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Old Jan 25, 2013, 03:42 AM   #1
iampaulb
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Best utilities for OS X

Hey...just wondering what the best utilities for OSX are. I am looking to build a hackintosh as a media center, so looking for things which can help me run the system well. I have thought of so far:

So just thinking of anything else which would come in handy really. Also I will more than likely install M.Lion Server too
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 04:50 AM   #2
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Onyx, the one and only for Me,
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 10:30 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by iampaulb View Post
Hey...just wondering what the best utilities for OSX are.
I would not recommend CleanMyMac, based on the number of complaints that have been posted in this forum and elsewhere. As an example: CleanMyMac cleaned too much. Here's a recent example. While you may not have experienced problems yet, enough people have that it's wise to avoid it, especially since there are free alternatives that have better reputations, such as Onyx.

You don't need "cleaner" or "maintenance" apps to keep your Mac running well, and some of these apps can do more harm than good. Most only remove files/folders or unused languages or architectures, which does nothing more than free up some drive space, with the risk of deleting something important in the process.

These apps will not make your Mac run faster or more efficiently, since having stuff stored on a drive does not impact performance, unless you're running out of drive space. In fact, deleting some caches can hurt performance, rather than help it, since more system resources are used and performance suffers while each cache is being rebuilt.

Many of these tasks should only be done selectively to troubleshoot specific problems, not en masse as routine maintenance.

Mac OS X does a good job of taking care of itself, without the need for 3rd party software. Among other things, it has its own maintenance scripts that run silently in the background on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, without user intervention.
Five Mac maintenance myths
Use iStat Pro (free) or iStat Menus ($16) to get accurate readings of your battery, temps, fan speeds and much more.

A forum member has posted a copy of iStat Pro that has been "tweaked" to enhance compatibility with Mountain Lion. You can download it here.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 10:48 AM   #4
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I don't know that I'd include Transmission in the same category as the other applications you list. It's not really a "utility" in my mind.

To echo everyone else, I'd agree that Onyx is pretty much all you'd need.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 11:07 AM   #5
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After I stopped 'maintaining' my Mac it runs better than it ever has before. If you want to 'maintain' your Mac because you like to fiddle, then that is one thing. If your intention to make it run 'faster' in order to save time... keep in mind that all the time you spend researching, installing, debugging, and running these 'time savers' is time lost. Including reading this post.

So, fiddle away if that is fun ... but if you want a lean & mean Mac, just leave it alone.

With all of my saved time, I get to post to MR more....
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 11:48 AM   #6
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Kind of a disconnect here. If you're gonna build a hackintosh you'll have your hands full; that level of expertise usually doesn't bother with the sort of stuff you've listed, with the exception of Transmission.

You're going to have to use the command line a bunch, and most Mac utilities are already there for you to use. Some of the commercial stuff is really an easy user interface to those same Unix utilities. You time might be better spent on a book that will teach you how to make use of those utilities in Terminal.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 12:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by iampaulb View Post
Hey...just wondering what the best utilities for OSX are. I am looking to build a hackintosh as a media center, so looking for things which can help me run the system well. I have thought of so far:
As a longtime Linux user, for several years I contemplated building a Hackintosh just to get familiar with OSX and enjoy some of the design touches of Apple developers. I had played in the past with OSX installed on my IBM Thinkpad (a big hassle!), and liked it a lot. Plus, a little Macbook has gotten my daughter through college, and it hasn't needed any intervention whatsoever (I used to have to mess with her Windows laptop at least once a week).

Finally, though, I went with a lower-end Mac Mini -- just the base unit, no keyboard or monitor. This has not only been cheaper than building a decent Hackintosh from scratch, it came with a licensed upgradeable copy of OSX 10.8.2. It's been the perfect solution, as I can hook it up to a widescreen LCD monitor and USB keyboard I already owned. I soon upgraded the RAM and added a second, faster hard drive, using third-party components. It was a pleasure seeing how the Mac Mini was put together -- sort of like an old Chevy mechanic working on a BMW for the first time.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 01:12 PM   #8
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As a longtime Linux user, for several years I contemplated building a Hackintosh just to get familiar with OSX and enjoy some of the design touches of Apple developers. I had played in the past with OSX installed on my IBM Thinkpad (a big hassle!), and liked it a lot. Plus, a little Macbook has gotten my daughter through college, and it hasn't needed any intervention whatsoever (I used to have to mess with her Windows laptop at least once a week).

Finally, though, I went with a lower-end Mac Mini -- just the base unit, no keyboard or monitor. This has not only been cheaper than building a decent Hackintosh from scratch, it came with a licensed upgradeable copy of OSX 10.8.2. It's been the perfect solution, as I can hook it up to a widescreen LCD monitor and USB keyboard I already owned. I soon upgraded the RAM and added a second, faster hard drive, using third-party components. It was a pleasure seeing how the Mac Mini was put together -- sort of like an old Chevy mechanic working on a BMW for the first time.
All in all my hackintosh has cost me £460 and thats an i3 3.30Ghz, 120gb SSD, 4GB, H77N-Wifi Motherboard and the case and psu, it will have 3TB of storage. For that price i dont think i could match it. Plus i can put any software i want on it which is a huge benifit as ill be looking to learn m.lion server too.

But good to know that all the above apps, arent really worth it. Although i run cleanmymac on my iMac and i havent had any issues yet. Trasmission was just one of apps id like to install.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 01:23 PM   #9
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So just thinking of anything else which would come in handy really. Also I will more than likely install M.Lion Server too
sudo periodic daily weekly monthly

Best utility going, and lives in Terminal.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 01:41 PM   #10
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sudo periodic daily weekly monthly

Best utility going, and lives in Terminal.
Except you don't need to even do that, as they run automatically, without user intervention.

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Originally Posted by iampaulb View Post
Although i run cleanmymac on my iMac and i havent had any issues yet.
Even though you may not have had issues, it's still unnecessary and can actually degrade performance, as explained in my earlier post. My best recommendation is that you uninstall it.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 01:52 PM   #11
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Except you don't need to even do that, as they run automatically, without user intervention.
IF, you leave it on during the time they are scheduled to run. And (must I say it?) for many users that is a very BIG "IF"...
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 02:03 PM   #12
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IF, you leave it on during the time they are scheduled to run. And (must I say it?) for many users that is a very BIG "IF"...
If the Mac is in sleep mode at the scheduled time, they will run the next time it's awake. If the Mac is shut down at the scheduled time, they will run the next scheduled time the Mac is running. You can use Maintidget to see the last time they were run.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 02:12 PM   #13
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If the Mac is in sleep mode at the scheduled time, they will run the next time it's awake. If the Mac is shut down at the scheduled time, they will run the next scheduled time the Mac is running. You can use Maintidget to see the last time they were run.
My understanding from the following was they would not run if the machine was asleep or shut down, even on waking or reboot. When the scripts are running regularly, they only take few seconds to run. When I haven't run them in while, they take quite a bit longer, especially the weekly one (I run them individually, just cuz I'm odd that way...)

http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/maintscripts.html

Quote:
To keep UNIX running nicely, a few scripts were built into the system to help weed out any unnecessary garbage during the small hours when its workload was low. These scripts are still present in OSX today, but unfortunately unless you keep your Mac on 24/7 or suffer from insomnia, they’re unlikely to run when they need to.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 02:14 PM   #14
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My understanding from the following was they would not run if the machine was asleep or shut down, even on waking or reboot. When the scripts are running regularly, they only take few seconds to run. When I haven't run them in while, they take quite a bit longer, especially the weekly one (I run them individually, just cuz I'm odd that way...)

http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/maintscripts.html
That article is outdated.

Mac OS X: About background maintenance tasks
Quote:
In Mac OS X v10.6 and later, background maintenance tasks that do not run when the computer is asleep are run after it wakes from sleep mode.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 02:56 PM   #15
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Without a doubt - ONYX. Its free, it can run batch maintenance scripts in an automated fashion- just check the boxes on the items you want to run, including OSX maintenance scripts that would otherwise run at night if your machine is/was on after midnight, rebuilding indexes, permissions, deleting temp files, caches, internet files, et al. Easy to use too!
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 03:04 PM   #16
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Another vote for Onyx and iStat menu. I also like to use Grandperspective to see all the files on my computer as means of data cleaning.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 03:32 PM   #17
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Good to know.
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 04:14 PM   #18
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thanks for the link, ill give it a read over.

and ill also check on Onyx
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Old Jan 25, 2013, 04:15 PM   #19
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All in all my hackintosh has cost me £460 and thats an i3 3.30Ghz, 120gb SSD, 4GB, H77N-Wifi Motherboard and the case and psu, it will have 3TB of storage. For that price i dont think i could match it. Plus i can put any software i want on it which is a huge benifit as ill be looking to learn m.lion server too.

But good to know that all the above apps, arent really worth it. Although i run cleanmymac on my iMac and i havent had any issues yet. Trasmission was just one of apps id like to install.
Sounds like you've gotten a lot for your money. I see that the least expensive Mac Mini is £499, and that's before upgrading RAM and the hard drive.

Besides, it's great fun to build your own machine, too, as you well know.

I haven't been a Mac user for very long and, as a Linux user, I'm not used to paying for apps, but I do appreciate having Hardware Monitor (paid version of Temperature Monitor). I'd think that, especially with a home-built machine, the readings from the hardware sensors would be useful. It costs under £7. (No connection with the dev, just an appreciative user.)

Last edited by varxx; Feb 1, 2013 at 05:46 PM.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 07:27 AM   #20
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I like ccleaner, not because it can do anything special, but because it displays how much space all the major programs are taking up and how much space you can get back by deleting caches. It's in the app store, so apparently apple sanctions it.

iStat nano is a great widget for seeing fan speeds and temperatures.
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 01:18 PM   #21
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I like ccleaner, not because it can do anything special, but because it displays how much space all the major programs are taking up and how much space you can get back by deleting caches.
As stated earlier, most caches should not be deleted, as doing so can negatively impact performance. Also, such apps do not identify all app-related files in most cases.
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It's in the app store, so apparently apple sanctions it.
Presence of an app on the app store does not indicate Apple's endorsement, warranty or sanction.
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