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View Full Version : How to make os x feel faster on a old computer


NusuniAdmin
Jun 7, 2004, 07:46 PM
These are the exact things i did to increase os x's speed a lot. First I removed all the extra menu bar thingies, like the ichat menu and the displays menu,these slowed the login procudure alot. Secondly I put all my files into folders that were on the desktop, this helped increase speed by having to load less files. The thirdly I took many of the extra Icons off the dock. All of this with a repair permissions and updated prebindings increased it alot for my beige g3 500 mhz. With the dock I also turned off animated app openings. The biggest thing was I put on the Dark Glass (version 1) theme via Theme Changer. Even though menus and junk are all transparent I noticed a huge huge HUGE speed increase over the aqua gui.

I just thought this would help anyone with an older computer out.

just my 5 cents

Ever since I did all of this os x uses less ram as well. Before On average I would have around 170 megs available, but after all this I have around 200 megs. This is a big difference because I only use 352 megs of ram.

Also, regular non admit accounts generally run faster, but its not that big of a difference.

wrldwzrd89
Jun 8, 2004, 07:28 AM
These are the exact things i did to increase os x's speed a lot. First I removed all the extra menu bar thingies, like the ichat menu and the displays menu,these slowed the login procudure alot. Secondly I put all my files into folders that were on the desktop, this helped increase speed by having to load less files. The thirdly I took many of the extra Icons off the dock. All of this with a repair permissions and updated prebindings increased it alot for my beige g3 500 mhz. With the dock I also turned off animated app openings. The biggest thing was I put on the Dark Glass (version 1) theme via Theme Changer. Even though menus and junk are all transparent I noticed a huge huge HUGE speed increase over the aqua gui.

I just thought this would help anyone with an older computer out.

just my 5 cents

Ever since I did all of this os x uses less ram as well. Before On average I would have around 170 megs available, but after all this I have around 200 megs. This is a big difference because I only use 352 megs of ram.

Also, regular non admit accounts generally run faster, but its not that big of a difference.
I'm surprised that applying a certain theme would speed things up. I'm also surprised than you have so much free RAM. On a normal Mac OS X install, free RAM should always be less than 50 MB, no matter how may applications you have running, RAM physically installed, or other conditions present. This is because Mac OS X uses RAM for caching data, both for its own use and to launch applications faster.

boomtopper
Jun 8, 2004, 07:41 AM
I have found that you are right about the menu bar with all the widgets in the right hand corner. I get so annoyed waiting for them to load on startup

wrldwzrd89
Jun 8, 2004, 07:49 AM
I have found that you are right about the menu bar with all the widgets in the right hand corner. I get so annoyed waiting for them to load on startup
The only menubar widget I use is the International one - it comes in handy for summoning the special characters pallette.

NusuniAdmin
Jun 8, 2004, 08:34 AM
Lets jsut say in the regular aqua gui my big ol safari bookmark menu takes on average 7 seconds to display, but with the theme it takes around 3-4

NusuniAdmin
Jun 8, 2004, 08:36 AM
I'm surprised that applying a certain theme would speed things up. I'm also surprised than you have so much free RAM. On a normal Mac OS X install, free RAM should always be less than 50 MB, no matter how may applications you have running, RAM physically installed, or other conditions present. This is because Mac OS X uses RAM for caching data, both for its own use and to launch applications faster.

What are you talking about, on my dual (with 1 gig ram) i ALWAYS have atl east 512 megs free

[EDIT: here is a screenshot of top:
http://homepage.mac.com/nusuni5/top.jpg

blue&whiteman
Jun 8, 2004, 09:01 AM
What are you talking about, on my dual (with 1 gig ram) i ALWAYS have atl east 512 megs free

[EDIT: here is a screenshot of top:
http://homepage.mac.com/nusuni5/top.jpg

well, it says 182 free. looks like you don't even have as much as 512.

NusuniAdmin
Jun 8, 2004, 09:53 AM
That was on my beige, not on my dual.

wrldwzrd89
Jun 8, 2004, 11:22 AM
What are you talking about, on my dual (with 1 gig ram) i ALWAYS have atl east 512 megs free

[EDIT: here is a screenshot of top:
http://homepage.mac.com/nusuni5/top.jpg
Now that I see the screenshot, I have an answer for you - your theme. You're using a theme that puts less load on the system than the default Aqua theme - that frees up memory for other uses. This means you DON'T have a normal Mac OS X installation (in my view, using a theming application counts as abnormal since all themers are hacks), so my point is still valid.

NusuniAdmin
Jun 8, 2004, 11:41 AM
Now that I see the screenshot, I have an answer for you - your theme. You're using a theme that puts less load on the system than the default Aqua theme - that frees up memory for other uses. This means you DON'T have a normal Mac OS X installation (in my view, using a theming application counts as abnormal since all themers are hacks), so my point is still valid.

Not true, the aqua gui is simply a few pictures in the system directory, that is IT. Replacing those it not actually a hack. And that is all that themer's do (well the good ones). Is switching my desktop picture a hack in your opinion, well occording to your opinion up i quoted it is. Switching a desktop picture is simply changing which picture the system uses, which is what themers do (like i said before, the good ones).

blue&whiteman
Jun 8, 2004, 11:45 AM
Switching a desktop picture is simply changing which picture the system uses, which is what themers do (like i said before, the good ones).

would you consider shapeshifter a good one? I find it stable and all but on xbench I got a 56 with shapeshifter enabled and a 61 with it off. this is on a b&w g3 with a G4 500 upgrade.

what theme app and what themes will improve my speed as opposed to slowing it like shapeshifter did? btw I used both the milk and smooth stripes themes on shapeshifter. are there shapeshifter themes that will speed things? I would like to get some use out of it since I paid for it but I have not been using it because of the slowdown.

NusuniAdmin
Jun 8, 2004, 12:05 PM
would you consider shapeshifter a good one? I find it stable and all but on xbench I got a 56 with shapeshifter enabled and a 61 with it off. this is on a b&w g3 with a G4 500 upgrade.

what theme app and what themes will improve my speed as opposed to slowing it like shapeshifter did? btw I used both the milk and smooth stripes themes on shapeshifter. are there shapeshifter themes that will speed things? I would like to get some use out of it since I paid for it but I have not been using it because of the slowdown.

I recommened themechanger, http://themechanger.sourceforge.net . There is no enablind or anything, it does exactly as its told, to simply switch a few graphics. It is hard to tell the diff between between a good theme and bad one, i recommened to just dl the theme and try it out.

Ah yes and the guy from before, the graphics that themechanger switch is System>library>frameworks>carbon.framework>frameworks>hitoolbox.framework>resources>extra.rsrc
That is the file that EVERY theme changer must switch to change the aqua theme. I really do not see how that is a hack. The diff between bad and good is bad requires you to enable something or do some funky thing, but good simply does as its told. Actually also by your def. updating the carbon lib or anything in the system would be having a non regular os x install, because it alters files.

wait shapeshifter is a usanity product, DO NOT USE IT, anything made by them i really really really go against.

wrldwzrd89
Jun 8, 2004, 12:39 PM
Not true, the aqua gui is simply a few pictures in the system directory, that is IT. Replacing those it not actually a hack. And that is all that themer's do (well the good ones). Is switching my desktop picture a hack in your opinion, well occording to your opinion up i quoted it is. Switching a desktop picture is simply changing which picture the system uses, which is what themers do (like i said before, the good ones).
Nope, wrong again - you're not seeing my view correctly. Changing the desktop is a built-in and officially supported function (and requires minimal interfacing with Quartz), thus it is not a hack. Changing the theme is not only unsupported by Apple, but also requires overriding the Aqua window manager - two qualities that qualify theming programs as hacks.

NusuniAdmin
Jun 8, 2004, 12:56 PM
Nope, wrong again - you're not seeing my view correctly. Changing the desktop is a built-in and officially supported function (and requires minimal interfacing with Quartz), thus it is not a hack. Changing the theme is not only unsupported by Apple, but also requires overriding the Aqua window manager - two qualities that qualify theming programs as hacks.

How does it override the window manager, it simply replaces 1 single file for the human interface guideline framework, that is it, there is no window manager involved.

The HI framework has absolutely nothing to do with the manager, it is totally seperate from the manager. The manager does not give a crap what the rsrc file has in it, as long as its in correct format.

A true hack harms the system/program and its enviroment, but changing the extra.rsrc file does not (unless its in incorrect format, but you have o be pretty dumb to do that).

Im done arguing with you. Attempting to install slackware 9.1 on vpc.....this is going to be so much fun </sarcasm>

wrldwzrd89
Jun 8, 2004, 01:58 PM
How does it override the window manager, it simply replaces 1 single file for the human interface guideline framework, that is it, there is no window manager involved.

The HI framework has absolutely nothing to do with the manager, it is totally seperate from the manager. The manager does not give a crap what the rsrc file has in it, as long as its in correct format.

A true hack harms the system/program and its enviroment, but changing the extra.rsrc file does not (unless its in incorrect format, but you have o be pretty dumb to do that).

Im done arguing with you. Attempting to install slackware 9.1 on vpc.....this is going to be so much fun </sarcasm>
OK - I didn't know that theming could be that simple! I'm not going to continue this argument either. <sarcasm>You know what, while you're experimenting with emulators, install VPC, then PearPC inside of PearPC, then VPC inside of PearPC, and keep going - see how deep you can go!</sarcasm>

NusuniAdmin
Jun 8, 2004, 02:34 PM
OK - I didn't know that theming could be that simple! I'm not going to continue this argument either. <sarcasm>You know what, while you're experimenting with emulators, install VPC, then PearPC inside of PearPC, then VPC inside of PearPC, and keep going - see how deep you can go!</sarcasm>

Actually i had my dual at once point running ydl 3.01, running 10.3 with mol, which is running vpc (red hat 9) which is running windows xp with WINE which is running basilisk ii (performa 550 rom, os 7.6). Does this count? :P

wrldwzrd89
Jun 8, 2004, 03:39 PM
Actually i had my dual at once point running ydl 3.01, running 10.3 with mol, which is running vpc (red hat 9) which is running windows xp with WINE which is running basilisk ii (performa 550 rom, os 7.6). Does this count? :P
Yes it does! That's some serious layered emulation you had going there. How fast was basilisk ii (the innermost emulator) on your dual? Was the performance acceptable? How about the others?

NusuniAdmin
Jun 8, 2004, 04:06 PM
Yes it does! That's some serious layered emulation you had going there. How fast was basilisk ii (the innermost emulator) on your dual? Was the performance acceptable? How about the others?

Well MOL does not emulate, it runs mac os at full speed (or at least 99% of the speed). And virtual pc running red hat...well vpc is slow anyways. By the time it got down to winxp it was starting to get kind of unacceptably slow. Then again winxp has so much eye candy..ya know wut i mean. ANd baslisk ii ran pretty well, well it can only emulate a 33 mhz 68030 so there was no reason for it to be any slower. It really sucked, this was pretty hard to manipulate and only lasted about 4 minutes until os x had a kernel panic somehow and crashed mol (im tryin to figure that one out). When I get a g5 (or g6) in a few years im gonna try it again :D

When i get my dual back together again i will post some screenshots if you like (if i can do this again...)...(i had to work on some things after we had a bad power surge when we had the last lightning storm..a few chips on the board fried and after my last experience with apple support i am never letting them touch another computer (first time i got it back...got wrong comp, second tiem got it back without video card or hd's, third time it stll did not work...fourth time it came back working and apple gave me a 30 dollar certificate thingy for itunes, prabably to avoid a suit))

Boy..we got off topic real fast....the best way to speed up os X is to get lots and lots of ram...

SpaceMagic
Jun 10, 2004, 03:46 AM
I'm surprised that applying a certain theme would speed things up. I'm also surprised than you have so much free RAM. On a normal Mac OS X install, free RAM should always be less than 50 MB, no matter how may applications you have running, RAM physically installed, or other conditions present. This is because Mac OS X uses RAM for caching data, both for its own use and to launch applications faster.


I have 512mb RAM on my G5 and there is usually 380mb FREE Physical memory. When running just Safari and iTunes.

wrldwzrd89
Jun 10, 2004, 07:23 AM
I have 512mb RAM on my G5 and there is usually 380mb FREE Physical memory. When running just Safari and iTunes.
That's interesting. I guess I'll have to revise my statement about Mac OS X and memory usage. Here's my new statement - Mac OS X caches data quite aggressively, unlike other operating systems, but it does handle memory like others do in that less memory is allocated when fewer applications are running (and thus more is free). This doesn't apply to virtual memory, however.

Powerbook G5
Jun 10, 2004, 08:18 AM
I also agree that the comment about OS X normally only having about 50 megs free is false. I have 512 megs RAM and have since I got my PowerBook a year ago and rarely do I ever go below 100 megs free, even with multiple applications open. Are you sure that you aren't using a memory intensive program or don't have some sort of memory leak? I find that to be poor memory management if you never have more than 50 megs free.

wrldwzrd89
Jun 10, 2004, 08:27 AM
I also agree that the comment about OS X normally only having about 50 megs free is false. I have 512 megs RAM and have since I got my PowerBook a year ago and rarely do I ever go below 100 megs free, even with multiple applications open. Are you sure that you aren't using a memory intensive program or don't have some sort of memory leak? I find that to be poor memory management if you never have more than 50 megs free.
I don't ever check my free memory anyway - I just thought that that was the way Mac OS X managed memory. I guess I was wrong - it's more like Mac OS 9 than I thought it was (except for the fact that application memory sizes are automatically calculated). I don't use anything especially memory intensive (Folding@Home is the only non-system application that runs 24/7).

titaniumducky
Jun 10, 2004, 09:21 AM
I also agree that the comment about OS X normally only having about 50 megs free is false. I have 512 megs RAM and have since I got my PowerBook a year ago and rarely do I ever go below 100 megs free, even with multiple applications open. Are you sure that you aren't using a memory intensive program or don't have some sort of memory leak? I find that to be poor memory management if you never have more than 50 megs free.

I have a one year old powerbook with 512MB of RAM too. The weird thing is I rarely go above 10MB free RAM. I always have lots of inactive RAM (about 150MB), but that's not free...

I always have Safari, iTunes, Mail, and iChat open. Those are just the standards. Sometimes Azureus, GarageBand, iPhoto, Photoshop, Word, Excel, Keynote.... Not all at once, of course.