My system log is showing me things like this:

Mar 11 19:20:35 keybounceMBP kernel[0]: low swap: suspending pid 14091 (firefox)
Mar 11 19:20:35 keybounceMBP kernel[0]: low swap: suspending pid 936 (Dragon 
Dictate)
Mar 11 19:20:35 keybounceMBP kernel[0]: memorystatus_thread: idle exiting pid 
96 [wdhelper]
Mar 11 19:20:35 keybounceMBP kernel[0]: (default pager): [KERNEL]: Swap File 
Error.

My boot-args  is  just
boot-args       -v -s

I have approximately 2 GB of compressed space, and zero bytes of swap used.

bash-3.2# ls /var/vm
total 1114112
  65536 swapfile0       1048576 swapfile1
bash-3.2# 

The system is able to allocate swap files, but for some reason is refusing to 
use them. Also, in the past I moved away from compressed swap to "just go 
directly to swap files" because I discovered that my system would consistently 
wind up with about 10 GB of compressed space, leaving with only 6 GB of working 
space. I recently reset it to use the normal compressed swap because I'm no 
longer using the heavy workload that needed more than 6 GB of working space.

My old boot args was
boot-args       -v -s vm_compressor=1
and it worked fine until my boot partition ran out of space (At which point it 
died horrifically; in contrast, although the compressed swap setup won't use 
the swap file, and runs into trouble much much sooner, it is graceful and the 
"out of memory panel" actually works.)

---
Entertaining minecraft videos
http://YouTube.com/keybounce

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