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MicroMat’s TechTool was probably the first repair utility I bought for my Mac Classic back in 1993 or 1994. It could fix disk problems that no other software could, and it saved my neck more than once. This was back when we were still backing up files to 800 k floppies. As time passed and hardware and software became more complicated, MicroMat was still there, keeping things running. At one time, the repair disk that was bundled with all new Macs was a proprietary version of TechTool Pro. High praise.

Recently, MicroMat released a new utility called Checkmate. Instead of waiting to use TechTool Pro when a problem arises, Checkmate runs diagnostic routines when your computer is idle in order to warn you of impending problems. Once it’s installed and registered, ignore it. Let it do it’s thing and just keep your eye on the chess piece in the menu bar. If the color is black, everything is a-ok. If it spots a potential problem, it will turn yellow. If it turns red, you have a problem that needs immediate attention. Oh, and if you see it pulsing, that just means it’s scanning something. Checkmate doesn’t limit itself to just your main drive, but will check all attached drives.

One caveat at the moment — apparently Checkmate has a conflict with Camtasia and will cause it to stop running. If you need to run Camtasia, the current fix is to open either TechTool Pro or Disk Utility and leave it open in the background. Checkmate will not run if either of those two are open.

Retail price for Checkmate will be $49.99, but the current, introductory price is $29.99. Have a license for TechTool Pro? Supply the license number and you can get it, like I did, for $19.99.

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  • Mark

    Is there an uninstall option in the Checkmate installer?

    • Phyllis Evans

      Yes. The installer has a Customize button which allows you to uninstall it completely.

      • Juergen Recke

        The installer of my Checkmate version (1.0.3 (2220) doesn’t show “a Customize button which allows you to uninstall it”. And the checkmate menu also shows no uninstalling option. So what are you talking about?

        • Phyllis Evans

          Launch the installer. When you get to Installation Type, you’ll see the customize button at the bottom, then you can select “Uninstall.”

  • Pete

    Thanks for the review. How good is Checkmate at determining that your Mac is no longer “idle?” Even Time Machine sometimes bogs down my MacBook Pro. I really don’t need something else that confuses running in the “background” and taking over my CPU.

    • Phyllis Evans

      Checkmate is pretty good about not bogging things down. The occasions when it mught cause problems, it will give you a warning and let you postpone the action.