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MenuWeather

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Making progress, but not yet ready for Prime Time"

    May 26, 2010  |   By Kudrabar

    Summary

    This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.

    I'm a longtime fan of the free Meteorologist app (which also is free), and although I've been faithful to it for years, I've been looking for a replacement for the day it finally becomes defunct (although now that it's an open source project handled by SourceForge it seems to have a new lease on life). So to some degree, I always compare the many new freeware and shareware weather apps to the standard set by Meteorologist, as I do here.

    MenuWeather is a very nice, young utility that's making good progress, but it still lacks some important features that people have come to expect. Worse, this latest version has some serious stability problems. For instance, after installing MenuWeather 2.1.1 and a few other apps on both of my Macs (detailed below*), I ran my maintenance routines because I hadn't done so in a few months and because testing MenuWeather on a freshly optimized system would give it a better chance to impress me (unless even on such a stable system it crashed or froze anyway). My regime is to use Disk Utility's 'Fix Permissions' and 'Repair' routines, rebuild/replace the volume's directory using both DiskWarrior 4.2 and TechTool Pro 5.0.7, use one of several utilities to check and fix system and user preferences, and (just twice a year) defragment both individual files (with TechTool Pro) and the whole hard drive (with iDefrag 1.7.3). After all that my OS 10.6.3 systems are rock-solid. However, MenuWeather 2.1.1 still couldn't be coaxed into stability â?? it crashed the first time I started it and froze several times after that despite uninstalling and reinstalling twice.

    When I finally got it to work long enough to futz around with the Preferences I discovered a number of features were missing that I require as a result of being spoiled by Meteorologist: No text font or color preferences; no capacity to select which weather parameters to display (forecast listings only show hi temp, low temp, and a 1 or 2-word weather description, like "Partly Cloudy"); no choice of how many days to show in the forecast (you're stuck with 5 days, despite that we can only reliably forecast 4 days out at best); no radar image; it can only show 1 location at a time; no choice of data sources, which can vary widely; no option to list select data in submenus; and no listing of Dew Point, "Feels Like" temp, last update time, and a whole slew of other weather parameters that other such apps include. Oh, and its ability to automatically detect my location simply would not work for me, despite that other auto-locating apps on my Macs have no problem with it.

    Bottom line: It's nice, the insides is quite spaceous So, my recommendation is to skip this app and instead download Meterorologist â?? the BEST FREE * 2.4 GHz Core2Duo Unibody Aluminum 13" MacBook with 4 GB of RAM & * 2.16 GHz Core2Duo 20" iMac with 2 GB of RAM

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