor has been designed for high reliability. The cartridge houses a high-capacity mobile 2.5" hard disk drive in a reinforced, shockproof design to protect the hard disk drive even when it is outside the drive case.

As well as offering professional-class reliability, the native 45 MB/sec transfer rate reduces the traditional backup window from hours to minutes. For example, it takes the Tandberg RDX QuikStor system less than an hour to backup 80 GB of native data and milliseconds to access files.

RDX QuikStor cartridges range in capacity from 40 GB, 80 GB, 120 GB, 160 GB and 300 GB. They are fully forward and backward compatible without limitation, meaning that future cartridges with ever-increasing capacities and faster data rates will work in legacy systems.

Pricing and Availability

The 300 GB cartridge for the RDX QuikStor is now available through Tandberg Data's established channel of distribution and reseller partners. The manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of the RDX QuikStor with a 300 GB cartridge including all necessary accessories and Symantec Backup Exec QS backup software is $699. The MSRP of the 300 GB cartridge is $499. The prices of the RDX QuikStor start at $349 for a drive with a 40 GB cartridge. Cartridge prices start at $115 for 40 GB.

Software

MacPorts Up and Running

CommandLineMac reports:

"MacPorts is a system designed to let you easily install and manage free, open source software on OS X. Until late in 2006, the project was named DarwinPorts. There are disk image downloads available for 10.3 (Panther) and 10.4 (Tiger). If you have a different version, you can download the source code and compile it.

"If you are new the 'ports' concept, the way the system works may be hard to grasp. The ports system was developed in the BSD community as a way to easily install and manage software on any BSD system. It was designed to automate the manual process programmers followed to port software from one Unix-like system to another. Most of the software in the ports repository is written in the C language and requires a C compiler....

"An Apple enhancement to the original ports system allows some software to be built (compiled) as universal binaries. This option may be desirable if you share binaries between Intel and PPC Macs, or plan to upgrade soon and don't want to install your ports again."

iFreeMem 1.7 - Memory Optimizer for Mac OS X with Mac OS X 10.3.9 Support

PR: Why would you use iFreeMem?

If you are in the middle of using an application and the system becomes unresponsive for several seconds it could be the memory manager working and claiming back some of the Inactive memory for your application to use, if you wish to avoid this then iFreeMem may be for you.

Some scenarios where iFreeMem can be useful:

  • You have been busy on your laptop preparing for a presentation meeting and you would rather not have the system become unresponsive in the middle of your demo, might be worth running iFreeMem shortly before the meeting.
  • You are a musician or DJ, about to do a live performance or session using your Mac, you want to ensure everything will run smoothly and on cue.
  • You have just closed down a whole load of applications as you are just about to start a new task with different applications, you might want to use iFreeMem here.
  • You are about to run some memory hungry applications, such as graphic design software packages (Photoshop, Flash etc.)
  • Your CPU is not working hard at all, yet you are convinced your Mac used to run a little quicker when you first got it, could it be that the activity of your startup items cause Inactive memory to fill-up when you log-in, and your memory hungry applications are having to grab Inactive memory back fairly soon, making them appear to run much slower?
  • You have low 'Free' memory and high 'Inactive' memory and you want to test if your applications performs better with more 'Free' memory.
  • You just have a specific application you wish to run as fast as possible without memory manager interruptions.
  • Ideally, you would like to buy more memory, but its too expensive. This app might be a solution for a performance degradation you could have been experiencing when Free memory gets very low?

Here's Apple's official description of four types of random-access memory (RAM)

Wired memory - This information can't be cached to disk, so it must stay in RAM. The amount depends on what applications you are using.

Active memory - This information is currently in RAM and actively being used.

Inactive memory - This information is no longer being used and has been cached to disk, but it will remain in RAM until another application needs the space. Leaving this information in RAM is to your advantage if you (or a client of your computer) come back to it later.

Free memory - This memory is not being used.

What does all this mean?

This means you shouldn't worry when the Free memory is low. The only time Free memory should be high is right after the computer starts up. As you use applications or services, memory is used and transitions to Inactive. Applications that need more memory will take from the Inactive, but the Inactive is there just in case you need it again. If the combination of Free and Inactive is very low, then you might need more memory.

Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20071011054433/http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107918

Especially useful for users of memory hungry applications, i.e.:

  • Musicians
  • DJs
  • Graphic Designers
  • Final Cut Pro users
  • Photographers
  • Scientists
  • Parallels Desktop users

Rejuvenates old Machines and optimizes new machines.

System requirements: Mac 10.3.9+

System support: PPC/Intel

$18.90 (£10) shareware

PageSender Adds Leopard Compatibility, Printing Enhancements

PR: SmileOnMyMac has released PageSender 4.1, an update to its top-rated fax software for Mac OS X. The update features compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and improved printing speed and reliability.

PageSender users who are planning to upgrade to the new Leopard operating system must have version 4. Previous versions of PageSender will not run under Leopard.

PageSender costs $39.95. PageSender 4.1 is a free update for registered users of PageSender 4. Registered users of previous versions of PageSender can upgrade to version 4 for $20. A fully functioning demo version is available at http://www.smileonmymac.com/pagesender/download.html . Mac OS X 10.4 is required.

What's new in PageSender 4.1:

  • Leopard compatible
  • Improved printing speed and reliability
  • Fixed some Leopard-specific visual glitches
  • Fixed bug in cover page field substitution

PageSender features:

  • Send faxes and (PDF) emails directly from the print dialog
  • Receive faxes using your fax modem
  • Print, Email, and even AppleScript received faxes
  • Filter out spam faxes by station name
  • Design custom fax cover pages
  • Use with any popular address book or Email client
  • Live addressing with Address Book, Entourage, Now Contact (4.2.5 and later), and Palm Desktop (4.1 and later)
  • Attach additional PDF documents when faxing
  • Use any font on your system (including Chinese, Japanese, Korean)
  • Send faxes easily via eFax, jConnect, EasyLink, MaxEmail or RapidFax services
  • Automate sending of faxes and (PDF) Emails via AppleScript
  • Available in English, Japanese, German, Italian, and French

Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4 and above

Pricing: $39.95. Upgrades for registered users of previous versions: $20

Site licenses and volume pricing are available at reasonable rates. Contact support@pagesender.com for information and rates.

XsTrimmer Trims Redundant Code from Universal Binary Files and Language Files

PR: XsTrimmer trims your Universal Binary files and language files to save space and speed up your applications. It also automatically backs-up the application, if you choose to. Version 1.0 only runs on PPC.

Size down and speed up your apps as Apple makes its switch to the Intel platform. Although a very smooth transaction, extra code is generated in the executable files that is not needed. XsTrimmer identifies the code which is not used and removes it safely. This normally eliminates half of the code in an executable.

There are also multiple language files in an application that are not used. XsTrimmer also eliminates this safely. This also shrinks the application size tremendously.

XsTrimmer was created with advance and complex features in mind. Quite a bit of brain juice has gone into the development of XsTrimmer on how to save space, without much hassle and risk.

The table below gives you an idea of how much you can save:

Application Before After Savings (%)
Adium 32.66 MB 15.24 MB 53%
Firefox 47.66 MB 31.01 MB 35%
iPhoto 157.93 MB 84.04 MB 47%
VLC 72.75 MB 41.40 MB 43%
Mail 44.35 MB 7.49 MB 83%
Gizmo 40.68 MB 19.79 MB 51%

Features

  • Automatically detects your architecture and removes the unneeded binary architectures.
  • Supports unlimited architectures.
  • Automatically scans your computer for trimmable applications. Also add your own paths to the scanlist.
  • Automated smartlist or blacklist prevent problematic apps from being trimmed, can be downloaded and updated from the internet.
  • Exclude your chosen directories and applications from being scanned.
  • Reconstructive backup/restore makes application backups really really small, and you can automatically restore it with a click of a button. This feature is to ensure that keeping backups of apps does not defeat the purpose of trimming files. (XsTrimmer PRO only)
  • Compressed full backup, automatically compresses your backups so you can keep it without worrying about not using space wisely. (XsTrimmer PRO only)
  • Smart backup makes backup copies of odd and suspicious files that might cause problems while or after being trimmed. Created specially for hassle-less trimming. (XsTrimmer PRO only)
  • Restore backup files easily, reconstructive backup files from the restore list and full compressed backup files by double clicking on them. (XsTrimmer PRO only)
  • Total savings counter will tell you how much space you've saved overtime.
  • Configurable backup path, choose which languages to save. Info display which show information about an application and much more...

New in version 1.0.3: Fixed a silly bug that prevents trimming of apps that use X11 like gimp and inkscape, problem was any executables in "Resources" will not be trimmed.

System requirements: Mac OS X 10.4 or later.

System Support: PPC/Intel

Free

Leap, the Next Generation Macintosh Finder

PR: The venerable Finder in Apple's Mac OS X is a 20 year old metaphor. Leap, written by the experienced, Mac-only, AppleDesign award winning software team at Ironic Software, is the new way to organize and find files. Leap represents a major breakthrough in how the files and folders on a computer are visualized.

Ironic Software has released the first public preview of Leap, a major new application that it says will change how people interact with their computer. Leap is the second application released by Ironic, the first being the well regarded 'Yep' which is a PDF manager for OS X. You can read more in Charles Moore Reviews Yep 1.6.2 PDF Document Manager Utility.

As an early product tester put it: "Leap gives me the feeling of having control over the chaos that inevitably creeps into the home folder over the years, despite all efforts. And its incredible what stuff you can find that you didn't even know exists"

As Mac users for over 20 years, the two principals of Ironic Software have always been disappointed at the performance of the Finder. Leap is their response to the feeling that one gets while looking for files - even files that are in a known location - in Apple's Finder.

LeapTed Leckie, user interface guru at Ironic puts it like this: "Locating a file that you know the exact location of can involve many clicks as a folder hierarchy is descended. Make a wrong turn - and you are out of luck. Leap solves that problem by getting rid of the hierarchy, while allowing you to find what you are looking for in just a click or two".

Leap's main other author is Tom Andersen, who has worked with Ted since they first developed Starry Night, an AppleDesign award winning astronomy program. Tom has designed the engine of Leap to be able to deal with the untold thousands of files that sit on a modern computer today.

Tom had this to add:

"There are other search tools and Finder replacements out there, but they tend to fall into two categories, they are either like the Finder with more buttons, or they are text based search tools like Google Desktop. The problem with Google Desktop is that you search for items by entering text, when many of the documents on a typical computer are best remembered by what they look like. Leap allows you to look for documents visually, with text, by file size - however you remember it".

The program features an iTunes like interface, making it easy to use, so that users can be doing useful things within a few seconds. It also has a great levels of customization available, so that users can set up Leap to reflect the files they care about and the workflow that they perform daily. It supports drag and drop, saving searches, and more. One big feature that it brings is the ability to 'see' many of your files as they actually look, instead of an icon. This is a feature also of Apple's upcoming Leopard release, but Leap users can get that today in OS X 10.4 Tiger.

What about Leopard?

With Apple's Leopard due out soon, a trip to Apple's web site shows some of the features of the new OS X 10.5 Finder. As Ted points out: "The Leopard Finder is one of the big reasons we developed Leap - we are disappointed with the lack of any real new direction the Finder is taking."

Leap requires a Mac running OS X 10.4.8 or later. It is available for $34 from Ironic's website.

Ironic Software was founded in 2006 to develop Mac only software. The company is located in Meaford and Toronto, Ontario Canada. The company has developed two software products. Yep - the best PDF manager for the Mac, and Leap - the Finder how it was meant to be.

Review copies of Leap are of course available to members of the Press.

Desktop Mac Deals

Low End Mac updates the following price trackers monthly:

For deals on current and discontinued 'Books, see our 13" MacBook and MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, 13" MacBook Pro, 15" MacBook Pro, 17" MacBook Pro, 12" PowerBook G4, 15" PowerBook G4, 17" PowerBook G4, titanium PowerBook G4, iBook G4, PowerBook G3, and iBook G3 deals.

We also track iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, iPod classic, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle deals.

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