Forgotten utilities: TattleTech

Personal Computer World magazine used to have (maybe it still has — I haven’t bought a copy in the last 10 years or so) a very nice Hands On section, with a lot of articles divided in various categories: 3D, 32 bit, Beginners, Computer Answers, DOS, Graphics & DTP, Multimedia, Networks, OS/2, Windows, etc., and of course a Macintosh category. I have several PDFs of this Hands On section from the 1995-1997 era, and I’m very glad I kept the old CDs where they were stored.

In the Macintosh Hands On articles of that time, there usually was a box with a short review of the Utility of The Month. And this is the review by Chris Cain taken from PCW’s December 1995 issue — the Utility of the Month is TattleTech, a very nifty application I always include in the set of utilities I copy throughout my vintage Macs.

Here is a little shareware number I pulled down from eWorld, called TattleTech. No sooner was it downloaded, it saved the day. TattleTech was originally known as “TattleTale”, a program I first encountered in my Mac IIsi days. Much improved since then, it is a semi-diagnostic program that investigates your machine’s configuration and reports the findings. TattleTech can tell you about general hardware, such as what kind of processor your machine has, what speed it is and how much RAM there is, and also about more complicated issues such as system patches, extension version numbers and open files. A complete list can then be printed for your records. TattleTech is ideal for keeping track of what’s in and on your system, seeing what parts are written in native PowerPC code, and for tracking down problems with extensions. It costs nothing to try out and could save you a lot of time if you have a software conflict. TattleTech currently resides in the ZiffNet Hot Downloads section in the eWorld Computer Center. It doesn’t support PCI at the moment. […]

Here are a couple of screenshots of the latest (and last) version of TattleTech (2.84) taken on my PowerBook 5300:

The main TattleTech window, which usually opens the General Hardware section.
The main TattleTech window, which usually opens the General Hardware section.
All the information TattleTech can provide about your Mac is divided in various sections, accessible from this drop-down menu.
All the information TattleTech can provide about your Mac is divided in various sections, accessible from this drop-down menu.

Of course, TattleTech 2.84, being released in 2002, does support PCI and also runs in the Classic Environment under Mac OS X (up to Tiger), although the author John Mancino in the Read Me file warns:

TattleTech will run under Classic in OS X. However, due to Apple’s implementation of the Name Registry under Classic, some of the more important information related to hardware is no longer available. To regain this functionality would require a major re-write of the code to run under Carbon and I have elected not to undertake this effort.

TattleTech used to be shareware. I had the 2.81 version and thought it was the most recent. While researching prior to writing this post, I discovered that 2.84 is the latest and last, and also that it has been turned into a freeware application. Surprisingly, despite many search results in Google, a valid download link is quite hard to find. Sites like VersionTracker, ZDNet, Cnet, and the like all point to the homepage of TattleTech’s author, John Mancino (the direct link is this), but currently that website appears down.

I managed to find a copy on a Taiwanese university FTP site (direct download link). I usually don’t abuse FTP sites — some have bandwidth problems and usually prevent massive simultaneous access to their resources. So I’ll also provide a link here. (Disclaimer: I’m doing this under a ‘fair use’ perspective: if the author of the software doesn’t want me to distribute TattleTech this way, he can contact me and I will remove the link(s) provided).

Download TattleTech 2.84

[2018 Update: The link still pointed to my old site. Moved to Dropbox].

3 thoughts on “Forgotten utilities: TattleTech

  1. The download link is a tad bit too long: it contains an unnecessary ‘’ at the beginning.
    Feel free to delete this comment when it is fixed.


  2. This proves how crappy WordPress’ Rich Text Editor is. The http:// prefix was mysteriously omitted in the a href code. Thanks for pointing that out!


  3. Excellent work!

    Have you heard of anything similar for OS X 10.5.8 and newer that can tell more exactly about the memory?

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