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Process Lasso

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Using Process Lasso

About Process Lasso's Graphical User Interface

The Process Lasso Graphical User Interface is an easy to use application that allows the user to configure the rules governing running processes, view actions taken, list and manipulate running processes, and watch CPU usage, system responsiveness, and memory load on a graph. When run, its main window will be displayed and a notification icon that looks like a traffic light will be placed in the system tray area. Closing the main window will minimize it to the system tray. The main window can be reopened by clicking the system tray icon.

Remember, the Graphical User Interface (GUI) of Process Lasso does NOT need to be running for process rules to be enforced. That said, it consumes very little resources, especially when minimized to the system tray. However, you can completely close the GUI and simply keep the core engine (processgovernor.exe) running silently in the background to get all the benefits of Process Lasso with absolutely minimal overhead. When you exit the Process Lasso GUI, you will be asked if you would like to keep the core engine (processgovernor.exe) running or not. When configuration changes or status updates are wanted, you can then start the GUI from the system Start Menu.

During the install process, you can decide if you want to start the GUI and/or core engine for all users at login. Many times, people prefer to simply start the core engine for all users, getting the benefit of ProBalance without any additional overhead. Of course, you may then forget just how much benefit Process Lasso is doing you, but you'll be reminded if you ever uninstall the product ;). Again, the GUI really doesn't consume many resources at all, especially when minimized, so its recommended to let them both start up, except in extreme cases where RAM is really limited.

Index

  1. Main Window
  2. The Graph
    1. Highlighted ProBalance events
    2. Per-process CPU history
    3. RAM load graph
  3. All Processes Tab
    1. Select what process information to show
    2. Rules column meaning
    3. Single selection process context menu
    4. Multiple selection process context menu
  4. Active Processes Tab
    1. Select what process information to show
    2. Double clicking a process
    3. Single selection process context menu
    4. Multiple selection process context menu
  5. Keyboard Shortcuts
  6. Configuration Dialogs
    1. ProBalance Options
    2. ProBalance Exclusions
    3. Default CPU Affinities
    4. Default Priorities
    5. Auto-Terminate List
    6. Process Watchdog
    7. Instance count limits
    8. Keep running processes
    9. Gaming processes
    10. Anti-sleep processes
    11. Default Process Power Profiles
  7. Main Menu Options

Main Window

The main window consists of a CPU utilization and system responsiveness graph, a list of running processes, and a list of recent actions (log). The configuration of Process Lasso is made easy to tweak through the menu system. In the main menu you'll find all the general configuration options. Right-clicking on a process, or multiple processes, shows available operations on those process(es).

The Graph

The Process Lasso graph shows a calculation of system responsiveness and overall CPU utilization. The system responsiveness is calculated using a proprietary algorithm that measures the latency in the user interface (windowing) subsystem.

Highlighted portions of the graph indicate that an out-of-control process restraint occurred during that period. This can help you see the impact of Process Lasso on system responsiveness. Note that the highlighted areas of the graph may not be 100% accurate in their timing, but are somewhere very close. As future versions come the accuracy of the highlighted area will improve.

Highlighted ProBalance events

During periods when ProBalance takes action to ensure your system repsonsiveness remains high despite a spike in CPU use, the graph will be highlighted. The log can be referenced to see what actions were taken.

New in v4 - Hovering over a highlight even will show you the process(es) adjusted (in priority or CPU affinity) at that time.

highlight_tootlips_img

CPU history of selected process(es)

With Process Lasso you can see the individual CPU history of process(es) you select in the process list. The CPU utilization history of all processes currently selected (highlighted) in the process list is drawn as a smaller white line on the graph. For example, the user below selected 'devenv.exe' and its CPU history was drawn onto the graph as a white line.

RAM Load Graph

New in v4 - A new RAM Load graph has been added to the right, even though the RAM load history is indicated on the main graph. This new graph is intended to give you a quick read on the RAM load. You can hide it by simply clicking it, or by using the View menu to toggle its visibility.

The All Processes Tab

The Process List shows running processes and allows for easy rule creation. You can right click on any process, or on multiple processes, to get a context menu of available options. Amongst many other things, the options include setting current priorities and affinities, as well as default priorities and affinities.

Single process context menu

The context menu when multiple processes are selected is different than when a single process is selected, since not all operations can be performed on multiple processes.

Multiple process context menu

As you can see, with Process Lasso you can select MULTIPLE processes at once and operate on them. Not all functions are available when multiple processes are selected, but most common ones are. This includes process rule creation.

Selecting which columns to show

You can select which columns you want visible by right-clicking on the 'All processes' tab, right-clicking on the list header, or using the 'View / Select Process Columns' menu. In addition, you can resize the columns (at their headers) and change the column ordering by dragging the column headers. These view changes will be remembered by Process Lasso. The same applies for the 'Active processes' tab. Note that right-clicking the 'Active processes' tab allows for setting process information shown in that column. Information in the 'Active processes' tab is more limited than information in the 'All processes' tab. However, double clicking on any process in the 'Active processes' tab will take you to its entry in hte 'All processes' tab.

Rules Column

The 'rules' column in the running process list gives a quick summation of rules that match the process. Its format is terse, but users get quickly acclimated to it once they understand how to read it. The format of the Rules column follows.

Rules column format: [X][x][K][g][M][e][s][p][Mx][R][s][iX][<-<<<<][#n][RHANBI][0-61]

Character(s) Meaning
X Excluded from ProBalance restraint
W A watchdog trigger of any type is set on this process
x Excluded from foreground boosting
e Energy Saver is disabled when this process is running [v6]
K Keep process running (auto-restart if terminated)
g Process is classified as a game
M Process is classified as a multimedia application
s Process will prevent the computer and display from sleeping
p Process will cause the PC to enter a particular Power Profile
#n Instance count limit of n, i.e. #2 for an instance limit of 2
Mx Where '#' is the default memory priority set for this process.
R Default priority class: Real time
H Default priority class: Highest
A Default priority class: Above normal
N Default priority class: Normal
B Default priority class: Below normal
I Default priority class: Idle
ih Default I/O priority class: High
in Default I/O priority class: Normal
il Default I/O priority class: Low
ib Default I/O priority class: Very Low (background)
0-61 Default CPU affinity, i.e. '02' for CPUs 0 and 2
< Throttle level lowest
<< Throttle level low
<<< Throttle level moderate
<<<< Throttle level high

The Active Processes Tab

Selecting which columns to show

You can select which columns you want visible in the 'Active Processes' tab the same way you can in the 'All Processes' tab. by right-clicking on the 'Active processes' tab or by right-clicking on the list header. In addition, you can resize the columns (at their headers) and change the column ordering by dragging the column headers. These view changes will be remembered by Process Lasso. Double clicking on any process in the 'Active processes' tab will take you to its entry in the 'All processes' tab, where additional information is available.

The Active Processes tab shows only processes that are actively utilizing the system CPU(s). It displays basic information about them, and a horizontal bar graph to visually depict their active CPU utilization.

Right clicking on one or more of the processes in the 'Active Processes' list show the same context menu as found in the 'All Processes' tab.
Double clicking on a process in the 'Active Processes' list will find the corresponding process in the 'All Processes' tab and make it visible.

Screenshot of the 'Active Processes' view:
[Active Processes Tab screenshot]

Double clicking a process in the active processes view

You can double click a process in the 'Active processes' tab to go to that process in the 'All processes' tab, where extended information is available.

Single process context menu

Right-clicking on a process in the 'Active Processes' tab shows the same context menu as in the 'All processes' tab. You can perform any available operation on the process.

The context menu when multiple processes are selected is different than when a single process is selected, since not all operations can be performed on multiple processes.

Multiple process context menu

Just as in the 'All processes' tab, you can select multiple processes and right-click on them to perform an operation on all of them.

Keyboard Shortcuts

DEL
Terminate selected processes (forcible)
CTRL+A
Select All processes in current view
CTRL+G
Toggle main graph visibility
CTRL+R
Toggle RAM load visibility

Configuration Dialogs

Out-of-Control Options

Tooltips!

Help on the options in this dialog can be obtained by hovering the mouse cursor over the item you want help on. After a few seconds, a popup tooltip will appear that describes the field you are hovering over.

Out-of-Control Exclusions

Persistent  Priority Classes

Persistent CPU Affinities

Auto-Terminate List

The processes listed here will get terminated when they are found to be running. Process Lasso can not (at present) actually prevent them from trying to start up, it just immediately terminates them when it finds them running.

Process Watchdog

The process watchdog allows for you to take an action on a process when it exceeds a certain amount of CPU or Memory. You can specify actions of Restart, Terminate, or Change Affinity. You can choose commit size of working set size if using a memory trigger. With both memory and CPU triggers, you can set a time the process must exceed this threshold before action is taken.

Instance Count Limits

You can limit the number of instances of a process allowed to be running at the same time (per user session) with this dialog. New instances of processes will be terminated if they match a pattern here and the number of instances is already equal to, or greater than, the instance count limit.

Keep Running Processes

You can ensure certain processes are kept running by entering in this dialog. This way, they can restart on crash, or restart if they become unresponsive. You can set this by right-clicking on a process, using the 'Keep process running', or by using application menu opion at 'Options / Configure Keep running processes ...'.

Gaming Processes

You can designate certain proceses as games. This causes Process Lasso to induce the High Performance Power Profile and make certain adjustments to ProBalance in an effort to ensure all available CPU cycles go to the game. This mode should ONLY be used for games or other very CPU intensive applications that need every bit of processing power. You designate a gaming process by right-clicking on a process, using the 'When running / Turn on gaming mode' menu, or by using application menu opion at 'Options / Configure Game processes ...'.

Anti-sleep Processes

You can prevent the PC and display from entering a sleep or hibernate state by adding them to the 'anti-sleep' list. You can do this by right-clicking on a process, using the 'When running' menu, or by using application menu opion at 'Options / Configure Anti-Sleep processes ...'.

Persistent Application Power Profiles

You can set certain processes to cause the system to enter the chosen Power Profile each time they are run. When they terminate, the system is returned to the previous power scheme. This lets you boost your PC's performance automatically when you need it, and save energy when you don't. You can do this by right-clicking on a process, using the 'When running' menu, or by using application menu opion at 'Options / Configure High Performance Power processes ...'. Entering this power scheume will disable CPU frequency scaling, giving you maximum performance. It will, however, drain the battery life of laptops, netbooks, and other portable computers faster than typical. When all 'High Performance' power mode processes end, the Power Profile is reset back to whatever it originally was.

Main Menu Options

Process Lasso's extensive menu system allows for configuration tweaks and other operations. The menus available are:

  • The application main menu
    Provides ability to to toggle numerous settings and more. These menu options are described below.
  • The process context menu (right-click)
    This menu lets you set specific options for a process.
  • The multi-process context menu (right-click)
    This menu lets you set specific options for several processes.
Using the Process Lasso application menu (the menu at the top) you can set a variety of options. They are explained below.