EtreCheck review: Get a full status report on your troubled Mac

Diagnosing a computer problem can be a daunting task even when you’re standing right in front of a Mac. When you’re doing it remotely—perhaps to help someone of less-than-stellar technical skill—gathering all the information required to figure out what’s not working can be a downright miserable experience for everyone involved.

EtreCheck attempts to alleviate this problem by automatically collecting a full set of statistics about the Mac on which it runs, from its hardware components, to installed apps and kernel extensions—going as far as quickly sampling your system to determine which programs are taking up the most RAM and CPU time.

EtreCheck

EtreCheck

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Network Radar review: Mac app checks your network health

Apple’s own Network Utility is pretty handy for basic network troubleshooting, but if you need to go above and beyond what it offers, Daniel Diener’s $20 Network Radar (Mac App Store link) is a powerful step up.

Network Radar

Network Radar

Like Apple’s own app, Network Radar offers many common network tools, including ping, port scan, and whois. But it doesn’t stop there: The app can quickly scan your entire network and display a list of devices on it, along with their IP addresses, what services they offer, and more. If you need quick access via services like Telnet, SSH, or HTTP, you can access those for any device by right-clicking on its entry.

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Contexts review: Make your OS X windows more manageable

contexts spotlight

Contexts 1.4 supplements—and can even replace—OS X’s window management tools, and it does so in a way that is legitimately useful, especially if you rely on keyboard shortcuts to navigate your Mac.

On first glance, Contexts has a nearly nonexistent interface: The only sign that it’s running is a narrow window-picker sidebar that runs along the edge of your screen. But its real power lies in its keyboard shortcuts.

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