Under normal daily conditions I tend to avoid the geekier side of Mac utility apps. First, they’re too easy to collect and clutter up the Menubar. Second, they cost money and tend to get ignored over time.
Imagine my surprise when I bought exactly that. A Menubar utility, but instead of cluttering up the Menubar this one actually provided some, well, utility. Last week I noticed my Mac had slowed to a crawl. Obviously, something was clogging up the pipes so I opened up Activity Monitor to see what it was.
Mail, perhaps the Mac’s wonkiest app now that Safari doesn’t ship with Flash. So, I killed Mail, restarted Mail, and all was good. But that got me to thinking that there might be a simple, elegant utility to warn me ahead of time when something clogs my Mac’s pipes.
I settled on StatsBar.
For a few dollars I obtained a Mac Menubar utility which handles five basic stats in real time. The first is CPU usage, the second is RAM, then disk storage, network and bandwidth usage, and for Mac notebook users, battery.
StatsBar isn’t just casual eye candy, either. View it from the Menubar or use the customizable hotkey combo. A slider bar controls update intervals and window opacity. If your Mac is short on RAM, click the Free Memory button to optimize memory usage. Or, just turn on the stats you need to monitor and ignore the rest.
The app lives in the Mac’s Menubar but can also run in Dock mode (just in case your Menubar is already overcrowded). StatsBar is a simple way to check on network performance, free up some unused RAM, and see which apps are sucking up most of the Mac’s CPU.
Nicely done and just a few dollars. The Mac’s Activity Monitor app can do some of the same things and it’s free, but a bit more cumbersome to use.