Disabling animated effects in OS X

Alexis

Registered
Hello,

Does anybody know if there's a mean to disable the genie effect in OS X (using configuration files or other means).

I think it's really too slow and does not add anything to the minimize action. Actually, I do not minimize my windows because I know it's gonna be so slow and processor consumming. Geeesh.

Thanx

Alexis
 

pNeuMatic

Registered
Big deal. You don't have to stop and watch it ya know! Minimize something and go about your work. I bet you $10 you can't get to something else and start working before the window has minimized anyway. Well, that is unless you are running on a Color Classic. ;)
 

hotani

Registered
actually this would be pretty good to know.

Not just how to disable the minimize, but menu blinking - the first time I turned off menu blinking in 8.6 I could not believe how much faster the system FELT - even though it probably was not actually moving much faster, it seemed so much snappier. I will never go back!!!
 

hendu

Registered
I have noticed that I run into no problems with the animation effect with minimizing. I had 192 mb ram, and when I upgraded to 320 the animation became much smoother and much faster. It isn't like it is taking over my system while it does it, I can do other things ;)

I will admit though, I could do with out the shadowing of the windows. I am fine with slightly translucent menu's to a degree, and the blink is fine, I just have a problem with shadowed windows, even though they are nifty on the eyes. But I didn't buy the Beta for the eye candy, I bought it for the functionality.

So, in otherwords, more ram seems to help this tremendously.

--Hendu
 

garretwp

Registered
Well i heard that all the animation is done by the procceser and not the video card. Which will cause the computer to slow down when you do something.
 

wmoss

Registered
With your right hand click the mouse button on the interface widget (the minimize button for example).

Very quickly afterwards, click the "off" button on your monitor. Wait a second or two if you like. Then turn the monitor back on.

Once you get the synchronization down pat it will you from seeing the animation effects.

(*ducks*) sorry, but I just couldn't resist typing this totally useless suggestion in. Hope it gives you a grin.

:)
 

fmalloy

Registered
There's nothing silly about wanting to eliminate gratuitous animation.

And it *does* suck processor cycles. Try this: Open a Terminal window, and run 'top -u'. Then minimize windows, and drag windows around. You'll see the Window Manager process CPU utilization jump quite high.

I'd rather use my CPU for more productive things.
 

garretwp

Registered
It would be nice if apple made the animation go through the video card's proccesor and take the amount of use from the cpu.
 

wmoss

Registered
Processor cycles aren't like gold that you can save up. Your machine is constantly "spending" them whether you like it or not. That's one of the inherent drawbacks of living with forward-moving time :)

Yes, the "gratuitous" animations do use these precious processor cycles, but their huge usage numbers in top are because nothing else is using the CPU.

Here's a test. Do things that stress and contest for the CPU cycles. Play several quicktime movies. Do a large update on a database. Hork up the Classic environment with some demanding task in a Microsoft app. Do them all together. And then start minimizing and maximizing windows.

Does the window manager steal cycles from these other tasks? Certainly. But you'll also notice that the genie effect drops frames and becomes much less smooth under these conditions. Most of the beauty and slickness comes from what would mostly be idle cycles. There's also the argument that since your attention is squarely focused on a particular window when you're diddling with it that it SHOULD have more of a priority than some of the other windows in the system.

When your machine is mostly idle and you see the window manager sucking up huge amounts of processing time in top, that's because it can. The machine has no higher processes demanding cycles. It'll take the extra cycles and make a really eye-popping effect.

My conditioning upon seeing eye-popping effects like these was that they were a performance hit. But I was much less bothered in seeing how the system DID drop frames and not insist on "perfect" animation when under stress. Had it not then I would have been very bothered by the animations. If you find them unattractive or disconcerting then that's one thing, but I don't find the "wasteful" arguement very convincing the way it has been implemented.

Of course there are many traditional Mac users who are accustomed to the machine stopping when you opened a menu, so to them they would be more disconcerted when they see the frames of the genie effect dropping than noticing a little slowdown in their database update when they start interacting with the user interface.

It's still much better than the Classic Mac OS and in my opinion better in some ways than X11 in handling the balance between system performance and responsiveness for the user.
 

joseph

Registered
The issue here is not weather the animation effects steals processor cycles or if ther look bothersome.

The real issue here is CHOICE. We pay a priemum for Apple hardware and $30.00 for a public beta that should be free. We should be able to chose whether or not we want to see this effect, or if we want the aqua look and feel or if we want the classic look and feel. There should be absoultly no compromise on our part because we are the customer and WE are always right!

Joseph
 

fmalloy

Registered
Let me put it this way - the animation takes cycles away from more important things, like menu selection, other window updates, etc.

So, the argument that you can do other things while this animation is going on doesn't really hold, because in order to do other things, you need the Window Manager process to help, but its too busy being a genie.

And dropping frames and making it look jerky to be a kinder process kind of defeats the whole purpose of the animation, doesn't it? Doing it in a demo to someone will lead them to the conclusion that OS X is slow, and doesn't handle multitasking well. QuickTime on my machine is slow and frame-droppy enough as it is. If they can make all this be very smooth even under the heaviest load (like BeOS), then fine. But for now, they cannot.

I'm not a fanatic, really, I guess I'm in the camp that says the effect is cute for about an hour, just like all the OS 9 window sound effects were. Now I want to turn it off on my beige G3/300. I promise I'll turn it back on when I get a spiffy new G4. ;-)
 

wmoss

Registered
Apple has never been too open to choice. Killing the clones. Dropping appearance themes. Eliminating technologies rather than open sourcing them. Apple is about control. When people agree with THEIR choices then they are popular. When they don't they are considered tyranical.

The whole thing is a very non-issue for me. The effects like live dragging, genie effect, dock magnification, fading menu selections, transparent drop shadows, and many others were impressive to start, but now they're just sort of background expectations.

In most cases if people are having a problem with the speed, changing from Millions to Thousands of colors helps tremendously more than eliminating whatever "effect" you don't particularly like would. Complaining about "wasted" cycles or that it doesn't "waste" enough of them to present a perfect implementation (or both in fmalloy's case) is sort of beside the point.

Apple MUST put some sort of animation in there for these actions. With such a large change in interface behaviour from Mac OS 9 it needs to reset people's expectations. When the next version of the OS comes out then perhaps there will be an option for expert users, but on the first release I can see Apple's interface designers adamantly demanding to the software engineers that removing these animations is NOT an option.

If you absolutely seethe with anger whenever you minimize a window there doesn't appear to be a lot you can do about it. I may suggest the following:

a) submit a bug report to Apple describing your system and the speed slow down. Suggest that they need to work on the speed and that if they can't get the effects faster to have a button to be able to selectively turn them off. That is, after all, what a beta test is supposedly for.

b) Get accustomed to pressing the modifier keys that slow the genie effect down even more. Do this for a month and when you stop doing it, you'll perceive an enormous speed boost.

c) Give up and move to Mac OS 9, Darwin and vMac, BeOS, Natilus enhanced Linux, or Win2K (which is very frugal with its interface)
 

mjcarlson

Registered
it seems the original concept was to be able to disable animated effects in Mac OS X Public Beta. i came to this site hoping to find some practical tips, and all i found was a bunch of academic bickering representing the usual range of Macintosh 'opinionation'. that's my own opinion, of course. does anyone have any practical tips or tweaks for disabling these effects? especially the erratic menu-blinking? thanks.
 

Tigger

Bring mich zum Licht!
I think in the MacAddict-forum there was a thread on how to turn off the effects.
Don´t know the exact link.
 

strobe

Puny Member
Originally posted by fmalloy
I'd rather use my CPU for more productive things.
Like WHAT?!?!

The processor is always waiting for the USER to make up his mind. What the hell are you doing other than dragging a window around? Let's see, I'll connect two mice and drag two windows around, no wait I'll drag a window around with one hand and type a document with the other...

 

jove

Member
The time wasted complaint is a bit funny. Since time is money, I can understand an individual complaining about frivolous activities infringing on production. With that notion in mind I timed various on the job activities. These are estimates taken from my analogue watch and may vary from person to person.

1) Taking a sip of coffee: 3 seconds
2) Stretching: 4 seconds
3) Scratching buttox: 2 seconds
4) Rubbing brow: 3 seconds
5) Shifting in chair: 2 seconds

Computer related:

1) Repositioning mouse on pad: 1 second and accumulates
2) Mousing to Window Shade: 2 seconds
3) Moving window to show desktop icons: 2 seconds
4) Finding obscure menu command: indeterminate

I am certain there are other wasteful activities going on. Now how much precious time is being wasted by the non-modal genie effect?
 

Ghoser777

Registered
Originally posted by MasonMcD
I don't care about it hogging CPU time. I care about it hogging resident RAM.
Okay, do you remember the finder from OS9 and below. That was the biggest, largest ram hog EVER-20MB+. It sucked up more ram than some of my games. I believe the WindowManager takes up 10MB of RAM. Infact, if you run top at the terminal prompt and watch how WindowManager responds to you moving back in forth between windows, the only thing that changes is the %CPU used, not the RSIZE (which I believe stands for Ram SIZE)!

F-bacher
 

latourfl

Registered
Well, from what I see in cocoa applications, Aqua just takes the best of new faeture offerend in the UI. Things like being able to close a window without bringing it to front make me save a lot of time usually wasted in screen redrawing. And it is so fast! Whyy would you have to display a window you know you're about to close...

No one here seems to see the advantages brought to us with the UI of OS X. It's just a great improvement on any aspect. BUT, of course, I would like to custumize the whole thing, even with different options only offered by Apple, so the style of Aqua wouldn't be "corrupted". And of course I thing it is funny how an icon jump in the dock, but after a while, I just thing "gee, I'm trying to open an app, why is it so long?". Of course the animation has not a big deal in this waiting, I guess.

But all these features are here to attract people to OS X. It is somenthing that will revolutionize UI and OSes. If you have any suggestion to make, just take the advantage of the fact that Apple seems to be listening now! They're also insecure with these new things, and just want to make OS X the best. Help them!
 

iRock

Registered
Instead of arguing why or why not disabling the animations should be an option I'll offer a half solution, if you don't want to see the animations when you minimize the window then don't minimize it. 99% of the time i minimize a window in os x I am switching apps, so you can hide an app by holding the option key and clicking to another app. Then all the windows for the app you are leaving vanish. wow, amazing, just like in os 9, no animations, they don't show up in the dock, so to get back you click on the application icon in the doc. if you want to stay in the same app then just drag the window out of the way, although i'm not so sure this will be faster than minimizing.

I do think the option to disable animations to be there. While i wouldn't use it, it is always nice to have just that much more control over how your computer behaves
 
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