Tech Talk #14 – Dec 5, 2015

No need to clear that RAM

Are your apps misbehaving? Is everything on your phone running slowly? Maybe it’s not even good at making phone calls? Both iOS (Apple) and Android (Google) do a good job of managing your phone’s memory. Your phone is designed to use as much memory as possible to keep your applications loaded and ready to work for you. If you ask your friends or Google “why is my phone so slow?” you may get advice to “clear your RAM” to speed up your phone.


Your phone uses RAM differently than your computer does. Clearing the RAM on your phone either closes all your open apps (iOS) or leaves them open but with no resources (Android.) It’s like putting away all your tools so you can look at the project you’re working on; you can’t get anything done without your tools, so you get them back out again to finish what you were doing. On your phone, as you open up apps they’ll start using up your RAM all over again. As they are designed to do.


If your phone won’t do much of anything, turn it off and give it some time to think about how to behave properly, maybe even check to see when your contract expires and you can get a new phone, and then turn it back on. It’ll run better for a while, at least until the next time.



Nixing animations

Animations are what your computer does when opening and closing any windows on your screen. They can either start small and grow to full-size (or the opposite, start big and get smaller) or even disappear in a cloud of smoke. These animations make Windows10 and OS X fun to use. On older Macs and older PCs, disabling window animations can make your computer at least feel faster. But less fun. But feel faster.


Macs: If you’re running the El Capitan version of OS X this will definitely work; they might even work in the Yosemite version.

  • Open up Terminal (Applications > Utilities)
  • Type defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled -bool false


Windows 10

  • In the Search box next to the Start button, type in system and choose System-Control Panel under Best Results
  • On the left of the System dialog, click Advanced system settings tab
  • Under the Performance section click the Settings button
  • Click Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing to remove the checkmark


Turning off your window animations only makes much of a difference on older computers, but every little bit helps.



Life before the computer and smartphone

  • Memory was something you lost with age
  • An application was for employment
  • A program was a TV show
  • A cursor is someone who used profanity
  • A keyboard was a piano
  • A lap top was the top of someone’s lap
  • The web was the spider’s home
  • A virus was the flu
  • A tablet was what ancient people chiseled on
  • A CD was a financial instrument
  • A hard drive was a long trip in the car
  • A mouse pad was where the mouse lived
  • And ram was a male sheep



Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has been providing Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. Email Greg at                                                                                                                                                                                 

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