Alsoft announced today that its two utilities - PlusMaker and PlusMaximizer - for converting hard disks to Apple's new Macintosh Extended Format (HFS Plus) are available for purchase and download at its Web site. With the release of Mac OS 8.1, users have the option of using the new Extended Format, which saves disk space by increasing the number of allocation blocks used by the Finder. (See "All About Macintosh Extended Format (HFS Plus)" in TidBITS 414.) One catch, however, is that you must backup and initialize your disks with the new Extended Format, then restore the data - a time-consuming operation, especially for system administrators managing numerous Macs. PlusMaker (an 875K download) enables you to perform the conversion without reformatting; PlusMaximizer (a 265K download) gives you the option of using 512-byte allocation blocks instead of Apple's default 4K size. Each utility is priced at $29.95, or you can purchase both as a 1.1 MB download for $39.95.
How Loud Are Your Mac's Fans?
When they get hot, Macs turn on various internal fans to keep components cool. The noise can be annoying, but just how loud is it? If you have an iOS device with a built-in microphone, you can download one of many free sound meter apps (search on
decibel in the App Store) and see if you're subjecting your ears to a truly unreasonable noise level.
- All About Macintosh Extended Format (HFS Plus) (26 Jan 98)