Introductory Guide to OS X


I've written a brief, non-technical intro to getting the most out of X. It will be most useful to those just starting the transition, but has some tips that you may not have seen before. I've also included info about how I've chosen to use the desktop and toolbar to make X as efficient as possible.

It's on my homepage if you'd like to give it a read-through (it's a 1mb PDF file). BTW, I created the entire project using only Mac OS X native apps :).

Nice tips. Only thing is, OS X is slow. Saying we should avoid the slow parts is easier said than done. Like, how are we supposed to launch applications? :) Also, in my experience, OS X's virtual memory system is much worse than OS 9's. I run 13-15 apps in OS 9 almost always and there is no problem switching between them (I have 1 MB virtual memory enabled). In OS X I can run at most two or three apps without major hard disk thrashing when I switch apps. This is with Classic turned off; of course it is much worse with Classic on. If I quit some apps so I only have the Finder and one other app open, there is major HD swapping just to switch between those. This shouldn't happen. OS X can't manage RAM for even native apps.
Interesting ... how much RAM do you have, and on what machine? Something doesn't sound right in the way X is running for you -- on my G4/350, I hardly ever heard the hard drive, with or without Classic. And if you read up on the VM system of 9 vs. X, X wins hands down according to everything I've read -- sorry, no handy URL references, but it's out there. The other night I had 21 fairly major apps open with zero hard drive churn, even when switching...(

As for how you avoid the launch time problems, the tip is in there - launch them once, then forget about it. OmniWeb was launched on Sunday on my machine, which was the last time I rebooted.

nice work on the pdf.. I love that font ;)

To tie: HD thrashing is generally a sign you need more RAM. If you have less than 192, bump it up to at least 256, and things should smooth out.

It looks like OSX uses otherwise unused RAM as a disk cache, since I notice apps relaunching w/o even hitting the HD
I like the font, too. I only (!) have 128 MB RAM. I've been meaning to buy more for quite a while but have never known what to get. My model (G4 450 before the speed downgrade) is never listed on any of the sites. I figure now it is basically the same as a G4 400 PCI. So the RAM I should get is PC100 (PC133 will also work), the 8 nsec version (not 10 nsec), non-ECC, CAS2 (or CL2) and not CAS3 (or CL3). Or so I've been told. :) I just broke down and ordered another 128 from; I hope it will work.
Also, I wonder if not having enough hard disk space could be a problem? I only have 275 MB free on my OS X partition, though I have lots free on other drives. Reformatting my drive isn't an option since I can't afford another hard drive to back everything up.
275 megs!!! geez, yeah, that could be it :) I'd want at least a gig free. Perhaps you could juggle stuff from drive to drive to free some space. Fragmentation could be an issue as well.

for optimum hard drive performance you should have at least 10% of the drive free. and that problably means before VM... but since you can't decide how big the VM should be on X, say 10% + twice your RAM free. don't trash your drive, save som swapping space on it.

Thanks much, I found some it the info very useful. Some I had already figured out. But I didn't know you could places apps in the finder toolbar.
It's not as though the partition shouldn't be large enough. OS X has just been eating through the hard disk space. I have at least 700 MB of invisible files on my disk.