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One of the most useful utilities I use is a free utility called iStat Menus. It does a number of things – but the most important to me is to show me what my network activity is. If I hook onto a WIFI spot – and I only see data going up (and nothing coming back) I know the connection is dead or blocked. It also helps when you’re on deadline and don’t know if you connection is dead, or just really slow…
The second big benefit – is that it shows you your hard drive activity and CPU activity as well – which is incredibly useful. Sometime your Mac appears to “lock up” when it’s doing something intensive – you really have no way of knowing if it’s dead, or working on something in the background. This utility solves that mystery right away: it shows you that the hard drive is reading/writing something, and that the CPU is working hard. When neither the hard drive, CPU, or Network is doing anything… well – “It’s Dead Jim” – time to force quit or restart. Again a “must have” utility on any computer in my book. This utility lives on the menu bar on the top of your screen – and is visible at all times – no matter what app. you’re using.
The readings above tell you that you have 2.3 MB/s of data streaming down to your machine, and 45.8 KB/s going up simultaneously, the Hard Drive is both reading and writing, and your CPU is churning away. (It’s also listing the day of the month, time, and temperature of my little laptop… and can do even more….) Not bad for a free utility.
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