Review – Extension Overload 2.7

Extension Overload 2.7
Author: Teng Chou Ming
Shareware: $10.00

If you are one of the many users who are lost in the countless files littering your Extensions and Control Panels folder, take heart. Help has arrived in the form of a nifty document called Extension Overload 2.7!

Encyclopedia o’ Extensions
The author of Extension Overload claims that it contains information of 666 extensions (INITs) and 245 control panels. After using Extension Overload to look up some of the most obscure extensions I have (it even listed an extension called ‘Cham Hangul’, an extension I need for foreign language operations), I was convinced that this figure was easily accurate.

Extension Overload vs. InformINIT
Dan Frakes also publishes an excellent electronic document for extension and control panel information called “InformINIT” (shareware, $25). Regardless of which document has more extensions and control panels covered, Extension Overload tops InformINIT in many ways.

Organization is Key
First of all, Extension Overload provides the information to users in such a clear way that they don’t really need to read the directions at all (except to register, or course). Extension Overload also lists all extensions and control panels alphabetically, making finding the one you’re looking for simple. On the other hand, InformINIT uses many different colors and conventions which are useful but could easily confuse the reader who hasn’t read the long version of the directions, and makes browsing the database difficult by dividing everything into overly-specific categories (Apple Control Panels, Apple Extensions, Non-RAM INITs, Groups, Third-Party Extensions, Third-Party Control Panels, Enablers, and Microsoft files). Fortunately, both include a “Find” feature.

Extension Overload also provides the latest version of each extension and control panel where applicable, along with a URL (also when applicable). InformINIT does the same, but goes one step further by providing “hot links” to the website. Clicking on the “NN” or “IE” button (depending on which browser you use) will take you to the URL, but only if your browser is already running in the background. This quirk can make the feature essentially useless; users can always simply copy and paste the URL into their already running browser.

To top it off, Extension Overload has a smaller file size; it isn’t bloated with huge graphics like InformINIT. This means that downloading new updated versions becomes less painful. It’s also cheaper, but advanced users may not get all of the techie info (RAM usage for instance) for certain extensions and control panels that is contained in InformINIT.

The Summary
Extension Overload packs 666 extensions, 245 control panels and a few extras into an easy-to-use format—all for $10. For any true Mac user, this document is a must-have source for extension and control panel information.

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