Long delay for "print" from any app, improved by reboot

I was experiencing a thirty second or longer delay from when I clicked on Print until the options box showed up. After determining that Adobe Reader had the same problem as Text Edit, I tried reboot. That reduced the wait to less than three seconds.

Bad memory? I don't reboot more often than once a week or so. But I got MemTest a few days back and it gave my gigabyte a clean bill of health at least for three passes. Of course it didn't test ALL of memory.

Some evil interaction with some other application? What could it be?


Difficulty completely unknown to me.
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byundtConnect With a Mentor Commented:
What follows is speculation:

A memory leak might be affecting the printer response time. If each job printed requires a certain amount of memory (either in the printer or in a printer buffer set up by the printer driver), then failure to release all of that memory when the print job finished would cause increasingly slower responses as time went on. Even if you have a gigabyte of memory total, the important thing is how much the printer thinks it needs--and how much of that is available at the moment. Rebooting would definitely clear the buffer on the computer side, and it might even cause the printer to clear its buffer (should that be the problem).
brettmjohnsonConnect With a Mentor Commented:
This typically indicates that the default printer is non on-line.  When you select "Print", Mac OS X print panel builds a list of available printers by attempting to contact each known printer.  If one of the printers is off-line, Mac OS X will wait several seconds for it to respond to a ping.

pheidiusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
what is your hardware software configuraion? I hate toguess anything without knowing that.
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DickKarpinskiAuthor Commented:
This is a G4 iBook with a gigabyte of DDR and a Brother 1440 laser printer on a USB port, running 10.4.6. It has always before brought up the print dialog box within a few seconds. Now it seems slower and a few days ago, before I rebooted it was taking upwards of a whole minute with the File menu head lit the whole time. The printer always worked fine before, during, and after the long delays. The printer has been up for a week or two. Is that enough information?

pheidiusConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Yes, it does help. I also have a brother laser printer. Mine is working fine now. It was doing similar stuff particularly after I tried  to set it up on its ip port so I could also connect a pc laptop but it was even slow before that. I deleted the printer and this time very carefully read the setup instructions. If i remember it is very clear about not connecting the usb cable until after the driver was installed. This time I all the steps exactly. ditto for the ip setup instructions. Now I can print both from mac os x 10.4.6 or win xp pro without a hitch. Thhis may not be your issue at all but I admit that the first time I installed  it, i pluuged it in, hooked it up  popped in the driver and installed it without reading the directions.
if this does not help the tinkertool system has a fix cups printer function in it you might try.
DickKarpinskiAuthor Commented:
How can that be the problem when it has worked well for months?
DickKarpinskiAuthor Commented:
So far the answers have not been satisfying but perhaps no one knows.
GrnPhoenixConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You could try using the Disk utility to Repair Permissions no guarantee, but it won't hurt either!
Do Not do this with the cd, it's not nessecary for this task.

You also might try clearing the P-ram, Restart the ibook after the tone hold down apple, option, P & R keys until you get three more tones.allow to start and test the printer.

Happy computing!

P.S. These are the first things I ALWAYS try when dealing with strange just started happening issues, and it actually works about 50% of the time.
DickKarpinskiAuthor Commented:
But it is not a problem NOW. It is a mystery. Rebooting seems to have fixed it, but I still do not understand how it could have done so.

I really appreciate all the efforts of you experts, but the mystery remains unaddressed.

Perhaps no one knows or can figure it out.

What is the right way to suggest all these ways to fix problems of unknown origin?
  a. Reboot or power cycle is the generic for any electronic device and that actually worked in this case, I just do not understand why.
  b. Repair permissions using the Disk Utility. Didn't try then and no point now.
  c. Clear PRAM: Restart the ibook after the tone hold down apple, option, P & R keys until you get three more tones.allow to start.
  d. Defenestrate the offending computer. This doesn't exactly solve the problem but it destroys the offending hardware and thus removes the problem.
DickKarpinskiAuthor Commented:
I'm sure this will be a memorable experience for you since I am aboutto nitpick on several levels. After all I am a world class nitpicker.

First my name is Dick Karpinski, not ...sky. The "ski" is Polish for the man of the house, "ska" for the woman. I'm pretty sure other positions are also indicated by other letters. Nevertheless, "sky" is a Russian name ending and not mine.

Secondly, from the beginning, I indicated that I had already gotten past the problem and sought only the information about what might have caused the problem. None of the responses gave any hint of any possible cause which would have been fixed by a reboot. But reboot is what fixed it for me. And I think I said that.

Potentially useful advice was offered by more than one responder and I am happy to accept their answers and award them points, but I understand that that would close the question which remains interesting and unanswered. Would you care to suggest some way that I can be polite in that way and even generous while leaving the quesion open in case some expert can actually answer it?

In the future, if I have a question of this sort, I expect I will try to include something like this: "Alert, this qauestion is actually fairly subtle. The problem has already been remediated but the mystery of why it happened is of interest to me. It is in order to understand what happened and why what I did fixed it that I now ask the experts."

Do you suppose that any of the experts who responded to the question would have noticed the nuance if I had introduced it in that way?

Can you now see why I and others call me a serious nitpicker? Can you live with it?

Thanks to all of you who have contributed to this sequence for your serious and well intentioned efforts to satisfy my needs. I really do appreciate your efforts and have included some of your ideas in my personal web site which is, incidentally a wiki. I like wikis and encourage EE to have one too. Then responses can get honed more and more as they get used more and more, even if only one in a hundred readers contributes to their refinement.

Dick, the Nitpicker (and the world's largest leprechaun   |=|:-)=   )
DickKarpinskiAuthor Commented:
Thanks very much for your detailed and very gentle response.

I have already increased the points to the max so that when I finally give up and close this question there will be more to share among those brave enough to add something to this discussion.

Does anybody have a clue why a reboot might have fixed the slowness?

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