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Monday's Mac Gadget
by John F. Braun

Curious About OS X Log Contents? Look To LogPile!
April 22nd, 2002

LogPile 1.0b3
Anarakis Software

Sure, Mac OS 9 is mature and stable, but every now and then, it does crash. When it does, you may get little more than an obscure error code, if that, to help you understand why it crashed. But thanks to the UNIX underpinnings of OS X, crashes and other system events are stored in log files. If only you could view these log files with a handy utility...

LogPile provides a way to view both OS and User log files that are generated under OS X. First, there an OS logs section, where you'll be able to view netinfo.log, which tells you about recent networking errors and events, and system.log, which has information about other important system events and errors. Of course, you could use the terminal window to view these logs, or view them in real time using the Console, but LogPile lets you access all of them from one program.

Some Recent Entries in the netinfo.log File
(Click for a larger version)

The other type of log you can view are the User logs, otherwise known as application crash logs. If a user runs an application that crashes, information which can help determine the cause of the crash is stored in a special log file. After viewing this log, you may be able to figure out the cause yourself, otherwise, you can forward it to the developer, so that they can figure out what the problem is.

Other features which make dealing with these log files as easy as possible include a filtering feature to only show select log entries, the ability to select a custom display font, a method to print your log files, and a delete feature to clear out old or unused log files.

So make sure you can deal with your log files as effectively as possible, and give LogPile a spin.

Have any other Mac OS X gadgets that let you know what's really going on? Send an e-mail to John, and he'll get to the bottom of it.

Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you with those cool things that we all just have to have on our Macs. Shareware, Freeware, Postcardware, Emailware, and even commercial apps, Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you find and use the best of these programs.

John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at

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