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An explanation of Mac memory: wired, active, inactive, and free

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When you open Activity Monitor you can see a graph of how much memory your computer is using. But why are there 4 types of memory, represented by various colors on the graph?


Alex has an explanation of what all these types of memory mean — wired, active, inactive, and free — and also how memory usage affects system performance. To summarize, wired memory is used by the system; active memory is used by currently running applications; inactive memory was used by recently closed applications, which allows them to reopen quickly, and free memory is unused. For a better explanation see Alex’s Is my Mac using too much memory?

Mac Server Series: Configure Two IP Addresses On One Mac

We already showed you how to host multiple web sites on one Mac, but that tutorial assumes you want them all to have the same ip address. Sometimes, you’ll need multiple IP addresses for instances like installing a SSL Certificate. This video shows you how to have two ip addresses on one connection.

Watch It Here: Configure Two IP Addresses on One Mac

Show Notes:

Mac Server Series: Install WordPress On Your Mac Using MAMP

One of the most popular reasons to have a server these days is to run a blog on it. Using an install of WordPress is one of the easiest ways to do this.

This video tutorial shows you how to install wordpress by using MAMP. It’s very simple.

Movie Link: Install WordPress On Your Mac Using MAMP

- MAMP- Our post on FreeMacWare explaining MAMP
- the free wordpress install turn your Mac mini into a server and share your blog with the world

A Few Tips For A Better Mac Mini Server

Usually our Server Video Series has a video involved, but there are a few tips that I thought were useful enough to throw out there.

  • Over on FreeMacWare today, I wrote about a program called Lithium. It’s an incredibly app that I saw at Macworld. It monitors remote computers and servers so you can keep tab on them. If you are running a Mac mini as a server, this will be a good way to monitor it. And lucky for us, they offer a free “Lite Version” that will only limit the amount of machines you can monitor.
  • The most requested video tutorial is how to set up a mail server on your Mac mini. We’ve been working on it, but it’s much more in depth than you’d think. But, we don’t blame you for hesitating to spend the $500 on Mac OS X Server just to get a mail server. Over on, I’ve posted about an app called Postfix Enabler. It’s a very well done app that will set up a very capable mail server in about 60 seconds and it’s under $10. That is a very good way to go.
  • My company just finished the week at Macworld. We had a booth there and were able to meet a ton of great people. (including some of you) As part of our Macworld week, we offered Macworld attendees a discounted price to get their Mac mini in our data center. We took our most popular package, waived the sign-up fee and discounted it by $10 per month. I thought I’d extend that same offer to the FreeMacBlog readers. If you were waiting for the right time to get your Mac mini into the data center, now would be a good time. You can take advantage of that discount here. It should be good for another week or so.
  • Alright, that’s what I have for you right now. There will be more videos coming soon. Be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed so you’ll be notified when then come.

What We Can Surely Expect At Macworld

Oh, how the Macworld cycle turns. While everyone else is making predictions about what will be released at Macworld, I give to you my predictions on what will really happen. You are (almost) guaranteed on these:

  1. In the next few days you’ll see sites announcing that they’ll “have live coveraged from the Steve Jobs Keynote.” Of all those that are announced, half of them will be able to get the means to do it. Of the half that will have means, most of those will not load within a few minutes of the show starting.
  2. One of the next generation products will have stripped a feature, port, or ability of it’s predecessor. This will cause an outcry on blogs and Apple websites. We’ll have all forgotten about it a month later. The “mistake” by Apple will turn out to be just fine and probably a hit.
  3. Steve Jobs will use the phrases “Boom”, “We have some exciting things to show you today”, “We’re really excited about this product”, and everyone’s favorite, “There is one more thing.”
  4. We’ll wonder if Jobs is retiring soon because a) he looks ill b) he’s grooming a replacement on stage or c)he’s going to become a CEO of another company. (e.g., Disney) Later, we’ll realize that we were once again being a little crazy.
  5. The evening after the Keynote, someone will post online that they had “inside information” that a key product was pulled at the last minute. The source will usually be an “Apple employee I met at the party.” Everyone will want more, wondering if they should spend their money now or wait until the “next thing.”
  6. The line for the keynote (that will get growing at 4am) will have three things happening. First, everyone will be regurgitating the rumors even though all of us read the same sites. Second, everyone will be parading their iPods and laptops even though in an hour they will look very outdated. And lastly, everyone will be cordial and friendly for the few hours you’re together, but when it comes time to go from the North Hall to the South Hall, it’s a regular stampede. Whatever you do, take the stairs and not the escalator. Trust me on that.

Did I miss anything?

Like the rest of you…I can’t wait for all of this to happen. I’ll be at Macworld with and I’ll be enjoying every minute of it.

Ask FMB: How Do I Change The Icons On My Mac?

Josh writes:

I love your website. I’m new to mac, and love tricking my mac with the great
stuff you have here.

I have a question, though. How the heck do I change an icon? I messed up
something, and now my iTunes folder has an icon that has the pdf logo.

Thanks, Josh


Welcome to Mac. I have you covered.

Here is a free app that does it automatically. It is called Micon.

Or you can do it manually with this tutorial from Apple: Change My Icons

Hope that helps.

PS, if you want to practice, there are some great icons for here

(If you have a question about your Mac, just ask FMB. We may post it here.)