If you’ve ever needed information about a current or historical Apple product, then MacTracker is a must-have utility. This amazing piece of donationware covers pretty much everything that’s ever come out of Cupertino, starting with the Macintosh XL and Lisa in 1983. Each entry has an extensive collection of information, including launch and discontinue dates, processor type and speed, memory, graphics, hard drives, and much more. Dan Frakes covered it in last summer’s Best of Mac Gems feature if you’d like to read more about it. Today’s hint (beyond “check out MacTracker, it’s really amazing.”) is a very simple but potentially useful usage tip within the program itself.
One of things you can see in MacTracker is the selected machine’s dimensions, including weight, height, width, and depth. In MacTracker’s preferences (on the General tab), you can tell the program whether to display this data in U.S. standard or metric units. Regardless of which setting you select here, though, you can actually see either set of values with a simple click within MacTracker. On the General tab of the information page for the machine you’re looking at, simply click on the displayed values next to the Dimensions label. If you’re viewing in U.S. standard units, the display will toggle to metric, and vice versa. Simple and useful if, like me, you have iChat buddies in other countries and you’d rather spare them the pain of converting from the U.S. standards to metric. Note that if you use File -> Export, both U.S. standard and metric dimensions are included in the export.
MacTracker really is a pretty amazing program; if you’ve ever needed some bit of information about a given Apple product, chances are you’ll be able to find it in MacTracker.