Mavericks 10.9.4

Until today (2014 Aug 10) I was running OS X 10.9.2 and my machine (MacBook vintage 2011; 2GB RAM) seemed to be getting progressively slower. Here are some stats that I kept about launching a browser:
2014 Aug 9 13:20 Safari 2(min)
2014 Aug 9 19:57 Canary 1:35
2014 Aug 9 20:20 Safari 1:03
2014 Aug 9 20:22 Canary 4:00 (Three wait warnings, light email concurrently)
Taking a backup with Time Machine finally finished (2 hours) and I decided, with some trepidation to install 10.9.4. That went smoothly after downloading the files, it took from 6:50 AM thru about 10:00 to install. The initial performance improvement was dramatic:
2014 Aug 10 10:18 Canary 40 sec
2014 Aug 10 10:35 Canary 22 sec
2014 Aug 10 10:37 Safari 30 sec
2014 Aug 10 10:38 Firefox 10 sec
2014 Aug 11 22:35 Canary 15 sec
All the mission critical software I have tested, except Apache, seems to run well. When I first launched Mail after 10.9.4 it said “Optimizing you Mail database...

Under 10.9.2 the Unix software still ran well and most performance mysteries seemed related to file I/O as seen thru various Mac interfaces to files. There are several recent ‘improvements’ to that interface:

I think too that there was high RAM pressure. Many trivial operations were accompanied with disk writes that I can only attribute to swapping data out. I was unable to learn what was being swapped out.

There are other miscellaneous significant speed improvements such as the dialog box to open files.