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Speeding up Tinderbox (Read 29423 times)
Mark Anderson
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Re: Speeding up Tinderbox
Reply #15 - Mar 06th, 2009, 6:07pm
 
But surely, if that were true, with my Office 2004 apps open - which are all Rosetta - I ought to see slowdown? But I don't. At least OMM which is a MBP Intel c.Apr  '08 2.5 GHz, 4MB RAM.
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Speeding up Tinderbox
Reply #16 - Mar 8th, 2009, 10:21am
 
While I'm very skeptical of the "Rosetta slowdown" theory, and while I sense that in this discussion we're confuting a whole bunch of different, ill-described phenonemon, I do have to theories about what might be annoying those who are being annoyed.

First: it *might* be memory thrashing.  If you have LOTS of open applications, and you're short of physical memory, lots of things will be swept out to disk when not in use.  And, especially if your hard disk is slow (or badly fragmented?), swapping Tinderbox back into RAM might incur a few second's delay.  Tinderbox does have a rather large memory footprint when working with big files.

Second: it *might* be thermal throttling.  I notice that the complaints are centered around laptops; in certain situations, current Macintosh laptops throttle their CPU to keep them from overheating, and that results in a very perceptible slowdown in everything -- even mouse tracking.  Activity Monitor will show lots of "red" system activity when this is ocurring; it's most likely to happen when (a) you're using an external display, (b) you're displaying video, and (c) you're doing lots of work, such as exporting a big Tinderbox file.

This is not a very well understood or documented issue, but I *have* observed it on my MacBook Air.  And it might perhaps explain some of the discrepancies reported here.

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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Speeding up Tinderbox
Reply #17 - Mar 11th, 2009, 3:07pm
 
To those who are experiencing delays when switching applications:

a) Do you also experience the delay when switching applications using cmd-tab?

b) How long is the delay?
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Sumner Gerard
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Re: Speeding up Tinderbox
Reply #18 - Mar 11th, 2009, 4:56pm
 
I don't use cmd-tab as much as I should. But going through the dock or Expose I sometimes can switch quickly into any other open app but can only switch into an already opened TB document slowly (several seconds) and thereafter TB is noticeably sluggish.

Several times I have been able to go smoothly to all other open apps but can't even get into an already opened TB document; TB shows in the dock with the blue dot, but doesn't respond.  The only way to get in then is through a force quit and reopen of TB.  

On my 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo MBP with 4GB memory I typically have TB 4.5.3, Mail 3.5, Safari 3.2.1, NetNewsWire 3.1b18, and DevonThink Pro 2.0pb3r2 open at the same time.  Occasionally Excel and iTunes too.  That often works fine.  On my machine TB is not always sluggish.

But OMM clearly TB 4.5.3 does not always play nicely with the others, all Intel native and pretty zippy even with a lot going on at the same time. Whether or not the specific culprit is Rosetta, this user will not be happy unless TB is updated to run natively on modern Macs and (technically somewhat off topic but from a general user perspective crucial and very much on topic) support widely adopted modern standards such as Unicode.

Thanks for your advice, and your continued enthusiastic lobbying for your favorite new features.  We hope you'll be happy -- and, in the meantime, productive!
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« Last Edit: Mar 26th, 2009, 11:12am by Mark Bernstein »  
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Roscoe Brooks
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Re: Speeding up Tinderbox
Reply #19 - Mar 26th, 2009, 8:27am
 
To echo Amber's observations, Tinderbox does redraw more slowly than other apps on my MacBook Pro 2.4 w/2GB RAM. It's usually subtle and workable, like the difference between talking on a cell phone vs. landline.
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Speeding up Tinderbox
Reply #20 - Mar 26th, 2009, 11:11am
 
Thanks for the help.

We'd be very eager for a reproducible issue in application switching time.
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peter lindsay
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Re: Speeding up Tinderbox
Reply #21 - Apr 9th, 2009, 5:44pm
 
can I ask how many words are in the notes that people find slow-loading ?
I can wait > 13 seconds for a note to load, but that note has 21 pages, 96K text. The tbx file takes 16 seconds to load. I'm running macbook 2GHz, 2GHz. Running tbx and "Pages" and Launchbar concurrently.

I think there's a speed issue with tbx. It should be a simple matter to devise some tests to remove "matter of opinion". Is this heresy ? I hope not. I like tbx and pay my dues.

Peter Lindsay
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Mark Bernstein
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Tinderbox speed
Reply #22 - Apr 10th, 2009, 11:15am
 
I made a single note by pasting an entire formatted paper into Tinderbox.

    19 pages
    8651 words
    54,738 characters

On an original MacBook Air (1.6gHz Intel Core 2 Duo), this note opens in 6.5 sec.

Note that this usually isn't the ideal way to use Tinderbox. It's a tool for notes, and notes are typically much smaller than this.  Tinderbox's power derives in part from focus -- from being able to pinpoint a specific note and a specific idea.  So, you probably wouldn't have many notes this big.

But it's there if you need it.
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peter lindsay
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Re: Speeding up Tinderbox
Reply #23 - Apr 10th, 2009, 2:50pm
 
I appreciate that a multi-page "note" is not efficient use of Tinderbox.

I get very similar results indeed to Mark B's test on my 2GHz, 2GB macbook.

Interestingly I noticed that with that with ~ 10,000 words, if you command-c copy a word then command-v paste - it still takes ~7 seconds to paste that extra word in. tbx must be doing a lot of work here, but I'm not sure why.

Almost all of the delay is spent laying out the text -- specifically, computing line breaks.  Tinderbox 4.6 actually does more of this than strictly necessary, in the course of adjusting the formatting of quicklists. Turning lists off may help; 4.6.2 may also help a little. The delay is imperceptible in more normal use. -- MB
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« Last Edit: Apr 11th, 2009, 1:15pm by Mark Bernstein »  
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peter lindsay
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Re: Speeding up Tinderbox
Reply #24 - Apr 10th, 2009, 2:55pm
 
I am not experiencing time-delay issues when switching applications.
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Jim Delaney
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Re: Speeding up Tinderbox
Reply #25 - Jun 21st, 2009, 7:48am
 
A late reply to this thread: I finally dropped some cash and upgraded to 2Gigs (from 1 Gig) of memory on my first generation Macbook. No more slowdowns in swtiching from Tinderbox in the last week, which leads me to believe that, in my case at least, it was a memory issue.

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Charles Turner
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Re: Speeding up Tinderbox
Reply #26 - Jun 21st, 2009, 9:01am
 
In my experience, you really need 3gigs of memory to run Tiger or Leopard without slowdowns.

Fire up Safari, watch a few Youtube videos and check its memory use in Activity Monitor, you'll find it's using around 2 gigs of memory by itself, not to mention all the other applications that are running.

Activity Monitor will also show the number of pageouts that OSX has made, and indication that there's insufficient RAM to store least recently used bits of memory. OSX pages them out to disk, and restoring them is significantly slower than doing it from silicon.

I see the Rosetta task switch mostly in display intensive activities, where there a lots of calls across the Rosetta/Cocoa bridge. I have a Tbox outline with really long note titles, 20-30 words. If I'm viewing the outline and resize the window, it's a good long while before all is straigthened out. Things like loading a file are quite fast because Rosetta can do system calls very easily. But as someone mentioned, this is a "problem" with all Rosetta applications.

Best, Charles
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Jim Delaney
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Re: Speeding up Tinderbox
Reply #27 - Jun 21st, 2009, 11:24am
 
Yes, but unfortunately, the first gen Macbooks (which still aren't that old) max out at 2 Gigs. And video aside, Tinderbox was the only program that I use regularly that really needed all of that memory. Most office and data processing software runs pretty snappily with 1 Gig.

EDIT - But iPhoto also got a nice speed boost!

JMD
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« Last Edit: Jun 21st, 2009, 11:25am by Jim_Delaney »  
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Charles Turner
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Re: Speeding up Tinderbox
Reply #28 - Jun 21st, 2009, 11:40am
 
Duly noted. I only have 2.25gig in my old iBook G4. Other World Computing has studied this a bunch and they have found that current versions of OSX (Tiger/Leopard) will grow to about 3gigs in size and then hold steady around that amount.

I should have mentioned this previously: You'll find that you can quit out of a Safari that's swollen to 2gigs, but the OS never shrinks back down to that 750megs that was it's size at startup. It just keeps growing.

So in effect, anyone with less than 4gigs is going to end up with memory being paged out to disk at some point, and have to live with the resulting speed hit.

Best, Charles
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