Ron Bell
Downloads: 57
Posts: 16
Smile Score: +15
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Ron Bell reviewed on 18 Apr 2012
This software offers a free 30-day trial so I tried it out on my MacBook Pro 2.4g Intel Core 2 Duo with Lion.

The good:

Comprehensive suite of antivirus, antiphishing, and antispyware services plus an easy-to-use firewall. Frequent virus definition updates enable rapid response to new threats. Options to search for Mac viruses, Windows viruses, and/or 'nix viruses. Options to declare certain files or domains as "safe." Monitors inbound and outbound network traffic. Simple to use with clear (if not robust) downloadable documentation. Graphics panels show network usage, virus engine activity, and other key data. Comprehensive activity logging with optional export to Console.

The bad:

During my trial, the virus engine process periodically exited in the background unexpectedly, requiring system restarts to re-enable Virus Barrier. Depending upon the Virus Barrier options that I had selected (e.g., scan memory and live file activity), Virus Barrier processing could slow my system noticeably. One option that I apparently had enabled (I never determined which one) caused pages to fail to load in Chrome (these pages always reloaded just fine).

If you are looking for antivirus software, it is worth participating in a free trial to see if Virus Barrier meets you needs. I ultimately determined that Virus Barrier was a bit more heavy weight and resource intensive than I need at the moment. The installer provided on the Intego site apparently removed the software swiftly and without incident.
[Version 10.6.15]


Ron Bell reviewed on 25 Feb 2012
Very nice for a beta but:

- uses a lot of CPU cycles and virtual memory. Hope that will be cleaned up by the final version.

- the search-while-you-type interface is nice in theory but cumbersome in practice. A single typo, or overly fast typing on my part, can result in my watching a spinning beach ball while the app searches the address book. Could you please allow us to optionally toggle the beginning of a search to search-when-user-hits-return?
[Version 1.0-beta9]


Ron Bell reviewed on 26 Aug 2011
Very good Google Reader app. Fairly stable, easy to use, and with a robust suite of social network sharing capabilities built in, which NetNewsWire lacks (NNW only supports a handful).

This app could benefit from a feature similar to NetNewsWire's smart folders to sort incoming articles into folders by keywords.

Ron Bell commented on 22 Feb 2010
There is an alpha 1password plug-in for Google Chrome. Doesn't yet support full functionality (just password log-in), but it works pretty well for an alpha. Used it to log in and type this, as a matter of fact!
[Version 3.0.9]

Ron Bell commented on 20 Oct 2009
SpamSieve is a terrific spam filter--i couldn't live without it! ... which is a problem, because version 2.7.7 generates the following message with Apple Mail:

"Mail has disabled the following plug-ins:


Contact the makers of these plug-ins for versions that are compatible with Mail 4.1 and Message 4.1."
[Version 2.7.7]

Ron Bell commented on 28 Sep 2009
Such an option would have to be a manual one, or at least defaulted off. To have it otherwise would be contrary to the function of the app itself!
[Version 2.2]

Ron Bell commented on 19 Dec 2008
Pear Note does what it claims it does and does that very well: You record video or audio presentations and take notes in a text field. Later, when you replay the rich media, a cursor highlights the relevant portion of your text notes. Alternatively, you can click anywhere in the text notes to immediately jump to the spot in the AV recording at which the notes were taken, enabling you to review the lecture for things you may have missed. Incredibly handy for taking notes on classes or for conducting interviews.

The text editor enables notes, lists, tables, and links. The text is spotlight searchable. (It would be superb if you could search for text in spotlight and immediately jump from that to the corresponding AV, or if Pear Note could use speech recognition to take notes for you, but those are not features at this point).

The program allows you to import audio and video and to add imports to existing Pear Note recordings.

The downsides?

* If you use this software often and fail to use its export functions to later decouple text from AV (text is separately exportable as RTF or text and video is exportable as QuickTime or AAC), you'll collect lengthy AV files on your hard drive, potentially taking up significant amounts of space. This is not a problem with the program--it's simply a function of the concept.

* If you record with your Mac's internal microphone rather than with an external microphone, your recording will inevitably pick up the sound of your typing, which somewhat limits the value of any AV export.

* The price is a bit steep for an app if you only use this occasionally so you'll want to try the program out thoroughly first to see if it makes a useful addition to your workflow.
[Version 1.1]

1 Reply


Ron Bell replied on 19 Dec 2008
Probably apparent, but I meant to differentiate between recording with the Mac's internal Mic from recording with an *external* mic.

Ron Bell reviewed on 19 May 2007
This software saved nearly four gigabytes of space on my PowerBook G4 and has performed flawlessly every time I have updated it. Slimmed applications work well, take up less space, and seem snappier and more responsive. Recommended.
[Version 1.2.4]

Ron Bell had trouble on 20 Oct 2009
To set the record straight, my problem with the plugin not loading in Apple Mail under SpamSieve 2.7.7. has been fixed. It appears to have been associated with my use of Xslimmer, not with any fault in the plug-in. I should note that the developer responded to my inquiry in less than 15 minutes. Great program, great support.
[Version 2.7.7]

Ron Bell had trouble on 24 Sep 2009
My configuration perhaps (Snow Leopard 10.6.1 on MB Pro Core 2 Duo), but version 2.3.4 loads with Hazel in stopped mode and clicking on the "start" button in the preference pane does not restart it. Anyone else having the same issue?
[Version 2.3.4]

1 Reply


Ron Bell replied on 24 Sep 2009
DavidWB - I also experienced the System Preferences crash that you described. I rebooted the Mac and Hazel 2.3.4 is at last up and running just fine so you might try that simple experiment to see if it works for you.
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