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Jennifer will tell her friends.

War Games: the ultimate hacker movie. David and Jennifer's fascination with the screen of the IMSAI was based not so much on understanding what they were looking at, as on just having a lot of cool things to check out on the screen. 'What is it?' asks Jennifer. Lightman answers: 'I don't know - but it's great!'

Lightman is found on many other platforms, and it functions as a sort of 'kitchen sink', a place to store 'odds 'n' ends'.

NeXTSTEP and now Cocoa have a lot of 'odds 'n' ends' of interesting and sometimes important things. You'll likely find them here in Lightman.


Drop files on Lightman all at once. Lightman opens them all. Or use the Open dialog.

Tab 1: Applications

Lightman lists your running applications in its first tab - with process IDs, high/low process numbers, priorities, and full paths.

You can also reset the priority of any process, from the 'very nice' +20 to the 'don't stop me now' -20.

You can also kill off any number of processes all at once, through either the more polite 'force quit', or the merciless 'terminate'.

Tab 2: Codes

Dynamic codes that are summoned forth by Lightman. Character encodings, thread/process error codes, and system signals.

Tab 3: Defaults

A huge assembly of system, local, network, user, and command line preferences, all mixed together in the same stew, all presented in alphabetical order. These change often, so it pays to refresh this list once in a while.

Tab 4: Misc

The kitchen sink within the kitchen sink. Further dynamic system data with your system 'uptime' (hours, minutes, seconds, nanoseconds, absolutes). Your username, your full username, your home directory, your root directory, your (new and unwieldy) temporary directory, swap page sizes, real memory available, the windows you have on screen, your available screens, device descriptions for the deepest and main screens, environment variables, filesystem attributes such as free nodes, available storage, total nodes, filesystem number, total storage available, number of processors, number of scheduled processors, your multiprocessing library version, the initialisation status of your multiprocessing library, your hostname, your operating system name, and so forth.

Tab 5: Mounts

Your 'volumes' you have mounted in your filesystem. (Finder didn't show you this, did it? Not geeky enough.) Mounts with blocks, blocks free, blocks available, block size, inodes, inodes free, flags and their expansions, file system ID, file system type, I/O size, mount location, owner, and type. Lots of good stuff. Jennifer will be impressed.

Tab 6: Network

The complete contents of the protocol, RPC program number, and services databases. Connecting to the world at large.

Tab 7: Notifications

Your Mac is continually broadcasting information. You'll be surprised by the level of activity.

Tab 8: Paste

You thought there was only one pasteboard? Are you coming from Windows? macOS has an unlimited number of pasteboards, some standard, some user-defined by applications. The standard pasteboards are for drag-and-drop, files, find strings, the regular kind, and 'ruler' - and they're found in many legacy formats too.

Tab 9: Paths

A key tab. For it's here you can find out just where you can place (install) your new software, so that macOS finds it automatically, without your having to giving a full path each time. Many software vendors assume /Applications is the only place to go, but that can't be further from the truth.

Tab 10: Swap

A 'MACH' kind of thing. (Don't ask - it's just cool. Jennifer will tell her friends.) These are your statistics for virtual memory usage over time. You refresh this listing (take a new snapshot, so to speak) any time you want. The most recent four snapshots are listed. This tab shows you the active pages, copy on write ops, free pages, inactive pages, cache hits and lookups, page faults, page ins and page outs, reactivated pages, wired down pages, and zeroed pages. (This stuff is very important actually.) Admit it - it's great!


As of 17 November 2019 CandS incorporates Rixstep's Seahaven technology.

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