Battling inactive memory on Macs pre 10.9

activity_monitor

If you have a Mac running Lion, Mountain Lion…pretty much anything before Yosemite, memory issues are rampant. (Firefox you suck! Handbrake you are made by the devil!!)
But it’s all good, you know. By watching Activity Monitor and Console, I’ve got to learn a little more about the inner workings of my Mac and diagnose some problems.
When my computer slowed to a crawl I noticed that “Inactive memory” was a huge chunk of my memory pie. There’s four kinds: Free, Wired, Active, and Inactive. (Here’s a good tutorial on what it all means.)
Trouble is, Macs before Yosemite have sucky memory management and that Inactive Memory can take over and never become free, which is what should happen, but doesn’t.
That sent me on a Google search and I came across this wonderful post on 55 Minutes, which recommends downloading a Python script (no, not this kind of Python script), putting it in a hidden folder and dropping a launchd script into Library/LaunchAgents that runs the memory purging script whenever Inactive memory gets too big.
Works like a charm, and all I really did was Google search and use a bit of logic to figure out the directions. No l33t haxx0r me!!

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