How to keep OS X focused?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Ivory10, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. Ivory10 macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2010

    I have finally ordered my MBP 17 (i7, 500gb@7200,glossy). While waiting for delivery, I have been reading lots of nice threads of the "what to do when you get your MBP" and "essential apps/widgets" varieties.

    It's all very exciting as this is my first Mac, but before going into a download frenzy there is something I would like to understand. One of the reasons why I went for a Mac is that I'd like to run virtual instruments on it, something Macs apparently excel at. For those who are not familiar with the subject, this type of software can be very taxing on the system and requires power and speed at CPU, HDD and especially RAM level.

    Now the question: if I go downloading apps, widgets, anti virus/spyware, Bodega (who looks automatically for software updates), etc, is there a way to tell OS X: look, when I run my virtual piano + garageband (or logic pro) I want you to focus just on this, do not go looking for updates, scan my HDD or do anything that isn't related to playing music?

    And if I can do it, is there an efficient way to do it? I don't know, maybe with automator/quicksilver?

  2. TaylorJ macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2010
    All I can think of is the app "think". Its not exaclty what you are looking for, but its close. I doubt you will be able to find what your looking for, unless you code something yourself.
  3. magamo macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2009
    I have this little widget which kills all dashboard widgets until you activate the widget function by hitting F4. I forgot where I got it, but you should be able to find it somewhere on the internet. Also, I don't have any anti-virus/spyware program on my MBP, and it doesn't seem like you definitely need one. The auto-update thingy should be under your control, I guess.
  4. DKatri macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2009
    Birmingham, UK
    There's an app called concentrate which does something similar to what you want IIRC
  5. Ivory10 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2010
    I had a quick look on the internet and it looks like widget killer / concentrate could be the easy way to go.

    It looks like "Think" "dims" applications, which makes me guess it wants you to focus instead of OS X?

    Anyway, now that I ve got a hint I'll look for reviews and other info and report back.

    One question: you say I do not need antivirus/ antimalware etc. Now, without going into the "virus on Mac" thing, I am happy with the fact that viruses are not really a concern, but what about spyware/loggers etc? How do you guys deal with that? I mean, it's obvious not to download unknown and dodgy looking apps, but what about a malicious, masked website for example?
  6. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
  7. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    So basically, you don't want any popups? That's easy, disable automatic update of software update (for apple only programs), don't install macromedia software ;) and do not install any anti virus scanners (or run them manually). Widgets will not "focus" themselves.
  8. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    Your computer can easily handle running a bunch of simple background tasks without any problems. Also don't bother with antivirus software for the Mac. Waste of resources.
  9. magamo macrumors 6502

    Apr 6, 2009
    If you go to MRoogle and search for forum posts about spyware/trojans, you can read about how you don't need to worry too much.
  10. Ivory10 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2010
    I have identified 2 ways so far:

    1) Use Concentrate

    2) - Manage updates so they happen when I am not playing
    - Use "Dashboarder", an Automator script to switch on/off Dashboard
    - Do not use antivirus or use it but make sure scans and updates happen at the "right" time

    I have also read great things about Quicksilver. Still with regards to memory management, do you guys find it slows down the system?

    With regards to security, I have gone through a Mroogle search and it is pretty reassuring. However, there are 2 things I am not sure about:

    1) the admin password is requested before any potentially dangerous change: is that always the case or do I need to set the MBP up so that this happens?

    2) people report that "malware can be hidden in flash videos" - what does that actually mean?

  11. moel macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2007
    Security issues

    When a SYSTEM LEVEL change is being requested (i.e the installation or change of anything that has the possibility of knackering your system) it will request the password automatically. No need to set anything up.

    Usual times this will happen, is when you install a new app, or something requiring "super user" access.

    As for the malware in flash videos...honestly you have nothing to worry about. You have a mac now, it's time to leave the paranoid thinking back in the world of windows :)

    Enjoy monsieur!
  12. maril1111 macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2010
    You don't need to set up some kind of Memory management just after you installed all of your Software go to System Preferences>Accounts>Login Items and click the ones you don't need and press the - on the bottom also you can add your important apps to the List using the + button.

    Unless you plan on running a lot of tracks Simultaneously in your Music software you can easily leave a few apps open without any issues
  13. Blondie :) macrumors 6502a

    Blondie :)

    May 12, 2010
    Prescott, AZ
    really man, I've done quite a bit of music stuff (like garageband) and such myself. One of the things I absolutely LOVE about the Mac is the fact that it is so good about the way it handles it resources. Because really, even if you're doing all that stuff, your mac will only "focus" on the window that you have open, and essentially put everything else to sleep. I'm not entirely certain that you really need any sort of program to make it "focus" more :D
  14. Ivory10 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2010
    Thanks guys, it all sounds a lot more reassuring!

    Well, it depends on what instruments you use - for example, if you want to use the VSL Vienna Imperial piano:

    - it won't even work on 5400rpm hard drive
    - RAM requirement is @3GB
    - Sample size for 1 instrument (it's not a library!) is in the 55GB region

    So, if you use that piano, plus garageband for example and maybe something like band-in-a-box, you're quickly going towards the system limits. That is why I am so interested in making sure the system "focuses" just on playing.

    Also the current Synthogy Ivory is known to struggle on 2GB Ram and anything below 7200rpm as HDD. And this does not take into account that the new 64-bit version is coming out any day, with system requirements still undisclosed.
  15. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    What spyware? What loggers? Keep in mind apple only has about 10% market share, not worth the effort to most hackers/virus programmers.
  16. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    The Mac OS X Malware Myth Continues

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