By (written by Matt, posted by Ed)

Dashboard is a love-or-hate feature of MacOS X 10.4 Tiger. I still haven’t decided whether I love it or hate it, but its voracious appetite for memory is certainly hate worthy. I have little use for stickies (I still use the analog version: real-life post-it notes stuck to my iMac), though I like having the weather widget and ski report widgets available. Better yet is the translation widget, which helps me occasionally when I read news in Spanish in hopes of regaining fluency.

The cost of running five ski report widgets, a note pad, a translator, and a weather widget is over 100MB of physical RAM, and several gigabytes of virtual memory (read: hard drive space). When I’m done using Dashboard, I always run an AppleScript that restarts the Dock, which owns Dashboard. By restarting the Dock, Dashboard is also restarted, which frees up all physical and virtual memory associated with it. That memory will be reclaimed by Dashboard once it’s invoked again with F12, or the hot key you specified.

Of course, Dashboard can be disabled entirely in Terminal.

defaults write mcx-disabled -boolean YES killall

and re-enabled by typing

defaults write mcx-disabled -boolean NO killall

You can download the AppleScript, which I named killthedash, from my .Mac public folder. To do this, pull down the Go menu in Finder, select iDisk, then Other User’s Public Folder, and type my .Mac username: mmklein.


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