The Activity Monitor utility (located, of course, in your Utilities folder) is a pretty good basic utility to find out what processes are running on your Mac. This can be useful if your Mac seems sluggish, and you want to determine if it’s a runaway or busy process, or perhaps network or disk activity. However, the display is pretty basic, and a utility with access to this information could do so much more. Enter atMonitor.
The first thing you’ll notice when you launch atMonitor is that it displays two windows, the Top Window, similar to the traditional Activity Monitor that shows process information, and a Floating Window, with information similar to some of the statistics shows in the lower portion of Activity monitor, such as CPU, disk and network utilization.
atMonitor Top Window
The Top Window is similar to the original, but has many differences that make it much more useful. If you click on a process, a description of what the process does is presented; not that big a deal for applications, but certainly useful for those background processes that you’ve always been wondering about. Also shown is the version of the app, and an indicator showing if you have the most recent version. The top of the window sports some additional options, such as being able to set the “nice” level of a process (the relative priority relative to others) the ability to send one of several UNIX signals to a process, a Pause option for processes that support it, and a Kill option for those tasks that just won’t die.
atMonitor Floating Window
The Floating Window not only shows information available in the traditional Activity Monitor, such as CPU, disk and network activity, but also displays information which is typically hard to obtain, that being your graphics chip (GPU) utilization, the amount of graphics memory (VRAM) being used, and the effective frame rate of what’s happening on your screen. Finally, atMonitor provides access to a wealth of system information via System Info in its Utilities menu, including Extensions, I/O Kit Registry, Kernel State, Log, Net Connections, Net Interfaces, Profiler, Smc Sensors, Startup Daemons and Startup Services.
So get the most information out of your Mac, and check out atMonitor today! Have any other Gadgets that tell you what you’re Mac is doing? Send an email to John, and he’ll check it out.