Peek-a-Boo ProcInfo Menu
Process Info Display
The ProcInfo menu lets you choose which fields are displayed. Each item can be selected to toggle a check mark and the Peek-a-Boo display.
Here is an explanation of each field:
- The name is the name of the process.
- CPU% is a bar graph (updated periodically) that shows how much of the system's CPU time was spent
in that process. Normally the process in front will take most of the CPU time. If there's a background process using a
lot of the CPU, it's often processing. Sometimes when things seem sluggish in, say, a word processing application, it's
because processes in the background are using too much CPU time. Peek-a-Boo lets you identify these CPU hogs, and
special technology lets you fix 'em good.
- The MemGraph is a bar graph showing memory usage in a process. The dark part of the graph is the
memory used, and the light part of the graph is the memory available. Peek-a-Boo scales all MemGraphs so they all fit
in the allocated space. Since their size is shown proportionally, smaller processes will not use the full allocated
space unless "Relative Memgraphs" is selected in the preferences. The MemGraph can also
show how much temporary memory is being used by the process. Temporary memory usage is shown as a black and white
striped pattern to the right of the normal application memory. (Temporary Memory displayed in the MemGraph can be
adjusted in the Preferences Dialog.)
- Active Ticks tells how much CPU time this process has had since it was launched. One tick is about
1/60 second, so if a process has had 3600 Active Ticks, it has actually been using the CPU for one minute.
- The process Type tells whether a given process is an application, Finder, an extension, or other.
'APPL' means it's an application; 'FNDR' means Finder; and 'appe' means extension process.
- The process Signature is the creator type of that process. This four-character code is an identifier
Finder uses to find applications.
- Size tells the amound of Macintosh memory the process is using. This can often be changed from Finder
using the Get Info command and relaunching the application.
- FreeMem is the amount of free memory available to that process. It can give clues such as whether
more windows can be opened, or whether complicated features can be used. FreeMem is extra handy for people debugging
applications and watching for memory leaks. (Set the Memory Display to "bytes," then watch FreeMem.)
- Temp Mem is the amount of Temporary Memory the process is using. Temporary Memory is also called
Process Manager Heap memory, and another name for it (rather old, though) is Multifinder Memory. Programs often use
Temporary Memory when they don't know beforehand how much memory they'll need. It usually turns out to be a smarter way to
use memory than simply increasing the application's suggested memory field, because it never wastes unused memory.
Note: the MemGraph feature uses the same values that the Size, FreeMem, and TempMem use.
- Launch Time shows the time of day the process was launched.
- The PSN is the Process Serial Number of the process. This doesn't have much meaning to everyday users
of the Macintosh, but it's available from the Process Manager, so Peek-a-Boo can display it.
- The Location of a process is the place in the Macintosh's memory where the process resides.
- The Mode of a process is a four-byte integer that contains several pieces of information that tell
Finder how the process behaves. See a technical reference manual (such as Inside Macintosh or Think
Reference) for the meaning of the Mode field.
When Mode is being displayed, the header of the main Peek-a-Boo window includes:
This header tells what each bullet mark indicates.
- Obsolete or reserved for future use.
- Accepts suspend/resume events.
- can run in the background.
- Get front click.
- Accept child-died Apple Events.
- 32-bit compatible.
- High-level event aware.
- Accepts local and remote events.
- Is stationery aware.
- Uses TextEdit services.
- Path shows the full path to the process.
- Launched By tells the name of the process that launched the selected process. Most of the time it's Finder;
it could be any application capable of launching other applications, however. Also, if the application that launched this
process has quit (or if the System launched the process, like it does for Finder), this says "<unknown>."
- Uptime shows how long each process has been running.
- ST Priority shows the Special Technology priorities for each
process. A convenient way to view ST Priority is to make the column as narrow as possible; that lets you see just the icon
that identifies each priority:
a tiny blue circle means low priority
a medium yellow circle means medium priority
a large red circle means high priority
no circle means normal priority