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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Classic Macs and Mac OS > make your mac faster/stable

make your mac faster/stable
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Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Indianapolis, IN 46254
Status: Offline
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Jun 19, 2000, 01:11 PM
i dunno how many people know this, but i thought i might just post it. there are a few ways to mac your mac go faster:

trimming down system folder--this is really an art. do you really need colorsync, dialassist, ara (for those with dsl), web sharing/file sharing, speech recognition, all those fonts, disklight, norton crashguard,conflict catcher, multiple logins, all those text encoding plugins, launcher, all those CMMs, CSMs prefs from dead programs, etc. make sure you have what you need and only that. the more crap, the more crashing. of course always backup your system folder before trying this. its risky as hell.

maximize use of memory. throw away virtual memory and ram doubler. there is no substitute for real ram! http://www.macseek.com has such cheap ram its amazing. also, holding down command-option whiles opening the memory control panel can allow you to turn of ram startup tests. if the ram dont work, you will notice it. trust me. and of course who can forget disk cache. To those of use with decent amounts of ram, forget the custom settings. Max out the disk cache

give your apps more room to breath. Double the amount of ram needed for most apps. (not on things like simpletext and simplesound, but on word, excel, soundjam, photoshop etc)

Update all your software. I check versiontracker.com every few hours. Insane? No. apps always have bugs, that's why you update!

Use diskwarrior, rebuild your desktop every once in a while. Defragging also helps. Run it overnight once every few months.

For the love of God, keep your stuff organized. It doesn't help the computer, but it helps you! Apps go in apps folder, data in data. Under apps have communcations, games, internet, media, utilities, productivty, etc. Under documents, have personal, documents, mp3, etc. That's the beauty of the mac os, you can organize. Don't drag your apps to the desktop, use aliases! Use pop-up windows. Buy Action Utilites's GoMac, and Action Files. It will save you time. Also try Finder POP.

Keep it simple! Large desktop pictures take up ram, as does file sharing. DHCP will slow down your machine at startup. Ditto with not selecting a startup disk. Index at 3 in the morning, when you don't use your machine. Don't calculate folder sizes! Use the list view (icons waste time). Shorten the popup folder time. Turn of finder zoom (there are extensions for that) and that menu blink (general controls).

Hardware tidiness. Terminate your scsi connections. Buy a powered hub for usb stuff. Don't drink/eat around your machine. Buy a UPS or surge protector. Whats 40 bucks to protect a 3000 dollar machine? Don't forget to protect your phone-line. Backups will save your life everytime.

Upgrading is cheaper but not better. Putting a g3 card in a 6100 is like putting a porche engine in a pinto. The pinto will handle like a pinto!

Am I missing something?

"It said Windows 2000 or higher, so I bought a Mac..."
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Jun 19, 2000, 08:45 PM
You can also use MuchoLauncher 1.5 (available at www.muchosoft.com) in stead of GoMac (that installs extensions in your system folder)
Try it
This could probably speed a little bit more your system
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Apr 2000
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Jun 20, 2000, 10:13 PM
I think you just described my system, basically. Especially the part about having it organised - if I could post an image here (then I'd have to upload a screenshot... and I can't be bothered doing that) of my Documents folder I think it would make some people sick!
Of all that though, I really recommend turning off menu blinking, and minimising the spring loaded folders thing. And don't use the mouse, use the keyboard to navigate - much faster. Command-Down (arrow) to open, arrows to select files, Command-Up to open enclosing folder, Command-W to close windows...so much faster its ridiculous.
Anyone know of any extensions or ResEdit hacks to kill the zoom rects? I've been looking for a while. I thought there was one a ResExcellence but couldn't find it...

Mac Elite
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Highland Park, IL / Santa Monica, CA
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Jun 20, 2000, 10:33 PM
This may seem odd (and somewhat pointless), but if you download Power Windows 2.4.1 (www.kaleidoscope.net/greg), install it, and turn off ALL the options (so it isn't doing anything), and if you have Kaleidoscope installed, turn off "spinning zoom rectangles," your finder windows will just appear and disappear. No fading or zoom rectangles.

I don't use this (I have all kinds of strange CPU & RAM eating extensions & control panels installed, like Power Windows, Kaleidoscope, AutoMenus, etc.), but it might be useful to someone :-)
Be happy.
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: OHIO
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Jun 29, 2000, 01:21 AM
Is there a list or a book on this subject? I am looking for definitions for all these extensions. I have conflict catcher but it does not explain it (or them) fully. Where do I find information like this? Every time I ask where to learn stuff like this nobody has an answer.
Do or do not.... there is NO try.
Professional Poster
Join Date: Mar 1999
Status: Offline
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Jun 29, 2000, 05:12 AM
NoFinderZoom 9.0, kills zoom rects free: http://www.madrau.com/html/others.html

very small init

and see Extension Overload for detailed info on inits: http://www.ExtensionOverload.com/download/download.htm

When you want something like these items, go to versiontracker.com and search for a keyword related to your needs! Simple!

[This message has been edited by wlonh (edited 06-29-2000).]
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Grand Forks, ND, USA
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Jun 29, 2000, 08:20 PM
Agree with everything save for the comment about doubling the RAM for your applications. MANY apps, prime examples include Photoshop and Strata StudioPro (now... whatever the hell Strata re-released it as), are EXTREMELY finicky regarding their RAM requirements and in some instances increasing RAM partitions will decrease their performance. (This is especially true with Strata.)
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