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Slow responses under MacOS 9

Posted on 2000-05-17
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I have a Mac 8100/80, MacOS 9, 80 mb RAM, 1 Gb disk, running Appletalk over Ethernet, with usual sofware and peripherals.  

The system is mostly about as fast as you would expect; kind of stately, but OK, except for one thing.  The thing that is unusual here is that the system is VERY slow in responding to mouse clicks.  If I am in Netscape and click on a link, it takes between one and 2 seconds before anything happens, then response is normal.  If I click on a desktop icon or a button in an application, same thing: nothing seems to happen for about a second, then the hourglass appears or it goes off and does what it is supposed to do.  The lag on clicks is very annoying, and I often think it didn't hear me, so I reflexively click a second time.

I don't think it acted like this under MacOS 8.1 (the previous release I was running), but before I go and revert the OS, I would like to find out whether anyone has seen this syndrome before, and whether there is some tuning parameter or something that may be out of whack.

Thanks

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Question by:harlow
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15 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:CyberGreg
ID: 2816756
Have you installed the 9.04 update?

:)
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Author Comment

by:harlow
ID: 2817244
Nope... didn't know it existed.  I'll try it.
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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 2817878
OS 9 on an 8100....Ouch. Im not surprised youre experiencing slowness. For server use that would be a fine setup but for everyday use i would go back go 8.6. 9 just wasnt designed to work on those earlier machines.
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Expert Comment

by:forkbeard
ID: 2820475
I too would suggest downgrading the OS.  I would not recommend going any higher than 8.1 for your 8100.  8.1 has most of the features of the current OS but without all the bells and whistles of 8.6 and especially 9.  For most older systems I think 8.1 is the perfect blend of advancements and features w/o requiring too much Mhz/HD/RAM.

If you have the 8.1 CD I would definately downgrade and then stay away from new software until you either upgrade the processor or get a new system.  Even if you had a faster system I would be hesitant to upgrade the OS unless you needed the new features.  Upgrading the OS slows down everything across the board and most people dont use the new features of OS 9 anyway.  Keychain... Multiple users... Voiceprint recoginition... Encryption... they are cool but not if it makes simply working on the computer less productive.  I dont know what you use your computer for but I feel you should stay w/ 8.1 and ignore the Apple TV commercial until you are ready for a new system.
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Expert Comment

by:Steven_K
ID: 2821620
I agree on 8.1 and there are many additions the were brought together with 8.6 that are available seperately but there are some network enhancements with 8.6 that might be nice in your situation and still others only in OS 9 (like the ability to do networking only with tcp/ip rather than appletalk and anything else.)

However back to the particular problem.... you are using a normal mac mouse right? And if it is really old it could be having little problems. Might be worth it to just dbl check with another mouse.

Software issues....
checked mouse speed settings?

Might have trackpad going as well - check those settings or delete.

Might also have a disability assist control panel like easy access (not easy open) which alters keyboard and/or mouse response for people with hand coordination problems - delete or at least disabled.

check memory control panel setting (should be much more than dozens of k and i prefer about 10% of ram)

And one last hardware issue...
check with system profiler if your l2 cache is present and registering and if not look into getting one. According to apple spec database the 8100 came with 256k l2 cache. This helps a lot with short action type behavior.

Course you could get a g3 card....
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Expert Comment

by:daz23
ID: 2835367
Something else to try: Go to the Appearance control panel and set the 'theme' to 'MacOS default'. Good luck.
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Author Comment

by:harlow
ID: 2839979
Good suggestions.  I am on the road this week, but will try these things this weekend.  Thanks...
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Author Comment

by:harlow
ID: 2854513
Actually, I have been thinking about a G3 card.  The Sonnet Crescendo G3 boards look very interesting on paper.  Any thoughts on this?  Other boards you like?
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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 2854693
Im not a fan of the upgrade cards. No matter how much you spend on a card, your computer will never be equal to the value you paid for the card. Usually better to just save up for a better computer.
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Expert Comment

by:phan
ID: 2854801
How about try to defrag your hard drive by using Norton Utilities. It may help a little. Also don't forget to check the memory setting under control panel, don't set it for too much virtual memory, I would suggest you set it to 85MB (5MB virtual). Turn off all the non neccessary extensions. Is your mouse slow response when you boot up your Mac by holding down the shift key(extension off)?
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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 2855035
Actually youd be better off using only 81MB virtual mem...Just enough to give you memory mapping but not enough to slog things down.
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Expert Comment

by:Steven_K
ID: 2855418
G3 cards accelerate cpus but not data buses whereas new systems have higher speed busses as well as cpus.

But it can do fine job on an older machine - and adding ram for memory cache will help more.

Triming extensions is good, and turning off vm if you have enough ram and at 81 i think you do for most single app at a time use and even soem two or three at a time. But these things should not overly relate to delay with mouse clicks. They speed up general use so whatever delay you have will get smaller.
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Accepted Solution

by:
aezzy earned 100 total points
ID: 2857158
Try speedy up your mouse clicks in the mouse speed control panel. Since your o/s is performing alright maybe the speed of the mouse reverted to slow speed when installing Mac OS 9.  I know that the mouse speed is too fast under Mac OS 9 on a G4. So maybe the default is set to a slower speed. Hope your problem is this simple.
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Author Comment

by:harlow
ID: 2858142
Answer accepted
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Author Comment

by:harlow
ID: 2858143
I turned up the mouse double click and tracking speeds to max, and it did seem to make a noticeable difference.  I would have expected the cursor to fly around the screen at the slightest touch with these settings, but surprisingly, it acts pretty normal, albeit a bit more responsive.

All in all, OS 9 seems pretty reasonable now.  Thanks!

But I am going to look at a G3 board too....

JEH
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