Keep an eye on your Mac

Eight great util­i­ties

Mac Format - - CONTENTS -

Out of the box, the vast ma­jor­ity of Macs are very re­li­able, but they’re only one piece of the tech­nol­ogy puzzle. As soon as you start in­stalling and run­ning soft­ware, or go­ing on­line – so once you start re­ally us­ing your Mac at all – the po­ten­tial for prob­lems in­creases.

For the most part, we tend to re­act to prob­lems af­ter they oc­cur. If your Mac runs out of disk space, you’ll quickly start trash­ing some files (af­ter, of course, en­sur­ing they’re backed up some­where); or when your key­board’s bat­ter­ies run dry, you’ll du­ti­fully in­sert some new ones (or loudly curse on re­al­is­ing you have no spares, be­fore mak­ing a quick trip to the shops). This kind of thing re­ally isn’t a great use of your time, nor a way to avoid stress – it’s much more ef­fi­cient to cir­cum­vent such is­sues by us­ing mon­i­tor­ing tools that warn of im­pend­ing prob­lems.

Mon­i­tor­ing tools come in sev­eral forms. Some are stand­alone apps that re­quire you to check in ev­ery now and again, to make sure ev­ery­thing’s run­ning smoothly. Oth­ers en­able you to keep tabs on your Mac merely by glanc­ing at tiny graphs and stats in the menu bar. First, we’ll pick out eight apps and util­i­ties that are es­pe­cially ben­e­fi­cial for mon­i­tor­ing pur­poses, cov­er­ing a range of el­e­ments that are crit­i­cal to your Mac’s well-be­ing: tem­per­a­ture, CPU us­age, mem­ory us­age, disk space, en­ergy us­age, bat­tery sta­tus, and net­work ac­tiv­ity.

We’ll then look at apps that can as­sist you when some­thing odd crops up. For ex­am­ple, if you’re low on disk space, you need to find out what’s tak­ing up all the room; or if your net­work traf­fic’s all over the place, it’s very im­por­tant to find out what’s go­ing on, so you can en­joy down­loads and up­loads that don’t spike and then slow to a crawl.

We’ll also be look­ing at an OS X fea­ture that en­ables you to mon­i­tor your Mac re­motely. This means if you have a Mac that’s not in the same room as you (as in, it could be in an­other part of your house or even an en­tirely dif­fer­ent coun­try) you can ac­cess its screen, con­trol apps, per­form file man­age­ment, and also po­ten­tially fix any is­sues if some­thing’s wrong.

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