My review of Aladdin Desktop Tools in TidBITS-275 prompted a number of email messages last week, a few due to an oversight about SpeedyFinder7, and a few due to points I missed or cut for space reasons.
First, I must clarify that SpeedyFinder7 has been removed from distribution. I checked to make sure it was still available while writing that article, but since I wasn't reviewing it, I didn't read its documentation. As its documentation states, unregistered copies of SpeedyFinder7, including the copies stored on the various FTP sites, expired in March. Unfortunately, since the moderators of the mirror networks had no way of knowing this, the file remained available even after it had disabled itself. It's now gone, but has been replaced by an update that fixes an incompatibility with System 7.5.1. Of course, only currently registered users of SpeedyFinder7 need bother to download it.
This will be the last SpeedyFinder7 update. All future development will take place in Aladdin Desktop Tools, and, in fact, the features of SpeedyFinder7 in ADT are much improved over the SpeedyFinder7 originals.
Second, Jonathan Rynd <firstname.lastname@example.org> commented that Desktop Viewer isn't unique in its capability to look inside many different file types. Perhaps the ultimate utility in that respect is the long-standing CanOpener, a $65 commercial program from Abbott Systems.
With that out of the way, Leonard Rosenthol, Director of Advanced Technology at Aladdin, mentions some additional and important features of Aladdin Desktop Tools.
Leonard Rosenthol <email@example.com> writes:
The basic feature you attribute to Desktop SpeedBoost (accelerating copying and trashing files) is accurate, but it is just one part of what the program does. It also extends a number of common features in the Finder which are part of working with files.
For example, we extend the auto-routing features of the System folder so that in addition to being able to have extensions and control panels dropped on the System Folder go into the right sub-folders, you can also drop BBEdit Extensions, KeyQuencer Extensions, Scripting Additions, After Dark modules, and more.
One of my favorite features in Desktop SpeedBoost is the extension of the copy or trash operations by using the Command key as a modifier. In the case of copying, a Command-drag between volumes moves the file instead of just copying it, so that you don't need to then throw the original in the Trash. For trashing, Command-drag causes the file to be immediately trashed, giving back the disk space immediately, which is useful if you trash a large file and want the space back right away.
Also, like all other Aladdin products (and unlike our competitors), Desktop SpeedBoost takes advantage of (and integrates into) a number of Apple technologies and system software components. For example, Desktop SpeedBoost is Macintosh Easy Open-savvy and properly updates the desktop when used with Macintosh Easy Open. We also work with PowerTalk allowing your enclosures to copy in the background, and, of course, we integrate into the Scriptable Finder for full automation.
I will also point out that even in just the aspect of copying, Desktop SpeedBoost is more intelligent than the other products of this genre. It uses optimal techniques when writing to different types of volumes in order to optimize for every type of media. For example, the amount of data we read and write from an ARA server is very different from the amount that we read and write from a local hard disk.
Finally, you glossed over the "archive walking" feature of Desktop Shortcut that enables you to dip into StuffIt archives just as though they were folders. We believe this is the most compelling reason for StuffIt users to use Desktop Shortcut. In addition, Desktop Shortcut is fully compatible with Super Boomerang so you can run the two together, reaping the best features of both.