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  #1  
Old 10-11-2005, 10:44 AM
confusedxx
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 14
Default Questions on Memory usage for software

I have been reading and trying to get my head around what I will need for my PPC and what I want for it as well. One of the things I am still working on is managing memory on the PPC. I will be getting a LOOX 720 in next few days and want to understand some of the basics before setting about installing loads of apps.

So without further ado, a few questions that I hope you can help me with.

1. Is it best to allocate the storage of installed programs to a SD or CF card rather than to the limited memory of the device?

2. Is there an ideal balance between RAM and storage memory for PPCs?

3. I will probably need to buy a 2GB CF card to store documents, movies and E-mail files on (have 5 personal email accounts and my work account). Is there anything special that needs to be done to make the cards seen as another storage souce. Sorry if thinking like a desktop computer here. On my home pC, I have windows on the C drive and all apps, games and storage on a separate HDD. this keeps windows running better and makes rebuilding the system faster.

4. Is there an application or hack which will know once I insert a new SD or CF card what programs and files are on that card?

Thanks for your help and advice.

Cheers
 
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  #2  
Old 10-11-2005, 06:51 PM
burtcom
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Posts: 237

1. Yes. Most programs these days easily install to the storage card.

2. I believe the OS actually trys to keep a balance for you. In the event you run too low on RAM, the system will ask you to quite one or more running programs.

3. When you insert a card, it is auto-magically seen as a storage device called "Storage Card" (in English). The first time you insert a card the OS may ask you to format it.

4. I can't answer :-)
 
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  #3  
Old 10-12-2005, 12:11 PM
confusedxx
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 14

Thank you for the info Burtcom.

It is helpful in understanding how memory and cards work with PPC.
 
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  #4  
Old 10-12-2005, 04:15 PM
Menneisyys
5000+ Posts? I Should OWN This Site!
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,067
Default Re: Questions on Memory usage for software

Quote:
Originally Posted by confusedxx
I have been reading and trying to get my head around what I will need for my PPC and what I want for it as well. One of the things I am still working on is managing memory on the PPC. I will be getting a LOOX 720 in next few days
Wise pick

Quote:
Originally Posted by confusedxx
1. Is it best to allocate the storage of installed programs to a SD or CF card rather than to the limited memory of the device?
Well, I wouldn't call 128M 'limited' my PL720 is my first device where I am not forced to hack everything out of main memory

Seriously: yes, it's always preferable to try to hack everything out of RAM not just because of the memory consumption of the files, but also the performance hit they introduce to the operating system. The more files in RAM (independent of their (even cumulative) size), the slower and more useless the Pocket PC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by confusedxx
2. Is there an ideal balance between RAM and storage memory for PPCs?
Nope. You may store almost everything (except for some stuff that can not be relocated, not even with the most deliberate hacks fortunately, very few apps belong to this category) in non-RAM memory. Then, if you manage to free up your RAM so that it only contains some 1-2 Mbytes of static (storage) stuff, you may even allocate about 100 Mbytes to executing programs (please see my tutorial at http://pocketpcmag.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=18446 on how the memory slider must be set in order to have the maximal dynamic memory available, even through soft resets.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by confusedxx
3. I will probably need to buy a 2GB CF card to store documents, movies and E-mail files on (have 5 personal email accounts and my work account). Is there anything special that needs to be done to make the cards seen as another storage souce. Sorry if thinking like a desktop computer here. On my home pC, I have windows on the C drive and all apps, games and storage on a separate HDD. this keeps windows running better and makes rebuilding the system faster.

The situation is a bit more complicated here than one would think at first. As a rule of thumb, the WM operating system tries to load all fonts, shared DLL's, ActiveSync-synchronized mail body files, help files, unload files/setup DLL's etc. in RAM, into \Windows, no matter where you install the application (if you can install the app in a non-RAM memory at all). This is why you must do manual relocation and deletion after installing apps. Please read my articles/posts on this subject there're dozens if not hundreds of them on hacking individual apps out of RAM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by confusedxx
4. Is there an application or hack which will know once I insert a new SD or CF card what programs and files are on that card?
Nope. Link files that you may tap in Start/Programs must be located in the RAM, in \Windows\Start Menu\Programs and can't be dynamically generated/refreshed they are generated once, at installation time.

All you can do is the following to emulate the 'dynamic' stuff you've mentioned (if you want to keep several memory cards with different program sets I don't see the point in doing so): just move the link files in a card-specific subdirectory under \Windows\Start Menu\Programs. When you insert the card, these link files become 'live' and can actually be clicked. This way, you won't need to hunt for working programs as opposed to having all the link files unseparated, in \Windows\Start Menu\Programs.

Please note that I've only strached the surface of these very complex questions your best friend will be the relocation articles at http://www.winmobiletech.com
 
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  #5  
Old 10-13-2005, 07:29 AM
confusedxx
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 14

Thanks Menneisyys,

That post was incredibly helpful and concise. I will be reading the links you provided in preparation of hacking my new Loox. I am also glad you find it a good choice. All the reviews I could find support the device and some people from the US said they would have one it if was available in the US.

One statement you made confused me. I mentioned I wanted to put my apps on a card rather than Ram. I do not really want to keep applications on different memory cards - I would rather perfer to put them all on ONE card. I think we misunderstood each other because you said you would not recommend putting apps on different cards. I would certainly agree with that and try to fit them all on one.

I figure even a 512mb card will be more than enough for the apps themselves, but the email files concern me. If I start synching and downloading from work and several different personal email accounts, I can be talking HUGE inbox. Just on outlook at work I have 700mb in my inbox - yes I still need to clean it up and archive some stuff ops:

So I wanted a 2GB SD card for mail and movies and music and a 1GB CF card for Apps and miscellaneous stuff.

What is the standard, if one exists, for the card size for files and Email?

Cheers,

Confusedxx
 
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  #6  
Old 10-13-2005, 08:05 AM
Menneisyys
5000+ Posts? I Should OWN This Site!
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,067

Quote:
Originally Posted by confusedxx
One statement you made confused me. I mentioned I wanted to put my apps on a card rather than Ram. I do not really want to keep applications on different memory cards - I would rather perfer to put them all on ONE card. I think we misunderstood each other because you said you would not recommend putting apps on different cards. I would certainly agree with that and try to fit them all on one.
I thought you meant "auto-discovery of the available apps on a card" by this: 4. Is there an application or hack which will know once I insert a new SD or CF card what programs and files are on that card? . Of course, I wouldn't install apps on separate cards. There would only be a point in doing so when you want to, for example, strictly separate some kinds of tasks from each other for example, a firm could install a contractor its own apps on a card (on the target PDA so that the apps are later accessible and runnable) but require the card to be removed when the contractor is not at the firm to avoid the apps being stolen. To a lesser degree, the same is the case with SD-based distributions like iGo (the new Destinator, locked to a SD card). If you, however, don't need any of these, you won't need to do anything I've described to separate the (executable) contents of cards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by confusedxx
I figure even a 512mb card will be more than enough for the apps themselves, but the email files concern me. If I start synching and downloading from work and several different personal email accounts, I can be talking HUGE inbox. Just on outlook at work I have 700mb in my inbox - yes I still need to clean it up and archive some stuff ops:
You can always archive your ActiveSync (AS)-synchronized Outlook mail (that's the only type of mail that can't be stored anywhere but in the main RAM; dynamically downloaded POP3/IMAP mail can be stored right on storage cards if you use a decent alternative mailer client like WebIS Mail) on your PDA, but you need to do this yourself. That is, you can ZIP all your mail into just one (or some) ZIP file on your storage card and only decompress some/one of them into \Windows\Messaging when it's needed (that is, you want to read them).

Finding the right mail file is pretty easy once you learn to browse the mail WindowsCE databases to find out which mail file stores which mail. Or, if you don't look for old mails but incrementally synchronize your mail files, just the mail body file dates will be sufficient to be able to locate the mail you are looking for, if you know which day it has arrived/synchronized. Also, you can use the filename of the mail files, which is based on an incremented counter. That way, if you know that the mail you're looking for was between, say, the 100th and the 200th mail you've synchronized to your PDA, you'll only need to decompress the mail bodies between the 100th and the 200th mail into RAM to be able to quickly find the given one. That way, you'll also save direct WinCE database browsing, which would be pretty slow, even with text-oriented (it displays multiple DB records at once, starting with their textual fields; in this respect, it's much better than either SKTools or PhatWare Pocket dbExplorer I'll devote an entire article to WinCE DB browsers/backup/restore/export/import/deleter tools in the near future BTW) DB tools like the Kenny Soft dbView.

AS won't crash if it can't find some mail files in \Windows\Messaging during synchronization it'll only pay attention to the mail-related WindowsCE system databases. That is, the archiving I've described will work just great in most cases. You'll be able to store tens of thousands of archived Outlook mail on your storage card and will have very fast access to any of them, particularly if you know its date/the synchronization order number. That way, your RAM remains clean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by confusedxx
So I wanted a 2GB SD card for mail and movies and music and a 1GB CF card for Apps and miscellaneous stuff.

What is the standard, if one exists, for the card size for files and Email?
There're no standards. I think 1 and 2 Gbyte cards give the best bang for the buck right now.
 
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