Ever needed a simple timer just to know for how long you’ve been exercising, giving your presentation or just boiling those vegetables?
JustTime is one of those simple iPhone apps that does what it’s designed for without any unnecessary bells and whistles and what’s more… it’s free.
The app displays a large clear digital timer which rotates as the device changes orientation.
Tap the screen to start or stop the time, shake the device to reset the timer to zero. There is also a choice of light or dark backgrounds to suit the occasion.
Although designed for the iPhone, the app works well on the iPad giving a large clear time count display.
My 2 year old MacBook Pro had been dragging its feet recently. Too many spinning beach balls of doom within Safari, iPhoto and Numbers.
The hard drive is also getting pretty full with only around 30GB of free space on the 320GB drive, so that may also have something to do with the machine’s sluggishness.
I Tweeted the MacBook Pro’s symptoms and Steve Stanger of The Mac Attack Podcast came back with the suggestion that I try an application called OnyX which enables you to run various system maintenance tasks on your Mac.
I duly downloaded OnyX version 2.2.3, a free application from Titanium Software
Upon launch, OnyX recommends “Checking the S.M.A.R.T. status” of your start up disk. Once completed, you can then move on to choose other tasks from the OnyX task bar.
From the Maintenance tab I ran Repair Permissions, Execute Maintenance Scripts and Rebuild Launch Services
and from the Cleaning tab I deleted the suggested caches.
Once all the tasks had been completed I restarted my machine.
Now I don’t pretend to understand what half of these tasks actually do, but the result is my MacBook Pro feels faster as I switch between tasks or applications and is far more responsive following its tune-up!
It is recommended that the “Rebuild Launch Services” and “Delete System, User, Internet and Font Caches” tasks are NOT performed more often than every six months, as more frequent use of these particular maintenance tasks can actually result in the slowing down of your computer.
For a more detailed explanation of OnyX and Mac maintenance have a listen to episode 106 of The Mac Attack Podcast where Steve Stanger discusses his routine maintenance tasks.
OnyX also enables you to configure some features of the Finder, the Dock, QuickTime, Safari, Mail and other OS X applications.
I just need to set myself a six-monthly reminder in BusyCal and I’m all set with my regular maintenance schedule.
gfxCardStatus is an open-source menu bar application for the unibody, dual-GPU MacBook Pro.
Since the introduction of the unibody MacBook Pro in 2008, users of versions sporting dual Graphics Processors have had the choice of using the less powerful integrated GPU, or gaining better video performance at the cost of precious battery life by selecting the discrete high end GPU.
Simple enough you’d think, however on the Late 2008 and 2009 MacBook Pro the switching process entails the user logging out and then logging back in to activate the change of GPU. Now I know this isn’t much of a hassle in the overall scheme of things, but recently while travelling around with my MacBook Pro I went through this ritual six times within the space of a day.
How much simpler it would have been if I’d had gfxCardStatus residing in my menu bar.
Click on the app in the menu bar and select “Switch GPUs”. There then follows a few seconds of flickering blue screen then normality returns and the alternate GPU is engaged!
In the Preference pane you can choose to have gfxCardStatus automatically swap the GPU as you move from battery power to mains supply, with a Growl Notfication to let you know this task has been undertaken.
The menu bar icon handily shows either an “i” or a “d” indicating whether the integrated or discrete GPU is active.
A very handy little menu bar app.
gfxCardStatus is a free download from http://codykrieger.com/gfxCardStatus
It’s been a while since i updated my website, over 12 months!
So I hereby promise to pay it some attention, bring it up to date and generally improve things on here in the coming weeks.
Just need to remember how to do this stuff…