Sunday, October 02, 2005

MacOnMacs: Maintaining your Mac with Onyx

OS X does a great job of maintaining itself by executing daily, weekly, and monthly scripts to keep everything running smoothly. The only problem is that these scripts are set to execute in the middle of the night, which is no good for those of us who turn our Macs off at night. To get around this problem, and to accomplish a slew of other tasks, I use Titanium Software's free OnyX application.

Not only does OnyX let you run your Mac's maintenance and optimization scripts at any time without resorting to the command line, it also enables you to quickly and easily perform a wide range of other useful feats, such as:

- Cleaning out caches and logs (great if you find yourself getting short on disk space);
- Verifying and repairing permissions (which can also been done using Apple's built in Disk Utility);
- Accessing hidden parameters for the Finder, Safari, the Dock, Dashboard, Expose, and more;
- Running Unix utilities and accessing their man pages;
- Quickly viewing system and user info and logs at a glance (some of which can be accessed through Apple's System Profiler);
- Automating many of the above tasks.

There are specific versions available on Titanium's website for Tiger, Panther, and Jaguar. Check out OnyX's Help menu (Help->OnyX Help->Discover OnyX) to learn more about its features, and make sure not to do anything that you don't understand (you're fine just using the presets in the Maintenance section, though)! When used properly, Onyx is an indispensable part of any Mac user's arsenal of programs - it can keep your Mac running smoothly AND let it get some sleep at night ;-) .
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10/02/2005 10:02:00 p.m.  


Anonymous John said...

I use Cocktail ( and just set the scheduled startup in the energy saver prefs to turn the computer on, just ahead of the scheduled maintenance routine. Cocktail runs and will shut down the computer after its done (or even reboot if you want)

October 09, 2005 8:32 a.m.  
Blogger Jeff MacArthur said...

I've heard a lot about Cocktail too, though I've yet to try it. Very cool that it has scheduling features - great addition!

October 13, 2005 8:22 p.m.  

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