[rc5] the new mac client

Chris Welbon ctwelbon at email.unc.edu
Wed Jul 9 14:42:35 EDT 1997

On Wed, 9 Jul 1997, Rebecca and Rowland wrote:

> >From: Chris Welbon <ctwelbon at email.unc.edu>

> >Well, my guess is that since the LC040 doesn't have an FPU, the floating
> >point operations (or lack thereof) in the v2 client shouldn't matter a
> >whole lot.  Could be wrong, though.
> Note that I was comparing my slight drop in performance (on my Mac with an
> FPU-less 040) with a huge drop in performance on another Mac with a full
> 040.

Hadn't caught that nuance.  Sorry.

> >
> >Like someone else suggested, try turning off the log file.
> I'll try it - but it does mean I'll be running the client with no idea when
> it'll want to connect next.  Rather than do that, I'd switch back to the v1
> client or maybe give up with this lot all together.  I didn't mind poor
> documentation with the v1 client, but the complete absence of documentation
> and poorer performance from the v2 client is a bit much.

Oh, don't give up!  The client is designed to run fine with the defaults.
You're right about needing the logfile to tell how far along you are in a
group of blocks; but the graphing functions don't strike me as terribly
useful.  Being able to quit and save state is a HUGE step from v1.

As for tweaking the background and foreground performance, like someone
else already wrote, that's the part in the MacOS Client Settings... dialog
where it says "Amount of time to spend working during each" and "...when
the client is in the [foreground]"  The number you put in each of those 2
fields determines how much of each second the client spends crunching keys
before it relinquishes control of the CPU to the other applications so you
can get work done.  In the case of the default 500 milliseconds and 120
milliseconds for foreground and background respectively, the client
crunches keys for 500 milliseconds (=.5 seconds;  there are 1000
milliseconds in a second)  then checks to see if you're doing anything
else with your Mac (like clicking on a menu item, or trying to bring
another active application to the front).

In the case of the second number (default is 120 ms), the client checks
for activity in other apps more frequently when it's in the background,
roughly every 1/10th of a second, since presumably you're writing an email
or clicking on a URL, and you want the app to respond quickly.  Remember
that MacOS relies on apps to handle this kind of thing on their own; other
OSes like Be, NT and Unix handle multitasking much better.

Anyway.  Don't give up.  Ask for fixes for to be included in the next

And I didn't find much change in performance with logging turned off.  So
much for that idea.  

Here ends the lesson,

ctwelbon at email.unc.edu     cwelbon at nejm.org     ctwelbon at sunsite.unc.edu

                Installation is the reverse of disassembly.

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