zen.org Communal Weblog

June 4, 2007

Ahh, memory makes all the difference

Filed under: — brendan @ 15:49 IST

Cartoon from a great blog entry about upgrading

We’re using an Apple Mac Mini as our server du jour. In addition to keeping all of our CDs ripped on it in iTunes, it is our DHCP server, our nameserver, our printer server, and keeps our free dynamic DNS entry up-to-date so we can avoid paying for a static IP address with our DSL connection. It sits on top of a cool external hard drive for holding the music and backups (as a samba server).

The only problem was the way iTunes would make the rest of the Mini come to a bit of a crawl—even when other computers are just asking the Mini to resolve some hostnames. Today, after the small box sat on my desk for three full months, I finally took half an hour to do the deed. Following an awesome memory upgrade tutorial, I replaced the normal 512Mb of memory in the Mini with a whopping 1GB of luscious fruitful memory ready to serve your every need. Beautiful memory is waiting to talk to you now…cough. Since this is an older (PowerPC-based) Mac Mini, it took very little effort at all; newer ones involve more surgery.

Increasing the memory has really made a difference. I can be in iTunes loading up the white 10Gb second-generation iPod with music to play on the DART when I have to go up into Dublin. But at the same time I could have a Terminal window open, or bring up Safari to look up the generations of the iPods in Wikipedia. And it all just works. What a difference! This helps avoid random excuses used to buy new stuff. Which is a good thing—honest, I’m reminding myself of that all the time. It’s better this way. It still works just fine.

Even better now.

Really. It’ll eventually sink in.

P.S. I’m toying with tossing random cartoons at the beginning of some posts just as an experiment. A friend of ours does some awesome writing in her blog (added to our links on the right of our page as well), but she also includes a great assortment of pictures and cartoons with her posts. I found it’s a neat extra piece to the whole blog entry, and makes it more satisfying than just reading all plain text. Maybe I’ll get tired of hunting for something I like each time, or maybe the few people reading this are on dialup and loathe the waiting time. But let’s see how it plays out. :-)

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