TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Apple Menu Utils
Volume Number:8
Issue Number:3
Column Tag:Tools of the Trade

3 Ways to Make Launching Easier

Access files through hierarchical choices under the Apple Menu

By Dave Kelly, MacTutor Regular Contributing Author

System 7.0 provides new capabilities that are being tapped more and more as developers become familiar with them. Now Utilities was the first to take advantage of System 7.0’s ability to support hierarchical menus for Apple Menu Items. Since then at least two other products have made their way to market. The Finder should have had this feature, but it was left to third party vendors to implement it.

To be able to access files multiple levels deep from the Apple Menu saves time and is a great convenience. Just place an alias of a folder in your Apple Menu items folder and the contents of the menu will appear hierarchically in the Apple Menu. If you’re using System 7.0 you should not be without this feature.

Now Utilities, HandOff II, and HAM all will support this and other features. You will want to compare all the features before deciding which one you get. I’ve prepared a brief chart showing some of the differences in each product. It may not be complete, especially in the case of Now Utilities which includes other utilities in its package.

HAM has a unique method of supporting Hierarchical Apple Menu items. In particular, you can change the order of Apple Menu items by dragging items in the menu list. Items with check marks will be displayed in the Apple Menu. Recent items are remembered by HAM. HAM creates and alias for recently used items and places the alias in a Recent Items folder in the Apple Menu items folder. Another feature that I like is the ability to create “HAMlets”. HAMlets are like aliases except they remember documents or applications. HAM will automatically create a HAMlet named “Resume HAMlet” that is placed in your Startup folder so that if you have an inadvertent crash, everything will open back to where you left off when you restart. You can save HAMlet so you can open multiple documents and/or applications at any time. Only one minor annoyance with HAM’s hierarchical apple menu items it that items in the control panel that are disabled with Now Utilities Startup Manager (or similar INIT controller) can still be accessed. An error message occurs if a disabled control panel is selected, but it is an annoyance.

HandOff II strength is in the application launching department. It is very convenient to be able to create “briefcases” that can launch multiple applications or documents from HandOff II’s launch menu. Both HandOff II and Now Utilities let you configure specific color bit depth and sound configuration for each application. What is conspicuously missing is the ability to switch on/off 32 bit addressing (off for applications that crash when 32 bit mode is used). In addition, HandOff II can force substitutions of file types so that you can use your favorite application to automatically open documents created with another application. Although the custom launch menu looks similar to the one available in Now Utilities, briefcases make HandOff II’s menu much more attractive. Control panel items that are disabled by INIT manager programs are shown in as disabled items. Disabled items are not shown at all in Now Menu’s control panel folder menu.

Theres a certain amount of tradeoff when selecting from these utilities. Now Utilities for $129 contains many more utilities than just menu handling. HandOff II for $99 has more application launching features than the others. HAM for $99 has the ability to create “HAMlets” and has more control over which items are shown in the hierarchical Apple Menu. Besides one of the developers of HAM is Chris Derossi, one of MacTutor’s founding editorial board members. Way to go, Chris, HAM is a great product. Then again, so are the other two products. Since you can disable parts of each you might be able to use them together, but it might be risky. You definitely should not use hierarchical menu capabilities from more than one of them at a time.

HandOff IINow UtilitiesHAM
Price$99$129$99
Hierarchical Apple Menu (7.0)444
Set number of levels2-5 levelsNO (5 levels)NO (5 levels)
Sort Apple MenuNONO4
Turn On/Off444
Exclude specific foldersNO44
Small Fonts option4NONO
Expand Network Volumes444
Other Features:
Auto Hide Background Windows44NO
(system 7.0 only)
Auto drop menus44NO
Drop menus at mouse click44N/A
Pop Up Launch Menu44NO
Group Files4documentsN/A
Launch multiple frequently used files4NON/A
Remember open itemsNO44
Auto Reopen items at startupNONO4
Reopen recent itemsNO44
Specify items to appear as
Hierarchical menusNOApple Menu only4
Auto add apps to launch menu44N/A
Allow apps to open all file types4NON/A
Add folders to Launch menu (7.0)4NON/A
Automatic Application Substitution4NON/A
Switch applications44NO
Color Depth Switching44NO
Processor cache switchingNONONO
Sound Level switching44NO
System 7.0 savvy444
Balloon Help44NO
Apple Events4NONO

For more information:

HandOff II is published by:

Connectix Corporation

125 Constitution Drive, Menlo Park, California 94025

Phone: 800-950-5880, 415-324-0727

FAX: 415-571-5195 • AppleLink: CONNECTIX

CompuServe: “MACAVEN”

Price: $99 • Not copy protected.

Now Utilities is published by:

Now Software, Inc

520 SW Harrison, Suite 435, Portland, Oregon 97201

Phone: 503-274-2800 • FAX: 503-274-0670

AppleLink: NOWSOFTWARE

Price: $129 • Not copy protected.

HAM is published by:

Microseeds Publishing, Inc.

5801 Benjamin Center Drive, Suite 103

Tampa, Florida 33634

Phone: 813-882-8635

FAX: 813-884-5941

AppleLink: MICROPUB

America OnLine: MICROSEEDS

CompuServe: 76004, 2100 (GO MACBVEN)

Microseeds BBS: 813-885-2686

Price: $99

Not copy protected.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Duplicate Annihilator 5.7.5 - Find and d...
Duplicate Annihilator takes on the time-consuming task of comparing the images in your iPhoto library using effective algorithms to make sure that no duplicate escapes. Duplicate Annihilator... Read more
BusyContacts 1.0.2 - Fast, efficient con...
BusyContacts is a contact manager for OS X that makes creating, finding, and managing contacts faster and more efficient. It brings to contact management the same power, flexibility, and sharing... Read more
Capture One Pro 8.2.0.82 - RAW workflow...
Capture One Pro 8 is a professional RAW converter offering you ultimate image quality with accurate colors and incredible detail from more than 300 high-end cameras -- straight out of the box. It... Read more
Backblaze 4.0.0.872 - Online backup serv...
Backblaze is an online backup service designed from the ground-up for the Mac.With unlimited storage available for $5 per month, as well as a free 15-day trial, peace of mind is within reach with... Read more
Little Snitch 3.5.2 - Alerts you about o...
Little Snitch gives you control over your private outgoing data. Track background activity As soon as your computer connects to the Internet, applications often have permission to send any... Read more
Monolingual 1.6.4 - Remove unwanted OS X...
Monolingual is a program for removing unnecesary language resources from OS X, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space. If you use your computer in only one (human) language, you... Read more
CleanApp 5.0 - Application deinstaller a...
CleanApp is an application deinstaller and archiver.... Your hard drive gets fuller day by day, but do you know why? CleanApp 5 provides you with insights how to reclaim disk space. There are... Read more
Fantastical 2.0 - Create calendar events...
Fantastical is the Mac calendar you'll actually enjoy using. Creating an event with Fantastical is quick, easy, and fun: Open Fantastical with a single click or keystroke Type in your event details... Read more
Cocktail 8.2 - General maintenance and o...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
Direct Mail 4.0.4 - Create and send grea...
Direct Mail is an easy-to-use, fully-featured email marketing app purpose-built for OS X. It lets you create and send great looking email campaigns. Start your newsletter by selecting from a gallery... Read more

Appy to Have Known You - Lee Hamlet Look...
Being at 148Apps these past 2 years has been an awesome experience that has taught me a great deal, and working with such a great team has been a privilege. Thank you to Rob Rich, and to both Rob LeFebvre and Jeff Scott before him, for helping me... | Read more »
MLB Manager 2015 (Games)
MLB Manager 2015 5.0.14 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 5.0.14 (iTunes) Description: Guide your favorite MLB franchise to glory! MLB Manager 2015, officially licensed by MLB.com and based on the award-... | Read more »
Breath of Light (Games)
Breath of Light 1.0.1421 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.1421 (iTunes) Description: Hold a quiet moment. Breath of Light is a meditative and beautiful puzzle game with a hypnotic soundtrack by... | Read more »
WWE WrestleMania Tags into the App Store
Are You ready to rumble? The official WWE WrestleMania app, by World Wrestling Entertainment, is now available. Now you can get all your WrestleMania info in one place before anyone else. The app offers details on superstar signings, interactive... | Read more »
Bio Inc's New Expansion is Infectin...
Bio Inc., by DryGin Studios, is the real time strategy game where you infect a human body with the worst virus your evil brain can design. Recently, the game was updated to add a whole lot of new features. Now you can play the new “Lethal”... | Read more »
The Monocular Minion is Here! Despicable...
Despicable Me: Minion Rush, by Gameloft, is introducing a new runner to the mix in their latest update. Now you can play as Carl, the prankster minion. Carl has a few new abilities to play with, including running at a higher speed from the start.... | Read more »
Dungeon of Madness (Games)
Dungeon of Madness 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Dungeon of Madness is an action game where you rotate tiles to create our own route. Help the hero by connecting the... | Read more »
Filters for iPhone (Photography)
Filters for iPhone 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Photography Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Jump'N'Shoot Attack (Games)
Jump'N'Shoot Attack 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A mobile game for gamers! Join Louise Lightfoot, the legendary "Master of Jumping and Shooting", on her mission to save... | Read more »
Space Bounties Inc. (Games)
Space Bounties Inc. 1.4 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.4 (iTunes) Description: SuperGameDroid: 4/5 "Satisfying futuristic RPG combat, high replay value, and a heavy dose of nostalgia make Space... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

iMacs on sale for up to $205 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $205 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 1.4GHz iMac: $1019 $80 off - 21″ 2.7GHz iMac: $1189 $110 off - 21″ 2.9GHz... Read more
Färbe Technik Offers iPhone Battery Charge LI...
Färbe Technik, which manufactures and markets of mobile accessories for Apple, Blackberry and Samsung mobile devices, is offering tips on how to keep your iPhone charged while in the field: •... Read more
Electronic Recyclers International CEO Urges...
Citing a recent story on CNBC about concerns some security professionals have about the forthcoming Apple Watch, John Shegerian, Chairman and CEO of Electronic Recyclers International (ERI), the... Read more
Save up to $380 with Apple refurbished iMacs
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $380 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac – $2119 $... Read more
Logitech Says MX Master Is Its Most Advanced...
Logitech’s new MX Master Wireless Mouse incorporates the best of Logitech’s many computer mouse innovations into a striking hand-sculpted design. The company claims that the MX Master creates a new... Read more
Save up to $300 on a new Mac, $30 on an iPad,...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
Apple refurbished 2014 MacBook Airs available...
The Apple Store lowered prices on Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Airs recently, with models now available starting at $679. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and... Read more
Mac Notebook Evolution; A Desktop Replacement...
More often than not right from the beginning, Apple’s Macs have tended to skew toward small. The original Macs were called “compacts,”, and notwithstanding a few exceptions like the honking Big Mac... Read more
13-inch 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook Air (Apple refur...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook Airs available for $759 including free shipping plus Apple’s standard one-year warranty. Their price is $240 off original... Read more
YEP! Alternative Browser for iOS Now Supports...
Pfaeffikon, Switzerland based Power App AG has announced the release of an update to their Yep! Web Browser (v1.3.0) for iOS8 iPhone and iPad. Yep! hit the App Store shortly after the release of iOS... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Sr. Technical Services Consultant, *Apple*...
**Job Summary** Apple Professional Services (APS) has an opening for a senior technical position that contributes to Apple 's efforts for strategic and transactional Read more
Lead *Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail...
**Job Summary** Job Summary The Lead ASC is an Apple employee who serves as the Apple business manager and influencer in a hyper-business critical Reseller's store Read more
*Apple* Pay - Site Reliability Engineer - Ap...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.