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Running Mac OS X Tiger by James Duncan Davidson, Jason Deraleau

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Monitoring System Activity

Once you know what is installed on your system, it’s always helpful to see how your system is running. The System Profiler report gives access to two logs (console and system) that provide a little bit of information, but two tools, Console and Activity Viewer (both found in /Applications/Utilities), can provide you with quite a bit more information about what’s going on in your system, such as how much memory is available, what processes are tying up system resources, and what kind of network activity is going on.

Console

The Console application (shown in Figure 12-3) lets you view all the logfiles on your computer. A logfile is a simple text file that software applications use to report their status. Logfiles are sequential, with new entries appended to the log and timestamped as they occur. Depending on the application, the log might be used solely for error reporting or it might list every mundane task the software performs.

When you launch Console, it gathers the system logs, and any logs from your Home directory, and displays them in the left pane, making it easy to navigate between the logs. If you don’t see the left pane, click the Logs icon in the Console’s toolbar (or select View Show Log List from the menu bar) to reveal it.

The first two logs you’ll see are the system and console logs, but that’s just the warm-up. Console also gives you the following areas in which to see the logs:

~/Library/Logs

Contains the logs that are associated with a ...

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