I see a lot of machinery over the course of a day and I can certainly attest to the fact that some of us are background people and some of us are icon people. I’m in that first group. My desktop background isn’t much but it’s special to me and my preference is for it to be relatively uncluttered.
I tell you this because a new gadget sprang forth from Autodesk Labs earlier this month called the Autodesk Performance Monitor and it may deserve a spot on your desktop. It’s a Windows desktop gauge that displays the virtual memory utilization of your AutoCAD products.
Our Civil stuff loves physical memory and when it runs out it resorts to disk space to help things along. When this occurs your performance may drop significantly, especially when working with complex objects such as corridors or grading groups.
The Performance Monitor displays a color-coded status bar that shows the status of your system resources. It’s cute in a colorful sort of way and it only works when you have an AutoCAD product running. It may even prove useful to those of us ignorant to the power of the Windows Task Manager.
What caught my attention was the fly-out window that appears when you double-click on the status bar. The fly-out displays more detailed information on memory usage along with suggestions for AutoCAD system variables to speed things up if performance begins to drag. This can be extremely useful information.
It works on both 32-bit and 64-bit Vista and Windows 7 operating systems and is simple to install. I learned new things about AutoCAD system variables in the first two minutes I used it.
So, whether or not you choose to display the Monitor isn’t really important. Your desktop background can be the same source of comfort and joy it has always been. But when work gets intense, the Performance Monitor is a good tool, and for those of us struggling with marginal system resources a little help is always welcome.