What can I do to make this more livable?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ArtOfWarfare, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #1
    I have an original MacBook Air.

    1.6 GHz Core 2 Duo,
    2 GB 667 MHz DDR2,
    10.7.5

    Hard Drive capacity is 119 GB and it has 13.62 GB available (is that too little? Would I notice any speed boosts by throwing some stuff away?)

    It can't upgrade to Maverick or Mountain Lion.
    It can't run the newest versions of iWork, Xcode, or Safari (although it is capable of running iWork on iCloud, which seems to have most of the features available in the desktop version.)

    If I had any budget flexibility, I'd replace it, but I'm a student $20K in debt with a storm of payment due dates in the coming months, so I'm stuck with this for at least the next four months - possibly even longer.

    Everything about this computer is sluggish. Launch Safari - it takes a few seconds to open a blank window (I already turned off a home page and that favorites grid view thing to speed it up.) Click on Spotlight - it takes a few seconds. Type in a text field - get a beach ball for a few seconds before the text shows up. Wake it from sleep, it takes ~30 seconds before it starts registering mouse clicks and button presses (the clock will actually be stuck during that time - my first thought is always "It crashed while sleeping?" but then it starts moving a minute later.)

    What is it that makes it this way? I can't imagine it behaved this poorly when it was first made 6 years ago. I've thought about downgrading to Snow Leopard, but I'm a developer using NSRegularExpression, which requires a minimum of Lion.

    So... any ideas for what I can do to get this computer to be a bit more livable?
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
  3. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #3
    So you are saying you expect things to stay static?

    Six year ago your OS (then) was optimized for that machine, a few updates later that OS got more stuff, more features but optimize for newer hardware.

    Apps same but even guiltier. In order to entice you to update, they throw in all these "features." Features=takes more horsepower.

    Lastly, web pages keep getting more and more complicated with yet more media, lots of videos blah-blah, while your hardware stays the same.

    A few seconds waiting ain't bad. Last time this year I was on a 10 years old Sony with 384 MB of ram. You think you got an old machine? :D
     
  4. ArtOfWarfare thread starter macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #4
    Thanks. Two things I did that seem to have helped a bit:

    1 - I deleted an account from the computer that belonged to the prior owner of the computer (after calling and verifying they didn't want anything from it anywhere.) Bam, it freed up 30 GB of my 120 GB hard drive. Now I have 43 GB free.
    2 - ClickToPlugin. I always install it on all of the computers I use - I don't know how this computer has been in my possession for so long and not had it installed yet.

    ----------

    No, I don't expect things to stay static. I'm a developer and I'm well aware of the fact that as machines get more powerful, I'm able to throw in more and more features that are less and less optimized (But I don't! I always do what I can to make sure my applications don't run amuck on any system.)

    What I'm getting at is the fact that this computer is running software that's almost as old as it is, but it's choking on it.

    Killing that old account seems to have actually helped a ton... I'll see if I still get as frustrated with the computer tomorrow morning as I was with it this morning.
     
  5. Dustman macrumors 65816

    Dustman

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2007
    #5
    This makes such a huge difference.
     
  6. ArtOfWarfare thread starter macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #6
    Actually, the biggest difference was freeing up 30 GB on my hard drive, I think. Virtual Memory Swap Used went from 5 GB to 15 GB - I suspect because I gave it more, it used more (although I'm not entirely sure how that's possible… unless the OS is caching files or something? Not sure how it makes sense to cache files on the hard drive on virtual memory, which is, after all, still on the hard drive.)

    Thanks for the tips.
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #7
    This may help, as well: Freeing up drive space in Mac OS X
     
  8. robvas macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #9
    The original Air was a bit of a turd when it first came out. If you look at the charts, it's about 1/4 the speed of the current Air!

    [​IMG]

    Since you can't upgrade the CPU, graphics chipset, or RAM, the only thing you could really do is replace the SSD. If you have the 4200RPM hard drive there's a lot of performance gains to be had here.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/OWC/Air-Retina/Apple-MacBook-Air-2009-Drive-Internal

    Another thing to check out is to make sure the inside is clean of any dust. The original Air would get hot and the performance plummets as the CPU is throttled down.

    Personally I would just try to sell it and get a newer machine once you can save up the dough.
     
  9. ArtOfWarfare thread starter macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #10
    Of course I'll replace it once I have enough money. I'll also replace my 2007 iMac when I have the money. The issue is, I'm a student without a job (sending off my resume and trying to find a part time job right now, but haven't heard back from anyone yet) and I'm already $20K in debt. I'll be graduating in April and probably have a much easier time finding a full time job (who wants a part time professional that's still in school? That's just weird. Professional with a degree and available full time is a much easier sell.) The debt should be wiped before summer is over and I'll probably buy the latest and greatest computers that Apple reveals this Summer/Fall.

    Unless those drives are available for under $100, I don't think I can afford them right now. And based on the prices I saw last time I looked, I seriously doubt they've plummeted that far.
     
  10. robvas macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #11
    The original Air used a PATA drive and they aren't cheap. Like $120 for a 60GB drive and almost double for a 120GB model.
     
  11. ArtOfWarfare thread starter macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #12
    Right - it seems silly to invest that kind of money when I plan on ditching the computer in a few months.

    I disabled dashboard via the terminal. I never use it, but it's always there eating resources that I don't have.

    I'm thinking I might swap to a 2D dock, too.
     

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