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extensions and startups and memory oh my
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Join Date: Jan 2001
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Jan 29, 2001, 05:31 PM
 
question about extensions.
1. what are they for? my understanding is that they allow the programs you load onto your computer to talk to the mac OS.
2. my startups seems kind of slow, and i seem to have alot of extensions that dont relate to anything i have. i turned them off in the extensions manager but it didnt help my startup. should i just delete the ones i dont need? how can i tell if its something i REALLY need or REALLY dont need? some of them take up alot of memory. if i want to delete them instead of just turning them off, do i need to turn them off in extensions manager first then delete them out of the extensions folder or will that cause bad things to happen or ?
3. any reccomendations for slow startups?

my computer is a blueberry iBook 300mhz, 192 megs ram.

thanks
scott
     
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Jan 29, 2001, 05:44 PM
 
Well, you have asked one of the great questions of all time when it comes to using a Macintosh. And at a forum like this (and like many others), I'm sure you have started what may became a feeding frenzy of those eager to help.

My advice: read/listen/learn from all that is posted.

Also, may I suggest good reading material in the form of the "_____ for Dummies" series. Some of the stuff by David Pogue is very good, and the title of the series (with input from many authors) is in no way derogatory. It is all very well written. Check your local bookstores.

Finally, look into some good software products, namely the commercial Conflict Catcher and the shareware Extensions Overload. Check at version tracker - great place to start when looking for software titles.

Good Luck.

P.S. - never trash an extension until you are very sure you can live without it, after having disabled it for some months.

------------------
Kill the brain and you kill the ghoul.
Kill the brain and you kill the ghoul.
     
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Jan 29, 2001, 06:13 PM
 
well, the short answer is that extensions add certain functions to the mac OS. the quicktime extensions allow your machine to play quicktime movies and a variety of other media formats, for example... without the extensions, your machine wouldn't be able to play movies of that type.

since you're adding functions to your system, it's no surprise that extensions can make your machine startup slower (ie. when it's loading all those extra bits of code into memory). so, providing you know you don't need a certain extension, disabling it with the extensions manager can make your machine run a little bit faster, although you may not notice any speed increase. the OS will also use less RAM with fewer extensions.

as far as deleting unnecessary extensions goes, i wouldn't do it unless i was running extremely low on hard disk space. deleting an extension is no different from disabling it, in terms of how fast your machine boots and runs or how much memory your OS uses. and if you later find out that you need that extension, bammo, you don't have it on your machine anymore and you're out of luck.

anyway, go with confuser's recommendation and get extensions overload. it will tell you quite a lot about particular extensions.

-r.
     
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Jan 29, 2001, 11:57 PM
 
Extension Overload won't really be useful about what you can disable without making the computer more or less non-functional. It really just gives descriptions of what the extensions do--basically what the extensions themselves can tell you. If you really want to slim down the extension folder, use the OS Base set--and you'll soon find out how limiting that can be. I'd surely not delete any extension or control panel until I'm very very very sure of what I'm doing! The more you read, here and elsewhere, and the more experience you have, the safer you'll be.
And that's true too.--Shakespeare, King Lear
     
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Jan 30, 2001, 12:58 AM
 
Mac OS 9, the missing manual, by David Pogue.

This is a good place to start. As already noted, it's best not to delete anything at all from the system folder until you know what you're doing. Using the Extensions Manager control panel, you can disable extensions by unchecking the little box next to them. This way if you decide you want them back you just check the box again. When you disable an extension, it gets moved to the folder Extensions (disabled) in your system folder.

Disabling extensions wont make a very big difference in start up time, unless you go and disable 80% of them, but then you'll have an OS with the functionality of a Mac Plus running System 3.

If you really want to shorten startup time, then upgrade to OS X at the end of March! Now there's a whole new can of worms that any new mac user should learn about. OS X. It's going to rock Macintosh's world.
     
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Jan 30, 2001, 02:24 AM
 
Also, if you really want to speed the startup, hold command+option while selecting the memory control panel.
This wiil give you the option of shutting off memory test s at startup.
Memory tests can take up a great deal of time depending on how much RAM you have & is only necessary if you have just installed ram or if you experience a power faliure or some such occurence.

I'm sure the other will concur.<SP>
"Yeah I get flamed. But
I seldom burn"
     
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Jan 30, 2001, 09:13 AM
 
Yes yes yes...definitely turn off the start-up memory tests. Dont worry, if decide to add new ram, you can always turn them back on BEFORE you install it, leave it run for a week or so to verify stability, and then turn it back off again. This will speed up your boot time a good bit.

As for extensions and control panels, do as the others have said, and get a book like OS 9 for Dummies and/or the shareware "Extensions Overload", which will list very detailed descriptions of your extensions.control panels and what purpose they serve.

Beyond that, as the others said, dont delete anything until you are 100% certain that you dont need it, by running your system and apps for a few weeks without it. If you just disable them, and find out later that you need something, then you can just re-enable it and restart.
But if you delete something, it is GONE for good, and the only way to get it back is to re-install it from a system CD or copy over from a back-up system folder.......and.you DO have a BACK-UP of some type, dont you ? Either a seperate partition, 2nd HD or at least a zipdisk with a bootable system folder on it........huh huh....

Anyway, dont be afraid to experiment, reading, trial & error, and these forums are the best way to learn about the OS and its inner workings.

Post back anytime if you need more help, and most importantly..............have fun & be happy
You can have me mac when u pry me cold, dead fingas off da mothabowd :eek:
     
vin
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Jan 30, 2001, 10:17 AM
 
There's a need here for a product (book, application, online resource) which will serve to explain the need for, dependencies and caveats relevant to a given extension. I originally thought that Extension Overload did, but...

For instance, I recently noticed that none of my Apple Data Detector were working. I wanted to find out what Control Panels, Extensions, Contextual Menu Modules and Control Strip Modules might impact on said behaviour. I found that there is NO single, comprehensive resource for this type of info! Not MacNN, MacFixIt, Extension Overload, Conflict Catcher, Help!, Sherlock plug-in, Apple Help or otherwise.

Ideally, I'd enter a filename or keyword somewhere and be presented with an encyclopaedic result showing product or function name, functionality, usage, purveyor, deployment tips, contraindications, dependencies, version info and pointers/links to reviews, relevant sites, etc.
     
   
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