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]
Smarter Parental Controls
If you've been using the parental controls options in Mac OS X to lock your child out of using a particular computer late at night, but would like to employ a more clever technique to limit Internet access, turn to MAC address filtering on an Apple base station.
To do this, launch AirPort Utility, select your base station, and click Manual Setup. In the Access Control view, choose Time Access to turn on MAC filtering. You'll need to enter the MAC address of the particular computer, which (in 10.5 Leopard and 10.6 Snow Leopard) you can find in the Network System Preferences pane: click AirPort in the adapter list, and click Advanced. The AirPort ID is the MAC address.