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WorldScript Power Adapter Speed Increase

We’re all interested in squeezing as much performance out of our Macs as is reasonable, and a tip from Tim Holmes, Mac OS Evangelist at Apple, might help Power Mac users a bit. It appears that the WorldScript Power Adapter, which would seem to help only users of WorldScript, actually contains native PowerPC routines for handling text. Thus, if you leave WorldScript Power Adapter loaded, even if you’re not using WorldScript, you should get a small speed increase.

This tip seemed rather quirky, so I asked Leonard Rosenthol of Aladdin Systems about it since Leonard’s familiar with WorldScript. He disassembled it quickly and found that on Power Macs the WorldScript Power Adapter appears to install a completely new set of routines for a block of traps called "ScriptUtils." ScriptUtils handles basically all the non-drawing routines related to text – things like sorting, comparison, time/date, and so on.

Don’t worry if the programmer-speak above doesn’t make sense. The upshot is that the process of drawing text on the screen won’t increase in speed if you use WorldScript Power Adapter, but anything that requires sorting text, comparing text strings, and so on, should see a speed increase. For instance, when you sort files in the Finder, filter messages in Eudora Pro, or do text searches in some databases, the new code in WorldScript Power Adapter should help speed things up. Word processors and text editors that are WorldScript-savvy (such as Nisus Writer) should also see speed increases because they frequently call ScriptUtils to calculate line lengths and the like.

It’s unlikely that you’d see truly significant speed increases from this tip, but hey, there’s no reason not to take what little we can get.

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