Those are normal processes of those programs running. I don't think you comprehend how RAM is used and unfortuantely, once you get to a certain point of OS version and software version (newers ones will use more and more RAM), you WILL end up needing to upgrade your system. Sorry, but 4GB of RAM isn't enough for anything. Either deal with the slowness of filling up the RAM and swapping to the VM file on your hard drive during normal use or upgrade the RAM amount and be done with it. Bottom line... YOU WILL FILL OUT 4GB OF RAM DURING NORMAL OPERATION OF YOUR MAC. Deal with it... it's normal.
I think OP means all RAM is assigned a task. He reads 3 MB free RAM in Activity Monitor.
To OP, if I am right:
Mac OS always puts something in your RAM, because it wants to be effective it tries to predict what you will need next. If the RAM was free it would just be sitting there doing nothing - This way, filled up, at least it stands a chance of already being there when you need it instead of having to pull it from your HD.
4GB is plenty for most - 8GB is pretty cheap though.
Unless there is something you have not described there is no reason that you would have to upgrade
A message would come up "insufficient memory..." and I couldn't finish what I wanted to accomplish! I have deleted adobe digital, firefox, avira and I now have approx 126.3 mb of "free" ram. I started to have problems downloading audio books and ended up deleting the downloading the overdrive console approx 8 times - each tme 5.5 mb memory but assumed would affect hard drive as I am only using 20% of my hard drive I thought no big deal - but that is when everything turned to a spinning beach ball and a message saying insufficient memory ......
I thought that 4 GB would be more than enough as I use my laptop for applying for work and emails. No games etc. (and downloading audiobooks!!)
1. NO it is not safe. Do not move or trash anything from outside your user directory or from Activity Monitor
2. You do not get ANY more RAM/memoryfrom deleting apps or other stuff, you get hard drive space/memory
3. Can we use the words RAM or HD instead of "memory" we need to be precise here
4. What was the exact system message? What did you want to accomplish
We need as precise and relevantly full description of your situation.
Have you tried restarting? Btw instead of trashing try force quitting in the future. It is less final. That is if you really feel you have to :)
"and ended up deleting the downloading the overdrive console approx 8 times - each tme 5.5 mb memory but assumed would affect hard drive as I am only using 20% of my hard drive I thought no big deal"
Not sure what you are saying what is overdrive console