Technical Help
My CPU (computer processor unit) activity is approaching 100%. Is it OK?


From the time the program starts to the time I stop it, the program takes up more than 95% of my CPU capacity on a 1.8 GHz Pentium 4 machine with 512 Mb of RAM. Is this to be expected?


The answer is "Yes", in certain circumstances, and particularly with laptops.

The pictures/cartoons we display in lessons on our course are of three types, swf's gif's and jpg's.

The high CPU usage occurs when displaying swf's.

Swf's are the usual format of our animated Memory Trigger cartoons. A Macromedia product called Flash produces these swf files.

Flash uses vectors not "dots" and produce much smaller file sizes compared with jpg's and gif's, but then it uses quite a bit of memory to run the swf's. So the program keeps the memory 'in reserve', in case you play a swf, so then it is ready with its spare capacity already to go.

There is no problem with the programme keeping this 'high useage' because if further programs are run, memory is released to the operating system.

The main irritation is with laptops where the high CPU usage can trigger the cooling fan and the background noise can be irritating. Desktop PC's are not affected to the same extent and there appears to be little or no effect on CPU performance.

Interestingly however, if you play a swf via Internet Explorer or by double clicking on it and the Flash player provided by Macromedia doesn't produce a similar level of CPU activity. Macromedia are looking into the problem, as we have discussed the problem with them and they are aware of it.

You may be able to reduce the fan noise by using a program such as:speedfan :

Help within the Course itself...

Remember help is available within your course by right-clicking your mouse on the screen. If there is a block of text or an icon whose function you wish to know about hover the mouse over the area and right-click. Also there is an icon in the shape of a question-mark that leads to an extensive help menu.

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