PC Monitor in Review – Big brother is watching you!
With communication devices getting more powerful by the day, it’s not uncommon now to see a system administrator huddled over his smartphone somewhere in the subway, fixing an urgent issue on one of the company’s servers remotely. Keeping the herd of PC’s in check is often a challenge in this day and age, and sometimes the IT guys have to work day and night to ensure everything is running smoothly for us end users. That said, I bet our IT guys would love something like PC Monitor to ease their mind…
PC Monitor does exactly what the name implies – it monitors system information on your PCs, including processes, services, network interface activity and it even allows some nifty sysadmin tricks.
PC Monitor offers an impressive insight into the operation of your computer. From such basic information as the amount of available free memory and CPU temperature to a detailed process list and even an event log browser, you can dive deep into almost each and every aspect of the system. Additional handy tools include the ability to kill processes remotely, start/stop selected services, check out scheduled tasks and suspend/hibernate/shut down the PC. And last, but certainly not least you’ll be able to remotely execute terminal commands, with their result sent right back to your iDevice.
With such diverse features it’s no wonder you need a special server-side component running on your computer to make it all work. Currently only Windows PCs are supported, though the developers promise Linux and Mac OS X versions will be available soon. The installation is rather straightforward and supports both x86 and x64 versions of the operating system; ranging from the good old XP to the state-of-the-art Windows 7 and server releases. The server-side part runs as a service with no tray icon and all the configuration is done via a special application, allowing to toggle what functionality is available for this PC remotely, including designating specific services to monitor, authorizing specific devices tied to the account access and even locking the interface with a password. Unfortunately not all functionality is possible to toggle, with the terminal access being the most dangerous of them.
I was very impressed with the job the developers did with the interface. While seemingly simple it is fast, gorgeous and extremely easy to use. The monitored PCs are laid out in groups, making it easy to find the one actually needed and you can even try and bring one online if Wake-on-lan is enabled and you are on the same network. The only aspect I was disappointed with is the lack of information in the hardware monitor – where Speedfan on the PC displayed HDD temperature, a separate reading for each of the 4 cores and a general internal measure, I only got the HDD and 2 of the cores monitored.
PC Monitor is certainly off to a great start, offering detailed information on the system health of your Windows PCs and servers, together with some hefty control tools to keep them at bay. Of course it’s not perfect yet, with no Mac or Linux support at this time (the latter would be especially useful if various NAS manufacturers released support for it) and some limitations on the information provided, but for a mere $5 it is certainly an asset to professional system administrators and home users alike.
With this I declare PC Monitor officially touched!
|Title:||PC Monitor||Developer:||Marius Mihalec|
|Reviewed Ver:||1.3.2||Min OS Req:||4.0|