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Thread: Need the real verdict on maintenance/haxies

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    81

    Default Need the real verdict on maintenance/haxies

    Hi guys. In wanting to keep my computer operating well, I had a couple questions regarding maintenance tools and haxies.

    I had been using Macaroni, but also own Cocktail. I read somewhere that Cocktail is a haxie and can cause problems. I also had heard Onyx does something to the system kernel. I know to avoid the APE/unsanity stuff. I would like to have the real verdict on Cocktail, MacPilot, Socks, etc. / which are OK, which are not.

    Plus, are any issues only due to the process when running the app/process, or is the system messed with even during the apps' installation?

    Are there any official lists of true haxies? I had heard that even though something resides in the menu bar, if it is not listed as an Application Enhancer, it's not a haxie? The only menu bar things I run are Shove Box, CuteClips, and CheckOff. My system pref panes are Macaroni, Wacom, OpenMenu X (for contextual menus), Little Snitch, and TechTool Pro.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by macmac; 01-25-2010 at 02:14 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
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    Virginia... where one Democrat CAN make a difference
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    Default

    I don't have a list, but I have now started a personal rule of staying away from anything that installs a .kext file (kernal extension) if at all possible. Things like hierarchal menus (Apple Menu) and context menu thingies shouldn't need kernal extensions.

    My trackball driver (the outstanding USB Overdrive) is the only thing I know of that I have installed that uses a kext file and I don't see any way around that.
    Damien,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    81

    Default

    Thanks, that's good to know. How can you ascertain whether it will be installing a .kext file until it actually installs, or do you open the package and peek before installing?

    How about apps that you drag to the app folder to install versus ones with installers?

    The reason I ask is that last week I had a couple episodes where I lost my ability to search my mail after having installed something, and then another thing where I was running an app from a separate hard drive and then both my boot drives were acting strangely. So, I too like to keep my system stable and forego the extra frills.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    on the landline, Mr. Smith
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    The Mail search issue could have been a Spotlight indexing issue. You might reindex Spotlight........or it could have been updating the index. Normal to lose search capability during an index update after an install or plugging in a new drive.

    I don't have a list.......yet (that would be a good project), but I can tell you from lots of experience on lots of machines that the following have never done harm:

    TinkerTool
    TinkerTool System
    Onyx
    AppleJack (for 10.4 and 10.5)

    No kext files on any. How to know? One is easy way is whether or not you can drag and drop the app to another machine (proves it is self-contained). There are other ways to find out what was installed where, but it can be a bit involved.

    Probably dozens more, but I have stuck with what works, what I need, and what was the best value. I too like to keep it simple, and my good list has done that.

    Tools that I hear good things about, but don't use.......and are mostly redundant to the above list:

    CacheCleaner
    MacPilot
    Cocktail
    Secrets
    iTweax


    As for the drag n drop vs. installer, hard to know. Onyx for example has an installer, but does not need one. I keep the app on a flash drive and drag it on machines all the time. AppleJack is a simple application (closer to a script), but has an installer because it needs to be dropped into a invisible directory that the average user would struggle with, plus it installs man pages (help files). TinkerTool System is paid, so there are prefs and stuff to deal with the license, but the app is drag and droppable (not kext).

    And so it goes. Up to the developer. I recommend you always read the info and READ ME files; they often tell you what is (and isn't) installed, and where.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    You can also use the free 64-bit enabler (if your machine supports 64 bit) and boot into 64 bit mode and see what fails. those will be the one's with kext files ;-)

    That's what got me going... Kensington Mouseworks and Unsanity's Fruitmenu both failed. Kensington said they will no longer be supporting Mouseworks and it will never be 64bit so I now use USB Overdrive for my Expert Mouse. As for Unsanity.... well I have moved to Classic Menu...

    Damien,

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