PB acting like a Windoze machine

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by buckuxc, Jan 20, 2004.

  1. buckuxc macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2003
    I've had my 12" Powerbook for a week now and it's been working wonderfully. However, not so much in the last two days. I know I only have a 1Ghz G4 and 256MB of RAM, but all the great things I've been hearing about Macs running well don't seem to be happening anymore. The first few days it ran flawlessly, bu in the last two or three days I've been getting the stupid beachball a lot. Applications have taken an incredible time come back from hiding or load in the first place. And I just tried to open a widget in Konfabulator and the program disappeared from the menubar. The other widgets are still working, but no Konfabultor menu icon and the widget I tried to open didn't do so. What's going on here? I added several programs in the first days of using the machine, I've changed the settings to things I want, etc. Am I just using to much CPU power or RAM? I know I should get some more RAM but I have to wait til I can afford it. Which won't be for another week or so. Can anyone help? I want to have fun with my PB, not get stuck at the tech desk like every other student with a Dell on campus! Thanks.

  2. pdrayton macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Sounds like you need to repair permissions... something that you should do after installing or updating software.

    To repair permissions go to Applications -> Utilities -> Disk Utility. Once Disk Utility is open click on "Repair Permissions". This should get you back to fast operation again :)

    Also, since you're using widgets ( I love those widgets!), check out one of the newest widgets that repairs permissions for you automatically after you add new software or do an update.

    I've got the 12" 1GHz PB, too, and switched from Windows several months ago. You're going to really love your PB!
  3. buckuxc thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2003
  4. haganah macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2003
    I have the same problem but I would like to know what "repair permissions" means.

  5. pdrayton macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Here's how it's described in Apple Help. Not sure how they expect you to find this in Apple Help, except if you type "My Mac runs slow" in the search it should pull the following up:

    "Occasionally the user permissions associated with files or applications become damaged, which can prevent a file or application from opening. This problem can also cause the computer to run very slowly. If you have either of these problems, you may be able to fix them by using Disk Utility to repair permissions on the startup disk.

    You can only verify or repair disk permissions on the startup disk.

    Repairing permissions is also a good maintenance task after updating the system or installing new software."

    - - - - -

    So, are you two back at normal speed, now?
  6. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    permissions come from the UNIX that is under the OS X. under UNIX file system, each file/folder is assigned three different permissions (read, write and execute) for three different groups of users (for yourself, other "group" members and everyone).

    fixing the permission simply means restoring these permissions to the appropriate state. i still haven't figured out why they get messed up to begin with, but it's generally a good maintenance thing to do...
  7. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    i usually run a repair every month and every major update
  8. idea_hamster macrumors 65816


    Jul 11, 2003
    NYC, or thereabouts
    I recall an incident at the university book store. A student had bought a Mac (a 6100 of some sort, I think, to give you an idea of the year) and had brought it back, livid at how "It just slows down to a crawl after an hour or so."

    The tech there set the machine up and asked to be shown what the student meant. Very quickly the tech realized that rather than quit out of any application, the student was just closing the windows. No surprise that the poor machine ran slowly!

    Ah, the good old days of RAM allocation ... oh, wait, those days stunk. Oh, well.
  9. Fukui macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2002
    Installers, and other "Utilities" that install things under the hood...even things as simple as printer drivers can have the wrong permissions and won't execute (for example) and the OS sits there waiting for some thing(s) to start up but they don't, giving you the beachball.

    As for the slowness that the original poster is complaining about...remove konfabulator. Its all Java (AFAIK), so that explains the slowness and RAM hogging that is occuring...if you dont wanna throw out lonfabulator, you might double your RAM and see if that helps.

    I myself uninstalled konfabulator after about an hour because it was so slow....
  10. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003

    This is a aqua front end to crontab.

    why not just tell your computer to do it while your sleep!

    just set cronnix to run this command weekly or monthly or whatever floats your boat

    "diskutil repairPermissions /"
    (without the quotes)

    if you actually give a hoot about seeing the logfile of this just redirect to a text file.

    "diskutil repairPermissions / > ~/repairlog.txt"
    (no quotes)
    that will save it into your $Home directory.

    if you don't want graphically stuff or want to install anything extra.

    goto terminal and type:
    man crontab
    just type: crontab

    basically just make a text file
    and put this in it.

    oh first lets give a little info
    minutes 0 - 59
    hour 0 - 23
    day of the month 1-31
    month 1-12
    day of week 0-6 (sunday-monday)
    you can seperate multi times with a comma. hyphen does something but i don't remember. * is all possible values.

    anyhow make a plain text file. no fancy format just plain txt, and add something like this. the best way from command prompt is type: pico
    this is a basic text edit, that you use the arrows keys and ^x to save and exit. the help is at the bottom on the screen. for you more unix inclined you can use emacs or vi, but i am trying to simple here.

    In the text editor put this:

    0 4 * * 5 diskutil repairPermissions / > ~/repairlog.txt

    (i.e. friday and 4:00)


    0 0 1,15 * * diskutil repairPermissions / > ~/repairlog.txt

    1st and 15th at midnight.

    save your file

    then run:
    crontab savedFileName

    to delete your crontab file and restart from scratch
    crontab -r
    crontab -l (list the crontab file)

    you can get fancy and backup files with this or script other fun stuff to do. i hope i didn't miss anything... hmmm
  11. neoelectronaut macrumors 68030


    Dec 3, 2003
    Southeastern Louisiana
    I read somewheres once that I should "repair disk" every now and then also...(over on the right of disk utility) Is this true? If so, why? And how often?
  12. bankshot macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2003
    Southern California
    Re: PB acting like a Windoze machine

    There are some good suggestions here, but ultimately I do think this is your main problem. My PowerBook at work had a problem where only one of the two memory slots was recognized, so I was effectively down to 256 MB. It was painful. Mind you, this is a machine where I am routinely running MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook (in Classic), Safari, Terminal, X11, Preview, plus my own custom code that crunches on huge scientific datasets (500MB+). It was unbearably slow switching between apps, to the point that I'd quit one if I knew I wouldn't be using it for an hour. And forget about running Virtual PC at all with anything else going on.

    Unfortunately I couldn't afford to be without it for a week until recently, so I gritted it out for 2 months before sending it in for repair the other week. Now that it's back to normal with 512 MB, it's like a whole new machine.

    And actually it's supposed to have a gig of memory. We bought 3rd party memory to upgrade but they were all bad (a number of people had problems with the 15" AlBooks and 3rd party memory). We're STILL working with the vendor to get working replacement parts (things can move soooo slowly in corporate land!), but at least I have the original 512. When I get a working gig, it'll be insane! :D

    If you only need to wait one week to bump up your memory, consider yourself fortunate. And then buy yourself as much as you can reasonably afford. :cool:
  13. Chappers macrumors 68020


    Aug 12, 2003
    At home
  14. pdrayton macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2004
    Boston, MA
    I have 512MB RAM and Konfabulator doesn't run slow at all, nor seem to have much impact on other apps (however, "scrolling news feeds" are processor hogs!).

    But, I just upgraded to the latest Konfabulator... thanks for the tip!

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