Many Macintosh users are loath to admit it, but Windows 95 and 98 include one navigation tool superior to anything found in the Mac OS – the Start menu and the accompanying task bar. Power On Software has evened the score by releasing Action GoMac 2.0, a navigation and launching utility that not only mimics but actually improves upon its Windows counterpart.
Action GoMac comprises four basic components – a Start menu for accessing recent items, bookmarks, Internet applications, commonly used applications such as those found in Microsoft Office, and the contents of drives attached to your Mac; a QuickLaunch area akin to Apple’s Launcher; a task bar that lets you switch easily among open applications with a single mouse-click; and the Clock Tray, which contains a clock and pop-up calendar. A single, unobtrusive grey bar at the bottom of your Mac’s screen contains these four components. From the GoMac control panel, you can choose to reveal this bar only when your cursor moves to the bottom of the screen, hide background applications, and configure GoMac’s application-switching key combination.
GoMac’s drag-&-drop support is extensive. For example, to add an item to the Start menu or QuickLaunch, you simply drag its icon to either area. Removing items from QuickLaunch is simple – just click and hold on an item and then select the Remove command from the pop-up menu. Removing an item from the Start menu takes a few more steps; you have to select Start Menu Items from the Settings hierarchical menu and drag the item’s alias out of the Start Menu Items window. We prefer Now Utilities’ method of removing items – you simply highlight the item and remove it by pressing the delete key.
The task bar’s pop-up menus are also helpful. For example, using these pop-up menus you can quit a background application without returning to it, produce the application’s Get Info window, see how much memory the program uses, and add the program to the QuickLaunch area. Clicking and holding on the Finder button allows you to bring any open window to the fore – very convenient when open windows are stacked atop each other.
It’s possible that some of these features sound familiar to you. After all, can’t you do many of the same things with the Apple menu and Launcher or an advanced macro utility such as WestCode Software’s OneClick? To a certain extent, yes. The difference is that Action GoMac is already configured and ready to go – no mucking about with folders, buttons, and scripts.
Action GoMac 2.0 is one of those utilities you could probably manage to live without, but its convenience is hard to resist. Try the 30-day demo on Power On Software’s Web site and see for yourself.