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A 'nicer' nice UNIX
For those not familiar with it, the unix commands nice and renice can be used to alter the priorities (think percentage of CPU time) given to running tasks. However, like many UNIX commands, they are not 'user friendly' by any stretch. First you need to do a ps to see what's running, and then you need to remember the command syntax to change the values.

I spotted a thread on the Mac OS X Forums that discussed this very topic. Forum user "Iambob" took it upon himself to write a GUI wrapper for nice, which would present all the jobs with their current priorities, and allow easy tweaking of the values. Quite logically, he named his program nicer.

You can find nicer here, and I must say it's a very useful progam. There's some work he'd like to do relative to optimization, but the basic functionality is there, and it's basically self-explanatory: double-click a process to change its priority. It takes a while to launch, but don't worry, it's not crashing your OS.

I think this program is a great example of what we'll see as we progress towards OS X 1.0: GUI wrappers around the core UNIX commands to make them more useful to the typical Mac user. Thanks, IamBob!

[Editor's note: Version 1.0 of nicer is now available at the above link!]
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Authored by: Anonymous on Dec 05, '00 05:41:54PM

Hey, Bob here(a.k.a. Ryan). Nicer has been updated!

You can find it @

The GUI is alot nicer(hehe) and more responsive and the load time has been cut in half(hopefully)!

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A 'nicer' nice
Authored by: Anonymous on Jul 01, '05 02:39:32PM

I went to that site (, and it gave me a 404. Is there another place. (rant*)

* <rant /> This is where baby steps toward the "semantic web" would be SO nice (no pun intended). If a software developer could bracket the title of his software in <SWTitle> tags, then you could (after a bit of giggering with the code on Google's part), as Google to search for 'niceer', but ONLY if it is a software title. This would get rid of useless (to me) reuslts like, "This is a much [b]nicer[/b] game than the other one..." Blah! Has ANYONE come up with a way the "Semantic Web" could be implimented with such "baby steps" in the current XHTML scheme that seems to be (slowly) gaining acceptance? Instead of trying to get EVERYONE to use EVERYTHING at once, which of course no one will do. This I think (though I haven't studied the history), is why XHTML was come out - as a transition between HTML and XML. I also WISH that some largely used OSS code (Umm, Slashcode perhaps?) would actually start to use XML to transfer data, and just leave al the damn table-formatting on the client instead of retransmitting it. I don't know if you can do this in current spec.. Something like this:

<XHTML-1-DTD name="ExampleLayoutForm">
<tr> <td><CustomHead#></td>
<td> <CustomBody#><td> <tr>

THAT would be transmitted only ONCE to the client. Then, subsequence things would look like this:

<XHTML-1-XML DTDName="ExampleLayoutForm">
<CustomHead1 /> Header for table row 1
<CustomData1 /> Data for table row 1
<CustomHead2 /> Header for table row 2
<CustomData2 /> Data for table row 2

The web browser would follow the <repeat> tag in the DTD as many times as tehre were elements in the following XML file. I think with some elaborations on this scheme, something even as complicated as the SlashDot comment "forest" code could be broken apart into formatting code (sent once), and data (send many times, but a little smaller than if it included the formatting code itself). A little while later (if not immidiately), it should make maintaining the code easier two, as the programmers are freed from looking ALL over the various PHP/Perl scripts which run Slashcode to make a change to where tha main DB is - just in the XML generating module.

WHY isn't some "transitional" spec in place like this? Any ideas of who I might talk to?

Jim Witte
jim(spam killer)34(78)16@hot(not cold)pop.(not org).com
// remove the comments in parens if your email program doesn't like a VALID RFC2822 address - see 'the hairy 2822 address' floating around somewhere on the Net`

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