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ProcessWizard - Control app priorities from the menubar Pick of the Week
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If you like to mess around with your applications' UNIX 'nice' values, which control how the system prioritizes time amongst the running tasks, you might want to check out ProcessWizard. Although I covered this back in January, I felt it was time to give it a turn as the Pick of the Week.

ProcessWizard puts an icon in your menu bar that, when clicked, opens a window showing all of your running applications and their current 'nice' values. You can also switch the display to show background apps, other user processes, and non-user (system) processes such as cron, etc. Next to each icon and item name is a slider; move it to the right to increase the priority level of any item; move it left to decrease the priority level. You can authenticate each time you do this, or click the unlock icon to allow changes without re-entering a password. You can even kill any process by control-clicking on its name or icon.

ProcessWizard isn't perfect; it'd be nice if it remembered your settings for each application, and if it had a "default" button to quickly return an app to a normal setting. Still, it's hard to beat its functionality for $0, and I found a couple of interesting things just by looking at some of the background tasks (for example, my Wacom tablet driver is 'niced' well above normal by default).
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ProcessWizard - Control app priorities from the menubar | 8 comments | Create New Account
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Authored by: Jim Buzbee on Dec 09, '02 10:33:46AM

As a new MacOSX user, I find these little utilities interesting, but as an old Linux, user, I find I really want the source so I can see how things are done.

Is it common in the "Mac World" to release binary utilities like this? Are there trojan or virus problems?

By the way, the URL refering to an earlier article appears to be wrong...


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Authored by: robg on Dec 09, '02 11:41:09AM

Generally speaking, I've seen the source on some projects like this, but not all. Basically only those that state the product is GPLd on their website; most others seem to keep the source private.

BTW, thanks for the link error catch; I just fixed it...


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Doesn't work for me.
Authored by: network23 on Dec 09, '02 01:37:14PM

I tried running it and it just sits there. Nothing.

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Doesn't work for me.
Authored by: network23 on Dec 09, '02 01:39:45PM

Oops. My bad. Didn't read close enough ... <b>menu bar!</b>

Running out of room on the menu bar. Someone needs to write an app that will give us two rows if these menubar apps continue this pace!

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Renicer is nicer
Authored by: tomem on Dec 09, '02 08:41:55PM

Have a look at Renicer. It does this dynamically on the fly, with no tinkering, except to set preferences (which it does preserve). By default, whatever app is brought to the foreground is niced up in priority, which makes everything one uses noticeably snappier. It costs $5 or some such trivial amount. My feeling is this should be built into the OS, though.

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Renicer is nicer
Authored by: youcanrunnaked on Dec 10, '02 08:00:51AM

I agree. I've been using Renicer for a few weeks now, and it's great. I use it with TurboMem, which dynamically frees up RAM.

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I just script out my own answer
Authored by: imag0 on Dec 09, '02 09:35:52PM
Nice thing about X is that you can script out your own renicer. I use this on my iBook and it seems to work pretty well:

top -u -l 1 | head -20 | tail -12 | grep -v kernel | awk ' { print $1 } ' | xargs -n1 renice -10

Basically, it greps out the top 12 or so processes and renices them to -10. You can tweak the setup to your liking but don't push up the renice past -19.

You can set this script to be run every (n) minutes from a cron job. or if you like, you can just do it by hand using a sudo instead:

top -u -l 1 | head -20 | tail -12 | grep -v kernel | awk ' { print $1 } ' | xargs -n1 sudo renice -10

Have fun!

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Authored by: davidnorton on Dec 10, '02 07:21:17AM

Maybe we could tune down kernel_task's CPU usage with this? :-)

To fix the HP problem, I backed up to 10.2.1 (a pain). Wish I could've just gotten rid of the HP, but my mom (who homeschools us) said she needed a printer.

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