You Control & You Synchronize

Introduction

You Control (right) is aimed at people with the tampering gene. The program works in much the same way as OS 9’s Now Menus, letting users add menus to the standard OS X tool bar. You Control gives the option of adding up to 12 extra pull-down menus to the OS X interface. These include: Address Book, which gives instant access to the contents of Address Book, from which you can choose to email a contact; Calendar, from which you can instantly view iCal events; iTunes, which lets you control the music player from the menu; and News Reader, which gives access to a range of news feeds including the BBC and Apple. While there’s little doubt that this program does exactly what is says on the box, it’s questionable that UK users will have much need for a US Weather menu. Although there can be no faulting the functionality or customization options of You Control, I’m always reluctant to shell out for features that the Mac OS already offers with marginally more mouse or finger work. Given OS X’s notoriously inflexible tolerance of third-party utilities, I’m also disinclined to install all but the most essential. This, I believe, does not place me in the minority. You Synchronize (below) is the latest addition to the file-synchronization market. The program works by letting users synchronize a folder and its contents with another located elsewhere. This can be particularly useful if you use your computer for work. Simply select a Local Folder and its contents will backed up in a nominated Remote Folder. Change the contents of the Local Folder and the contents of the Remote Folder will change – and vice versa. This feature is invaluable if you use more than one machine. If you have two networked computers, for example, you can easily synch the entire contents of both of their home directories. This means that any change you make on one machine – be it new music added to iTunes, new images added to iPhoto or any other document file – will be reflected on the other machine. In this way you can ensure that the contents of both are identical. Installing You Synch is a matter of copying the program to your Applications folder. I did, however, encounter problems when I attempted to register my copy. Upon registration the program quit and subsequently refused to launch. It was only when I deleted You Synch’s preference file that the problem went away. Despite these teething troubles, You Synch performs well. Its compact interface is easy to understand and will have you up and running within minutes. Such simplicity belies its power: there are options for automatic synchronization of folders, as well as excluding valuable files from the synching process. You Synch is Unicode-savvy and also allows synchronization with Windows servers. If, like me, you can never quite trust automatic synching software, there’s an option to archive files that are deleted for later retrieval.
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