I tend to make fun of PC people all the time who complain that their Windows-based computer takes a full baseball season just to boot up. The reason that Windows PCs take forever to start up is a multifaceted problem stemming from a slew of malware loading during the booting process and an overtaxed system registry burdened with inefficient entries. As much as Mac people would love to laugh in their faces, the reality is that the Mac operating system can be just as susceptible to the same type of behavior. This gives us poker players a lot of hassle if we’re running a slew of programs like Parallels and Windows XP or even just running Poker Copilot. We demand performance!
So what makes your Mac boot up slower and how do we improve its performance? Fortunately, this guide might give you a golden tip or two to get your machine running a little smoother.
The wonderful little toys you have plugged into your Mac will definitely bog it down. I’m not talking about your mouse and keyboard; those are fine. Your speakers are okay too. However, devices like external hard drives can really cause problems with system performance if your computer is constantly being tasked to keep it in line. Other devices that could cause problems are outdated printers, scanners, your iPod, and USB hubs. The general rule of thumb is to not have anything plugged into your Mac unless you plan on using it that day. For many, that means the scanner goes unplugged for weeks or your printer is simply turned off when you don’t plan to have anything printed in that computing session. Just try unplugging it all and rebooting; you’ll probably notice a slight improvement in the boot time of the system.
It’s also important to find out what is loading when you boot up. There’s a chance that there are “login items” (software programs that are loaded on boot) that are causing a problem and it’d be best if they simply didn’t load. To do this, go to the “Accounts” area, or simply hold the “Shift” key after you enter your user name and password at the login screen. You’ll see the “My Account” column and, to the right of that, the “Login Items” that are loading with your profile. Just pick the ones you don’t want loaded and hit the minus button to remove it. However, don’t accidentally delete something that your system desperately needs to function!
Although the Mac operating system does “uninstall” programs by wiping them from your system, with new software being released, there’s now a chance that there are “lingering” files that might be causing some problems. There are a wide variety of applications for Mac OSX that you can check out, such as AppTrap, Yank, and AppZapper. None of the programs are costly; in most cases, each one is under $15, which makes purchasing one a wise investment. You can use one of these programs to make sure that software is wiped from your Mac. I had a tricky time uninstalling a video capture utility until I used one of the apps mentioned.
Finally, there are routine disk performance “first aid” techniques that you should be performing on a regular basis. In the applications area, go to utilities and pick the “Disk Utility,” which will allow you to see all of your hard drives and perform maintenance on them. Pick the hard disk in the left column, select “First Aid” in the top right side area, and press the “Verify Disk” button. This will go through your default drive, scan it for any problems, and, in most cases, fix them right away. You can also make sure all of your hardware is running in tip-top shape by checking out the “System Profiler,” accessible from the “About This Mac” area. Click on “Hardware” in the contents column and you can verify that the hardware is correct. Sometimes if you have a bad RAM stick, an incorrect amount of RAM will display here.
Given all of these options, there shouldn’t be a problem finding some things that might have been dragging down the performance of your beloved Mac. Remember to shut down properly when you’re done and love your Mac unconditionally at all times.