Stewing Over Safe Sleep

Excellent article in TidBITS by Joe Kissell on Mac OS X’s recent on-by-default no-UI-to-turn-it-off “Safe Sleep” feature:

It takes more than a “moment” for your computer to write this hibernation file to disk and go to sleep. The length of time it takes is proportional to the amount of RAM you have installed. On my new MacBook Pro with 4 GB of RAM, it takes 49 seconds for the computer to sleep when Safe Sleep is active; with Safe Sleep turned off, it takes only 4 seconds. That’s an enormous, and enormously annoying, difference.

Kissell really nails this one. But it’s even worse than the annoyance of having to wait nearly a minute for sleep to kick in, and that you lose as much disk space as you have RAM.

My wife’s MacBook was suffering from a problem where, once or twice a week, the machine would just shut down completely when she put it to sleep. She’d close the lid, and a few seconds later, the machine would just turn off or restart. The solution? Disable Safe Sleep. It hasn’t happened again even once.

Friday, 3 August 2007