Various Mac nuggets of note

There’s been quite a few updates released recently for some excellent Mac OS X software. Just because I don’t post about geek stuff too often, indulge me for a moment as I run down a list of a few of the more interesting releases:

Mailsmith 2.0.1

Barebones, the purveyors of software that “doesn’t suck”, has released a maintenance update for their email client. With this release, this comes very close to fulfilling what I would consider the perfect email client. It’s fast, stable, and surprisingly powerful, and the changelog for this release is miles long and comprehensive.

Biggest beefs: no support for IMAP (a deal breaker for me), and the search capabilities are great, but still need some improvement. Still, this is getting more and more worthy, and may be worth buying once IMAP support is baked in.

DEVONthink 1.7

I stumbled across this application while searching for a way to deal with multiple PDF files. I have folders filled with PDF manuals, and it was kind of annoying that I couldn’t search through them without opening each one in a PDF reader. DEVONthink looked like a good solution.

According to the application’s web site it’s a lot of things: it’s “a notepad, outliner, scrapbook manager, information manager, freeform database, archive, bookmark manager and image database. Your personal supplementary brain”. Bad grammar aside, from fooling around with the application for a bit, I think these claims may not just be marketing hyperbole.

DEVONthink is, for all intents and purposes, a search-enabled content storage bin. It holds all kinds of files (PDF, text, word documents, images of all kinds, web pages, movies, etc.), allowing you to group and categorize them, search through them, organize them, and generally helps keep content assets arranged in a easy-to-access way. It looks pretty powerful, and might be the ticket for people who work with lots of files and information.

EasyFind 2.8.2

(scroll down a bit to find the info): Since I mentioned DEVONthink, it only makes sense to also point out EasyFind. This freeware application is a easy-to-use search tool which allows you to quickly search your files and folders, and comes from the same developers as DEVONthink. The big difference between this and the built-in search feature in Jaguar? You can do content searches (searching the contents of files) without having to index your files first. In fact, EasyFind works without having to index your system whatsoever, which is a real timesaver. And did I mention it’s free?

WeatherMan Extras 3.3.0

WeatherMan Puts the weather, and a whole lot more weather-geek information into your menubar. Now that the freeware Meteorologist has been dropped by its developer due to lack of time and inclination, this is probably the best weather application out there. It’s closely followed in the rankings by Glu’s WeatherPop, but WeatherPop suffers from infrequent poor data problems. WeatherMan Extra is cheap ($7 US), accurate, and well-supported by its developer.

DVBackup 1.1

I haven’t actually tried this, but the concept is so ingenious that it bears mention. DVBackup is a small application ($30 US) that allows you to do full, incremental, and compressed backups to a large number of firewire camcorders. According to the documentation, you can also schedule backups, store full table-of-contents listings for each tape, and other handy archival info.

Because you can fit a lot of information on DV tape (up to 10gb per hour of tape, or 15gb in LP mode), and because DV tape is generally pretty cheap, this sounds like a great option for folks who cannot afford the more expensive tape backup options. Speaking as someone who has gone through the horrors of losing everything in ill-fated hard drive crashes, I can solemnly say: if you don’t back up your files, you deserve all of the agony you will no doubtedly endure when your turn rolls around. Backup!

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