Pete’s FREE Speed Upgrade

Pete’s FREE Speed Upgrade

Just can’t seem to scrape up that two, three, four or five hundred dollars to buy one of those fancy Macintosh accelerators, let alone a brand new PowerMac? Tired of the slow speed at which your 680×0 processor works? Feel like your productivity is going right down the toilet because of it? Does your neighbor own a Power Mac? Do you lay awake at night thinking of ways to steal it?

If you’re that much of a speed fanatic, but can’t afford the high dollar upgrade to PowerPC or even the price of an accelerator, you’re probably running your Mac’s system stripped to the bone; i.e., you have the minimum amount of extensions and control panels installed and your monitor is probably set to black and white. If this is the case, you’re going about this quest for speed in the wrong manner. In fact, you’re doing just the opposite of what you should be doing.

No matter what 680×0 processor you have, once you strip it to the bone, that’s it. You have as much speed as you’re going to get. No more, no more, NO MORE! If you try to de-bone the system, it will quit working altogether. Just like you would if someone de-boned you.

I have the answer to your speed problems. It may not be as good as a PowerPC upgrade. But what the hell, we’ve already established you can’t afford that anyway, right? This will take a little bit of time and a lot of patience on your part. But it works. Trust me!

Instead of stripping your system, fill that baby up! Install every kind of control panel and extension you can think of. The more color and graphics intensive, the better. Some good examples are: Decor, Aurora, DesktopPictures, ~Aaron, HiTech_WDEF, The Tilery (with twenty or more tiles lined up on your desktop), three or four StartupScreens etc. etc. A good rule of thumb to know when you have enough control panels and extensions added to your system is when you have at least a minimum of two full rows loading across your screen at startup. Most of this is shareware stuff and should be paid for. However, if you’re only going to use them as stepping stones to speeding up your Mac and not for what they were intended to be used for, I don’t think the authors would mind if you just borrowed them for a little bit, do you?

After you’ve jammed your system full of these memory-sucking, processor-slowing control panels and extensions, open up that monitor’s control panel of yours and pour the juice to it! That’s right, give that baby all she’s got! If you have millions of colors listed there, by all means turn it on. In other words, give it all the pixels (I’ve always liked that word, in fact I’ll say it again!) give it all the pixels you’ve got! A word of caution here: try keeping your system right on the edge of crashing without going over! Get rid of the extensions that give you problems but be sure and replace them with something else. Be sure to disable Ram Doubler or turn off virtual memory. When you get your machine running at about the same speed as the contents of a cold jar of molasses turned upside down, you are ready for step 2. Trust me! This will work!

Now comes the hard part. Use your computer like this for two or three months. The longer the better. You’ll notice or maybe even hear your Mac grunting and groaning every time you do something as simple as switching from one program to another. You’ll be tempted to put your fist through the monitor, break your keyboard over your knee, throw your Mac out a window or simply set fire to it. I don’t recommend you do any of these things, but hey, it’s your computer! If you feel the need, go right ahead. I can’t be held responsible, though.

Work with your Mac like this for as long as you can stand it. (Remember, one or two weeks isn’t enough. This would only result in a three or four day speed rush. Hardly worth the pain and energy it took to get to this point.) Hopefully you lasted at least three months. Okay now, start stripping! Your system that is! (Of course if you feel the need to be naked during the big speed unveiling, be my guest!) Get rid of everything you put in there. Take it all to the trash can. Every last bit of it. (Pun intended!) Set your monitor to 16 colors. (Only because a color screen is less depressing than black and white.) Empty the trash and restart your Mac. Presto! Instant speed realization! Even during startup loading! Enjoy this rush of speed for the next few months. Free of charge! Of course when you start coveting your neighbor‘s Power Mac again, you’ll have to repeat the process. But hey, it’s free!


As of this issue I have been writing for My Mac for one year. I thank Tim Robertson for giving me the opportunity and encouraging me to do something I had no idea I was capable of doing. Thanks also to Russ Walkowich, who has to read and edit my musings. But most of all I thank you, the Constant Reader and subscriber of My Mac . Thanks for keeping your hate mail to a minimum (0). Thanks also for overlooking my butchery of the English language and poor use of grammar. And thanks for the kind words and comments some of you have sent me.

I’ll be back next month, still trying to improve on my poetry. I know, that will never happen, but I’ll keep trying anyhow! Next months reading will be entitled, “The Dry Mac.” Sounds fascinating, huh?

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