Your Mac is always running a set of processes. Some processes are programs that you use every day, such as Safari. Other processes are part of Mac OS X, many of which youire better off not knowing about. However, if your Mac is acting up and you need to do some troubleshooting, or are just curious, there are a few ways you can look behind the scenes and see what your Mac is doing. Sure, you can use some built-in tools, like "top" via the Terminal, or Activity Monitor, but their view of what is going on is somewhat boring. Enter Peek-a-Boo...
The most striking feature of Peek-a-Boo is the use of a graphic process view called a Process Throb. Each active process is represented by an icon, whose size is directly related to the amount of processor it is using. Plus, the velocity of each icon is based on the amount of virtual memory it uses. Using these visual cues, you can quickly identify those processes which may be taking more processor and/or memory than you realize. You can opt to connect related processes with lines, making processes dependencies clear.
Innovative Process Throb View
There is also a Process List view, similar to the aforementioned top and Activity Monitor displays. You can sort by cpu or memory, useful in identifying problem processes. One interesting item in this view is the "indicator" column. If the value for a processes is a "z," then the process has recently been idle. If it shows an "r," then it is a process using Appleis spiffy Rosetta technology to run a PowerPC program on Intel. Thereis also a VM Trashing indicator, which can help you determine when a slowdown is due to excessive use of virtual memory.
Process List View
If you click on a process icon in the Process Throb view, or a process in the Process List view, you can view even more information. The Process Info windows will show you the process, the relative CPU usage, memory usage, and if you like, Open Files associated with the process. You can also display a small Usage History window for the process, showing current and maximum CPU along a moving graph. You can also halt a process, as well as assign it a high, normal or low priority.
So get the big picture when it comes to your processes, and check out Peek-a-Boo today!
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