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Thread: Flash-Mac Performance

  1. #1
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    Flash-Mac Performance

    I have learned the basics of Flash but want to get to learn advanced actionscripting.
    I am now faced with a dilemma, upgrade from my Dual G4 to a Dual G5 or move over to a PC?
    The reason for this is that many professionals seem to find Flash MX really "sluggish" on the Mac platform and also, there are too many plug-ins not available for the Mac.
    Please give me your opinion and advice.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member SJT's Avatar
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    Although the performance of the Flash plugin on a Mac can sometimes be not up to the same level as the PC player, it's certainly not in such a bad state as to have to change platform.

    I've built several large and complicated actionscript based projects on my dual G4 and not had the player performance problems make any real effect. In general, the issue affects visual transitions the most, and though these are often triggered by actionscript, it's not the actual actionscript performance that's causing the slowdown or glitches.

    On a different note, transferring platforms involves a hell of a lot more than changing Flash's performance.
    My personal opinion is that Mac OS X is the best designed and built operating system there is; the foundations of how the operating system is constructed are extremely strong, moving to Windows would be a step down.
    You also then have the other issues of the poor windows security model which ends up in all the security flaws, viruses etc. that come part and parcel with Windows.
    Sam



  3. #3
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    Thanks for your reply!
    Obviously I totally agree regarding the OS X!
    Maybe some people just wanted to give me the impression that it would be impossible to keep up on Flash compared to PC users!

    How about plug-ins? Are they really so vital,
    once you get well into Actioncript?

  4. #4
    Senior Member SJT's Avatar
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    You mean the extensions you can get from Macromedia Exchange?

    Personally, I've never actually used them, and I'm not really sure why they should be platform dependant.

    Anything that adds actual functionality to Flash projects themselves would presumably have to be cross-platfrom as it would be written in actionscript...unless you've got some examples that show otherwise?
    Sam



  5. #5
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    Hi -

    I author on both Windows XP and Mac OS X (10.3.5) using Flash MX 2004 Pro. Although I prefer the Mac OS in general, Flash definitely runs better in Windows.

    I'm having extreme problems on Mac at the moment. Every time I try to remove frames from the timeline, I get the spinning wheel of death. Flash hangs, and I have to do a Force Quit. This has also happened when I was organizing items in my library.

    Any idea what I can do? This issue is making Flash virtually unusable on my Mac.

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Senior Member SJT's Avatar
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    That's a problem either with the fla you're using or your install of Flash.

    Try copying the content into another fla if it's just one fla causing problems, otherwise try trashing the preferences for Flash, and finally reinstalling.
    Sam



  7. #7
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    I know their are real problems with Macromedia Flash and Dreamweaver performance on the Mac, and Macxromedia should be take to the woodshed over this. But sometimes, problems like Mac OS X System hangs and spinning beachballs also can be a symptom of a need for simple software maintenace. I find that I've avoided many of the problems some OS X users encounter by performing regular maintanenance on my Macs.

    First and foremost, it is critical to always run Apple's Disk Utility and repair (Unix) Permissions after installing any OS X software, including Apple's own updates. And Disk Utility has a basic set of disk First Aid tools as well.

    But I also regularly use Alsoft Disk Warrior to optimize the OS X directory, which tracks where all computer files are stored. Ideally, directory information would be stored in contiguous blocks on the hard drive, but over time, this is routinely distributed in a random fashion to blocks all over the drive's spinning magnetic platters. Disk Warrrior redistributes directory data to contiguous blocks, which, I believe, should enhance performance as well as help minmize corruption problems should a crash ever occur. I think Disk Warrior may be the most an essential OS X tool of all.

    Finally, every couple of months, it is important to optimize your entire hard disk to maintain peark performance. As with the directory information, a Mac's overall performance will degrade over time as files are saved to random blocks all over the hard disk. OS X itself contains thousands of Unix files that reside on your computer along with your data and applications files. Optimizing the hard disk helps improve performance when the system is accessing and loading files. I recommend Micromat TechTool Pro (v4x or newer) for this task.
    George Wedding
    GEOPIX, Inc.
    http://www.geopix.com

  8. #8
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    thanks!

    Hi all -

    Thanks for your suggestions. I tried copying all the frames from one FLA to a new FLA, and that seemed to do the trick.

    Miriam

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