Dipping into the Utility folder: Console.app

Scott McNulty
S. McNulty|10.11.06

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Dipping into the Utility folder: Console.app

Ahh, the inaugural post in a new series, what can be more exciting? Gather round, readers, as we take a tour of the wonders that lurk in the Utility folder on your trusty Mac (in OS X). These apps don't get the glory, but they are the quiet dutiful friend that every Mac user turns to at one point or another.

The first app in the spotlight is: Console.app. What is it, you ask? Console.app is a one trick pony, but it is a useful trick: reading, searching, and displaying all the logs on your Mac. Many apps, and OS X processes, write to a file, called a log, whenever they perform certain tasks (like, crashing). This is a great way to figure out what is going on with your Mac when things go wonky, or if you are just curious as to what is happening on your system.

The preferences (seen to the right) aren't voluminous, but they are pretty useful for those that like to be in the know. You can have the Console icon bounce whenever the currently open log is written to, which could come in handy when you're trying to troubleshoot an intermittent problem. You can also interrupt your workflow and have Console become the front window when a log is written to.

These logs aren't for the faint of heart, but with a little digging (and use of the 'Filter,' which is just a search box) these arcane logs will make sense.
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