Peek-a-Boo, I See Your CPU -- Clarkwood Software's Peek-a-Boo, one of my favorite utilities under Mac OS 9 and before, has now been rewritten for Mac OS X. Peek-a-Boo is a process watcher; it displays the applications and Unix processes running on your computer, along with lots of data about them. Unix geeks and Mac OS X mavens may be tempted to dismiss Peek-a-Boo as merely a graphical front end to tools like "top" and "ps," or a partial duplicate of Apple's own utility Activity Monitor. But graphical front ends are good, and Peek-a-Boo does make it easy to do tricky things such as constructing a running graph of an application's CPU usage over time, or changing an application's priority ("renice"). It would be great if Peek-a-Boo could do even more - for example, it might show an application's open files ("lsof") or disk activity ("fs_usage"), graph memory usage over time, and so forth - and it's a pity that Peek-a-Boo is itself something of a CPU hog. But users may still find it a useful addition to their bag of Mac OS X tricks. Peek-a-Boo is $20 ($10 for previous owners), and a fully functional demo is available as a 565K download. [MAN]
Springy Dock Tricks
If you drag a file and hover over Dock icons, various useful things happen which are similar to Finder springing. If it's a window, the window un-minimizes from the Dock. If it's a stack, the corresponding folder in the Finder opens. If it's the Finder, it brings the Finder to the foreground and opens a window if one doesn't exist already. But the coolest (and most hidden) springing trick is if you hover over an application and press the Space bar, the application comes to the foreground. This is great for things like grabbing a file from somewhere to drop into a Mail composition window that's otherwise hidden. Grab the file you want, hover over the Mail icon, press the Space bar, and Mail comes to the front for you to drop the file into the compose window. Be sure that Spring-Loaded Folders and Windows is enabled in the Finder Preferences window.
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