8GB Makes A Difference

Under Mac OS X Snow Leopard with 4GB of RAM and the new Core i5 mac minis or 13″ Macbook Pros, Aperture 3 ran quite fast.  There weren’t very many hick-ups or beach balls when applying adjustments.  However, like many, after installing Mac OS X Lion, things were noticeably slower.  So, I decided to upgrade to 4 GB of RAM.

I’m in the Philippines, so ordering online with a credit card and having items quickly shipped to you isn’t a reality as it is in the US.  Usually you have to go to the computer store and buy it.  Many of the well-known computer stores in Manila finally have websites and I was able to view what products are available as well as download price lists.  I checked out PC Gilmore and PC Express, both of which have pretty good prices – around 1200 pesos ($28 US) for a 4GB DDR3 PC3-10600 SODIMM 1333 chip.  Well, Manila isn’t exactly close to where I’m at, I have to get on a plane to get there, and after calling all the local shops in General Santos City, it seems that RAM prices in Mindanao are twice that of those in Manila.  So, I called up a friend in Manila and had him pick me up 2 4GB chips at the Mall of Asia PC Gilmore branch and had him ship me the chips, which cost around 120 pesos ($3) for 2 day shipping.  I deposited the money in his bank account for the payment.

I received the chips yesterday and installed them this morning.  Right away I fired up Aperture 3 and I immediately noticed the difference.  Aperture 3 ran noticeably smoother, from scrolling and switching between pictures to applying adjustments.  Before, when I would apply sharpening, I would get the spinning beach-ball, but now with the 8GB of RAM the image sharpened without stalling.  I also merged 3 photos using Photomatix to make a HDR image.  I noticed that Photomatix was faster with alignment, noise reduction, and ghost removal.  I checked the Memory usage of Aperture 3 and Aperture 3 is now a greedy-er memory hog!  It was using around 4GB, while the operating system was using only around 2GB!  Oh well, that leaves around 2GB of free memory, which is plenty enough for me.

So, if you have experienced a much slower Aperture under OS X Lion, a RAM upgrade to 8GB should make it speedy again.  If you are in the US, Crucial has some pretty good prices.  I can’t vouch for the quality though, since I’ve never bought from them.


Preview App in OS X Lion

Now that I’m out of college and finished with the boards, I have more time to read. I have many books in pdf format and I use Preview to open them. I have recently upgraded to OS X Lion and I must say, I really like how the full screen mode of Preview works. I find it conducive to reading!  If you haven’t upgraded from Snow Leopard, this is another good reason to upgrade.  Here are a few screenshots of the application.


The buttons next to the search bar also work in full screen mode!

Slow Network Work-around

My internet connection is through a wireless network that is beamed to my house from over 100 meters (328 feet) away using a TP-Link TL-WA5210G wireless outdoor CPE.  The CPE is configured as a Wireless Router and Access Point.  From within my room the connection is usually strong enough, and I can get full bars on the airport (wireless card) indicator on the Macbook and one bar less than full on the Mac Mini (my main computer).  However, there are times when I have difficulty joining the wireless because of timeouts.  Another problem is that, transferring files between the two computers is painfully slow when done through the TP Link wireless network.

To fix this problem, I setup another TL-WA5210G (since i had another one on hand), set it up in client mode and hooked it up to the Mac Mini via the ethernet port.  So now, I basically have a high-powered Wireless Card and Antenna hooked up to the Mac Mini.  I then turned on Internet Sharing on the Mac Mini, and set it up to share the internet connection from the ethernet port through the Airport.  I then joined the Macbook to the Mac Mini wireless network.  So I have the Mac Mini connected to the internet via ethernet, and then the Macbook connected to the desktop and the internet through an ad-hoc wireless network.  Now, transferring files between the Macbook and the Mac Mini is really fast and I don’t have problems connecting to the wireless network being beamed in.

I realize that the TL-WA5210G can be setup as a repeater, but for various reasons, I did not want to do it that way.

Internet Sharing Preferences