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I have seen a few pages discussing this and some scripts that I won't run because I don't understand them, so would be great if the experienced users can share some tips or scripts (and perhaps explain exactly what they do). Thanks.

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5 Answers 5

Throw-Hardware-At-It-Department

SSDs clearly should be the fastest option; but their price/capacity point is still a bit painful vs. hard drives.

for quite a bit less, you could look at upgrading to newer hard drives: current SATA drives are cheap, huge -- and often even the 5400rpm units are faster than original factory mechanisms as a function of higher data density, never mind moving up to 7200rpm gear.

Not-Rebooting-Department

in my own experience, OSX laptops sometimes don't always actually sleep when closed -- if there's a process hanging things up. a unnoticed modal dialog (e.g. a Save check triggered by a dirty document in a non-foreground app) is all it takes, I think.

if/when that happens, one's battery carries on being drained without your necessarily being aware of it, which sucks if you are counting on having a predictable amount of remaining work-time later on without an AC connection. and it sucks even more if the battery runs completely flat:

  1. it's obviously risky to effectively pull the plug on a running system
  2. worse, running to zero charge hammers battery life

Apple > Sleep appears to just go into low-power mode, vs. entering full-on hibernation [memory image written to disk, then a full controlled power-off]. the ability to actively specify Sleep/Suspend or Hibernate behavior is about the only thing I miss from Windows.

for me, these two third-party utils have helped:

  • SmartSleep control panel, available here. it lets you set a battery charge threshold, above which percentage the machine will sleep in low-power mode as usual, and below which it will hibernate to disk.
  • Deep Sleep Dashboard widget, available at deepsleep.free.fr/ . to force a hibernation, I just a) F4 to bring up the Dashboard, then b) click on the nice Moon graphic.
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2  
Running to zero charge kills battery life? First I've ever heard of that... –  SilentW Jul 9 '09 at 16:54

Seriously, don't reboot. Just put it to sleep! Rebooting is so 90's.

If you're on a desktop just do  › Sleep, if your on a MacBook just shut the lid.

If you're worried about security then turn on "require password after sleep" in Prefs › Security.

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There are a lot of reasons for shutting down or rebooting. Installing or upgrading software, updating the OS, or power saving are all valid reasons, even in today's age. And if Sushant doesn't have his power management set up identically to you, then just shutting the lid won't necessarily put it to sleep. And what happens if the battery runs out while it's in sleep? Will it either shut down the system nicely or save what's in RAM to disk? Or will it cause the system to just die, thus losing all your unsaved work? And much as we all love Apple, the OS does crash, thus requiring reboot. –  Kevin M Jul 9 '09 at 18:22
    
@Kevin: By default in OS X closing the lid will put the computer to sleep, the contents of the RAM are saved to disk. I've met very, very few people who play with pmset to change closing the lid to go to sleep. However it's still a good point. –  Chealion Jul 9 '09 at 20:23

Maybe it's worth looking at why the boot time matters. One of the best features of Macs is the very functional, and more importantly very fast, sleep mode. The workstations at our company are all Apple, and they simply go to sleep every evening or after a period of inactivity. Even with network home directories and a directory server in play, it only takes 10-15 seconds to revive them from sleep.

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There's lame solution, but it helps a lot — throw hardware at it. OCZ Vertex or Intel SSD work beautifully.

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One way to boot faster is to start less software. Try stuff like ServiceScrubber and Lingon.

But, for heaven's sake, be careful. It's very easy to make this a quick way not to boot at all!

Also, a file system that's very fragmented is slow. That mostly happens if it was/is very full, but may have other reasons. SSDs can be a solution if the hard drive speed is what's limiting you.

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