Is there a bet­ter di­ag­nos­tic than Ac­tiv­ity Mon­i­tor?

Mac Format - - APPLETALK -

I’ve owned a Mac for less than three weeks and have just bought my first copy of

I used Win­dows for over 10 years and got used to fid­dling around ‘with the hood up’. Win­dows 8 has some very use­ful re­port­ing and mon­i­tor­ing tools built into Task Man­ager. So far in Mav­er­icks there doesn’t seem to be any­thing in the same league; Ac­tiv­ity Mon­i­tor only of­fers ex­tremely limited graph­ing. Is there any­thing I’ve missed? Alan Port­man Ac­tiv­ity Mon­i­tor is as good as it gets in the de­fault OS. There are third party util­i­ties that of­fer pret­tier graphs – Stater (£5.99, App Store), iS­tat Menus (about £12, bjango.com) and MenuMeters (free, rag­ing­me­n­ace.com), for ex­am­ple. How­ever, in­stalling them isn’t al­ways the best idea. More data is not the same as more in­for­ma­tion. Don’t be fooled by pretty graphs into think­ing that the data pre­sented is use­ful. I have iS­tat Pro on my dash­board, but I never use it. Few of the dozens of prob­lems I en­counter for MacFor­mat read­ers are solved by us­ing th­ese tools. I can imag­ine sce­nar­ios where I might need them (hence me leav­ing iS­tat Pro in­stalled), but in prac­tice I rarely do. If I don’t need them, you prob­a­bly don’t ei­ther. Bear in mind this is some­thing I rec­om­mend for Win­dows users, too!

If you run low on disk space, then it can be help­ful to know which files and fold­ers are tak­ing up the most space. I use DaisyDisk (£6.99, App Store). But I don’t run it un­less my disk is get­ting full. I use Ac­tiv­ity Mon­i­tor up to see if any­thing’s chew­ing up my band­width, but noth­ing fancier than that. We did look at mon­i­tor­ing tools in MF278, though, if you are in­ter­ested.

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