Powerbook help (dragging)

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by lil tiger, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. lil tiger macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2006
    I bought my 12" powerbook g4 in january, and i love it. Unfortunately, lately it seems to be running quite poorly. In the past week, safari has had TONS of errors, which usually are only fixed by multiple refreshes, and sometimes I have to close out the window and try to enter the site in a new window.

    But my main complaint is how it 'drags'. When I have quite a few safari windows open, it will go reaaaally slow. Even to get to expose sometimes will take a few seconds, but to switch between windows will go very slow, and use the loading wheel for sometimes up to 20 seconds or more. Most of these times all i have open is the safari windows, and ocassionally, itunes in the background as well.
    What are some things I can do to improve this? It wasn't like this when I first got it, so I'm hoping there are some things I can do to improve the speed.
    (If none of the suggestions work, I will probably upgrade the ram.. but i'm a bit wary on that because I have never done anything like that before and I'm nervous about unscrewing my beautiful machine :eek: )

    btw- 512 mb ram, 1.5 ghz, 37.1 gb free space.

    (and for comparison , when i click on dashboard now, with 5 safari windows open, it opens immediately, and has 60M free ram)


    *edit* also, while I'm asking.. our router seems to mess up quite often.. Our computer is downstairs running windows, and then the router is so my powerbook can pick up the signal. I think that the problem is the switching of usernames and other windows related activity that are messing up the router.. does anyone think this could be it?
    and how do you protect your wireless from others accessing it? my cousin has a psp, and he tries to 'borrow' the signal to download porn. He claims the psp can get past password protected signals anyway. is this true?
  2. funkychunkz macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    Doubt it's anything serious, bet you just need to do a little maintenance. After a while of usage, the cache can really build up and actually be so big that searching through it can slow down loading a bit. Go under Safari > Empty cache .

    Since it's not just really slow page loading (beach ball occurring too) it sounds like app or system lag. 60MMB of unused isn't a whole lot, you may want to check if there are any programs lurking and consuming CPU and Ram (use Activity Monitor).

    If you find nothing at all out of place (pay special attention to recently installed apps) it could be something entirely else ( bigger problem ). Please keep us posted.
  3. lil tiger thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2006
    thank you!! I cleared the cache, can't really tell yet if its helping, but I hope it will!
    and I think you're right about the maintenance because I'm not that familiar with how to do it on here (I could maintain great on windows- it was more than necessary, lol)

    As for the activity monitor:
    safari 2.90, 3.00... %CPU (keeps changing- just went to 29.40) and 173.5 mb
    activity monitor 2.20 (was as high as 8.50) %CPU 20.08 MB
    finder 0.0%CPU 20.07 MB
    weather widget 0.0%CPU 14.0 MB

    all the others are under 10. I trimmed down my dashboard a bit too, because I noticed that even though most had fairly small numbers, they would (of course) add up.
    I will work on getting a ton of windows open and see how it goes now!
    thanks :)

    *edit* I have 31 safari windows open, seems to be doing great, Thank you!!
  4. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    The amount of "free" RAM is pretty meaningless. You have to add "free" and "inactive" RAM to understand just how much extra RAM your machine has available beyond it's current load.

    The other thing to look at is page outs...that's an indication that you don't have enough RAM and will cause lags. If your page outs start to approach the number of page ins, you're definitely short on RAM.

    You will be experiencing some lags on only 512 MB of RAM...adding another 1 GB stick will definitely help your situation and is very easy to do.
  5. funkychunkz macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    That's what I meant, thanks. Why is it that apps behave erratically when there is something restricting it (ie. lack of RAM) Shouldn't it only slow things down (unless there is 0 RAM left, it can't really quite itself, that could be messy). If a mac is low on RAM, wouldn't it be neat if the system alerted you? I think that could save alot of people that trouble of looking it up on forums, or wasting their time reinstalling (I hear it alot).
  6. lil tiger thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2006
    page outs - 113.... , page ins- 146....
    and thats when I have only about 6 windows open now (plus adium, and itunes, but its not playing)

    inactive ram- 191.57, free- 14.70

    So how exactly would you go about putting in extra ram? and it wouldn't be that expensive would it? you could probably get some for around $100 right?
    It would be neat if it alerted you, yeah :) I never really knew what ram was before I got this computer, so I didn't pay attention to that when buying it :p I just cared about the size of the hard drive and a few other things :p
  7. funkychunkz macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    Go forth and google! Ya, even good ram isn't too expensive, generally the more you buy , the more you save (per meg). CrucialRAM has received good reviews here. There's probably a Mac Guide here about ram or installation.
  8. Fleetwood Mac macrumors 65816

    Fleetwood Mac

    Apr 27, 2006
    I don't think you really need more ram. :) If I were in your shoes I'd try a OS X reinstall, but that may be too time consuming for you.

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