OS X comes loaded with tons of cool applications. While you might be having a blast playing with Photobooth I’m playing the geeky part and checking out my systems information in Activity Monitor!

Activity Monitor is a lot like Task manager for you Windows users out there. It comes installed with all Macintosh computers and lives in your Utilities folder.

Activity monitor has 5 different panes with different types of information on each one. Before I get to the panes, 3/4th of the Activity Monitor window shows all the processes or programs running on your system. There’s a little drop down menu in the right corner that lets you show/hide processes that aren’t your or you can show all the processes running on the system. If you’re having trouble with a program that is locking up it will usually be shown in red. You can select that process/application from the list and then click on the Quit Process button. This will kill the application. It’s very nice when something freezes up!

Now, onto the panes. The first pane is called CPU and it simply shows you information about your CPU(s). I tend to look at the nice graphs on the left side. If your CPU is at 100% and you’re not really doing much, then it’s possible you have a program that is crashing or locking up.

The second pane is System Memory and find myself looking at this one a lot. I am always interested in seeing how much RAM I am using when I have different applications open. It’s good to see which programs are RAM-hogs and which ones aren’t.

The next 2 panes are Disk Activity and Disk Usage. I don’t really use either of these that much, but it’s nice to see them there. Disk Activity display how much data your been reading and writing and Disk Usage show how much of your hard drive you’re using, how much is free and the total size of your hard drive. If you have more then 1 hard drive you can even see the information about them too.

The last pane, Networking is something I use often too. It tells you how much data you’ve sent and received, along with some packet information.

Activity Monitor is a great tools when you’re having issues with applications that have frozen, or when you need to get information about how much RAM your computer is using or when you need to find out which program is using up all of your CPU power!

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