June 27th, 2004
I've come across a couple of nice Mac OS X utilities this week. Preferential Treatment (see link in left-hand frame of site) puts a nice graphical front end on Apple's plutil utility. plutil identifies corrupted .plist files, which can cause all sorts of odd behavioural problems in OS X. Not something I'll use every day, but certainly a program it's worth running once a month or so.
On the other hand, I most certainly will be using KeepAnEye every day. It's a tool which monitors all sorts of computerised files and online information and alerts the user when they've been updated. KeepAnEye can monitor web sites, RSS feeds and web site availability, as well as more specialised types of information such as eBay auctions and Yahoo! Stock Quotes. I don't particularly need most of those features, but I've been looking for a simple way to monitor the web sites I read which lack RSS feeds for a while now and KeepAnEye seems to be up to the job. It's highly customisable, allowing me to set the monitoring interval and the means by which the program will notify me a site has changed – opening a window on the web site, playing a sound, displaying an alert in the Dock or the menu bar. It's not as useful as an RSS feed – it can't distinguish between a new entry appearing on a weblog and the posting of a minor blogroll change – but it's a lot better than trying to remember to visit a site every day.