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MenuMeters is a handy bit of software for your Mac that allows users to monitor several aspects of their machine. From memory to your CPU, you can get a handle of all of it to see what exactly is going on in your computer.
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Download and InstallationRating
MenuMeters is available at the developer's website for free. There is an older version, which works on Macs up to 10.4.11 and a new version for 10.5 that was just added in August 2009.
After you download the file it will mount on your desktop. Just open the .dmg file and install MenuMeters onto your Mac. When the installation is done, the software will be in your Systems Preferences. You may have to log out of your account and log back in for it to work.
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MenuMeters monitors many of your Mac's systems and shows the results right in your menu bar. However, you get to choose which will be displayed and which won't.
MenuMeters monitors your Mac's CPU, including the temperature, the Disk activity, the memory and the network. Each menu has a variety of options on how the menus can be displayed so you get to decide on the format yourself, adding a nice level of customization.
After you set up MenuMeters there is really nothing left to do but watch it work.
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MenuMeters is useful for monitoring your Mac all the time. However, I found it a bit confusing. I prefer to use the widget iStats Pro to monitor my computer. MenuMeters is in your menu bar, and it has a lot of color coordinated things but I couldn't quite remember what the colors meant.
If you want to keep an eye on your Mac all the time, you'll like MenuMeters. If you don't need that kind of control, you can do without it.
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MenuMeters works and can give you a nice view of what is going on inside of your Mac. However, it is hard to understand once it is installed. The colors are nice, but I kept having to refer back to the System Prefs to make sense of them. If you think you'll like it, give it a try. MenuMeters is freeware so you won't loose any money on it.