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Going on Safari

Browser war ammunition.

Although some bugs still need to be worked out, Apple’s new beta version browser, Safari, has been noted for its speed and ultra-sleek design, delighting the Mac faithful once again with a combination of chic and utility. It’s obvious that the Apple programmers toiled mightily for such a treat, but that doesn’t mean software developers haven’t found ways to enter the jungle as well.

The Safari Icon Manager 0.6 can leaf through the browser’s icon cache and empty it, if needed. New in this version (and bravo to the speedy freeware developer for even making more than one version at this point) is the option of deleting individual icons without erasing the entire cache. Also included is a text area under the table view that shows what Web sites are associated with a particular icon. The developer’s site features the program for free download, and includes a FAQ with some general Safari cache troubleshooting advice.

NetShred X from Mireth Technology tears up Web browser cache, browser history files, Apple junk mail, download cache, and e-mail trash. It supports most Mac-compatible Web browsers and e-mail applications and has just been updated to version 3.1 to add support for Safari. The software can be run automatically upon browser quit, and it’s compliant with Department of Defense electronic document shredding standards-and who wouldn’t want to turn data to mulch like the DoD must have to do? Available at the company site, the program is $19.95, with a free upgrade for existing users.

Although Safari’s navigation buttons have been designed so carefully, why shouldn’t you be able to change them at whim? Why, indeed, says Waterfall Software, maker of SafariMasks 1.0. The program enables you to edit the default nav buttons and choose a new theme. Whether you’d like the house for the homepage to look a bit more jaunty, or simply want to change the forward and back buttons, the program lets your fondest Safari wishes come true. A single license is $10, a site license is $49, and both are available at the company’s Web site.

For maximum Safari fun, freeware developer Gordon Byrnes has put out Safari Enhancer, which enables several hidden features of the browser to be seen. Among the things enabled are a debugging menu with keyboard and mouse shortcuts, browser identification tags, and security configurations. The program, available at Byrnes’ site, lets you specify a minimum font size, and turn off underlines on links. It also allows for better handling of direct bookmark imports from other browsers like Netscape and Internet Explorer.

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