Bournemouth — Jul 21st 2015

Tony started the meeting with a presentation showing us how to find out why our Macs may be running slower than they should. He'd gone to great lengths to make what could be a very technical topic easy to understand. He represented the computer as a linear diagram showing the relationship between the hard disc, the memory and the processor. He explained how they all worked with each other and how their relative speeds can lead to bottlenecks. However, Apple's design means that these should not cause us a problem.
If we do have a speed problem, then Activity Monitor (which we all have in our Utilities folder) is our friend. He demonstrated how a well written program uses the processor and then releases it for others when it's not needed and Activity monitor shows us this happening. If however one of your programs is hogging the processor, it will be shown in Activity Monitor and can be investigated. He showed us a program which he'd written especially to hog the processor and how Mac OS still copes but the machine will get hot, slow down and its fans come on. Similar information is shown for memory usage, the amount of RAM swapped out to temporary storage on the hard disc being of particular relevance.

After the coffee break we had the usual Q&A session covering a connection issue for an iPad and strange behaviour with an external disc used for time Machine.


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Roy Rainford said…

Good to have a better understanding of what goes on 'under the bonnet' thanks to Tony.
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