One of the main reasons I was interested in upgrading my Macs to 10.5 was the inclusion of Spaces. I’ve been working with virtual desktops on Linux for years. I’ve gotten so used to being able to partition applications by logical group, what I was doing, that I’ve found working with windows and older versions of OSX rather painful. There was just never enough room and I was always spending time moving windows around instead of getting things done.
I would have a desktop for web browsing, one for email, one for tailling logs, … And then on top of it all I would use xosview placed in a corner and visible on every desktop to get a quick view of what my computer was doing at any moment.
I discovered awhile back that OSX had the Activity Monitor, which is found in the Utilities folder in Applications. It’s not quite as good as xosview, but it gets the major things. I usually put in the dock and set it up to show memory and then have a floating cpu window.
The main drawback though was that the cpu indicator would only be on one desktop with Spaces. So if you moved to another desktop you wouldn’t have that quick view. Today I discovered that if you go to the Spaces Preferences there is an option to specify that certain applications reside in all desktops. I simple added the Activity Monitor to this list and now the floating cpu window is always in the bottom left corner, no matter which desktop I was on.