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Spin ball spin.

Swapwatch watches your swap - your virtual memory files on disk. They're located at the path /private/var/vm and take serialised names of the form swapfile0, swapfile1, and so forth.

An OS X system (as far as 10.6) starts you with the single swap file swapfile0 of 67,108,864 bytes (64 MB). As things get tougher, the system adds further swap files. The size of the second one (swapfile1) is the same as the first. But things go ballistic soon after that.

OS X users regularly complain of a 'sluggishness' and of seeing that dreaded spinning beach ball after long use without a reboot. It's the virtual memory system acting up. The more swap on disk, the more 'swapping' the system might have to do to switch applications.

Application task switches for an OS X system can exceed two minutes in real time with even reasonably current hardware.

New Swapwatch

A new Swapwatch arrived for ACP users a while back.

New New Swapwatch

An even newer (and even cooler) Swapwatch arrives for ACP users with the next update (September 2013).

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