Desktop Resetter 2.7.1, by No U-turn Software
Posted: 7-January-2002

4 out of 5 Mice

Vendor: No U-turn Type: SHAREWARE

Reviewer: Tom Leahey Class: UTILITY
     
$10   Download

Whatzit?
Desktop Resetter 2 does one basic thing and it does it quite well. It provides the ability to store and reset window and icon locations (settings) on your Mac desktop. Now why would someone find that useful? Well I often switch resolution settings on my monitor, and I have lots of games that do so as well, and very often after the resolution changes the placement of my icons and windows on my desktop are left in a mess. Whenever that now occurs, I just launch Desktop Resetter 2, and it restores all my icons and windows to where I want them, without having to do that chore manually.

I first found this application when I first started using Apple's then-new Pop-up windows (those all-hidden except-the-tab windows that you can store at the bottom of your screen, created by dragging the titlebar of any Finder window there). After resolution changes, I'd be annoyed to often find them returned to full open regular windows splashed all over my monitor - and I'd have to manually restore then, which got tedious quickly. At the time (and possibly still) it was the only icon and window management utility that could handle Pop-up windows. It also now supports remembering and resetting of the position of the Application Switcher and any Finder View Options. I've also found it handy in keeping the positions of my Disk icons on my desktop in the same location, regardless how much space is used on each disk (the Finder will arrange disk partitions in top-to-bottom order by disk space utilization).

Installation
The install of Desktop Resetter 2 is as simple as uncompressing the StuffIt archive and dragging the resultant folder and it's contents to whereever you'd like it to reside on one of your available disks. On initial activation, you'll have the option of tweaking it's many prefs just the way you want them, and having it remember your current desktop setup, so you can later reset it back to this layout later.

Desktop Resetter 2 uses a shareware payment reminder system that activates after 10 "runs". Registering the product removes the payment reminders. Ten runs allows for a thorough evaluation - as no functions are disabled.

Documentation
Minimal but fully adequate, as everything is very straightforward. It consists of a SimpleText Readme file & Apple Help Viewer html-based online help. Kagi-based offline and online registration applications are included. Links for the developer's email and homepage are provided in the ReadMe file, under Help, and in the application's About dialog.

Operation
Desktop Resetter 2 (DR2) stores and resets the positions on the desktop of 3 Finder items: Icons, Windows, and the Application Switcher. For Finder Windows, in addition to position, it also stores/resets their size and status.

The program has a simple interface, a single window with 2 tabbed panels and an icon for online help. The main tab is labeled "Basic Mode", and within it are four buttons: Reset, Remember, Settings, and Quit. Switching to the tab labeled "Advanced Mode" provides access to store and retrieve multiple sets of desktops by name. (Each named desktop set can store multiple resolutions, with 1 layout remembered per resolution.)

Clicking the "Remember" button makes DR2 store a setting for the currest resolution's desktop setup. So you can have one icon/window placement stored for an expansive 1600x1200 resolution and a very different one for a cramped 640x480, and one for every other resolution your monitor supports.

Clicking the "Settings..." button brings up another windoid, this one containing 3 tabs. On the first, labeled "General", are preferences for enabling/disabling Icon, Window and Application Switcher 'objects', for setting Warnings before Remembering, and for placing an icon of DR2 in your Startup Items folder so it runs whenever your Mac starts up. On the second tab, labeled "Automate", you can define custome key sequences to "auto" remember or reset desktops. On the third tab, labeled "Extras", you can switch between 2 settings storage methods, and enable/disable Resetting of Finder View Options.

The application also provides a Menubar that fully replicates all the window-interface controls and options: File (Close; Quit), Edit, Tabs (Basic Mode; Advanced Mode), Actions (Remember Desktop; Reset Desktop; Reset Desktop and Windows), and Help.

Overall Comments
I like Desktop Resetter primarily because it provides a basic timesaving benefit, eliminating tedious work resetting the positions of icons and windows on my desktop. It quickly restores the layout/arrangements I like and use whenever they happen to get screwed up by monitor resolution changes. It lets me play and work on my Mac just a bit more, eliminating one less mundane bit of maintenance. (I used to hesitate to play some games in dread of having to reset my desktop arrangement yet again once done.) It's simple and quick, non-intrusive, and fully tailorable to exactly how I want it to function. If you're not a heavy Pop-up Window user (I have 8) or don't have lots of icons on your desktop (I have a bunch), then maybe you don't have the itch this little application scratches - but if you do, and you change resolutions a lot, relief is only $10 away.

Pros

  • Compact, simple and fast
  • Supports multi-monitor set-ups
  • Settings for each resolution
  • Implements Appearance Manager desktop themes
  • Not an extension or control panel


Cons

  • Sometimes relative left/right positions of Pop-up Windows shift

Overall Rating

4 out of 5 Mice