I don’t get it

The final version of iChat 2.1 is out. Software Installer tells me that it requires 300 MB of disk space in order to perform the installation (the app itself takes up around 3 MB) and that a re-start of the system will be required.

WTF? This isn’t Windoze! Why such a footprint? And why do Apple insist on re-starting the machine after the installation of something as trivial as an instant messaging system? Bah.


  1. Ben, just a couple of things:

    All Apple Software Updates require 300 MB (or more) of free space. I believe it's so that there's sufficient room for the subsequent optimization to take place. For what it's worth, if you're currently operating with less than 300 MB of free space in your drive, then you're nearly crippled and really need to find some stuff to throw away. That's not lecturing on my part, as I speak from experience: I'm running Panther on an original iBook with a tiny 3 GB hard drive, and I'm always fighting the space issue (on that machine anyway). But you don't want to be operating with less than 300 MB free, if you can at all help it.

    As far as the restart thing, I'm sure you're noticed that the majority of Software Updates actually don't require restarts. The only ones that do are the ones that modify the system software itself. A restart is then required because, essentially, you're working with a new system and it needs to reconstruct itself upon restart. I can't quite figure out just what iChat might be changing at the system level, but I suppose it must be something…

    BillBill Palmer#
  2. Hi Bill!

    Yes, I’m constantly running out of disk space, as I have a rev B iMac, which, like your machine, only has a 3GB hard drive. The Mac’s usually happy with software updates: the last few have gone OK (including the 10.3.3 point release: a re-start there I can understand!), and I acknowledge the need for space to optimise the drive… 300MB seems somewhat excessive is all.

    I should upgrade the drive. I will upgrade… ;-)Ben Poole#
  3. You will be very pleasantly suprised about the speed of your system after upgrading to a large 7200 RPM drive!Tobias Ross#
  4. Just get an external Firewire hard drive. They're dirt cheap these days, and allow you to migrate your less-important stuff off your internal drive.

    As for iChat requiring a restart, I haven't seen it yet, but I'll bet it updates some Quicktime components.Robert Jung#
  5. Robert,

    The FireWire drive wouldn't help Ben, since his revB iMac doesn't have a FireWire port.

    Other than that, your advice would usually be good for most.Steve Hix#
  6. iChat requires a restart due to its modifying /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/InstantMessage.framework (maybe among others?)Chris Garaffa#
  7. Thanks for the tips chaps. Steve and Robert, you’re both right: the iMac doesn’t have Firewire but I do need an external Firewire drive. I was thinking of maybe an iBook G4 :-)Ben Poole#
  8. Ben,

    You're in for a rude awakening if you're planning to fix your HD space problem by putting in a huge HD. I put 60GB drives in my mother's and sister's Blueberry and Grape 333Mhz (non-slot-loading) iMacs, and found out the hard way that they can only boot from a partition that covers the first 8GB of the drive. So, you can partition a huge drive however you want as long as you only plan to boot from the first partition and that partition is no larger than 8GB. I believe the slot-loading iMacs were the first not to have this screwy limitation. Incidentally, I split the remainder of the drive in two, and they keep their documents on one partition and back up to another (CCC.)

    As a result, my mother and sister are biding their time before updating to something considerably newer.What's the frequency, Kenneth?#
  9. See above; I am upgrading, but in the meantime, the iMac will get a larger hard drive. As a long-time rev B owner I know all about the 8GB thing, believe me ;-)Ben Poole#
  10. Good boy. :-) As I said before, try to get a Samsung 5400 rpm drive, which will be unbelievably quiet.Volker Weber#

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