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System Optimizer X 4.5

MKD Software (Morgan K Davis)

You can't optimise any system with a 2.7 megabloat download - you've already done irreparable damage. Anyone who falls for the temptation to tinker with a tool like this is a fool.

Of course most users are hopeless fools, and the minions professing love for this app at MacUpdate only prove it.

Not that there's anything wrong with wanting a clean machine, or appreciating that certain routines will in fact make a machine run better. But not understanding this is all a REALbasic wrapper around eminently accessible Terminal commands is unforgivable. If someone wastes their time and money (US$12) on this app, they have it coming to them.

A bit of spelunking:

Update prebindings. You're not supposed to do this anyway. Bill Bumgarner has an excellent diatribe on why. And if that isn't good enough, then know Apple do this automatically, and OS X does it too - every time an application starts up.

And if that still isn't enough, guess what? It's Terminal:

  man update_prebinding

       update_prebinding - Update prebinding information for newly changed files

       update_prebinding -root directory [-debug] [-force]
                         [-pkgs package-name install-location ...]
                         [-files filename ...]

Run system maintenance scripts. How many charlatans are going to come with this useless piece of drivel? These are run automatically by your system; later editions of OS X will do them even if your box is turned off when they're supposed to run (they'll run them when it wakes up) and really - it's only:

  sudo periodic daily
  sudo periodic weekly
  sudo periodic monthly

Clean system/application cache. There is no such thing as a 'system/application cache'. There are 'caches', but they can be cleaned very easily from Terminal. Look in /Library and ~/Library for them. If you can't do this on your own, you need to see a doctor - and to get a change of drool bib.

Repair Unix file permissions. This borders on the unethical. Disk Utility does it already. It depends on receipts being still on your computer. And if that should fail, you need only do it yourself - yes from Terminal. The key is that everything under /Applications is to be marked root:admin 0755.

  sudo chown -R 0:admin /Applications
  sudo chmod -R 775 /Applications

And so on. Version 4.5 of 'SOX' claims to have fixed many bugs; when the author is only running Unix command lines behind the drawn curtains, you've got to wonder how capable a programmer this is.

There is also a claim that corrupt caches can cause 'the beach ball effect'. This is pure nonsense. And at any rate, deleting these caches is a simple command line.

(For an insightful look at the flotsam and jetsam lurking inside SOX 4.5, click here.)

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