Our Macs are complicated, complex beasts born of rapid technology changes, so it’s not always readily apparent when something is going wrong inside. Here’s a quick look at a Mac app that makes real-time information about your Mac’s performance, uh, well, somewhat transparent.
Translucent, Not Transparent
To be picky about it, I guess that somewhat transparent is defined by the word translucent. Fair enough. The app that lets you see more of your Mac is called Translucent.
It’s one of those almost free Mac utilities which gives you quick visual cues to your Mac’s system performance, without a click.
But, if you see something that catches your eye in the Menubar icons, one click gives you plenty of detail to dig through before your Mac has a meltdown.
OK, it’s unlikely your Mac will actually melt (though it could happen) but Translucent would give you a quick heads up on the dangers.
All this little utility does is monitor your Mac. It resides in the Mac’s Menubar and runs in the background to display details about your Mac’s CPU utilization, memory usage, network activity, and disk space.
Translucent keeps track of useful statistics, too, including how much data is read from or written to your Mac’s hard disk drive or SSD.
The same holds for network throughput; red for uploading, green for downloading– just like the disk storage monitor. Also built in to the Menubar app is a monitor for RAM (memory) which turns red when your memory usage drops to less than 128MB. It even pulses.
The CPU utilization is handled in the Menubar with the per-processor icons which display how much each of your Mac’s CPU cores is being worked to death. If the colors are solid then your Mac is honking on (but probably not happy about it).
As Mac utilities go, Translucent is a good one; simple to setup and use, and a valuable assistant to help you track the Mac’s performance without getting all geeky about it.