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10.5: A cautionary tale on overloaded Desktops in 10.5
Authored by: meikokun on Jan 18, '08 04:01:53AM

whilst everything that has been said about desktop icons being a draw on resources is true, it must not be forgotten that as soon as one installs either tiger or leopard, the system grinds to a halt indexing itself for spotlight. Why apple implemented it in this fashion rather than wait for a period of inactivity is beyond me - if nothing else it's bad marketing to have someone install an OS, only to find one can't use it, or it's MUCH slower than the cranky OS one was using an hour ago. And who does a clean install only to immediately start looking for files? ok, you over in the corner there might, but the rest of us are still playing with our shiny 'new computer' (reality distortion field in full effect)
I'm inclined to think that a large part of the snappiness seen after thinking about the problem and then clearing the desktop is probably due to coincidence of timing, around the time the poster was clearing the desktop, mds had finally finished doing it's thing. If you are REALLY bored, try it again - and next time open the activity monitor, and see what is taking up the cpu.
Oh yeah, BUY MORE RAM! My g4 1.5 powerbook is now begging for mercy with its once copious 1 gig of ram (oh, for the heady days of 2004). As has been mentioned, icons love ram.

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10.5: A cautionary tale on overloaded Desktops in 10.5
Authored by: meikokun on Jan 19, '08 06:15:54AM

just as an experiment, I created over 1500 files on the desktop - yes, I'm *that* bored on a gloomy saturday - and after the initial few mins at 100% cpu, on my 1.5ghz G4 powerbook with 1 gig of ram, with just the finder and safari open, I have 11% (avg) cpu load. The window server initially was using 350 megs of ram, but that has now dropped to 80. The finder is as spritely as it was before in leopard, which I must say isn't as good as tiger, but that's a topic for another thread.
Shoving that lot in the trash took less than 3 secs. So, I'd say it's not just desktop icons that's eating all the cpu, if they were in the beginning.
So, in sum, I'd say a little patience is all that's required after installing, if you really need to have all those icons out, but I think the consensus is right that it's best to get them off the desktop into other folders. For what it's worth, I try not to have more than twelve icons in any one folder (except where absolutely necessary) - the desktop also being a folder of course, preferring to nest them hierarchically, and I only have that many due to me running a business from the computer, and I like to have a monthly structure to quotes and invoices etc. Also, since I access the file system at my office remotely with AFP, it's much quicker to drill down through nested folders of ten or so icons than wait for one with 300 icons to load, then pick and choose. KDX is brilliant for remote access, even if you do lose metadata in the transfer process.

give the 1500 files a try, and see how you get on. Unless of course it isn't raining where you are ;)

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