Editor’s note: The following review is part of Macworld’s GemFest 2011 series. Every day from mid June through July, the Macworld staff will use the Mac Gems blog to briefly cover a favorite free or low-cost program. Visit the Mac Gems homepage for a list of past Mac Gems.
It’s easy to see what’s on your hard drive—just open the drive’s icon and you can see the contents. However, Sad Cat Software’s Disk Falcon (Mac App Store link) uses colorful charts and animations to show how files take up space on your hard drive. Disk Falcon is pretty much a one-trick pony; it’s not really a disk utility application, and more like a limited graph generator that uses the contents of your hard drive.
When you first launch Disk Falcon, the first thing you notice is the interface. Sad Cat Software says that Disk Falcon is based on the game engine used for the company’s own Ultraviolet Dawn. It’s not a standard Mac UI, and if you’re a stickler for Mac UI, then you’ll hate Disk Falcon’s UI. It’s not a difficult UI to understand, but Disk Falcon doesn’t look like a Mac application—a big deal for some purists.
Disk Falcon doesn’t tell you exactly where a file resides on your hard drive. By using a pie, bar, or types chart, the software tells you how much space a file or file type is occupying in a particular directory—not the hard drive overall. For example, Disk Falcon tells me that my Applications folder accounts for 23 percent of the occupied space on my Home directory. Drill down further, and I can see that the Microsoft Word application takes up 6 percent of occupied space within the directory Word resides.
Disk Falcon’s Detail column shows the files in the directory, the file size, and a percentage showing how much space that file is occupying within that directory. Click on the right border of a file in the Details section, and that item is shown in the Finder, a helpful little feature.
Disk Falcon lets you delete files through its Bin feature. Click on the Bin button, drag files from the Details list to the Bin window, and then click on the Delete button to trash a file. It’s a convenient way to delete files, instead of having to go out into the Finder.
The Age chart gives an overview of files based on a relative age. Files are grouped by days, months, and years, and charted, but there are no references to specific files.
Disk Falcon is a fun utility, and it creates charts of your hard drive data that are nice to look at. But it’s not a true hard drive utility, since it lacks basic disk maintenance features. Though Disk Falcon doesn’t work in conjunction with other disk utilities, it can be a glitzy addition to your hard drive toolkit.
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