My sister's blue iMac is running under OS 9.2.2 with 320mb of RAM. It's used mostly for AOL, Internet Explorer, Word, Excel, and a variety of children's applications. Like many families, more than one application is open at the same time. As you might guess, they were experiencing frequent freezes and the machine moved oh so slow while the hard drive spun and spun and spun. I noticed that a RAM disk had been created and that virtual memory was "on,"and that the cache size for IE was set to 100Mb.
A quick look at "About This Computer" showed that 300 Mb of RAM was being chewed-up by the OS alone!
So I eliminated the RAM disk, turned off virtual memory , and reduced the cache size for IE to 20Mb. Now the system OS takes only 80-90Mb of RAM with plenty of headroom for the applications. Freezes haven't occurred since the fix and all applications run visibly quicker.
I'd like to look at their top five applications and reset the minimum and preferred RAM for each. Any suggestions or "rules of thumb" for setting these parameters relative to the suggested size?