One of the most popular shareware utilities of all time has been Hiro Yamamoto's Boomerang. Initially free, Boomerang provides several important functions in the standard Open and Save dialog boxes. First, Boomerang keeps track of up to the last thirty files and folders you have visited and allows you to open one of those files or go to one of those folders with a single menu selection from the Boomerang pop-up menu. Boomerang also provides a "Rebound" feature that remembers the last file you used in each folder and automatically highlights it in the scrolling file list. That way you don't have to scroll down to the bottom of a folder with lots of files in it each time you want to open something that starts with the letter "x." There are a host of other useful features, such as a Find File feature that is faster than Apple's and the ability to create a new folder while still in the Open or Save dialog box.
In any event, when Boomerang stabilized at version 2.0, it became shareware with the promise that only registered users would receive later versions. In addition, Now Software recently made a deal with Hiro Yamamoto to bundle it with version 2.0 of their Now Utilities package. Version 2.1 of Boomerang adds a hierarchical menu to the Open menu item. This hierarchical menu lists the recently visited files without the user having to see the Open dialog box, among other things. Even more impressive, though, will be version 3.0, dubbed Super Boomerang. Super Boomerang will do everything that previous versions could do as well as sort files in the Open and Save dialog boxes by date, size, etc. Super Boomerang will copy, rename, and delete files directly from the dialog box. Previously, these features were available only in Directory Assistance, an INIT that comes with Norton Utilities. Unfortunately, Directory Assistance and Boomerang 2.0 don't coexist particularly well, so upgrading to Boomerang 2.1 is probably the best way to go. The Find feature will be enhanced in Super Boomerang as well, making it one of the fastest Find File utilities available (reportedly able to search a 600 meg CD-ROM disk in 15 seconds!). Registered users of Boomerang will automatically receive Super Boomerang when it comes out and will also receive a discount on the Now Utilities.
Whether you opt for the full Now Utilities package or choose to stick with the shareware route, we highly recommend Boomerang to anyone who works with the Mac - it reduces the time you spend in foolish file searching and disk navigating. It is heartening to see that a program can start out it's life as freeware (during its beta test mode, which was not plagued by many bugs), move to shareware, and then earn money for its author as a commercial offering. Now if anyone wanted to offer us lots of money just to keep providing TidBITS for free... :-).
Now Software -- 800/237-3611
Adam C. Engst -- TidBITS Editor
Greg Youngs -- GregYoungs on America Online
Gene -- GeneS3 on America Online
MacWEEK -- 11-Sep-90, Vol. 4, #30, pg. 31
InfoWorld -- 01-Oct-90, Vol. 12, #40, pg. 46