During the years of my interactions with computers, I’ve found and tried countless applications of various magnitudes; from the huge apps that can do everything to the small ones built to do only one thing. Here are several small and useful Mac utilities that you might not know even existed.
Mounting and unmounting drives/volumes are a fact of everyday life for Mac users. So are deleting files and emptying Trash. But those actions don’t always go smoothly. Sometimes there are unknown things that prevent the process from being completed.
You’ll get a pop-up notification window every time a volume can’t be ejected.
Or whenever one or more files can’t be deleted from the Trash.
But the system doesn’t always tell you why. The most common reason is because there are some opened files inside the Volume/Trash. You can do a search from within What’s Keeping Me Mac utility to identify the application which prevents you from accomplishing your task. You can then quit, relaunch, or kill the problem application and continue with the unmounting/deleting process.
You can also install the automator workflow so that you can do the search directly from Finder. To use it, just right click on the file and choose “Service – WhatsKeepingMe Search“.
There’s another Mac utility that also deals with mounted volumes called Volumizer. This app is a Preference Pane add-on which provides a system-wide menu that displays all mounted volumes: hard drives, flash drives, optical discs, network volumes, disk images and other mountable items in the Finder.
Volumizer will list down every mounted volume and give you a quick unmount (eject) option if you hover your mouse over the volume name.
If a physical drive has multiple volumes (partitions), choosing Eject for any of the volumes will unmount all of them immediately. The app will also skip Finder’s eject volume confirmation window. So be a little careful not to accidentally unmount volumes that you still need.
But of course, you can’t unmount the startup disk.
It’s amazing how ‘normal’ activities that people do on their computer – downloading movies, managing photos, installing application suites – can fill up the hard drive in no time. If you are one of these ‘normal’ people, you’ll need a Mac utility to constantly monitor the space usage of your hard drive.
Meet SpaceControl. This app will sit in your menu bar and clicking on it will show you the remaining free space on your startup volume. You can also see the sum of these numbers, which is the total free space available on all volumes.
For your convenience, you can set the app to send you a notification email whenever the remaining free space goes below a certain number.
While Space Control specializes only in hard drive space data, Mini Usage tells you everything that you want to know about your system. The app will show a small menu-bar display of your chosen system performance data: CPU usage (the percentage of your Mac’s processing power that’s currently in use), incoming and outgoing network data rate, and remaining battery juice on your MacBook.
You can also make MiniUsage alternate among all of these statistics every few seconds (1 – 5 seconds) and how often the statistics are updated.
I’m sure that there are other small, useful, but not too well known Mac utilities out there, something like Pauser and BashFlash. If you are familiar with one or more of them, why don’t you share the love with others using the comments below?