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Fixit 20. Check for Problems with Memory... > Memory Problems When Using an Open A...

Memory Problems When Using an Open Application (Such As an Inability to Open a Document)

There is something of a paradox here. When, as just described, you can't open an application, the solution typically requires freeing up more memory. However when you can't open a document within an open application, freeing up even an infinite amount of memory is not likely to help. This is because, if the application has already opened in its Preferred memory size, freeing up more memory will not affect how much memory the application can use (barring the possible use of temporary memory). For example, a program that has a Preferred memory size of 1MB will use no more than 1MB of memory even if 32MB of free memory is available. Thus, these problems require a different set of solutions than those just described.

TAKE NOTE — More About "About This Computer": Bar Shading

Once again, the About This Computer window can help diagnose potential memory problems here. In particular, the light shaded portion of each application's bar indicates how much of its allocated memory is still unused. If this area is very small for a given application, memory problems may be imminent. Remember, turning on balloon help and placing the cursor over a bar will give you the exact amounts represented by the shaded areas.

The sum of a bar's dark and light shaded portions is the application's total memory allocation (and is equal to the number to the right of the application's name).

For the Mac OS bar, don't worry about how little white space there is. The system software is designed so that there will always be very little white showing. If the Mac needs more memory for the system software, it can dynamically increase its allocation (up to some limit, of course).



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