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Hold down F9, F10, F11, or F12 (or whatever you've set for the Expose and Spaces keyboard shortcuts) for a few seconds, and then release the key to enter and leave the appropriate mode without having to press the key again. This is particularly useful for Dashboard, in which you can check the contents of a widget and then return to your work with only a single key press.

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PlusOptimizer Defragments HFS Plus Volumes

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Alsoft, well known for their DiskExpress Pro disk optimization software, has released PlusOptimizer 1.0.1, a simple utility for people using Mac OS 8.1 and HFS Plus volumes. PlusOptimizer optimizes your volumes by defragmenting files and free space, which can improve performance and reduce fragmentation of new files. PlusOptimizer lacks the high-end features of DiskExpress Pro, which can optimize disks based on file activity, optimize in the background, verify media, erase free space, log directory errors, schedule optimizations, and defragment disks with open files. However, DiskExpress Pro is currently not compatible with Mac OS 8.1 and HFS Plus, nor were any other disk optimization utilities prior to the release of PlusOptimizer. PlusOptimizer costs $29.95 and is available only from Alsoft as a 504K download.

Some DiskExpress Pro users have expressed disappointment that Alsoft is not making PlusOptimizer available to them at a nominal price, given that they've been waiting for six months for a long-promised Mac OS 8.1-compatible version of DiskExpress Pro. Whether or not PlusOptimizer is as capable as DiskExpress Pro is immaterial; these users still feel pressured into buying PlusOptimizer, given that it's the only disk optimization utility available for Mac OS 8.1 and HFS Plus volumes. Actually, that's not entirely true. Those foolhardy souls who wish to risk their disks can download and try the public beta of Norton SpeedDisk 4.0, which supports Mac OS 8.1 and HFS Plus. We strongly recommend testing Norton SpeedDisk 4.0 on an unimportant disk and keeping excellent backups - a bug in disk optimization software could easily destroy all your data.

 

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