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Web Performance Tuning, 2nd Edition by Patrick Killelea

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Macintosh

Mac users have their own idiosyncrasies to deal with, as the following sections describe.

68K Emulation

Apple’s change of CPU from Motorola’s 68000 series to the PowerPC increased Mac performance in one way, but hurt it in another. Performance is helped because the PowerPC is a much faster, more modern CPU. Performance is hurt because most of the software available for the Mac was written for the 68K chip and runs on the PowerPC chip only in emulation. Not only the applications but also parts of the Mac OS themselves were left in 68K binary format. There are a few things you can do to minimize the impact of emulation on your performance:

  • First, always try to get a native PowerMac version of your browser in preference to a 68K version.

  • Second, try replacing the emulator that ships with the OS with Speed Doubler from Connectix, http://www.connectix.com/. Connectix also makes a well regarded RAM Doubler product.

  • Finally, upgrade to Mac OSX, which has more native PowerPC code and faster and more robust TCP/IP.

Networking

For the best networking performance on a Macintosh, make sure you’re using a recent native-binary Open Transport TCP/IP stack. See Open Transport Mac tips at http://www.go2mac.com/. Macintosh PPP programs can usually be configured to automatically dial the modem and start PPP when an application such as a browser needs network connectivity. This makes startup a little easier on the user.

Use the Mac TCP Monitor to check whether TCP packets are timing ...

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