Pretty Useless Review – CleanArchiver

Creating a zip file on OS X is a snap. Select the file(s), right-click them and click Create Archive of “xxxxxxx”. Bam, you’re done!

Or are you? Send that beautiful zip file into the wild world and sooner or later, it’ll land on a Windows desktop. And what do your lovely Windows brethren see?

What the? What’s up with all the DS_Store thingies? And everything appears twice! Crazy man. Those Windows users will be completely confused.

If you’re sending your zips to anyone other than a Mac user, CleanArchiver is for you. It’s small, it’s smooth, it’s painless. And yes, it’s free.

CleanArchiver is very simple to use (otherwise it wouldn’t be a pretty useless review).

There are several options that you can adjust to make just the archive you want. These include:

All set? Drop your files into the CleanArchiver window, select a destination directory for your archive and all is right in the world. With the Exclude DS_Store files option selected, the unwashed masses see this:

Clean…Go get it.

posted at - 4:15 pm - 4/9/2007

Pretty Useless Review – TigerLaunch

Today is the first installment of what will surely be a sporadic series of reviews of software so small and intuitive that a review is almost, but not quite, superfluous.

Freeware is easy enough to find, even on the Mac. Good freeware is a whole other story. Finding good freeware is like finding an art-house gem. It makes you feel good.

TigerLaunch is Good Freeware.

The introduction of the Dock was a good and bad thing for many reasons. It was good because you could place your regularly used apps and folders in one spot. It was bad because you could place your regularly used apps and folders in one spot. Shortly after starting to use the Dock, the thing just got very very unwieldy. All the icons were so damn small that a magnifying glass was required to see the app icon. And the magnify feature didn’t help a whole lot. After hunting through the Dock for the umpteenth time, a few Dock things were clear:

Some icons look like other icons

When you cram your Dock, icons get smaller. When icons are small, they can be hard to differentiate. Take a look at the Finder, Safari, Camino, and Mail icons. They’re different enough when large but shrink them down and similarities (round, blue) start to become apparent.

I don’t use 30 apps on a regular basis

Some people might use 30 apps on a regular basis but I’m not one of them. Most of the apps that wound up in the Dock were apps that I used often enough to want them handy but not often enough to have them taking up Dock real estate.

Enter TigerLaunch. TigerLaunch is a sweet little app that does one simple thing: It presents a list of apps in a menu. Easy-peasy. You specify the apps. It shows them. Now, my Dock contains only 10 apps that I use almost every day (Camino, Safari, Mail, NetNewsWire, iTunes, Transmit, Flash, TextWrangler, GraphicConverter, and Yojimbo). All secondary apps that are used frequently but not enough to warrant Dock placement wind up in TigerLaunch. Twenty-three apps make it into TigerLaunch, as shown below.

my TigerLaunch

Everything else I don’t use enough to warrant a spot in either location.

TigerLaunch is so dead simple to use, I don’t know why I’m bothering with an explanation but this is a Pretty Useless review so here goes.

To launch an app, click the TigerLaunch icon (you can choose from few different icons) and click the app you want to launch.

To add or remove an app from the list, click the TigerLaunch icon > Configure, select or deselect the app you want in the menu from the configure dialog box (shown below) and close the window.

TigerLaunch configure dialog box

Simple freeware that simplifies your life. Download and feel good.

posted at - 11:32 pm - 7/27/2006

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