Copyright © 1995-2001 Ammon Skidmore
Skidperfect Software, Inc. http://www.skidperfect.com/
About this module
Contacting the author
Process Manager is a control strip module that allows you to view and switch with ease between your Mac's processes (running programs). It works with Control Strip and is Extensions Strip Savvy. Process Manager is also FAT binary (contains 680x0 and PowerPC code).
If you are using at least Mac OS 8.5 and Control Strip, or are using any version of Extensions Strip, drag the module onto a preferred spot on the strip. Process Manager will automatically be moved into the proper folder and load in place. If you are using Extensions Strip, I like to place Process Manager in its own strip window positioned vertically at the top right of the main monitor.
Otherwise, place Process Manager in your Control Strip Modules folder and restart.
Simple usage is to click on an icon to switch between programs. If you drag files over a process icon, they will be opened within the chosen program.
Clicking and holding down the mouse on a process icon will display a menu allowing you to quit the program among other things. Selecting "Filter out this process" will hide the selected program from appearing in the list. This list can be cleared by control-clicking on the module and choosing "Clear the filter".
Clicking on the module with the control key down will display a menu that allows you to access the about box, preferences, and change the filter (the processes ignored from being drawn).
The About Box lists many tips and special keys for using Process Manager.
The Preferences has various settings such as nine hot keys for switching between processes. It is pretty self-explanatory. Note that hotkeys will only work under Extensions Strip because it uses ES's extended module API for the key recognition.
Extensive balloon help for the different processes. Hold down the SHIFT key and click on a process icon to display this.
Extensions Strip savvy. See the next section for the features this provides.
Process Manager was designed to take advantage of the powerful features of Extensions Strip while retaining backward compatibility with Control Strip. Extensions Strip was originally written to overcome various technical limitations in the Control Strip API. So if you use Extensions Strip as your module host, you can do the following things:
- Have hot keys.
- Display large icons.
- Display icons vertically.
- Automatically update the length/height of the strip.
- Drag a process icon outside of the strip to create an alias to it somewhere (Control Strip prevents this when the Finder is in front).
- Display an open/save dialog.
- Send Apple Events from within non-Apple Event aware programs.
- Display Balloon help from clicking. (Process Manager does this when you SHIFT-click on an icon. For some reason Control Strip fails to display the balloon.)
- Resolve remote aliases intelligently.
- If you click on a process icon while the CPU is busy, and then move the mouse away, Process Manager remembers where the mouse click was. The same holds true for clicks with modifier keys held down (PM always remembers what key was down if it was later released.)
You cannot override the hot keys that OS 8.5 uses to switch processes. By default these are command+tab to go forward and command+shift+tab to go back. In future versions of the Mac OS you may be able to change these, but until then there is a freeware program called Prestissimo that does the job in a nice manner.
Regarding icon display problems in Process Manager:
- If all generic application icons are displayed (except for the Finder), your desktop database is probably corrupted. To fix, you need to restart your mac and hold down the command and option keys before the Finder is loaded. You will then be prompted to confirm the desktop rebuild.
- If some icons are not displayed correctly (for instance, you see the ClarisWorks icon instead of the newer AppleWorks one), rebuilding your desktop as explained above should help, so long as older versions of the trouble program are deleted. You can usually avoid this process though by using a desktop updater program like BNDL Banger. To use, drag and drop the problem app over BNDL Banger and then BNDL Banger will report to you whether it was successful or not. You may need to restart to see the changes.
- If you still have icon problems after trying the above methods, you may want to try doing a complete desktop rebuild with programs like Total Desktop Rebuild, Desktop Delete, or FileBuddy. If this doesn't work for a particular application, the app may be corrupted and should be replaced with a fresh copy. If this STILL doesn't fix the problem, you can always email me about it and I'll see what I can do (we sure like our pretty icons don't we?). However, if you'd just like to quickly fix the problem on your own, you can always give the application a custom icon.
Process Manager may be distributed freely, but it must remain in its unmodified entirety. It can be put on disks and CD-ROMs that charge a reasonable fee for the cost of distributing it. I would appreciate a copy each of any such disks or CD-ROMs so that I know what it is being distributed on, but it is not a necessity. Thank you.
I also ask that you contact me about the latest version so that only that version is distributed. The latest version is always available at this internet World Wide Web location:
I can be reached by sending e-mail to <firstname.lastname@example.org>, which gets forwarded to my regular e-mail address. Depending upon my work/play schedule, it may take up to one or two weeks for me to respond (I've got to have a life too you know!)
This software is provided as-is. The author cannot be held responsible of any damage it might cause. There is no warranty, express or implied. Blah, <insert standard disclaimer here> blah, blah
All copyrights are property of their respective holders.
"No users of microcomputers wants multitasking, nor would they be able to use it. All they would ever do with it would be background printing, and you can do that under DOS."
-- Bill Gates