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Some manual pages just create more mystery than they resolve. For example the one for pictd:


pictd — general helper tool




pictd is a helper tool for the Cocoa frameworks.

There are no configuration options to pictd. Users should not run pictd manually.

Strings like Unable to register connection for PICT renderer. or _NSPICTRenderer in the tool suggest that it is related to handling old-school PICT images. But it’s not really clear to me what causes the tool to be launched.

Just being curious…

Interesting read on this topic: PICT support for 64-bit applications.

February 23, 2008, 8:37

Tagged as graphics, mac, pict, X.5.


Comment by Nicholas Riley: User icon

QuickDraw was not ported to be 64-bit clean, so I imagine this gets launched in 64-bit Cocoa when you try to render a PICT.

QTKit does something similar to run 32-bit codecs in an external process.

February 23, 2008, 20:34

Comment by ssp: User icon

That sounds like a very good explanation, thanks. I’ll try to keep an eye on which app might need this. I.e. which apps except httpd and iScrobbler actually are 64bit.

February 24, 2008, 1:31

Comment by ssp: User icon

I am starting to be fairly sure that iScrobbler launched the pictd thingy. When hovering over its icon in the menu bar the process seems to be launched. I think iScrobbler is supposed to show album cover art when doing that (doesn’t work for me though).

Thinning the binary with lipo to remove the x86_64 architecture (what would be the benefit of having a 64bit binary for such a small utility anyway?) avoids launching of pictd. (I still don’t see any images appearing, but perhaps that’s just some sort of other bug.)

February 25, 2008, 0:36

Comment by frupp: User icon


on my System pictd is often launched when much of my memory is flagged as “inactive”. It then gathers up to 50% of my installed RAM (also if only 300MB are free) and then quits suddenly. After that crazy behaviour my RAM is free again… nothingless this produces many pageouts in my swapfile (sometimes up to 50% auf the pageins, which is a really bad value). Thats not nice for performance and I also think it’s kinda weird.

Btw.: Installed RAM is 3GB

December 15, 2009, 19:47

Comment by Rob: User icon

I have this problem too. Once I quit pictd, my computer became more responsive - it was using 1Gb of RAM.

February 3, 2010, 13:37

Comment by Britt: User icon

I know this may not be related to ur conversation, but i have a virus on my computer named pictd and i was wondering if u knew how to get ride of it, it keeps on poping up ever 20 seconds :(

May 12, 2011, 23:15

Comment by dan: User icon



should do the trick

May 13, 2011, 1:11

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