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Extensions Conflicts
System 7.5 vs System 7.6 (and newer)

Dealing with Extensions conflicts with System version 7.6 (and newer) is a bit different due to changes that have been made in the Extensions Manager. The new Extensions Manager is rather cool looking (if a bit evocative of Windows95), and it has a bunch of new features.

Extensions Manager - System 7.6

A lot of the new features simply help in the organization of the ever increasing number of Extensions, but there is also a significant difference in the way the Extensions Manager saves sets of Extensions — and that affects the procedure you use to test for Extensions conflicts. In System 7.5, when you made any change in an existing set of Extensions, the Extensions Manager automatically created a new set called "Custom" and then gave you the opportunity to re-name and save this new set.

Save new set - System 7.6Custom set - System 7.5

In the new System 7.6 Extensions Manager, if a change is made to your existing set of Extensions — you turn extensions on or off — the name of the set is not automatically changed with these new settings. You are directly altering the Extensions set you are working on and the Extensions Manager doesn't save your previous settings.

While many changes to the Extensions Manager were good ideas, we see this as a change for the worse — its a poor way for the Extensions Manager to work for two reasons. First, if you have a perfectly good Extensions set, but just want to test some new settings...so you open up the Extensions Manager and switch a few items on or off, then you have no quick way to get back to your previous functional set. You must depend on your memory to re-set all those extensions. Second, if you are having an Extensions problem, you will have to turn some Extesions on and off, but you could easily forget what changes have been made without a reference of how the Extensions were set up before you started messing around.

Duplicate Set - System 7.6

To avoid these problems, whenever you open the Extensions Manager to make any changes, immediately duplicate and re-name the existing set of Extensions (before you turn anything on or off!). Just hit the "Duplicate Set..." button on the lower right of the Extensions Manager window, give the set a name like "test", then hit "OK".

new column headings in System 7.6 Extensions Manager

Among the most useful new features of the Extensions Manager are the column headers (On/Off, Name, Size, Version, Package) which also act as buttons, to sort the Extensions. View by Package is particularly useful since it lets you identify the source of each extension — it is illuminating to see all the "bloat" Microsoft deposits in your System when you simply asked to install a program.

Restart option in Extensions Manager - System 7.6

And for those of us who have to solve Extensions conflicts often, that new Restart button right in the Extensions Manager window is a handy little shortcut.

Show Item Info - System 7.6

Another good feature is the "Show Item Information" option at the lower left of the Extensions Manager window. When this triangle is clicked the Extensions Manager window expands to show the usual information from the "Get Info" box [Command + I] plus an added field that is meant to explain what the Extension does. This feature is not utilized to its fullest yet, since all Extensions will have to be updated to include this additional information. It would be great to see this fully implemented to help decipher what all these Extensions are that programs automatically deposit on your system.

Show Item Info - System 7.6



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