Word hangs up

Word hangs up

Post by John McGhi » Sat, 03 Apr 2004 16:20:43


Dennis:

This is a "feature". It sounds to me as though you have not applied the
latest updates for Word and OS X. You will find that the pauses are
practically unnoticeable in OS 10.3.3., but you will need to be at Office
10.1.5 to take advantage of this.

When I say this is a "feature", it's actually the way "multi-tasking"
operating systems work. A computer than can actually do more than one thing
at a time has not actually appeared on a desktop, and is very unlikely to do
so.

What the computer does is do "little pieces" of a large number of different
tasks, in very closely spaced sequence. In Apple OS 10.0.0, the pieces were
too large and the prioritisation of which applications were given how many
pieces each second were way out of line. OS X is Unix, and Unix systems
have to be "tuned" to run well.

The tuning is far, far better in OS 10.3.3, and Office 10.1.5 includes the
updates needed to take advantage of the latest tuning scheme.

So: The "pauses" are a feature of a pre-emptive multi-tasking Operating
System. The Operating System can allow only one application at a time to
have control of the CPU, and everyone else must wait their turn. However,
in OS 10.3.3. Correct system tuning has reduced most of the pauses to a few
milliseconds. Human beings (even musicians!) will never notice the pauses
when they are that short.

If you are already fully updated and you still have pauses, then I am afraid
your computer is too slow! The first thing you can try is quitting (rather
than minimising) all those applications you are not actively using. Just
because they are minimised does not mean they are fully stopped: they are
still helping themselves to pieces of the CPU's time and large hunks of
memory. Quit anything you are not going to use in the next half hour.

The other thing you can do that pays huge dividends is add real memory to
the computer. One gigabyte of real memory makes OS X run beautifully: all
of the applications then have all the room they need to spread themselves
around and remain resident in memory. Those annoying pauses while
components are loaded from disk become a thing of the past.

If adding memory doesn't fix it, well then your Significant Other will
obviously understand why you just *have* to buy a new computer... Yeah,
right... Don't we wish...

Hope this helps


This responds to article <116be01c416b4$c6de5380$ XXXX@XXXXX.COM >, from
"Dennis" < XXXX@XXXXX.COM > on 31/3/04 10:11 AM:


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Word hangs up

Post by Paul Berko » Mon, 05 Apr 2004 12:57:09

ust one thing to add: dual CPU's, like most recent G5 and G4 desktops, can
indeed let the OS do two things at the same time, but only when the
application software is designed and optimized for such use. Hardly any
software has been designed that way, certainly not Office. But as time goes
on, it will be. Certain tasks can be designated for one of the CPU's only,
leaving the other free for other tasks. Rumor has it that from the next G5
upgrade, all models will be Dual CPU. Appl is already trying to persuade
dvelopers to optimize for the 64-bit G5, and dual CPU will come next. An app
like Excel could really do amazing things with both optimizations. An if and
when Excel Mac gets it, Word wil surely benefit too. Whether it's a task
Office Mac could undertake without departing too far from its Windows
counterpart to be practicable is an interesting question. We;l have to waut
until at least the versionof Office after 2004, if not farther,m to find
out.

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Word hangs up

Post by John McGhi » Tue, 06 Apr 2004 07:10:08

Damn! Thanks Paul :-) I had meant to go back and correct my post to add
that piece of information, but on the train between stations I sometimes
forget.

Dual CPUs have been around for a while in Windows, but they really have not
caught the imagination of the general public. Writing software to take
advantage of them is an order of magnitude more difficult, and tuning the
operating system to work with them is more than twice as complex.

In servers, two-way, four-way and eight-way systems are becoming
increasingly popular, because as Paul points out you can dedicate certain
processes to particular CPUs. On a server, this gives you the same amount
of "bang" as you get from eight computers, while having to "manage" only
one: a cost-saving. But for the software makers, it's a nightmare because
the range of possible concurrent things happening that you have to test for
increases by the power of the number of the CPUs in the box.

Cheers


This responds to article <BC94C795.5F5D3% XXXX@XXXXX.COM >, from
"Paul Berkowitz" < XXXX@XXXXX.COM > on 4/4/04 1:57 PM:


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Please respond only to the newsgroup to preserve the thread.

John McGhie, Consultant Technical Writer,
McGhie Information Engineering Pty Ltd
Sydney, Australia. GMT + 10 Hrs
+61 4 1209 1410, mailto: XXXX@XXXXX.COM