Fresh Start goes Final -- Version 1.0 launched.
August 24 1999 -- Murray Yar IT today posted the final version of Fresh
Start, a program designed for shared Macintoshes. Fresh Start restores a
Macintosh's configuration -- preferences, PRAM and some system settings --
to a standard state at each restart.
Fresh Start is aimed at workplace, school, library, stores -- wherever Macs
are shared. Advanced home users may also appreciate its features.
"Macintoshes are great personal computers" said Mike Hayes, speaking for
Murray Yar. "But they are surprisingly difficult to share effectively.
Fresh Start addresses one crucial part of the sharing problem --
maintaining a machine's configuration. Fresh Start restores a machine's
configuration at every restart, giving users a uniform working environment
each time they start to use a shared machine. At the same time, all the
flexibility of the Macintosh is at the user's disposal."
"By delivering uniformity while maintaining full flexibility," continued
Hayes. "Fresh Start allows administrators of shared Macintoshes to provide
a far higher quality of service to their users. "
Fresh Start configures itself automatically -- two restarts after
installation it records all the settings and preferences of the Mac. Every
time afterwards, when the Macintosh is restarted, Fresh Start provides a
fresh copy of these settings. Once startup has finished, Fresh Start runs
for a short time in the background, generating a fresh copy of the master
settings, in preparation for the next restart. All the settings are
gathered automatically and stored locally, so Fresh Start needs no
programming and requires no network to function.
"We tried to keep Fresh Start fast, unobtrusive and simple." said Hayes.
"Some alternative solutions require a robust network, and can be quite
difficult to set up. And they can be intrusive while they are running."
said Hayes. "In situations where the network is slow or absent, Fresh Start
is the only solution. For example, it's very useful for resetting
demonstration machines in stores."
As well as restoring settings, Fresh Start restores the contents of the
Startup Items and Shutdown Items folders, and (for Mac OS 8.1 and later)
the contents of the Favorites, Recent Applications, Recent Documents and
Recent Servers folders are reset.
"We made two changes from the initial beta version , both of interest to
systems administrators." said Hayes. "First, we made it easier to 'clone'
machine settings (including PRAM settings) across identical machines.
Second, Fresh Start can now launch an application specifically at first
restart. Typically, you'd arrange for an initialization program to run only
at the first restart. Whatever settings it made would be captured and
stored by Fresh Start at the second restart and used thereafter."
Fresh Start requires a Macintosh with Mac OS 7.5.1 or later.
A 30 day trial version is available at http://www.kagi.com/Murray_Yar_IT/