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Monday's Mac Gadget
by John F. Braun

Peek-a-Boo, System Info At A Glance

Peek-a-Boo 1.3 (Shareware, $10)
Bob Clark

Ever wonder about all of the programs that are running on your Mac? No, not just the ones that you can see via the new, improved Application Menu, which can now show you all running applications at a glance. There are also applications that run in the background and are normally not accessible to the user.

Peek-a-Boo will display information about what is going on inside your machine in a number of useful ways. The first is a list of all running applications, both foreground and background. Foreground applications have a radio button next to their icon, background applications don't. For each application, you can display any of 14 pieces of information available from the Process Manager. They range from mundane things like the application name, to more interesting goodies like percent CPU utilization. Great for finding out exactly who is hogging the processor when things slow down.

A horizontal bar across the top of the main window shows your memory map. Smaller, colored bars represent portions of memory that are being used. If you click on a bar, the application that uses this memory will be highlighted. Likewise, highlighting an application will cause the related memory bar to darken.

There are two features that can show live process data. The first is a moving graph of CPU utilization for a specific application. Putting up more than one of these windows can show how applications use processor time, and interact with one another. The second feature is live log that can display, for a specific application, memory and tick (about 60 ticks in a second) usage. You can also kill any application, or bring it to the front.

Peek-a-Boo provides a comprehensive set of monitoring tools that can fulfill the needs of both a novice user and a professional developer.

Useful Links

Peek-a-Boo Product Information

Process Manager Developer Info from Apple

Main Peek-a-Boo Window Showing Memory Bar and Processes

Track Real-Time CPU Utilization

Log Application Memory and System Tick Events

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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