More on Leopard

Address Book Lookups
Quick Look has some surprising uses that take a little getting used to, particularly when you use it in a SpotLight find window. I use a piece of software called TapDex which allows me to run a keyboard driven search for phone numbers and addresses quickly. Now I have to judge whether TapDex's purpose-built function is any better than running the same search in SpotLight and then doing a Quick Look on the resulting address book entry, which now gives me a pane with all the information I might need. Previously, the only thing you could do with a SpotLight driven Address Book search was launch the entry in Address Book, which sucked.

Memory use
Because I run so much stuff that grabs so much memory, I'm constantly monitoring not just memory use, but the inevitable buildup of virtual memory scratch files that the system creates as you go along. This sort of thing shouldn't matter much on a desktop that gets shut down at the end of the day, but my laptop doesn't shutdown often, at least partly because of the vast number of web pages that I keep open for reference and eventual reading.
I use
Menu Meters to keep track of various system internals and over time, I've found that once the system is working with around eight swap files, I'm going to get a freeze soon.
One of the ways I track swap file generation is by noting how much memory each application allocates as its own virtual memory space on startup. Most applications steadily grow as they run, but some run wild and need to be restarted.
Imagine my surprise to find that a casual inspection of Activity Viewer suggested that the default virtual memory allocation for every application and startup process on my Mac had essentially doubled on Leopard.

This, of course, terrified me, because in a trice, the system was up to seven swap files and I hadn't even launched Photoshop or Lightroom yet. As it turns out, this is the way the new Finder works. Memory allocation is done differently in the new system, according to an analysis by
Ars Technica, which goes into the kind of detail even I find mind-numbing.
The kernel, the software that handles how processes are routed to the hardware processors and managed through the system is apparently much smarter about how it handles dual processors, the standard on today's Macs and about keeping track of how much memory each application is actually using. There's a whole lot more to it (isn't there always?) but my old concerns about the way applications use memory may be misplaced under Leopard. As it turns out, after running my usual complement of software (two web browsers, an e-mail client, a word processor and a few utilities, I launched Lightroom and Photoshop only see swap files multiply to twelve, consuming 2.5 GB of disk space. Previous versions of OSX weren't this tidy about managing swap files or memory and would have frozen long before this.

Other stuff noted in the lengthy Ars Technica piece includes Leopard's 64-bit architecture, which evidently can support Universal Binaries with four different code bases, 32 and 64 bit PPC and 32 and 64 bit Intel.
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