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Reunion 7 Answers

Some operations in Reunion seem slow. What can I do to improve speed and performance?

As your family file grows larger, you may notice that some operations begin to take a long time. Here are a few suggestions for increasing Reunion's performance:

Reduce the number of people in your family file. Over time, you may have accumulated duplicate entries and unneeded branches in your family file. This might be a good time to prune your family tree.

Renumber the people in your family file. If you have deleted a large branch of people in your family file, there may be significant groups of unused person ID numbers. For example: you may have a total of 2,000 people but the highest person number is 15,000. This is a case where renumbering a family file would be beneficial to performance.

Enable Faster Progress Bars. Choose Options -> Display and make sure Faster Progress Bars is checked.

Don't use Virtual Memory (or RAM Doubler.) Virtual memory uses your hard drive (slow) to mimic physical RAM (fast.) If you find that you don't have enough memory when Virtual Memory is off, it might be time to add more physical memory to your system. We've had excellent service from memory dealers such as RAMJET.

Open your family file on a RAM Disk. A RAM disk uses physical RAM (fast) to mimic your hard drive (slow.) Choose Apple Menu -> Control Panels -> Memory. If you don't have enough memory to make a large enough RAM disk, you might consider adding more physical memory to your Macintosh.

Get a larger/faster hard drive. If your hard drive is 2 GB or smaller, you have an old (and probably slow) hard drive. It might be time to upgrade or add a new hard drive. Reunion is a database program and for the most part its speed is determined by how quickly it can move information to and from the hard drive.

Note: we are sometimes asked about the newest (dual processors) and upcoming (OSX, Velocity Engine) developments at Apple and their impact on Reunion's performance. The answer: none of the features in Reunion will benefit significantly from these technologies. The biggest bottleneck when doing things that take a long time -- such as rebuilding the index, calculating relationships for everybody, creating huge charts, etc. -- is the hard disk access speed and throughput. In older G3s for example, the primary bottleneck is the 5,400 RPM hard drive that is originally installed. Users report that upgrading this slower drive to a 7,200 RPM hard drive provides substantial performance gains.

Get a new Macintosh. At the time of this writing (November 2000), a 350MHz iMac with a 30 GB hard drive costs about $800. Obviously, it's not in everyone's budget to buy the latest computer every 6 months, but it never hurts to look. We seldom hear regrets from somebody who has purchased a newer Macintosh.

Please note that increasing Reunion's Preferred Memory Size or repeatedly whacking the side of the monitor or the keyboard will not increase Reunion's performance.