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  1. #1
    PowerBook seems slower
    Well guys, this has been my first Mac. I have had my laptop for a little while now. I received it as quick as I could after they made the new updates. After some use, it just seems a lot more choppy and a lot more sluggish. I've been using MacJanitor, in case that might be a problem. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but my PC seems just as fast now, and its OLD.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2

    Member Since
    Jul 22, 2003
    Hamilton College
    20" iMac C2D 2.16ghz, 13" MacBook 2.0ghz, 60gb iPod vid, 1gb nano
    1) Repair Disk Permissions - Go to Applications|Utilities|Disk Utility and select repair disk permissions on your OS X drive

    2) File System Check - When booting up your computer hold down the Apple Key & the S key and it will boot into single user mode. When the text is done loading on the screen type in
    /sbin/fsck -y (if it comes up with an error do /sbin/fsck -f)
    When that is done if it fixed things then do the check again to make sure it is cleared
    When finished with that type in exit and hit enter

    3) If it is a particular program that is giving you problems delete its preferences in 'Your User Name'/Library/Preferences

    4) Clean Your Caches - Delete everything in the folders Library/Caches and in Users/*Your User Name*/Library/Caches. When finished reboot
    Don't forget to use the new User Reputation System

  3. #3
    Hm, I assume that I need to be repairing my permissions as well as running MacJanitor on a frequent basis. I have forgotten about the permissions.

  4. #4
    kinda off topic, but does MacJanitor repair permissions or must you do that manually each time?

  5. #5
    You can try million of maintenance tasks that has nothing to do with affecting performance, or you can try to diagnose your system.

    When your computer feels sluggish, bring up a terminal window, and run top. 99% of all the performance problems are caused by CPU (some rogue process using up too much CPU) and memory (too many apps running at the same time). Take a look at the CPU usage of various processes. Do you see any process unusually hogging CPU time? Do you have any free memory or all the memory is used by the application? Instead of running top, you can also use the Activity Monitor, or one of those various confabulator widgets that display real time system resource usage, and that could be quite helpful when diagnosing this kind of perf problems. I always run a small confabulator widget that shows the current CPU hogger, so I know what's going on at a quick glance.

    If you find anything unusual, you can fix it. If you are out of memory, you should reduce the number applications that you run at the same time. Or maybe there are other background processes that use up resources. If you see unusual CPU activity on apps that you have open all the time, whether it's Safari, iTune, Mail, or whatnot, you can investigate why it's using all those CPU.

    If everything looks normal, then your computer is not really running slower than when you first bought it. Your perception has changed because of your exposure to other (possibly faster) computers. The only cure for this is to get a new computer.

  6. #6

    witeshark's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 09, 2004
    Miami FL
    G4 1Ghz OS X 10.4.7
    Quote Originally Posted by MoltenLava
    bring up a terminal window, and run top. 99% of all the performance problems are caused by CPU
    If you do that, and see a running process that is hogging CPU, you can end it with the kill (PID) PID= process I D) command be careful! It's a very powerful command! I posted a situation like this in the Darwin thread

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by witeshark
    If you do that, and see a running process that is hogging CPU, you can end it with the kill (PID) PID= process I D) command be careful! It's a very powerful command! I posted a situation like this in the Darwin thread
    Note that I did not mention a single word about kill command. Don't issue any command that you don't fully understand, not just kill or sudo but any commands.

    Besides, killing the process is not the remedy. You need to tweak the system so that you don't have many rogue processes. Killing process will provide a temporary relief only.

  8. #8
    It's probably cause you need to somehow defragment your hardrive. when you use any computer for a long enough time, it gets slower. The hardrive gets fragmented..for many reasons. You delete something..and when you put something else on, it looks for the first place to put it..there might be a spot right in the middle; if that spot isn't big enough, it puts the rest of that file in the next free space. After a while this makes your computer slower; it has to do all kinds of searching through your hard drive for one file. Defraging fixes this...I'm not sure if mac osx has a default defrager, but I have heard you can get third party ones. I'm sure there is probably a way to run a similar task without that..maybe through terminal?...someone else can probably answer that one?

  9. #9
    Short answer: All the modern well designed file system resist fragmentation, and do not need to be defragged unless the disk is used in extreme condition (over 90% full for a long period of time).

    Long answer: The fragmentation ratio is (# of fragmented files / # of files) * 100. What's a fragmented file? It's opposite of contiguous file, a file stored in single (or a group of) contiguous blocks. Non-fragmented disk will have all the files laid out next to each other on the disk. Highly fragmented disk will often have files scattered around the disk in bits and pieces. Why is fragmentation bad? Because of the way disk operates. The slowest operation you can do on a disk is to seek, which is moving disk heads around. Each fragmentation will cause a seek in order to locate the other fragment on the disk.

    For example, consider a disk drive with 10Mbps sustained read throughput and 10ms seek time. Reading a contiguous 1KB block will take slightly less than 11ms. (proof is left to the readers) Reading a 1KB block fragmented in two pieces will take in average 21ms. The throughput has dropped by 50% when reading a file in two fragments. A file fragmented in three pieces will take 31ms, and so forth.

    There are million ways to design a file system. It turns out that the best file system that resist fragmentation is the one that intentionally fragment files when writing to the disk. It sounds like oxymoron. At first the best thing seems to use one big chunk to store each file on the disk. But think what'll happen when you delete a file. You'll have a big hole of the size of deleted file in between. After a few deletion you will soon end up with big holes of various sizes on the disk. Then when the time comes to save another large file, you can't find a hole that's exact size of the new file that you want to save, and you need to start one piece here, and another piece there, thus causing fragmentation.

    The idea is to intentionally fragment files in FIXED size chunks, regardless of how large/small a file is. Then you will have a lot of flexibility in laying out the chunk on the disk, and you won't have problems finding the right sized holes to accomodate the new file.

    Anyways, all modern Unix file systems resist fragmentation, and defragmentation tool is NOT provided. I'm sure the journal file system won't need defrag either.

  10. #10
    Thanks for the responses guys. You've all been very helpful. After I repaired permissions, things actually seemed a tiny bit faster, be it my imagination or not.

    MoltenLava: I appreciate the time (whatever it was) that you put into your posts. It was great to have that to read. Thanks

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