Parallel Desktops

iStat is a great way to know what’s up

Two friends recommended that I take a look at a utility called iStat Menus from iSlayer. It’s a nice little widget that allows you to see that status of your machine.

While it can monitor a lot of different functions, the two that I cared most about were Memory and CPU Usage, so that’s what’s plugging away up in my menu bar. This actually helped me solve a little problem I was having.

Normally my MacBook is whisper quiet. All of a sudden one day my fan started really working overtime. I wasn’t sure what that was all about until I noticed that my iStat menu indicated that my dual core CPU was running at a sustained 50% utilization. That’s not good – I wasn’t really running anything important at the time. I slowly closed each of my applications, watching iStat to see if the CPU usage dropped and, sure enough, it was iChat.

Not exactly sure why iChat was causing the memory usage but at least I knew what was up. I’m sure a Mac expert will tell you that there are system level ways in which to identify where memory is being sucked up without having to get a utility like iStat but this is a really nice little utility and all they ask for in return is a donation of your choosing.

By David Alison

I bought my first Mac almost 24 years ago when DOS ruled the world. I didn't keep it too long though. I was just kicking off my career as a software engineer and needed to go with PCs. I bought my 2nd Mac in February of 2008. I didn't expect that I would find myself using the machine as much as I have. It's not that I hate Windows (well, I pretty much hate Vista but XP is a fine OS), it's just that I find myself constantly playing with this machine.

I'll share with you here my experiences of making the move from Windows to Macintosh. I still have a foot in both worlds, hence the name of my section.