INITPicker 2.02: Gets the Job Done
Author: Aaron Shelley, Mouse Droppings
Date: December, 1992
Keywords: software utility review INIT program DA
Text: If your System Folder is populated by various start-up files (commonly known as INITs), you may have encountered a wide range of difficulties generally described as ''INIT compatibility problems.'' INITPicker 2.02 is a utility designed to eliminate the problems associated with having a number of start-up files in the system folder. First, let's look at some of the reasons you may want to utilize such a program. INITPicker has a handy control panel device (cdev) interface that allows customizing for ideal INIT organization. INITPicker shows you what INITS you are using. They will all appear columnized in such a manner that allows even the messiest System Folder to shape up. Besides seeing which files are automatically run at startup, INITPicker allows you to choose which files will be run simply by placing a checkmark next to its name. This is a necessity for those who are switching from System 6.0x to 7.0x. Many of your faithful and trusting INITs may suddenly become your worst nightmare. With this handy feature, you can turn your INITs on one at a time to check for compatibility. Or you can just trust Apple's latest compatibility update*maybe! You can also change the order in which all of your favorite INITs are loaded which is important to avoid some conflicts with other items in the System Folder. Some INITs, such as MODE32, should be loaded first upon start-up in order to best avoid conflicts. Customizing is as simple as dragging one INIT from its current position in the list to the ordered position you wish it to load in. Creating multiple sets of INITs is also quite convenient. You might like running all of your INITs at start-up, but if you have a lot of them you may be needlessly wasting memory and possibly setting yourself up for a crash! I recommend creating a minimal set including the INITs that you would die without and maybe a set for your job-specific tasks, say, ''PI'' for photo imaging or ''DTP'' for, you got it, desktop publishing. Also, for you INIT 'junkies', a set including every INIT ever created or at last all the ones Steve Black has. (John Rich told me the two lists were of equal length, give or take a couple!) I call my ''everything'' INIT list 'SB' for obvious reasons. This custom list can be alphabetized by simply clicking a little radio button. The set can be just as easily deleted. INITPicker allows you to clean up your system folder by placing all of your files that are ''Start-up Documents'' or ''INITs'' into a new folder named ''INITs.'' Of course many files must be loose in the System Folder in order to work properly and this will not allow you to subfolder them. Probably the best thing about INITPicker is a feature called BombGuard. If your system crashes at start-up, BombGuard will determine if it is an INIT conflict that causes the crash; furthermore, BombGuard will isolate the offender and prevent it from loading at start-up. Of course you will be notified as to which nasty little INIT caused the problem. Case in point; I am currently running System 7.01 on a Quadra 700. INITPicker singled out Rival version 1.1.6 to be the bad guy with a RAM Disk conflict that was annoying me. If your system crashes, BombGuard will restart your Mac, disabling the offender. A simple preference feature allows you to tell INITPicker not to load any new INITs at start-up. If your computer is shared, this feature prevents INITs of unknown origin from possibly plaguing your machine. INITPicker allows you to choose your own 'start-up dialog key' and 'Skip All key' which is particularly useful if you are experiencing ferocious crashes that won't allow you time to determine what the conflict is. INITPicker also keeps an up to date start-up log that can be opened by your favorite word processor and printed to hard copy. You can also Get Info on individual items by simply double clicking on them in the Control Panel device. Well, enough about the good, how about the bad and the ugly? INITPicker version 2.01 should be used with systems running System 6.0x because Microseeds says that version 2.02 scans noticeably slower. For those using System 7.0x, INITPicker loads by itself into the control panel when dropped into the System Folder just as the manual says it will. However, if you want your version of this program to work, you must drag it to the Extension Folder instead. Also the neat little feature I mentioned about cleaning up your System Folder by creating your own ''INIT'' folder to place your start-up documents in is disabled in System 7.0x. The INITPicker log is, apparently, not 32-Bit clean or at least it won't work when in 32-Bit mode in System 7.0x. Also, if you have a lot of INITs, INITPicker takes quite a while (even on my Quadra) to start up. You can turn off the ''scan and run new INITs at start-up'' but then any new INITs you add will not run upon start-up. In a nut shell, I enjoyed INITPicker and would recommend it as [a] low priced INIT control device. Once installed, it is virtually transparent unless of course a problem develops. The manual is straight forward and written in a very simple, explanatory language. It also provides some very useful ''what if*'' trouble shooting tips. However, money might be better spent if used on the product by NOW Utilities which includes INIT Manager as one of its features. This product is System 7.0x savvy and has received great reviews by its users. INITPicker, Version 2.02 from Microseeds Publishing, INC., 5801 Benjamin Center Drive, Suite 103, Tampa, Florida 33634. (813) 882-8635.
Copyright © december, 1992 by Aaron Shelley, Mouse Droppings