Utilities to keep Mac in shape??

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by absolut_mac, Jan 13, 2004.

  1. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a

    absolut_mac

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #1
    My daughter is very happy with her new 12" iBook.

    Everything is working perfectly, and hooking up printers and transferring files from her PC etc has gone very smoothly.

    I want to make sure that things continue like this :)

    So what utilities do you guys recommend to keep her lap-top ship shape?

    I'm only aware of a few - Disc Warrior, TechTool, Norton etc. Which is the best of the bunch in keeping all those bugs and crashes at bay?

    Second question. Anybody have any particular recommendations for a carrying case/backpack for it?

    You guys always gave me great advice before, so I'm looking forward to your recommendations.

    TIA Gary.
     
  2. KBFinFan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 30, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    #2
    I am a Mac newbie pretty much.. but I have been checking my disk permissions about once a week and then repairing them if need be. I think that's really all you need to do.

    I have heard Norton is bad news for Macs, so I have stayed away from it for now.

    As for cases I love my bags from Tom Bihn . I use a Brain Cell which is a simple sleeve, and an ID bag to carry it and my other things. I really can't speak highly enough of the company's products and service.
     
  3. Gymnut macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    #3
  4. RubberChicken macrumors regular

    RubberChicken

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    Australia
    #4
    Definately get disc warrior. It's the best for repairing directory damage.

    I use DW first, and only then use Norton. Norton has had a bad rap, not always undeserved. But not all versions have been nasty. I am unsure where the current one rates. At any rate, I think you need something other than DW to defrag the disc. I'd welcome any recomendations here too, as I'm looking for just that.

    I'd be remiss if I did not suggest a backup device.

    I think you cannot go past a firewire drive that you can clone your current state, in case something goes drastically wrong. I also use Retrospect Express to keep a backup of the whole disk (this keeps all the different versions of file/s). This gives you the best of both worlds. If someone steals your laptop or the drive karks it, you can boot from your clone and keep right on working. The progesive retrospect backup lets you reclaim a particular backup version - useful if you had deleted a portion of a document and then backed it up.
     
  5. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #5
    1) Repair permissions.
    2) Invest in an external FireWire drive and follow RubberChicken's backup advice. Clone and backup.
    3) Keep the battery 'fresh' by using the laptop on it, and drain it and fully charge it every couple of weeks.
    4) MacJanitor to cleanup log files.
    5) Did I mention backup?
     
  6. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    I never have problems and I:
    Repair permissions every week or 2.
    Run MacJanitor tasks weekly.
    Backup my home folder weekly.
    Avoid everything called "Norton"
     
  7. What's a cubit? macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    #7
    Norton destroyed my disk, DiskWarrior saved it

    I ran Norton Utilites latest version on my disk. It made it unusable and unbootable. After looking in the documentation, apparently Symantec knows that NU sometimes makes disks worse. And that it doesn't work on disks with a lot of files. I ran DiskWarrior and it restored nearly the whole disk. (One app was not fixed, so I just reloaded it).

    Avoid Norton like the plague. I don't see the difference between them and virus writers -- except they charge you $70 for the infection, and they are not being prosecuted.
     
  8. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #8
    Looks like people have the utility software covered. As for cases. I looked long and hard for a case for my wife's new Al15". We got a case that was really cool that that held the Powerbook and had a binder built into it. Problem is that's just too bulky. I find the best thing is just a sleeve to hold the laptop. This way no matter what you are doing you can just slip the laptop and sleeve into whatever case you are using. You're not stuck with carrying your backpack or bag and your laptop bag. You can just carry it all in one.

    The best thing I found was from MarWare.

    http://www.marware.com/Overview_N_Laptop.html

    On a side note I've pretty much cluttered the house with other MarWare products since getting the laptop case. I like their products that much.
     
  9. absolut_mac thread starter macrumors 6502a

    absolut_mac

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #9
    Thanks all :)

    Thanks a lot for all your helpful suggestions :)

    One last question.

    Anybody try out these two utilities for system maintenance?

    MacJanitor http://personalpages.tds.net/~brian_hill/macjanitor.html

    Macaroni http://www.atomicbird.com/

    Seems to me that the main difference between them is that Janitor does maintenance on demand and Macaroni allows for automatic scheduling.

    Anybody on here who's tried them both? Any preferances?

    TIA
     
  10. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    #10
    i tried mac janitor and its pretty good, havent tried macaroni tho.


    on the firewire drive end, i have a 200 gb fw 800, u can get a 200 gb fw400 to back up, i do weekly back ups, more often if i am working on a big project, can't say more about the security this gives me
     
  11. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #11
    I personally use MacJanitor and have so since shortly after I started using OSX full time back I believe around the time OSX moved to 10.1.5.
     
  12. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #12
    I use MacJanitor, and I like it. Haven't tried Macaroni.

    As long as you remember to run MacJanitor every now and then, I don't think you need to worry about the scheduling. Of course, since this is not your laptop (kinda), scheduling might be a good idea.
     
  13. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #13
    You can also use Onyx or Cocktail. They can both run the nightly tasks, permissions and prebinding and they can set a schedule to do all of them.

    I honestly prefer Cocktail but they have started charging for it with very little demo time and I can't see paying for something I can do for free. Both programs have numerous options for changing the systems appearance and functionality as well.
     
  14. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #14
    Does prebinding increase system performance as well? I recall that every OS update automatically does that and folks mentioned noticing system performance enhancement (or I should say, recovery :D )
     
  15. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #15
    I have never used any of these utilities, my quicksilver is 3.5 years old. i leave it on and let it clean up itself sometimes, never repaired permissions on this thing,upgraded the cpu, went from 9 to 10 and i have heard more then one horror story on utilities screwing up your machine. in fact MacAddict magazine said they were no longer going to review those things because of the bad experiences they have had when testing them. just thought i would mention that plus iam a gamer so allways putting in new stuff and taking out old. with OSX I think its a waste of money but thats just me.
     
  16. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #16
    I think most of the tools we are recommending are free. None of them really change the system much. Since you leave your computer on all the time, you don't need MacJanitor since it simply runs scripts that the system would normally run late at night (unless it is sleeping/off).

    Permissions do get screwed up SOMETIMEs when you install software that tries to affect your system, and in my case I haven't had to do them.

    So I guess .... uhhh... where was I going with this ... oh I 99% agree with you :D

    (except backup, you should ALWAYS backup).
     

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