I collected the following illuminative posts from Barry Sharp on system memory management from the Apple discussion boards.
- Dennis Hill
[Editor's note: Dennis suggested I cut this down to a concise summary, but I thought I'd just publish them as they were written by Barry; he obviously has a great deal of knowledge about Mac OS X! These emails were originally sent by Barry to Ted Landau at MacFixIt, and then were posted to the discussion group where Dennis found them. So if you'd like to learn a lot more about OS X's usage of memory, read the rest of this article. It's a bit long, and can get technical at times, but I found it very interesting.]
I tried everything I knew, or could find via Help, to get permission (booted in OS 10.0.3) to empty my trash, without success, including reinstalling OS X. I noticed something peculiar (after much trial and error): when first booting under 10.0.3, the Trash icon would show as empty, but as soon as it was clicked on, it appeared full.
Here's how I got things back to normal: while booted under X, I opened the trash (successfully), then double-clicked on the "Desktop (System 9)" folder and created a new folder. I then Selected All files in the OS X trash and dragged them to this new OS 9 folder.
The move was successful, and since then the OS X trash has behaved normally. The next time I booted under OS 9, I dragged the new folder (filled with OS X trash) to 9's Trash and successfully emptied it (using Option/Empty Trash, as some files were locked). I regained the appropriate amount of disk space, and the problem has not recurred as of this posting.
I don't know, but suspect, what happened: I think I must have put some files that originated under OS 9 into the OS X trash.
I have a supported HP inkjet printer connected to my PowerBook via USB. The printer works great in OS X (especially with the new drivers), but I cannot print from classic. I am wondering if there is some majic set of extensions that need to be turned on or off to get something to print from Classic. It seems as if it the print job hangs in Print Monitor (Classic), and can not be passed on the Print Center (OS X). Has anyone figured this out yet?
After a lot of tryouts, I figured how to have the function keys F1, F2, etc., working (in Cocoa app only). In particular, I like to have F1 = undo, F2 = cut, F3 = copy, F4 = paste. As you will see I also have F9 = save (faster than Cmd-S) and F12 = check spelling.
If you're interested in defining your F-keys in Cocoa apps, read the rest of this article...
Some of the UNIX stuff in Mac OS X cannot be accessed easily trough the Finder (unless you want to type Pathnames all the time. However, there is a simple workaround using links (or aliases) to those folders and place them in Favorites or one of its subfolders.
This way you can more easily browse and edit system settings, while not being bothered by seing _all_ invisibly files all the time (as you can set it up in TinkerTool).
[Editor: To create the aliases in the Finder, use the Go -> Go to Folder menu item, and type the full path name. Once the folder opens in the finder, simply command-option drag it to the Favorites folder to create a reusable alias.]
Caught this one over on the OS X Talk site. It seems "Dead Ed" has found a terminal command that disables anti-aliased text on a system-wide (per user) basis. A note on the OS X Talk site warns that text is actually harder to read on LCD displays, but that is does look sharper on CRTs.
To disable anti-aliased text, open a terminal and type:
To re-enable the anti-aliasing, simply reverse the command:
defaults write CoreGraphics CGFontDisableAntialiasing NO
I tried the hack myself tonight, and it does work - you need to logout/login to see the changes. In a nutshell, I really didn't like it much. It looks like the fonts are missing bits - perhaps the hack just disables the gray pieces, leaving a somewhat chunky black font. When I turned it back on and tried to restart, my machine locked up when the Finder started. Even remote SSh was dead. After one more restart, all has been fine. Use at your own risk...
One of the big beefs most folks have with OS X is application launch times. But one of the great things about OS X is its virtual memory system. This can be used to avoid waiting for applications to launch.
If you hide (command-H) an application when you're done using it instead of quitting it, you avoid the delay which occurs when you need to use that application again. There's almost no penalty for doing this, except perhaps a slightly overcrowded dock.
Now, for example, when you want to view a help page, you'll get to view it immediately, rather than having to wait for the Help application to launch.
[Editor's note: There's almost no penalty to a point. If you start to hear lots and lots of hard drive activity, you're probably pushing the limit. The more RAM you have, obviously, the more apps you can leave open.]
If you don't like the horizontal stripes that OS X puts behind most things (menus, title bars, etc), there are now some "unlined" themes and an easy-to-use theme switcher for OS X. If you're interested in these, I'd suggest you grab them quickly, as Apple legal may not allow them to live very long.
To use, simply download the MetamorphX theme switcher, and then grab your choice of the unlined themes, launch MetamorphX and choose your stripeless theme.
I'm not sure if Apple will provide any 'official' themes for OS X or not, but here's a way to remove the stripes now if they bother you. Get 'em while you can!