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Author Topic: ideas for process tamer  (Read 17160 times)
mouser
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« on: March 14, 2005, 08:06:22 PM »

ProcessTamer is the latest little utility i've been working on.
there are several things i could add to it - if anyone has desired functions please let me know.

things that could be added:
  • a nice gui for configuring new rules/exclusions
  • more kinds of rules, for example to restart an app if it is found not running; to set time periods for running apps at certain priorities, etc.
  • ability to display current processes and priorities from tray click
  • ability to configure and switch between rule sets from the tray icon
  • customizable icons for tray
  • ability to add custom menus to tray icon for launching or stopping certain processes
  • features to let you use process tamer to collect a log of what programs were run and when (ie statistics on time spent)
  • better simple logging info
  • more options about configuring program, like turning off baloon hints, etc.
  • win9x suppper

ps. if you are a member of donationcoder.com make sure you grab the latest release which is available for members only (see members only section).
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Jibz
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2005, 09:56:48 AM »

Here are a couple of things that might be nice (some from your list):

  • ability to adjust cpu usage limit
  • wildcard matching of program names in ApplicationOverrides.txt
  • use ini-file style for the override file, with sections for ignore, idle, high, kill instead of having to specify it for each program
  • gui for configuring rules
  • ability to switch between rulesets from the tray icon

Nice work Thmbsup.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2005, 09:59:56 AM by Jibz » Logged

"A problem, properly stated, is a problem on it's way to being solved" -Buckminster Fuller
"Multithreading is just one damn thing after, before, or simultaneous with another" -Andrei Alexandrescu
mouser
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2005, 11:26:08 AM »

im definitely going to move to a more full config file instead of the applicationovverides file;
the config file will allow settings parameters like high and low thresholds cpu usage triggering.

and i will add gui config file.

would a gui config file do away with the need to use wildcards?
though you do have that nice wildcard library you wrote i could use for that smiley
i should also probably make the filename matching case insensitive.

switching rulesets is def. something im considering;
it would involve some extra work, but it would allow some extra functionality that i used to have in another program i made,
such that if i added ability to specify processes to start and stop with a rule set,
then you could use a rule set to start up or shut down a whole set of processes.

ie you could select from tray to start your web server config, and it would launch (if not already running) your web server and helper tools, and set up your cpu thresholds, etc.  then you could switch "off" that ruleset and it would shut down those programs.

almost sounds like a different program though..
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Jibz
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2005, 12:11:00 PM »

Quote from: mouser
would a gui config file do away with the need to use wildcards?
though you do have that nice wildcard library you wrote i could use for that smiley
i should also probably make the filename matching case insensitive.

Ah .. I initially thought it was handling programs by window title, in which case wildcards would be more important. They might still be handy for filenames though, like e.g. adjusting priority of development tools (C:\VC\*.exe). Case insensitive matching would be a very good idea Wink.

Quote from: mouser
...
almost sounds like a different program though..

True. It's important to keep the main focus of the application in mind, which I suppose was a tiny tool to limit cpu usage.

Btw, that's a slightly odd color in the back of quotes .. perhaps a calm blue would be better?
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"A problem, properly stated, is a problem on it's way to being solved" -Buckminster Fuller
"Multithreading is just one damn thing after, before, or simultaneous with another" -Andrei Alexandrescu
mouser
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2005, 12:14:51 PM »

agreed, that purple is horrible.  let me see if i can fix.

light green.. it's better but not sure if its perfect.

 feedback


  tried blue but it seemed too close to table borders.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2005, 12:31:24 PM by mouser » Logged
Jibz
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2005, 12:36:11 PM »

I like it thumb down

Incidently, the thumb up emoticon above is called 'down' and has 'thumb down' as tooltip mrgreen.
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"A problem, properly stated, is a problem on it's way to being solved" -Buckminster Fuller
"Multithreading is just one damn thing after, before, or simultaneous with another" -Andrei Alexandrescu
mouser
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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2005, 04:58:24 PM »

thumbs fixed. thx. thumbs up
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tenseiken
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« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2005, 08:32:11 PM »

I use the shell replacement GeoShell.  I think that there's a compatibility problem between this program and GeoShell's tray control.  None of my other tray-residing programs seem to have a problem with it, though.  The only real symptoms are being practically unable to bring up the right click menu (have to click multiple times to bring it up), and the same goes for double clicking it to disable it.  Consider this low priority though--it's really not that big a deal since I could just close the program to disable it, and the only other thing I might want to see is the about dialog.  Anyway, if there's anything you can do about it, cool, otherwise, don't worry about it too much.  It works perfectly for me beside that.
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-John
mouser
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« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2005, 08:44:07 PM »

that problem is probably due to the fact the process tamer is single threaded and goes to sleep and only wakes up once per second to check on things and process clicks.  so if you double click you have to wait a second for it to "take."  ill bet that is the issue, rather than having to click it multiple times - just seems that way because their is a delay it in responding.

i'll fix this in the next release - which should be available next week.
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piedone
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2005, 10:39:12 AM »

can one control the info balloon? sometimes it is useful that one does not see it. Now it appears all the time...when processtamer kicks in.

thanks
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mouser
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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2005, 10:45:55 AM »

this is #1 on my list to add this week, to have an option for turning off the balloon.

i will also add the ability to customize the thresholds which trigger the raising or lowering of process priorities.

one thing i could think about adding is changing the icon slightly when process tamer has at least one process reduced in priority.. just to make it possible to tell at a glance if has kicked in or not..  that would be an option also.
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tenseiken
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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2005, 10:58:22 PM »

Is the balloon tip just an XP thing?  I'm not seeing it at all on 2k, but I know the program is working--I can see the changes it makes in my task manager in addition to the fact that my machine doesn't become sluggish while encoding videos, creating RAR archives, etc.  That could also be a GeoShell tray thing.  Being able to configure the threshholds would definitely be a good option.  And I like the idea of switching the icon when a process is being tamed, so to speak.
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-John
mouser
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« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2005, 12:01:41 AM »

i thought win2k had the balloons also.  either it isnt, or can be disabled, or its just a winxp thing.
i will def try to do the icon change thing this week, and maybe show a summary of "tamed apps" as you say, in the about box.
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redmaledeer
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« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2005, 11:54:26 PM »

     
This is way outside the scope of Process Tamer.   But I thought it couldn't hurt to say that I would find useful a program like Process Tamer,  but which controlled download bandwidth instead of CPU usage.   I have more problems with programs hogging download capabilities than with their hogging CPU time.   Being able to prioritize which programs get to do the most (or least) downloading would be useful.
     
Or does such a thing already exist and I just don't know about it?
     
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mouser
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« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2005, 02:27:59 AM »

there is a program for this - and it's quite an elaborate one.. trying to think of the name, will modify this post with it when i remember.

a couple:
http://www.softperfect.co...width/traffic-limiter.htm
http://www.homeqos.com/

and the one i was thinking about originally:
http://www.netlimiter.com/

if you try these out give us a report of how well they work and which one you recommend.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2005, 02:35:59 AM by mouser » Logged
tenseiken
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« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2005, 02:46:02 AM »

I've been using Netlimiter for quite some time now.  It does a great job of throttling bandwidth in either direction on a per-application basis.  What I would really like to see is that in addition to being able to prioritize one application over another--my FTP service over my BitTorrent client or vice versa, for example.  The program in the first link appears to offer that functionality.  I'll have to try it out, but either way, I don't know if it's really worth $35.

Edit: Nevermind.  I must have misunderstood the feature list.  Apparently all it does is throttle transfers based on source/destination IP and port.  No per-application feature, and apparently, no significant priority system either.  I'll stick with Netlimiter for now.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2005, 03:04:45 AM by tenseiken » Logged

-John
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« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2005, 04:41:13 AM »

Thanks Mouser and Tenseiken for the information about prioritizing bandwidth.   I will check it out more,  but on a quick look I agree with Mouser that Netlimiter is elaborate.   All seem more geared to managing networks,  tho Netlimiter and Homeqos seem to mention controlling individual applications,  which is what I would be interested in,  in my non=network use.
     
Tenseiken's actual experience with Netlimiter is very useful.
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tenseiken
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« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2005, 12:38:21 PM »

mouser: I have a suggestion/feature request.  I use a program called CPUIdle to keep my processor's temperature down.  It has a side effect of making windows report 100% CPU usage all the time, even though it actually isn't that high.  This affects Process Tamer in that other applications are being reported at a lower percentage than they should be.  You mentioned in your ToDo list that you were planning to implement an alternate CPU usage calculation method.  Will that allow me to exclude CPUIdle from the CPU usage calculation?
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-John
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« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2005, 12:47:12 PM »

thats a really interesting idea about excluding cpuidle from calculations..
i think it might be possible..

as i understand it, programs like cpuidle are used to reduce heat of cpu by taking up free processing cycles with a special cpu instruction.

so when your computer is doing nothing, cpuidle shows as using 100% of the cpu.
so of course you would want to set the rule for cpuidle to "ignore".

my question is, what happens when you have a process that is using tons of the cpu?
if you run the cpu easter test utility..
what does the PT2 cpu useage screen show? what does it say cpuidle is using? what does it say the cpu eater is using?

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tenseiken
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« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2005, 01:47:48 PM »

That's right--it constantly sends a so-called 'idle' command while the processor is not actively working on something.  To answer your question, when the CPU eater program is running, CPUIdle and the CPU eater both show ~50% on the PT2 GUI.  So, as you can see, the default setting of 70% as the CPU usage high trigger wouldn't work.  I've set it to 30% to be safe.  There is definitely a way to do this--Samurize has a plugin that allows you to exclude processes from the count, and that way I can get a more accurate figure.  But, if you're planning on implementing your own CPU usage calculation method, you may be able to ignore those 'idle' commands that way.

Anyway, there is a workaround--simply setting the high trigger to about half what you would normally expect and creating an ignore rule for CPUIdle.  I just thought that it would be neat to have the ability to completely ignore process X.
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-John
mouser
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« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2005, 02:20:56 PM »

i think i should be able to handle this situation properly in the new cpu usage calcualtion;
ill post later when i get the new calculation algorithm going.  shouldn't be a problem.
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tenseiken
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« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2005, 02:33:55 PM »

Great, thanks man.  mrgreen
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-John
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« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2005, 12:11:33 AM »

another thing i was thinking of adding is to change the icon to be like a meter
showing overall cpu use.

so maybe something like a box that goes from green -> red for low to high overall cpu use
with some kind of indicator for when something is being tamed, like maybe a symbol inside the box, or red vs black border of the box.

what do you think?
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« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2005, 02:31:00 AM »

I would really love NOT seing this turning into a cpu-meter...
Many of us have one already (Me: Samurize), but if you make it optional I won't complain smiley
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tenseiken
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« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2005, 03:29:22 AM »

If you're going to implement a more accurate calculation method than the one windows employs, it wouldn't bother me one bit.  It more or less does this already anyway, so it seems like it would just be a graphical change.  Still, I do already have a good method of displaying that information.  It probably would be best to make it optional.
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