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#1 2015-11-27 18:32:42

From: NYC, NY
Registered: 2015-07-07
Posts: 20

Shrinking the System/Finder for your Mac

I do not know if this is covered, nor if others done it. But it is something I do for my machines to increase their performance. What is done here is on the System folder, can also be done with most applications.

As always, make a recoverable back up of your original system and software to recover from if things go wrong.

First step: Fat Code stripping.
There are several 68K/PPC Code Strippers out there, which on you use if on you. But one has to think - does my 68K Mac running a system or app loaded with PowerPC Code ever use those PPC routines? Never. Since that code takes up space and is interweaved with the 68K code, it makes the 68K CPU take longer jumps to subroutines. Longer jumps takes longer to execute, though it is only 1 or 2 clock cycles, doing a couple million clock cycles a second, they add up.

For the 68K use the Code Stripper to remove the PowerPC Code from the system (and app). This will do two things for you.
1) It will shrink your system to nearly half. This is a god send if you are running an LC or other memory limited system!
2) In shrinking the code, the subroutine jumps are also shrunk or eliminated in some cases, increasing the speed of the system (and or app).

The reverse is also true for the most part for PowerPC systems, removing the 68K code will shrink the system/app and make it run faster as subroutine jumps are also shrunk or eliminated. But not all 68K routines are to be removed. There are a couple things that must remain, and most, not all, Code Strippers are intelligent enough to leave those alone.

The second part is ResEdit.
If you run ResEdit through your system, you will find that even if you installed the system the "This Mac Only" there is still stuff in it that is wasteful. You will find things that are code specific to other machines - like the Mac IIci Nubus Driver when you are running an LC III (lets say). Or finding color icons and warning dialogs on your B/W Mac. I even had found things for the MacTV in the system on one of my System file. Those are really unnecessary. You can go in and eliminate those resources. Just do a few at a time and then test your machine afterwards to make sure you did not kill it by taking away too much.

At this point you really have compacted your System to a near minimal size. Play with it, see that improvements are there. Like I said about systems with limited memory like the LC Series, things will be improved. No more system errors due to lack of memory for one. Things will be faster as the system is now smaller. I'm not saying that things will be like it is running on a IIfx on your LC, but things will be improved that you will notice it. Shaving a microsecond here and a microsecond there does add up.

Make sure you have a full unadulterated back of the system before you go in and trim it like a fat-conscious butcher. An keep notes as t what you did when you did it. This will make recovery easy of things go wrong one day - like a hard drive crash.


#2 2015-11-28 20:03:32

From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,118

Re: Shrinking the System/Finder for your Mac

In shrinking the code, the subroutine jumps are also shrunk or eliminated in some cases, increasing the speed of the system (and or app).

Pedantic note, but relevant for certain situations: this is only true if the program and/or its shared libraries are CFM. If the 68K code is segmented into regular CODE resources, stripping the PowerPC executable code out of the data fork only makes a difference to program size, not execution.

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