WinTasks 4Professional Edition
Developer: Leading Interactive LI
Computer performance and resource management are issues that have kept all of us awake from time to time. For many of us, trying to take control of Windows resources has become a lifelong obsession. LIUtilities Wintasks 4 Professional takes up where the Windows Task Manager leaves off, and gives you a new level of control over your system, and allowing you to create customized environments and fine-tune Windows for specific applications.
Right from the installation, WT4Pro is pretty straightforward. The main window offers a view of all running processes, and gives information about priority, threads, CPU and memory usage, and uses color-coded icons to show which processes are vital to the system and which are not. Information about each process is given, and the properties of individual executables are available to help weed out trojans and other unwanted guests residing in the system. Changing the priority or stopping a process is done on the fly with a click of the mouse. The interface is clean and easy to understand without any sort of introduction or having to wade through documentation for assistance.
From the main window, there are several views that allow users to see and customize everything from boot to shutdown. The Autostart window allows you to disable or remove modules from your startup as you like, without having to go through msconfig or the services console. The Windows and Modules tabs give information about the actual physical makeup of each process, and allow a behind the scenes view that can help to determine which applications are in there hogging the stage. The Statistics tab allows real-time viewing of CPU and Memory usage for each process, as well as historical views going back one, two or twenty-four hours.
Perhaps the most useful feature (IMHO) of Wintasks4 Pro is the ability to create and save environmental “presets” for specific applications or tasks, and the built-in scripting language that allows for automation of control tasks under the hood. Being able to find memory leakage and fine tuning the environment for maximum performance. My machine is used on a regular basis for audio and video recording and editing, and the battle to maintain control over the CPU has been ongoing since I turned on the power for the first time. I wanted to create a preset to shut down all non-vital processes and to give my recording suite and audio effects modules higher priority. (Note: the “above” and “below” normal priority settings in W2K/XP are not supported WT4Pro) In just a few minutes I was able to rid myself of services I didn't need without fear of disabling vital XP functions, and was able to do it in one step without having to restart the machine.
I did not get down and start writing scripts to test the automation capability of WT4Pro, but I did load an example script from the user manual, just to see it in action. The introduction to the scripting functionality in the manual was easy to follow, and offers further opportunity to take control “behind the scenes” and shape your environment.
ConclusionWT4Pro offers users, software developers and IT administrators a chance to take charge and get Windows resources under control. While the focus is on power users, anyone with an interest in resource management or tweaking Windows will find WinTasks4 Professional a great addition to their toolbox.
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