I have a MacBook Pro running OSX 10.6 that I use as my primary computer for audio production and performance, mostly using Ableton Live. I've been trying to keep it free of other software to minimize the chances that a change to the system (or some other process competing for resources) will interrupt my workflow. Obviously, when performing live, you want nothing to get in the way of having your "instrument" function correctly.
Sometimes installing other software is unavoidable - for example, MIDI translation tools like Bome's, interface control software, or plugins, but what about non-essential but useful other software like Apple's Time Machine or even simple games?
I used to use a Windows XP machine, and in general these kinds of tools seemed to always want to run in the background, or install things that run at startup, and eventually the machine would get bogged down and I'd start to need to raise the ASIO buffer to avoid pops. I've heard that OSX is supposedly cleaner about this, and if a program isn't running actively it won't get in the way, but is this generally agreed? Does this match your experience?
Many thanks in advance.