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When does the Mac magic happen?

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When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby Darren Lynch » Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:12 am

I use an imac and Logic setup for audio. I know bugger all about Macs as computers.

People often remark that a key advantage of macs is that they are more self-maintaining than PCs in terms of defrags etc. I recall someone suggesting that leaving a Mac switched on for a long period of time allows the machine to sort itself out in terms of background tasks. Is this the case?
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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby thenaturallevel » Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:31 am

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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby thenaturallevel » Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:35 am

This answers your questions regarding defragmentation and leaving your MAC on overnight:-

3. Leave Your Computer on Overnight
Would it surprise you to learn that your computer tunes itself up overnight? For example, between 3-5am Mac OS X will run scripts to clear out cache files which in return improve performance. Many of the "tune up" applications that are sold are just running these scripts on demand.

4. Defrag
While this tip is not applicable for Mac users since OS X does defrag automatically in the background, this tip is an important part of the Windows users experience. Check out these posts for more info on how to defragment your hard drive.
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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:49 am

Darren Lynch wrote:I use an imac and Logic setup for audio. I know bugger all about Macs as computers.

People often remark that a key advantage of macs is that they are more self-maintaining than PCs in terms of defrags etc. I recall someone suggesting that leaving a Mac switched on for a long period of time allows the machine to sort itself out in terms of background tasks. Is this the case?

Windows also does background defragging when idle. I wonder if the Mac OS background clean up routines are connected with its well-known habit of losing fonts? Though Windows users ARE well-advised to run something like cCleaner now and again, I prefer to do it manually when I have time to roll back if problems occur rather than to come down in the morning with urgent work to do and find a broken system.
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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby Darren Lynch » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:54 am

Cheers for the answers so far. I use Windows PCs for everything else. This 'leave a Mac alone' business I find quite unnerving.
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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby narcoman » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:23 am

Do what I do; set the schedular to switch off at midnight and back on again 2 hours before I go to work (or in the case of today - 4 hours!! heheh)
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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby Tui » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:41 pm

Darren Lynch wrote:This 'leave a Mac alone' business I find quite unnerving.


I would too, but there's no need for it.

1. Defragging is not a concern on Macs.

2. The most relevant maintenance routine is to "repair disk permissions". This you can do by using Disk Utility which you find installed under Applications/Utilities. If you execute this routine, say, once a week, and leave your Mac running at night once a month, you'll have little to worry about.

If you are still on OS 10.6 or earlier, I can recommend a small programme which does all those jobs for you in the background.

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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby xFasterMikeyH » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:00 pm

Tui wrote:2. The most relevant maintenance routine is to "repair disk permissions". This you can do by using Disk Utility which you find installed under Applications/Utilities. If you execute this routine, say, once a week, and leave your Mac running at night once a month, you'll have little to worry about.

You really do not need to do this once a week, please read this for more information: http://www.macworld.com/article/52220/2006/08/repairpermissions.html


Also, if you don't want to leave your Mac on overnight, you can run 'sudo periodic daily weekly monthly' to clear the log and temporary files that the cron job that runs at 3am deletes. This just prevents your hard drive from getting clogged with files you don't need.

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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby Tui » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:52 pm

xFasterMikeyH wrote:
Tui wrote:2. The most relevant maintenance routine is to "repair disk permissions". This you can do by using Disk Utility which you find installed under Applications/Utilities. If you execute this routine, say, once a week, and leave your Mac running at night once a month, you'll have little to worry about.

You really do not need to do this once a week, please read this for more information: http://www.macworld.com/article/52220/2006/08/repairpermissions.html

FMH


I said "once a week" for a simple guideline. As the article you linked to states, permissions are more likely to be damaged during installation of new software. There are times when users install more software than at others, so once a week is good compromise.

Personally, I have Macaroni installed on 3 Macs, and it has been doing its job quietly in the background for the last ten years.
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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby forumuser695516 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:26 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:I wonder if the Mac OS background clean up routines are connected with its well-known habit of losing fonts?

Trust me, it isn't nearly as well known as your habit of sticking your oar into topics you don't have the first clue about.
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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby Scope » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:53 pm

Surely this chap is wanting the "mac magic" ?

The magic is simple :-
When you turn it on, it works. Most people have used a PC and know this is not always the case, even when it worked perfectly well the previous day.
When you come to turn it off, it turns off in seconds, not minutes, or then decides to tell you you can't turn it off because its is installing 1 of 90,000000000 bloody updates.
When it reads files natively without the need for MS Word or Acrobat (for example)
When it doesn't disturb your creative thought with a constant irritating bloody pop-ups telling you you "must" do something , or windows had done something for you, that you did not ask for but it did anyway....
When you can buy that meal-out with the missues, instead of giving your money to McAfee or Norton.
When you geekbench it and find out its 20% (+) faster running Mac OS than Windows.
When you install Lion and get an unexpected 10% speed increase. ( I have NEVER seen Windows get faster )
The magic is you buy a Mac to work "with" a computer, not "on" a computer.

I could go on, but I fear I would fill the sever.

I do know a PC user who bought a Mac but got bored with it working properly, so he bought another Pc just to play on.
Ahh, bless.
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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:24 pm

~Paul wrote:
Exalted Wombat wrote:I wonder if the Mac OS background clean up routines are connected with its well-known habit of losing fonts?

Trust me, it isn't nearly as well known as your habit of sticking your oar into topics you don't have the first clue about.

It's a frequent topic in the Sibelius forum, both generally and with special reference to a recent broken os update (now corrected), and that application is my main contact with the Mac world - I support several users who use Mac. Maybe no other program is affected?
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You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.


Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby desmond » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:41 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:It's a frequent topic in the Sibelius forum, both generally and with special reference to a recent broken os update (now corrected), and that application is my main contact with the Mac world - I support several users who use Mac. Maybe no other program is affected?

I can't say I've ever heard, or been aware of any particular issue with fonts on OSX.

Damaged or corrupted essential system fonts, or other missing system files can cause issues on any platform, regardless of how it's caused.
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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby hugol » Wed Aug 17, 2011 6:36 pm

Darren Lynch wrote:I use an imac and Logic setup for audio. I know bugger all about Macs as computers.

People often remark that a key advantage of macs is that they are more self-maintaining than PCs in terms of defrags etc. I recall someone suggesting that leaving a Mac switched on for a long period of time allows the machine to sort itself out in terms of background tasks. Is this the case?

Not really. Yes there are various scheduled scripts that run - but AFAIK these aren't going to give you better performance - it's just about pruning to free up space. Also whilst Windows 7 might defrag itself if you leave it on overnight the OSX file-system is very different - it defrags on save and tries not to fragment the file-system in the first place. Fragmentation is really only an issue on OSX if your partition gets very full (e.g. >80%).
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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby matt keen » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:05 pm

Must admit to using Onyx utility (the free version)
But as previously mentioned the repairing permissions is the main task I feel, which is something Onyx does amongst some other things
I run it as and when I remember (monthly?) and use the default settings
Its good
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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:30 pm

hugol wrote:Also whilst Windows 7 might defrag itself if you leave it on overnight the OSX file-system is very different - it defrags on save and tries not to fragment the file-system in the first place.

Well, sort of! When you're recording multiple media tracks it doesn't spend TOO much time hanging around thinking "Now, where shall I put THIS chunk...". At least, I hope it doesn't!


Fragmentation is really only an issue on OSX if your partition gets very full (e.g. >80%).

Same as Windows then, really.

That's the trouble - apart from the malware threat, just about EVERYTHING comes down to "same as Windows really" now :-)
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You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.


Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby hugol » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:49 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:
hugol wrote:Also whilst Windows 7 might defrag itself if you leave it on overnight the OSX file-system is very different - it defrags on save and tries not to fragment the file-system in the first place.

Well, sort of! When you're recording multiple media tracks it doesn't spend TOO much time hanging around thinking "Now, where shall I put THIS chunk...". At least, I hope it doesn't!

Actually I was wrong it's on file load not save - under certain conditions (file <20MB, >8 extents etc). Steps are taken to avoid write fragmentation as well though.

Exalted Wombat wrote:
Fragmentation is really only an issue on OSX if your partition gets very full (e.g. >80%).

Same as Windows then, really.

That's the trouble - apart from the malware threat, just about EVERYTHING comes down to "same as Windows really" now :-)

No not really. Windows NTFS can suffer pretty badly from fragmentation in my experience. Are you really sure you want to use Windows as a benchmark
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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:04 pm

hugol wrote:No not really. Windows NTFS can suffer pretty badly from fragmentation in my experience. Are you really sure you want to use Windows as a benchmark

All that matters is that the system transparently takes care of it. On Windows or Mac.
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You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.


Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby electrotimba » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:56 pm

I must be using broken computer since using, applying iDefrag fixes issues I am getting every now and then (latest-yestreday). Since past 10 years have separate partitions 1. "active stuff" = projects where data changes 2. Samples, libraries where stuff gets added. The partition 1 gets defrag often the 2 rarely. I must be really complete idiot who always uses broken Macs and/or PCs since the "men of wisdom" repeat again and again "no need for partition on Mac" and all the amazing magical "self healing" of Macs. I am just writing that little info from my own practical experience in case some other fool like myself might find those more practical. If I listened to what I read here, yesterday, having stuttering Reason record project I should have wait till 3 am instead I run iDerfag which fixed the issue and continued my work, I hope that my unholy act won't result in Mac police coming and confiscating my Mac that I am surely unworthy because my practical experience tells me the Mac magic is just BS and the laws of gravity and any other apply to Apple products as much as to any other.
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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:06 pm

How full was the partition that benefited from a manual defrag? And what was the computer? An old one working hard, or a newish one with power to spare?

A lot of potential problems are masked these days by the fact that most of us own computers that are massively over-powered. And that's fine by me!
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You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.


Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby electrotimba » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:56 am

In this particular case Reason/Record, which I am using notoriously last months, the partition wasn't full . The Reason songs lived in my "static" partition all those years (I use that 2 partitions system since decade, easy to keep path as they are while upgrading, changing computers over the years) but unlike Reasons songs which were ridiculous small sizes, the Record`s are 100 or more times bigger so defragmenting became obviously issue. Since I noticed those fragmentation issues I even moved entire Record songs folder to the other "Projects" partition which is half empty, that didn't make any difference ( if stuttering, glitches appeared iDerfag always fixes it. It could well be that Record has some particularly lousy way of writing files, since I hardly use other DAWs since almost a year can't say. All I care is to get computers to do what I want and need, since defragmentig fixes the problem I don't care much what, why as long as issues are fixed.
P.S new computer, lots of spare power, that issue from yesterday was with new, still very light project, plenty of spare RAM and CPU, only HDD struggled. As you say it might not be noticed due to huge amount of RAM and CPU reserve power we have but the defray problem is still there.
I believe that all the "magic" might be OK for regular users but working with audio or video editing is different story. I noticed that even with my entertainment box that i use for movies-LaCie Cinema films may stutter or even stop and defragmenting fixes it. Something that is not mentioned in manual and the idiots from LaCie support didn't even know , I found that simple fix myself , run defray every few weeks and everything works fine. So frankly I take those statements from Apple support same way as of LaCie, incompetent marketing brainwashed idiots who suppose the customers are even bigger idiots then themselves. Mac definitely works better then NTFS or the dreadful FAT but there is no magic to eliminate defragmentation altogether on the rotating discs whatever Apple marketing might lie. Just calling a notebook Air are does not make it smaller and lighter then Vaio Z. JUst like on Windows there are specialized softwares, in my case iDefrag that work more efficiently then those built into the OS. Nobody has to use them, but I see no reason why shouldn't I look for the best performance I could get from my hardware, whatever it takes.
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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby hugol » Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:04 am

Exalted Wombat wrote:
hugol wrote:No not really. Windows NTFS can suffer pretty badly from fragmentation in my experience. Are you really sure you want to use Windows as a benchmark

All that matters is that the system transparently takes care of it. On Windows or Mac.

You must be referring to the fact they've built a scheduled defrag task into Windows 7. Not really the same thing. Although admittedly same net result if you're prepared to leave your PC on overnight or whatever.
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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby hugol » Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:09 am

electrotimba wrote:I believe that all the "magic" might be OK for regular users but working with audio or video editing is different story. I noticed that even with my entertainment box that i use for movies-LaCie Cinema films may stutter or even stop and defragmenting fixes it. Something that is not mentioned in manual and the idiots from LaCie support didn't even know , I found that simple fix myself , run defray every few weeks and everything works fine. So frankly I take those statements from Apple support same way as of LaCie, incompetent marketing brainwashed idiots who suppose the customers are even bigger idiots then themselves. Mac definitely works better then NTFS or the dreadful FAT but there is no magic to eliminate defragmentation altogether on the rotating discs whatever Apple marketing might lie. Just calling a notebook Air are does not make it smaller and lighter then Vaio Z. JUst like on Windows there are specialized softwares, in my case iDefrag that work more efficiently then those built into the OS. Nobody has to use them, but I see no reason why shouldn't I look for the best performance I could get from my hardware, whatever it takes.


Wow some rant!

No one is saying the efforts HPFS+ goes to to keep fragmentation low is perfect in every scenario. However it's a decent enough attempt to effectively eliminate the problem for most users.

The built-in optimisation doesn't work for files >20MB so that might explain your issue. However it also shows that your Lacie drives are barely keeping up - so I don't know that you can blame Apple for that.
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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby electrotimba » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:14 am

The LaCie media player was just example "how it works" or rather "does not", has nothing to do with Apple or Microsoft, the media players are stand alone units. It is just ridiculous - myth spreading by fanatical iDiots that is something nobody really profits from. It is not Harry Potter, there is no magic in IT world other then of marketing/propaganda.
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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby Tui » Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:28 pm

The vast majority of people have no issues with fragmentation on their Macs. I certainly never did, not even under OS 7 or OS 9.

I currently have 3 Macs which I use for all kinds of crazy sh*t, including moving gigabyte-sized files between them. Attached to my production machine (Mac Pro) are raided Lacie drives with hundreds of GB of samples on them, which would include tens of thousand of small audio files. Then there's a bunch of FW and USB drives hanging off that machine as well. The drives are not partitioned. Partitioning nowadays is a really bad idea, as it makes the drives work harder without providing any performance benefits. I only partitioned one FW backup drive which holds two separate clones of my System drive, but created at different times.

If you have a modern Mac and preserve your System drive for System related tasks, and furthermore add a sufficient number of sufficiently fast internal and external drives for sample streaming and the like, there's no reason to give disk fragmentation a second thought.
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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby Dishpan » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:10 pm

Love MacOS, currently running a Hackintosh (Lion/Snow) as well as other Macs. Some of the fanboy comments are quite embarrassing though:


> When you come to turn it off, it turns off in seconds, not minutes, or then decides to tell you you can't turn it off because its is installing 1 of 90,000000000 bloody updates.

My Windows install shuts down faster than my Macs. And I'm not constantly nagged about saving open Windows which doesn't even work properly!! Actually read some Mac forums about Lion. Oh, and MacOS is far worse about shutting down open applications with edited documents too, they don't even come into focus 1/2 the time and you have to manually root them out.


> When it reads files natively without the need for MS Word or Acrobat (for example)

You can't PROPERLY read word files without 3rd party codecs, you can't read WMV files and you can't even write to NTFS partitions without 3rd party support (you know, those partitions used by 99% of the computers in the world). Acrobat is free for Windows, Paragon NTFS isn't free for Mac... Why mention reading as an advantage but not mention the inability to write as a disadvantage Scope?


> When it doesn't disturb your creative thought with a constant irritating bloody pop-ups telling you you "must" do something , or windows had done something for you, that you did not ask for but it did anyway....

Don't get these on Mac or Windows.


> When you can buy that meal-out with the missues, instead of giving your money to McAfee or Norton.

I hardly think £20 on an anti-virus compares with £1000s more on the computer. Oh, and Paragon cost more than an AV, just so I can write to my drives... An absolute disgrace that in 2011 an OS like Lion can't even write to NTFS partitions.


> When you geekbench it and find out its 20% (+) faster running Mac OS than Windows.

Don't know many people who use their computers to run geekbench Scope. The DO run audio applications and the performance of MacOS is HORRIBLE compared to Windows in every cross-platform software out there... Why give performance details on a synthetic benchmark and not real music applications?


> When you install Lion and get an unexpected 10% speed increase. ( I have NEVER seen Windows get faster )

I've got Lion. It's slower and worse at low latency operation. There's a thread over at Gearslutz where other users say the same. You must have a magic computer (or maybe you do use it to run Geekbench ). It's actually the best operating system I've ever used too, but it's performance isn't stellar.

As to never seeing Windows getting faster, several updates and service packs have increase the performance of low-latency operation which is sometimes triple (check out DAWBench and see how Win is trampling all over MacOS) that you get on MacOS with the same hardware.

-----

I hate fanboys. I use Mac and Windows. With Lion I now definitely prefer the MacOS (for me the best OS I have ever used and I've tried them all!!) and I only really boot into Windows when I need the best low-latency performance, but that does NOT mean I have to spout a load of garbage.
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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby Trebor Flow » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:14 pm

I use both OSX SL and Windows 7 and I have come to the conclusion I don't like computers. Period.

I tolerate them because of the amazing creative power they bring to the music making process.

My favourite time in mixing is when I turn my computer monitor off and and mix levels and pans with my Mackie Control
then reluctantly turn it back on again to start adding plug-in FX.

I have found nothing about Logic on OSX that makes life easier that Cubase 6 on Windows 7. I find different aspects of each, frustrating in equal measure.

tf
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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby . . . Delete This User . . . » Fri Aug 19, 2011 9:14 pm

mutter mutter, Mac Vs PC wars not politely tolerated hereabouts..... cough cough, nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more... mutter mutter....
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Re: When does the Mac magic happen?

Postby chris... » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:49 pm

Tui wrote:The most relevant maintenance routine is to "repair disk permissions".

That's a myth.

I've never used "repair disk permissions". I've never had a problem. What am I missing ?
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