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Re: How big is your mac? (and other computer looping questions)

Philip schrieb:
> Is that being overly cautious? Will it matter if I put Mail 
> MSOffice/Firefox on it provided I turn them off when looping, or does 
> simply having them on the machine use memory?
Generally, and as a rough rule of thumb (and although terminology here 
is Windows-oriented, this also applies to other OSes):
1. Applications (like Firefox) take up space on your harddisk. They only 
take up memory and runtime when they are run. Caution has to be applied, 
    a) some applications only go to "sleep" mode when you quit them with 
the usual "upper left corner" click - you need to specifically shut them 
down. This is true, among other things, for some email programs. In that 
state, they will still use memory and may use runtime.
    b) some applications do install additional programs which get 
started at system startup (MSOffice was famous for this, at least 
earlier). Same effects as for a) apply.
    c) Some applications run all the time - like virus scanners. Often, 
you can't completely shut them down.

2. Then there's services, which sometimes get installed by applications. 
They will take up memory and runtime when they are active (which may be 
only if the application using them is active, or after you've run the 
application in question until the next reboot, or always).

3. Drivers. They take up memory and possibly runtime all the time, or 
only when the device they're driving is connected to the system.

So to be on the safe side, have as few of 1-3 on your system as 
possible. This may require that you dive through your system 
configuration by hand. Best thing is always to use a harcore Linux and 
compile everything yourself ;).

For my two music computers, I used two different approaches:
On one computer, I have to independent OS installations (which share 
program files). One is for music only and is minimized otherwise. The 
other one is for all the fancy stuff.
On the other computer, the main OS installation is minimized in every 
respect (doesn't even have layer3 network drivers), but there's a 
virtual machine with all the fancy stuff running on it.


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