ZIFFPAGE TITLENavigating the Interface

By Robyn Peterson  |  Posted 2003-08-05 Print this article Print

Navigating the Interface

The Tabbed Interface
TaskPower starts with the Application tab selected. Each line of the information display shows the trademark icon and filename of a single detected application, followed by the Process and Handle IDs that Windows assigns the program to uniquely identify it—information of most interest to confirmed geeks. In the far right column, TaskPower gives the program a title, which provides detail about the individual application window (for example, the name of a particular document window running under Microsoft Word). Clicking on a column heading toggles between ascending and descending alphanumeric sorting of entries by the information in the chosen column. This is true for the displays of all four TaskPower tabs.

The Task tab shows you what lies behind the obscure names that Windows gives its tasks. In addition to the ID number of the process and the number of threads the process is using, TaskPower conveniently displays the name of the company that supplied the program file. The rating icon to the left of the filename is assigned based on information in the TaskPower database: a red skull and crossbones, for example, denotes a task that may harm your system. The gray question mark indicates that the task needs rating. If you uncover information on your own, you can share it with the TaskPower community. A key just above the information panel explains the five rating icons.

Each line of the Services tabs display shows the abbreviated name of a service thats loaded and whether it is running or stopped—its state, which is also indicated by an icon to the left of the name. Following this, the Startup field indicates whether the service is always running (Automatic), must be called by the program or driver needing it (Manual), or not on (Disabled) until the user changes the Startup parameter of the service to Automatic or Manual. The Name column shows the full name of the service, and Description gives information about what the service does.

The display for the Drivers tab presents the same type of information as what you see when you select the Services tab.

The Button Bar
TaskPower has a customizable button bar that gives you easy access to important features. Right-click anywhere on the bar to bring up a context menu that lets you select which buttons will show and whether to display or hide their text labels.

Clicking on Refresh prompts the utility to scan your computer for loaded processes and to update the display. TaskPower does not automatically refresh.

To get important information concerning TaskPower—the current version, for example—click on About.

Clicking on Config presents you with the dialog box that lets you customize the utilitys operation, as discussed previously in the Installation and Setup section.

As you would expect, Help gives you guidance on using TaskPower, and Exit closes the utility.

Robyn Peterson

Robyn Peterson, Vice President of Product Management and CTO for Ziff Davis Media, oversees PCMag.com, GearLog.com, SmartDeviceCentral.com, TechnoRide.com, and the other consumer-oriented Ziff Davis Media websites. He also covers multiple content areas, including but not limited to consumer electronics, car techonology, software and development, and networking. Robyn is also the host of the PCMag Radio podcast (subscribe in iTunes).

Robyn has appeared on CNN, CNN Headline News, MSNBC, CBS, Fox, Fox News and the WB network representing PC Magazine, GearLog.com, and ExtremeTech. His writing appears on ABCNews.com and Yahoo in addition to PC Magazine, eWEEK, CGW, and ExtremeTech. He has also won the Chairman's Circle 2001 Award for outstanding editorial contributions to Ziff Davis Media (parent company of ExtremeTech and PC Magazine).

Robyn has a masters of science in computer science from New York University (NYU).

He can be reached at robyn_peterson (AT) ziffdavis.com.

Robyn's latest PCMag.com articles:


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