As I understand it, please correct me if I'm wrong...
- Wired: Memory an application or OS requests to be "pinned" or Never swapped out for any reason. You might use this area for interprocess communication or internal system tables, maybe the swap tables.
- Active memory, normal memory that qualifies the parameters of the LRU( least recently used algorithm ). Recently accessed memory is keept on board, memory that ages by not being accessed has a LRU number and will eventually move to the INACTIVE catagory.
- Inactive, ready to be swapped out if necessary.
- Free, in 10.3 Apple seems to have keept open 200 meg of free memory. In 10.4 Apple seems to have bumped that up to 300 meg.