December 21, 2007

All I want for Christmas is my dang RAM back

I’ve recently become fascinated–fixated, maybe–by watching my Mac’s resource usage numbers.  I’ve got a pretty cherried-out MacBook Pro (top of the line a year ago), and yet more often than not the system lags as I hear my hard disk thrashing.

I’ve traced the problem, I think, to Microsoft Entourage and Rosetta.  I can boot up my system & see a nice big swath of unused memory (all green) ready to rock.  Almost immediately, however, the blue "inactive" memory slice starts ticking upwards, at a rate of several megabytes per second.  I rebooted my machine this week, then took a shower; when I was done, here’s what I saw (note the blue). I’m running just a Web browser on a system with 3GB of RAM, and yet I’m down to 16MB free? Super!

The problem seems to be that the invisible Entourage "Database Daemon" app bleeds memory like a stuck pig.  Killing the process arrests the inexorable growth of the blue inactive memory.  I don’t know whether the fault lies with Entourage or with the Apple Rosetta emulation technology on which it runs.  Doesn’t matter much to me, though: my expensive computer bogs terribly as a result.

Facing this situation, some of my colleagues have given up and moved to Apple Mail.  I’m sure Mail is great, but it doesn’t play well with our Outlook-centric calendar system, and I’ve got 8 years worth of mail organized in Entourage. Switching horses isn’t a small matter.

Now I’m drumming my fingers more than ever, waiting for Microsoft to release–at long last–their Intel-native upgrade to Office for the Mac.  I couldn’t care less what other features it offers, as long as it stops bringin’ me down (ELO-style).  It’s kind of sad to hit that point: I was once a great fan of Entourage (so much better than Outlook), and of its Mac Outlook Express forebear.  It was thoughtfully designed, replete with useful shortcuts, and able to handle whatever I threw at it.  Alas, the app hasn’t received much love in many years.

So come on, Office team: tell me to keep hope alive!  The new year–and new software–can’t come soon enough.

3:29 PM | Permalink | Comments [19]

I got yer brains, *right here*…

The ol’ noggin provides endless inspiration for artists:

In other skullduggery:

  • Brawndo "will make you wonder why you haven’t ever crushed a human skull with your bare hands!!"  Delicious!!  (I need to order a case of this stuff for the Photoshop team.)
  • The Skull-a-Day blog provides just that. [Via]
  • For next Halloween (or, just to be weird, maybe Valentine’s, or Arbor Day), you might hang onto these pumpkin skull templates. [Via]  I still think they’d have a time beating my wife’s Dia De Los Muertos-inspired doppel-pumpkin.
  • If this stuff is up your alley, see previous for lots more.

12:27 PM | Permalink | No Comments
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