Reviving my slowed down Macbook Pro
After one and a half years of heavy abuse my Macbook Pro had slowed down considerably. Not gradually, but over the course of a month or so. I hammer away on my trustworthy companion for most of my waking hours. So not being able to rely on its previously speedy response drove me mad.
I had already reviewed the activity monitor, but I couldn't notice any real memory hogs, except for the usual Firefox and Eclipse processes.
Then, finally, I realized I was looking at my own processes in Activity Monitor, instead off all processes. Once I switched to All processes I noticed one called inkjet4, owned by user _lp. It took up a ludicrous amount of RAM (around 4GB).
The culprit turned out to be a stuck printer job. My old HP printer had given up on me some time before. The printer job never had gotten executed and was still sitting there. When I removed the printer job, and then the printer itself, this freed up almost 3GB of RAM.
Word to the wise: if your printer breaks down and you need to replace it, make sure to remove any open print jobs and the driver as well.