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HexEdit 2.00

Lane Roathe
Jim Bumgardner
Rating: (five HexEdit pentagrams)

This is one sweet piece of work. Just get it.

OK, you didn't get it yet? You need the URL?

http://hexedit.sourceforge.net/

OK, you got it now? No?

It's a hex editor. It's the best one for the platform. And everyone needs a hex editor. Even your grandmother needs a hex editor. She calls you on the phone and tells you something's wrong with her kernel extensions and she'd like to disassemble the PowerPC code in there - what are you going to tell her? You don't know, do you? No - you don't.

Now all you have to do is tell her to get HexEdit. HexEdit will disassemble the PowerPC for her. When/if Apple take the dive into Intel, they'll probably provide that as well.

This is not a Cocoa app, but it's one sweet piece of work and it's come a long way. It's already been the only professional hex editor for the platform - but now it's taking leaps and bounds, leaving the rest of the pack even farther behind.

It comes as a 752 KB SIT but that's because it still includes a fat binary for MacOS 1.0 and Apple ][ DOS probably as well - the demand for such builds has to be minimal at this point.

The actual Cocoa-style application package can be trimmed to eight files; the executable can be stripped to 120 KB; as such it's very lean on disk. The team working on it have made great strides.

It has tonnes of colour combos as before but you'll notice a lot of new stuff on the menus. There is some documentation with it so you can read if you like.

The most important thing about this guy is how robust he is. He can edit files of literally almost any size because he doesn't try to load a megaton in memory: he skims through the file as need be (and that's difficult).

He can sit in the Dock today - and you can drop files on him. And he can go into bundles - absolutely essential for this type of work.

Some of the keyboard shortcuts are funky and not OS X standard (like '⌘ß' for 'Save As') but you can't have everything, and based on progress so far it's only a matter of time until these warts are removed.

Writing an app like this takes a lot of code - far more code than an ordinary Cocoa app - but it all works so well together. It's a given five out of five.

You better have it by now.

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