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Lion Awakens Three Sleeping Utilities

Here’s a welcome reversal of the usual Neuburg Curse. Typically, when I praise a piece of software, that’s the kiss of death — soon afterward, it’s abandoned. At least, that’s how it seems! This time, though, it’s the other way around: I declared three of my favorite utilities dead under Lion, only to have them come roaring back to life.

In “Preparing for Lion: Find Your PowerPC Applications” (6 May 2011), I warned that PowerPC-only apps probably wouldn’t run under Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, and gave instructions for determining what changes this might entail in your work habits. I also mentioned some primary concerns in my own life. In particular, I bemoaned the loss of my favorite calendar/reminder utility, Dave Warker’s Remember?, and two list keepers, Alco Blom’s Web Confidential and URL Manager Pro. Well, I was wrong again, and this time in a good way.

  • Remember? is a fantastic calendaring and reminder utility. I’ve been using it just about since I’ve been using a Mac; I recall my relief when it was ported to Mac OS X (see “Remember? Not Forgotten,” 30 June 2003). Navigation and event editing is brilliantly easy; Remember? can specify repeating events that would completely stump iCal, and it presents a superb textual list of upcoming events. Remember? 4.6.1 is now a universal binary, running on Mac OS X 10.5 or later. This update is free for registered Remember? users (registration costs $20).

  • Web Confidential is a password keeper reviewed years ago by Adam Engst (see “Web Confidential: Securing Information of All Sorts,” 3 August 1998); the Intel-native version is currently in beta (4.0b2) and upgrade details are not yet set (a new registration costs $20). It runs on 10.5 Leopard or later. Final release is expected by September.

  • URL Manager Pro maintains URLs in a hierarchical (outline) structure, with excellent Web browser integration; I reviewed it in “Tools We Use: URL Manager Pro” (24 June 2002). The Intel-native version 4.0 is available now from Alco Blom’s site for $25, or from the Mac App Store for $14.99; this latter price is slated to increase to $24.99 in September. URL Manager Pro runs on 10.5 Leopard or later.

Being rewritten as a universal binary or Intel-native application means not only that the application will run on Lion, but also that it will run natively, without Rosetta, on an Intel-based Mac under earlier supported systems (and so, for example, it may launch faster than before, as there won’t be a delay while Rosetta starts up).

As a programmer myself, I know from experience how discouraging it can be to have a working application broken by an update from Apple, whose attitude towards backwards compatibility ranges from somewhat cavalier to downright heartless; so it’s great to see the developers of these splendid utilities returning to them after all these years despite the compatibility hurdles that this latest major system upgrade from Apple has placed in their way.

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