View Full Version : Extensions - managing them, keep or toss them?

09-24-2001, 01:53 PM
I know most people believe the fewer extensions the better. I agree.

I just usually leave them alone - so I don't mess anything up. How do you you know for sure which extensions you need?

I have 197 extensions in my extensions file. Is this a large or excessive amount? I am planning to move many of them to the disabled extensions after getting a little more feedback and input from all of you.

I have the following applications installed on my computer. Photoshop, AppleWorks, Claris Organizer, Eudora Pro 4, A few Games, Interarchy, iTunes, Napster, LimeWire, Netscape Communicator, Norton utilities, Real Player, Windows Media Player, Quicktime, XLR8 software, SoftRaid... that is about everything.

So am I running with too many extensions turn "on" that I don't need? Should I be disabling some?


09-24-2001, 03:00 PM
What OS are you running? Beginning with OS9 and later, there are many things that interlink with no way of telling until you try. I use Conflict Catcher 8 which gives a thumbnail description of most of the inits. Still hard to tell and best to disable a very few at a time. k

09-24-2001, 03:59 PM
Using Extension Manager, set it to OS 9.. All and then only enable what is essential - you can't work w/o it. CC 8.1 is very good at preventing extenisons that should not have been installed - say by an old package that would conflict.

If it is installed by Apple, it should be fine, but there are a few 9.2.1 items that seem to be trouble. But I feel that anyone should get to know what all of them do. In EM set to view as Packages.

If you plan on staying with 9 for awhile, invest, if you plan to migrate to OS X, its a different ball of wax.


09-24-2001, 04:30 PM
OS 9.1 - Recently I have not bothered managing the extensions. On my old Performa and 7200 I did. Now with this XLR8 G3 400MHz upgrade things seem to run really fast also everything is recently installed on a new Cheetah - I have not had time to install things and them trash them.

Having the 7500 with the XLR8 G3 400MHz upgrade - I don’t think I can support OS X

I know most of you might disagree with me on this one. A hypothetical question --- lets say that 90 of the extensions are not needed that leaves me with 107 - will I notice a performance change. I don't believe I will see that much difference for the time and effort - and if I need that extension at a later date I will have to turn it back on.

I do not seem to be having conflicts at this time. Conflict Catcher seems to be a lot of peoples choice for this - I have read a lot of posts talking good about it.

How many extensions do most of you have on? You probably have more applications too.

So I need to find Conflict Catcher and DiskWarrior.


09-24-2001, 05:53 PM
The word "Extensions" is actually a misnomer. That folder (along with the related Control Panels folder) contains all sorts of different types of files. Each type of file has a different way of effecting the computer system.

INITs: These are the original Extensions. They make patches directly to the System's ROM and/or System Suitcase. A properly constructed INIT will make its patch to a jump point saving the original jump point in case it determines that the call was for something else. This is where "conflicts" occur. When two INITs have similar functions and both try different conflicting things to accomplish them. Many Control Panels use this same technique except that a user interface is added to modify the INIT's features. Depending on the quality or complexity of the code, INIT's can greatly effect system performance.

Startup Applications: These are a fairly new type of Extension that actually runs a little program that either initializes hardware or software feature and then automatically quits or continues to run in the background within the System Heap. The later is most likely to effect system performance since it's stealing processor time behind your back.

Libraries: These are a new feature of the Mac OS that uses the Carbon system. These Extensions contain code that is simply logged as being there. It isn't even touched unless a program specifically calls for it. A good example is the "Norton Shared Lib" which does absolutely nothing unless you're running Norton software. These have little or no effect on System Performance.

Printer Drivers: These, like libraries, are not loaded until they are used. The presence of unused Printer Drivers has no effect at all on System Performance.

Folders: Folders are present in the Extension folder for added features of any of the above type of extension. Their effect is only to the associated extension and effect System performance only through that extension.

I agree with both kaye and Gregory. Conflict Catcher is a life saver. Some object that it's a potential cause of conflicts, but I've found that this is rarely the case. Extension Manager actually can be more of a problem than CC.

[This message has been edited by lasvegas (edited 24 September 2001).]

09-25-2001, 04:37 PM
I have 154 of 200 enabled according to Conflict Catcher 8. I think there is a demo and an "amnesty" program to buy CC8. There are also packages that include DW, CC8 and some other utility that might be a good buy (Intego VirusBarrier, NetBarrier or Norton Firewall, etc).

NetBarrier and IPNetSEntry have been updated to deal with blocking Code Red worm attacks, useful on broadband, but not essential usually for Macs.


09-26-2001, 04:14 PM
Thanks lasvegas

Great post.

I think things are fine just how they are now - need to find Conflict Catcher and DiskWarrior if anyone knows of a place for a GOOD deal that I have not found or a software bundle/package please let me know.

Again thanks to all of you