iPulse – A System Resources Monitor 0

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iPulse – A System Resources Monitor

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The title of this posts makes this application sound like it is the run of the mill app for showing you resources information about your Mac. By resources I mean, CPU, memory, hard drive etc. All of the little pieces of hardware that make your Mac tick. This application, although shows this information, does it in a very unique and different way. I think it is quite funky and very different to the normal numbers on a window which you normally see. The style of this app reminds me of a gauge that you will see on a complicated piece of machinery. To you it looks a random mess of lines and shapes, but to a trained user it shows a whole range of information. This application is very similar to that.

iPulse is a simple widget style application, it doesn’t have the close buttons, or a title bar, it is just the circular dial and nothing else. This application, incidentally, is made by Icon Factory who have also made Twitterific and Frenzic, so this is another one to add to the list. Anyway, once as you install the application you will end up with something that looks like this (the actual application isn’t cropped on the edges).

As you can see from the image, you will wonder what each of the bars and circles mean. Thankfully there is a helpful help page included with the app. As well as this the preferences include some very handy diagrams to tell you what everything means.

Explanation

Explaining what each of the bars means is rather easy. If you take a look at the image below, each number represents a different section of the application.

  1. System CPU Tasks
  2. Users CPU Tasks
  3. Low Priority Tasks
  4. Wired Memory
  5. Active Memory
  6. Inactive Memory
  7. Free Memory
  8. Disk Read Activity
  9. Free Disk Space
  10. Used Disk Space
  11. Disk Write Activity
  12. Ip Packets Received
  13. Receiving Bytes Per Second
  14. Outgoing Bytes Per Second
  15. IP Packets Sent
  16. Page Swap In
  17. Page Swap Out
  18. Battery Level
  19. Load
  20. Wireless Signal Strength

It doesn’t take long to understand what each of the bar and circles represents. After a while of use you don’t try and work out what the values mean, you get a feeling of what the values are. You can glance and see that memory is higher than normal, or you have a lot of CPU usage.

As well as the coloured bars there is information about your computer if you hover over each section. You can get the exact values you would normally get in any other application. Although this is useful, the panes information tends to fly all over the place since different information is activated by placing your mouse over the different areas. Since the app is small it can be hard to get the information you want.

This information can also be found from the menu bar and the dock. The dock icon is the same as the widget, which is rather cool.

Extending

Like a lot of good applications you can extend and change the application so it meets you needs. iPulse is has a lot of little features which you can change and configure. If you go into the preference panes you can change the colours, and add other features to the application. One of the coolest features is the ability to get jackets, which are special designs to install into your application. There is a lot of designs on the IconFactory website.

Conclusion

To conclude this application is pretty cool. It is different than the normal resource monitoring applications and as a result it could be a keeper. It currently costs $12.95. Although, once again, I am unsure what paying for brings. Its a good application, although if you want an application that is free you might want to check out iStat.


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