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Reduce Konfabulator widgets' CPU usage Apps
I love the cool application Konfabulator, but sometimes I think that its widgets eat too much of my CPU. In thinking about how to solve this dilemma, I started to think about whether or not I really need interface items that update every second. I also use MenuMeters, and I decided that once a second updates was too often for that.

The reality is that if I was watching the widgets / meters / interface-elements all the time, every second, then I would want them to update every second. Otherwise, I asked myself, is it really critical to have something update every second that I only look at once every 5 minutes?

So, I decided that I was wasting CPU I wanted to have available for RealWork™, and for noble causes, by having every interface element update every second. I decided that an update every five seconds should strike a nice balance between accuracy and CPU load. It was easy to fix in MenuMeters, as there's a slider to set update intervals. However, not every Konfabulator widget has update interval settings in their prefs. Problem?

No problem. One of the great things about Konfabulator widgets is that you can Hax0r them to your preference, and even create new widgets from pieces of other widgets. So read the rest of the hint for instructions on how to change the update interval for widgets.

Here's how to do it...
  • Close the widget you want to alter
  • Navigate your Finder to /Users -> yourshortname -> Documents -> Widgets
  • Find the widget you'd like to put on a CPU diet
  • Control-click on the widget and select "Show Package Contents" from the contextual menu
  • In the new window that pops up, open the folder "Contents"
  • Next open the widget_name.kon file in your favorite text editor
  • Find this line: action trigger="onTimer" interval="1"
  • Change the 1 to 5" (change once every second to once every five seconds). Alternatively, use whatever interval you prefer.
  • Save the file
That's it. Now that widget will update less frequently, and eat less CPU.

Bonus tip: mini iTunes Remote stomach stapling. In the miniRemote.kon file (after changing the interval as described above):
  • Change the line if (updateTimer >= 4) to if (updateTimer >= 0) -- this fixes the track counter
  • Comment out the two lines with code concerning scrolling and autoleft -- this disables text scrolling, which is a relatively huge CPU pig
Your mini-remote is now much more CPU friendly, and works better to boot!
  • Currently 3.00 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (5 votes cast)

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Reduce Konfabulator widgets' CPU usage
Authored by: cudaboy_71 on Nov 18, '04 11:47:06AM

nice tips. just a reminder that iTunes 4.7 now 'wigetizes' itself when the zoom button is clicked (the green dot in the upper left of the window). always on top, and doesnt switch apps when clicking <<, ||, or >>. with this improvement i've removed mini-itunes from my konfab scripts altogether.

if it aint broke, break it!

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iTunes 4.7 ?
Authored by: wallybear on Nov 18, '04 01:46:29PM

The zoom button of iTunes works that way (i.e. widgetizes) from as long as I can remember, not only in this version. At least all 4.x version did so.

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iTunes 4.7 ?
Authored by: jmontana on Nov 18, '04 02:16:18PM

Yes, but the "Always On Top" option wasn't there until 4.7. And if you clicked a button, iTunes would come to the front.

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iTunes 4.7 ?
Authored by: VirtualWolf on Nov 19, '04 07:21:46AM

Even in pre-4.7, it doesn't come to the front if you click the Play, Back, or Forward buttons when it's minimised and you're in another app.

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Reduce Konfabulator widgets' CPU usage
Authored by: andrejbl on Nov 18, '04 12:16:38PM

In the future, another good way to reduce Konfabulator CPU usage will be to buy MacOS X Tiger. :)


Lowering entropy one day at a time.

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Reduce Konfabulator widgets' CPU usage
Authored by: Spartacus on Nov 18, '04 02:48:37PM

Yes, good thing Apple didn't really copy Konfabulator.

Increasing entropy one day at a time: kajsdhfoiasduzfeawnrb,shmdfg auiewr asdnf bla sekru zldskhjfbal sk.e,rtjbe

[ Reply to This | # ]
that you can Hax0r them to your preference
Authored by: lionel77 on Nov 18, '04 09:22:30PM

q: what is more embarrassing than writing on a respected tech page like a script kiddie?
a: not even being able to use script kiddie speak propely... ;o)

no offense, but i first thought safari was using a screwed up style sheet to render the page...

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Reduce Konfabulator widgets' CPU usage
Authored by: TigerKR on Nov 18, '04 10:24:24PM
Thank you to all of you who were so kind as to remind us that Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger (which is expected in June of 2005), is likely to have similar functionality to Konfabulator.

However, if you want to have that functionality now, there is Konfabulator now.

There are many various excellent widgets for Konfabulator also (not just iTunes remotes). And one of the best things about them is that you can customize them to your liking. Personally, I use:
  • World Clock Pro, since I often speak on IM to friends on other continents
  • Tail Chaser, to keep an eye on the system.log
  • Sun, I just like it, dunno why
  • picture frame (comes with Konfabulator), because I don't have a lot of space on my desktop for pictures
  • mini iTunes Remote which allows one to view and set track ratings - something you can't do with iTunes minimized (admittedly - not that I use that feature)
  • iTunes Companion, because I like to see the album art from my CDs
  • Exercise, basically to remind me to start working out again (its not working)
  • Cpu-Center, I modified this widget so that I can see my top 10 processes running
  • Can't Wait, to remind me when my next vacation is - there is a light at the end of the tunnel!
Sure, I'm sure that I could find individual applications for all of those things, but Konfabulator's ability for its widgets to be hacked up, its pretty exterior, and its relatively low CPU usage (after reducing their updating frequency). Its also stable, and widget developers actually listen to feature requests (I've personally had two of my requests implemented for things I couldn't figure out how to do on my own).

Its the solution that works for me the best.

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