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Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard

Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.

Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.

In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.

Submitted by
Doug McLean

 
 

More Utilities, By GUM

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"What does the world need," you may ask if you're one of those who is always asking essentially rhetorical questions. If you're Guy Kawasaki and After Hours Software, the answer is another collection of useful utilities, seemingly along the lines of the popular Now Utilities from Now Software. The collection will be assembled by and named after the ever-present Guy, so along with the strangely-acronymed Symantec Utilities for Macintosh (SUM) and Norton Utilities for Macintosh (NUM), we'll have the tongue-in-cheek Guy's Utilities for Macintosh, or GUM.

I can't tell you a lot about GUM, since I don't know very much myself. I do know that it's in the final stages of assembly, but Guy and After Hours Software are still looking for truly snazzy utilities that could not survive in the commercial market alone. Guy claims that he's looking for utilities that do things like improve the Finder, menuing, System 7, and the use of the PowerBooks. Feel free to send your utilities to Guy at any of the addresses below, but keep in mind that I've already suggested Sticky Menus, Bubble Help, and DiskDoubleMint, along with a little utility that keeps the monitor from moving when you chew.

I'm also agitating strongly for some Bazooka Joe comics in each package, or at least a few baseball cards. I certainly hope that Guy has the gumption to consider my requests seriously. Of course, there's no telling when GUM will be out, but if it doesn't get stuck under the table, it is likely to be more well-received in higher education than its physical manifestation. Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to GUM, especially if it doesn't try to overlap with the other utilities packages already on the market. If so, I'd probably have to eschew GUM in favor of Now Utilities, which has had more time to mature into a killer collection and comes out of one's hair more easily.

Tooth decay notwithstanding, these sort of collections are becoming more popular. Atticus Software just announced that it is putting together a less sugary package called Super 7 Utilities, which includes seven utilities primarily based on previous freeware or shareware programs. You may recognize some of the names, including Speed Beep Pro, Helium Pro, Desktop Extras, Trash Alias, and Mighty Menus. Also included are Printer Picker and Super Comments, neither of which I recognize from the freeware or shareware world. Super 7 Utilities will supposedly be available in July for about $100 list. In addition, users of the shareware BeHierarchic, which gives you a hierarchical Apple menu, may have noticed that version 2.0 is supposedly now part of the Kiwi PowerWindows package from Kiwi Software. So if you've got an illegal copy of BeHierarchic 2.0, spit it out or swallow it.

Atticus Software -- 203/324-1142
Kiwi Software -- 805/685-4031

Information from:
Guy Kawasaki -- Kawasaki2@applelink.apple.com -- MacWay on AOL
76703.3031@compuserve.com

 

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