Mac OS X Panther Network Monitoring, Raging Menace’s Menumeters

One of the must-have apps in your Mac OS X salvo is Raging Menace‘s, Menumeters. If you’re an observant chippie you’ll realise quickly that its on the menubar of most Mac technogeeks.

Its a great little app that is a true SystemUIServer plugins (also known as Menu Extras) which allows you the ability to not only place it conveniently on your Mac’s menubar but also reorder its positioning on the menubar.

Menumeters provides that additional information that is hungered by technogeeks and control freaks alike so that they are clued in on what’s happening with their Mac hardware at every moment. Its especially useful in network troubleshooting as it provides an instant easy to access interface that feedbacks how a particular network interface of your Mac is performing.


What follows are some of the features of Menumeters(descriptions extracted from Raging Menace’s web site):

  • The CPU Meter can display system load both as a total percentage, or broken out as user and system time. It can also graph user and system load and display the load as a “thermometer”. The menu for the CPU Meter contains several pieces of information I like to have a single click away (uptime, load average, open Process Viewer, open Console);
  • The Disk Activity Meter displays disk activity to local disks on the system (anything that is a IOKit BlockStorage driver). It is hotplug aware, and will show activity on FireWire and USB disks as they are mounted. The Disk Meter menu shows volume space details for local drives (it does not display mounted network volumes for speed reasons);
  • The Memory Meter can display current memory usage as either a pie chart, thermometer, history graph, or as used/free totals. The Memory Meter menu shows a breakdown of current memory usage and VM statistics. The Memory Meter can optionally display a paging indicator light;
  • The Net Meter can display network throughput as arrows, bytes per second, and/or as a graph. Both the arrows and the graph are scaled using a user-selected scaling factor and calculation. Scaling can be done on the basis of actual link speed reported by the network interface or peak traffic and can use one of several scaling calculations. The Net Meter menu shows current interfaces and their status. Interface information is gathered from the SystemConfiguraton framework and thus is MacOS X network location aware.

Although, there are a plethora of apps out there that purport to carry out similar functions, including certain konfabulator widgets, Menumeters is by far the best innovation in this area of Mac monitoring. With a simple and intuitive interface and a small footprint, you can afford to keep it on your menubar at all times without sacrificing precious screen real estate or CPU performance.

The only caveat in installing Menumeters is that it integrates seemlessly into your Systems Preferences which is great if you intend to use it permanently but removal is separate can of worms. Uninstalling Menumeters is a manual process involving deleting the appropriate files. The good news is so far, we’ve not found a need to ever delete this nifty application.

So, what are you waiting for? Download the latest version of MenuMeters today.


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