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Xfile Test Drive: Revolutions

(It's reloaded.)

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BRATISLAVA (Rixstep) — The Xfile Test Drive has been augmented and reloaded. Here a brief summary of its contents.

Xfile Test Drive

This is the Xfile Test Drive. Xfile is part of the ACP.

What is the ACP?

'ACP' is the acronym for 'Apple Core Project', the original name of this project.

The ACP is intended for programmers and system administrators, and written by programmers in collaboration with system administrators. The idea, both back then and now, is to take our collective skills in systems programming and see how they're best put to use on this platform as well.

The ACP has now been around for nearly twenty years and has grown considerably over time.

What is Xfile?

Xfile is the ACP file manager. Together with the many additional utilities, it offers the most comprehensive file management solution available for this platform.

The overall system design is that the file manager 'per se' should deal only with generic file management and leave platform-specific functionality to additional utilities.

Why Would I Want It?

You'd want Xfile if you, like programmers and system administrators, need a more thorough and granular control of your filesystem.

Apple's file management is continually plagued with bugs, crashes, quirks, and vulnerabilities. Other products are just as bad or worse. They may have cute doodads to click on, but none of them can handle the more demanding file operations. They're built the wrong way, actually.

A good file manager should be different.

Xfile is different. Xfile is robust. Xfile is consistent. Xfile doesn't crash.

What is Rixstep?

The blurb says that Rixstep came from Radsoft Laboratories. Radsoft Laboratories are teachers of systems programming and system administration. Their clientele include the US Department of Defense, the US Supreme Court, the German Security Police, the Government of Western Australia, and Verizon.

Shortly after the New Millennium, a few of them looked for a safe alternative to Windows, as Windows had proven unsafe for use and beyond repair. Initially of a mind to try Red Hat Linux, they opted instead for Apple's OS X with its roots in NeXTSTEP and thereby Unix. They'd previously collaborated with NeXT Software of Sweden.

And what is in this package?

This package has a selection of Xfile utilities presented as a 'test drive'. This test drive is time-limited but is nearly fully functional, limited only by what can be contained in the ACP framework. The test drive is free.

A brief tour follows below.

Start Me Up!

  1. Start by mounting 'ACP.dmg'. Double-click it and it will mount under '/Volumes' and should appear on your desktop.

  2. Nothing need be copied out (with one possible exception - see below).

A Tour

This is a brief tour of the contents of the test drive.


The 'guts' of the system. All the logic is in a single location shared by all the applications.

All graphics reside here too. The considerable online documentation is here as well.


A utility for managing access control lists.


A novel new idea for 'linear' file management. Tag any file with any number of character strings ('tags') and use the same utility to search for those tags.


Compares two files, two directories, or other types of filesystem items. Distinguishes between file types, volume IDs, and inodes. Can export comparison results to disk.


Stamps a filesystem item's four time values. Offers both drag-and-drop and recursive batch processing. Can set the batch timestamp to the first of the month, the 'epoch', or a suitable 'rollover' value.


Absolutely essential for testing new software. More sophisticated than the 'app zappers'.

Nothing can escape it, because it works intimately with your filesystem and nothing can escape your filesystem.

(This is the one time you might want to copy out from the test drive.)


A file attribute editor.


The file manager. Fans have called it the 'standard setter'.


Finds things in files, or summarises their sizes, blocks, and extended attributes. Results can be exported to disk.


The filesystem scanner. Scans per 'regular expression'. Can also detect security weaknesses.

Things You May Notice

Files Missing?

There are no 'PkgInfo' files in the ACP. Nor should there be any 'language project' directories.

No CodeResources

You might need to tell Gatekeeper to let these apps through the first time. There are no 'CodeResources' files in this package, for the simple reason that they are, to put it politely, not what they appear to be.

No Remnants

This test drive should leave no files whatsoever behind in your filesystem. All applications are namely set to not set to disk. (If you find any, please report to us.)


ACP binaries are lean and mean to an extreme. There are no 'tricks' involved - something that's often asked - they're just built as all software should be (but rarely is) built.


All graphics used by these applications are in the ACP.framework.

Further Info

Use the built-in help system to discover more about this software. And please visit this link.



Any questions? Write to us.


Or join other users in our forum.


We're very glad to help.


Purchase links are found on the application menus. Purchases can also be made at this link.



Download the Xfile Text Drive here. (You can also find the link in the menu bar.)

About Rixstep

Stockholm/London-based Rixstep are a constellation of programmers and support staff from Radsoft Laboratories who tired of Windows vulnerabilities, Linux driver issues, and cursing x86 hardware all day long. Rixstep have many years of experience behind their efforts, with teaching and consulting credentials from the likes of British Aerospace, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Lloyds TSB, SAAB Defence Systems, British Broadcasting Corporation, Barclays Bank, IBM, Microsoft, and Sony/Ericsson.

Rixstep and Radsoft products are or have been in use by Sweden's Royal Mail, Sony/Ericsson, the US Department of Defense, the offices of the US Supreme Court, the Government of Western Australia, the German Federal Police, Verizon Wireless, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Microsoft Corporation, the New York Times, Apple Inc, Oxford University, and hundreds of research institutes around the globe. See here.

All Content and Software Copyright © Rixstep. All Rights Reserved.

John Cattelin
Media Contact
ACP/Xfile licences
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