Although System 7 operates a little faster than System 6 in some cases, many find that it feels slower, especially in the Finder. Here are a few ways to increase your Mac’s reaction time (playing video games on your Mac can help its eye/hand coordination too).
Shape up your hard disk
- (1) Check your hard disk’s interleave and reformat if necessary using appropriate formatting software. Contact the company that made your hard disk for the optimal interleave for your specific setup.
- (2) Backup, reformat, and restore your hard disk to remove file fragmentation. If you have one, an optimization program does the same thing much more easily, but make sure you have a backup first.
Free up RAM
- (3) Turn off Filesharing when you don’t need it, since it slows down the Mac and uses several hundred K of RAM.
- (4) Turn off Background Printing, although this will slow down your work by making you wait for the printer. Background Printing uses more RAM than may be available on a 2 or 2.5 MB machine with an application open.
- (5) Boost the disk cache up to 256K if you have the memory. More than that isn’t usually worth it. On a 2 or 2.5 MB machine, even 256K may not be worth it.
Monitor your screen display
- (6) Keep bitmaps installed for commonly used fonts. Screen display slows down while TrueType scales fonts for the screen.
- (7) Use the Views Control Panel to turn off "Calculate folder sizes." Also use Views to set the font to Geneva 9 point, choose the smallest icon size, and show as few of the Show size/ kind/ label/ date/ version/ comments goodies as possible.
- (8) Set the Window color in the Color Control Panel to Black & White (this removes your 3D scroll bars).
- (9) Switch your monitor to 16 or fewer colors in the Monitors Control Panel.
- (10) Eliminate the Finder’s zoom rectangles (see TidBITS-099/ Finder_Fun).
- (11) And finally, install Apple’s System 7 Tune-Up. Apple recommends that all System 7.0.x users install System 7 Tune-Up to increase the speed of some Finder copies and to cut down on low memory situations. Perhaps the most noticeable benefit from the System 7 Tune-Up is that printing from the StyleWriter is significantly faster.