Mon, 23 Feb 2009 Mactracker review
Think you know your Mac? Think again. This free tool is invaluable for Mac technicians or curious users.
- Manufacturer: Mactracker
- Pros: Offline database of Apple devices, add your own machines, share screens with a single click
- Cons: Counter-intuitive in places
- Price: Free
- Star rating:
Want to know the full specifications of your machine? How much RAM you can put in it or which version of OS X is best? You can look online – notably Apple’s own tech spec database – but Mactracker brings you the same info in a convenient, easy-to-search desktop interface.
As inveterate spec spods, we were able to spend a happy evening browsing through the handy hierarchy of devices. The GUI splits into two panes; a categorised device list on the left with a big window full of juicy systems, software and devices on the right. Double-clicking on an item launches a dialog divided into tabbed sections. Each machine has a potted history attached, full technical specifications and even max specs for upgraders.
The list goes all the way back to the Macintosh 128k, running system one. It’s all-inclusive too, with sections on the iPod, iPhone and Apple software revisions. When you find your own device, you can add it to the My Machines section – filling in exclusive data such as serial number and owner’s name. Clicking the This Mac button gathers data about the machine you’re using. All the data’s offline – right there on your hard drive – so you don’t even need an internet connection. However, if you have a network you can share screens between machines using Mactracker’s one-click interface.
It’s a pity that the method for adding devices is so cumbersome. You have to search by keyword from a long list of devices or find another Add button tucked away in the notes screen for each device – an isolated interface issue in an otherwise slick product.