Odd Request: slowing down a computer

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by yippy, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #1
    I was wondering if you guys have any ideas for making a computer a bit slower without changing the hardware.

    My brother is addicted to WOW and because of it has dropped out of high school. We are hopping that if the game becomes unbarable he might stop playing or at least get a job in order to upgrade the computer.

    Our computer is already at the low end: 1Ghz G4 with 768MB RAM and a gForce 4 MX graphics card. He gets 2.5 FPS a lot so it shouldn't take much to make it unplayable. However, he is smart enough to quit all applications before playing and would notice a change in the hardware.

    Thanks for the help.


    P.S. Before you flame me for "bad parenting" remember this. This is after years of fighting a losing battle with getting him to do work. He is on anti-depressents been through 4 councelors and was walked though high school by the special education program. We have also tried getting him off the game by forcing him off, bribing him off and giving him motivation to get off. Nothing has worked. So please don't flame.
     
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #2
    You can always drop the internet connection and cable tv in the house (completely), make it a little more boring to stay at home.
     
  3. yippy thread starter macrumors 68020

    yippy

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #3
    Not a bad idea but the rest of us depend to much on the internet and TV. Plus, we don't have cable TV, we are some of the few people who only have an entenna (like rabbit ears but ours is bigger).

    I was just thinking if there is a way to run a background task, like a terminal command but without needing terminal open.
     
  4. Unspeaked macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Location:
    West Coast
    #4
    Bring it down to 256MB of RAM.

    He'll never want to play WoW again - not like it would launch anymore.
     
  5. SuperCompu2 macrumors 6502a

    SuperCompu2

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Location:
    MA
    #5
    If you're not running Tiger you should upgrade to it, all the way to 10.4.7

    the only non-hardware stuff i can think of

    but, if he doesnt not do anything else but WoW, and you took away some RAM, how would he get it back? Im guessing he doesnt have a job, therefore could not buy it. And you could always hide it, and promie it back in exchange for his cooperation. If he is the kind to snoop around and upend a house to find something, store it at a friend's, or somewhere safe.

    my 2 cents
     
  6. Unspeaked macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Location:
    West Coast
    #6
    Turn on Fast User Switching (if you don't already have it on), log into your account, launch every application on the computer, set some stuff to stream in iTunes, maybe play a looping Quicktime movie, etc, etc.

    Then go to the login window, but leave your account running.

    When he goes into his account to play Warcraft, it'll be slow as molasses.
     
  7. SuperCompu2 macrumors 6502a

    SuperCompu2

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Location:
    MA
    #7

    and add a login password to boot, this should do it.
     
  8. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #8
    Try a few doors down. One of the distributed computing projects might do the trick.
     
  9. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    The Dallas 'burbs
    #9
    Enforce new house rules and shut down the router during his peak WOW playing hours. It's not like anyone else can be using the computer while he's on. If you have multiple computers in the house just block the WOW machine from internet access.

    You could also look into Folding at home. I think somewhere in the settings you can tell it how nice to be with giving up processor when needed. If you max it out it should try to hold the processor all the time. It can be run as a service at boot so it never shows up anywhere but the task manager.
     
  10. vniow macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    I accidentally my whole location.
    #10
    The only problem with that is the brother could restart the computer and only log into his account when it boots up again. Something I was thinking was to type "yes > /dev/null" (no quotes) into the Terminal but if its in his account he can stop it and if its not in his than it sufferes for the aforementioned problem.
     
  11. Josias macrumors 68000

    Josias

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    #11
    No offence to you, but: What a loser your brother is!

    C'mon, he dropped out of High school and spent many of the states and probably also your money just because he's lazy and wants to play World of Warcraft.:mad: Get the boy off his drugs by simple buying him an old laptop running Win 95/98, just so he can go on the net for studying and then work in Word. This may seem harsh, but with what he's put you through, and what idiot he's been to everyone I can imagine, this is only fair. Don't be afraid to make him learn the hard way, since the soft way won't work. Also, if you're paying for his WoW account, stop paying! Or else, delete it somehow, it's your parents IP adress, and they can somehow make them ban his account. Or else, you could just cut off internet from his room. Of course he would need to borrow one of your computers to study on the net, but! Remember, he's like a kid or animal, you have to gain his respect to make him obey you. You have clearly lost all his respect by: 1. Bribing him to quit Wow. 2. Faling in every other method of parenting, since he's turned out so.

    I'm sorry to be so harsh on you, but it's sad a human should sink so low. Trust me, my dad was in the military, to gain respect, you must ve harsh and careful, not to be too harsh. you should simply make him gain your respect by doing the above, and thereafter also making him study real good, due to what he's put you through. Explain to him he's not 12 years any longer, the real world is not Wow, and no matter how sad he pretends to be, don't go back on what you said/did, therefore, also be careful about what you say/do.

    Now get this boy to work! I'm happy when I see a B- average on his report card!

    I'm not writing this to play tough, merely to help your brother.;)
     
  12. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #12
    Wow, I have friends who are addicted to that game but never heard of it being that bad. Good luck Yippy with a solution.
     
  13. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #13
    Now that's a sorry story, and I can't say it sounds like slowing down the computer is the solution, but there are a couple of easy things you could do:

    First, if you haven't already, create seperate accounts on the computer and turn on fast user switching. Only give your brother the password to his own account, make sure it's NOT an admin account, and make sure everybody else always drops it back to the login screen when they're done with the computer (but DOESN'T log out). That way the only way he's going to be playing the game is on his own account, and he won't be able to mess with any settings you don't want him messing with.

    At that point, just having another user running, even if they're not doing anything, will slow down that computer somehwat. If you want to further degrade performance, you can just launch a moderately RAM-hungry app in another account and leave it open--instant performance hit. If you REALLY want to kill it, launch something that chews up some processor, and between that and the RAM hit, it should be totally unplayable. yes > /dev/null will max out the processor, but that might be a "nice" process so it won't actually affect performance; just opening RAM-hungry apps is probably a far better way of doing "damage".

    If you're running 10.4, you have additional controls available for his account. If you want to prevent him from running it entirely, just crank up the restrictions and you can prevent it from even launching.
     
  14. Unspeaked macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Location:
    West Coast
    #14
    Two more things:

    1) Open Firmware Protect the machine so he can't reboot it (thus preventing him from rebooting once you've done my Fast User Switch tip above).

    2) Consider blocking the WoW ports with the FireWall; that way, the computer will behave just as it does now, and eveyone can still go online, but it just won't do the ONE thing you don't want it to do.
     
  15. Unspeaked macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Location:
    West Coast
    #15

    Isn't "aforementioned" such a great word?

    I try to use it at least once a day...
     
  16. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    The Dallas 'burbs
    #16
    That brings up another question. Are you running multiple accounts on this PC and does he have admin access? If the answer to both is yes, put him on a limited account, WOW will probably no longer work (along with many other apps). If you are not running multiple accounts, come up with a good reason to (i.e. don't like his desktop clutter... etc). XP is horrible at handling limited accounts (I always have trouble getting everything to run properly when I do it on my home PC).

    Edit: thought this was running on a PC for some reason.... need to read more closely.
     
  17. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #17
    This is a good point, since you can just hold down the power button even if you don't have permission to do a software reboot, but surely you can enforce some sort of punitive punishment if he turns off "what someone else was in the middle of doing." That is, you hard-reboot to kill my programs, you've just lost WoW privlege for the next 24 hours or whatever (use the parental controls to prevent it from launching or just remove access permission from its directory). It's a perfectly legit complaint--I know I'd be highly cheesed if my wife hard rebooted the computer when I had something important running.
     
  18. d wade macrumors 65816

    d wade

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Boca Raton, FL
    #18
    sad.. but sounds exactly like a friend of mine. plays WoW all day and does nothing else. no job, no school, nothing. that game sounds real addicting. good thing im not into computer games like that
     
  19. DJMastaWes macrumors 65816

    DJMastaWes

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec
    #19
    This is a small thing, but will make it a LITTLE bit slower, not much.

    if you have not already done so then...Turn dock magnification to max, have apps bounce at launch, use genie effect, not scale.

    It's barley a diffrence, but do that with the other ideas and it should work great.
     
  20. Macmaniac macrumors 68040

    Macmaniac

    #20
    Ah good idea with the firewall, just block all the ports for WoW. Also make sure you block the ports that WoW updater uses, that we he can't update, thus he can't play.

    You could also download folding@home or Seti@home and have it run in the terminal.
     
  21. Unspeaked macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Location:
    West Coast
    #21

    It seems to me that the OP is trying to be as unobtrusive as possible. In other words, he doesn't want the brother to know he's slowing down the machine on him, lest he throw some mad fit (or something).

    That being said, I don't think there's ANYTHING you can do that will seamlessly ruin his World of Warcraft experience; at least, not without him knowing something's up.

    I'm sure you have your reasons for wanting this to be as invisible as possible, and I won't ask what they are, but until you deal with THOSE issues, there's little that can be done on your Mac to help your brother out...
     
  22. d wade macrumors 65816

    d wade

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Boca Raton, FL
    #22
    sell his character on ebay lol. some serious dorks pay like $400 for the high level guys
     
  23. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #23
    SSH into his computer from another computer on your network, and type "halt -q" randomly while he's playing WoW.

    That'll force-shutdown his computer.

    You can also make an applescript/automator that does it at regular intervals. :)
     
  24. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #24
    I don't know you don't want him to know you're trying to limit his playing time.

    Just change his login password. Tell him if he wants to play WOW he can get his own computer. If he can't afford his own computer, tell him to get a job.

    If he throws a fit, throw him out of the house.
     
  25. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #25
    One of my former roommates dropped out of college because of WoW. It's an addiction worse than drugs...the pothead who lived across the hall went to class on a frequent basis, my roommate never left his desk to take a piss or sleep.
     

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