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After having a look at the SharkCache website, it seems that you might not have that right. "RAM" and "cache" memory on an LD work differently than previous Palms. From their documentation:LockCache: The application is locked into cache on reset so that it can't come out. This produces the same effect as having an app in RAM on a normal Palm (like a Tungsten T3).Unless I'm reading that wrong (or they are misrepresenting what happens), it seems that after a reset the apps are put into the cache memory "permanently" (i.e. until the next reset). They specifically say "reset" not "power on". So a reset might take a couple of more seconds (which reportedly already takes a significant amount of time on an LD, so wouldn't even be noticed by the user).
So how is it that with all the brilliant minds at P1, they didn't develop this solution in-house before the device shipped? It would have saved them a bundle of bad press. On the other hand, putting some real RAM in the device would have worked even better, and probably would have cost less than the $10 price for this third party solution.
You don't understand what scorched meant.
The New York Times verified with PalmOne that when you turn the Lifedrive, the cache ERASES. Meaning whatever you were doing with LD that got cached in inevitably erases when you turn your Lifedrive. Even kissass reviewers which gave LD an excellent rating like PDABuzz (heaven help their souls) said this was true as well.
For this lockCache to work, it has to copy from HD to cache every time you start up. That's a waste of time and resources.
Lifedrive still is an utter failure, no matter how you look at it. 64 megs of real RAM would have fixed so many lag problems with this device. It is a *joke* that you can inefficiently lock 4 megs into cache only, especially with a 4 GB hard drive. Not to mention these 4 megs have to be loaded up every time you turn on LD."It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceded our humanity" - ALBERT EINSTEIN
So what do you think they mean by LockCache: The application is locked into cache on reset so that it can't come out. This produces the same effect as having an app in RAM on a normal Palm (like a Tungsten T3).? Are they saying "reset" = "power-on"?
One reason you see more hard drive access than you'd expect is this behavior of writing changes back to the drive when a database is closed. This will usually happen at the end of a program, but one common scenario is modifying a program's preferences. Because of the way the OS calls are written, each call to write a preference opens the prefs DB, modifies a record, then closes the DB. That's going to force a write to the hard drive.
A simple test to verify this is to take a freshly booted LifeDrive and run the Web application. Then switch back to the launcher and run Web again. The second launch is much faster. Switch back to the launcher and put the device to sleep. Wake it back up, then run Web again. The launch is much quicker than before. I just verified this with several different programs.
This is the buggiest Palm device ever, based on initial OOBE reports. Fortunately they all seem patchable/fixable via software. Normsoft has supposedly already promised a fix for the PTunes problems (and I don't doubt they will deliver) and Dataviz just released a new version of DTG.
So that leaves--surprise, surprise---P1 to provide us with some OS/Blazer/VersaMail updates. Oh, and ThinkOutside needs to hurry on up with the IR keyboard driver too. Their current BT driver works fine on the LD btw.
It takes a minute to boot ... but then again, in a palm you rarely have to because it is always suspended unless something goes wrong. "Turning it on" in the morning to use it gets me to my launcher in less than 1 second.
Palm works differently than PocketPC or PC apps in the way it uses RAM, because every palm app is essentially a database. The app does NOT have to be copied to physical ram FIRST in order to execute. The lifedrive uses 64mb of program storage like most other Palms .. except this is virtualized on the Hard Drive. If apps needed to be copied to RAM on every execution, large apps like Village Sim would take 20 seconds to load because HD access is slower. The WHOLE app (and other databases) is not cached .. just critical parts of it. Village Sim only takes 1 or 2 seconds to load from the 64mb of HD because of this, but it is still longer than other palms which have near instant access.
SharkCache takes your favorite apps and puts it into the faster 32mb of physical RAM on the unit when it warm reboots so that it does not have to load its data into RAM when you first run it. Without SharkCache, the unit has to load some of the app to RAM when you FIRST run it .... so normally you only have to wait 1 or 2 seconds the initial run, so it comes up fast next time you run it anyway.
I'm using it successfully with the following applications (3.75/4mb):
C'mon - for $500.00 this thing moves slower than my Palmpilot Professional, the install software is buggier than Minnesota in July, and I could have fried my morning eggs on the thing if I didn't have the foresight to make it standard procedure to bring along an ovenmitt when I watch more than 5 minutes of video on the thing..
On the plus side, it uses the same (pick one direction out of 4 potential positions) charger as the 650... maybe they have finally decided upon ""THE"" "universal" connector that won't result in yet ANOTHER $200 investment in a couple years to keep the ability to charge and hotsync...
The LifeDrive's memory model is much more like that of a PC than of previous PalmOS PDAs. Apps are stored on the drive until you need them, then loaded into memory.
16MB is used for holding the system "ROM" after its decompressed from the hard drive.
6MB is used for the dynamic heap that's used by programs when they run for temporary storage.
10MB is the storage heap cache, aka DBCache. SharkCache tells Palm OS that the resources from the locked programs are active all the time, so it won't purge them from the cache. The 4MB limit in the application is artificial, but is likely a resonable number to avoid taking up too much of the DBCache from use by other applications or for non-program databases.
SharkCache *locks* things into cache... meaning that they are always in there. When you turn your Palm off they can't be copied back to the HD because the system won't touch anything that's locked.
Try it and you'll see how much faster it loads when you turn the device on and off :D
http://www.churchoflivingfaith.com/images/nvfsarchitecture.JPGPat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com
Vesther is correct about the potential LD2 specs ( assuming the LD sales are at least moderately decent) in that it'll basically be the same as the current unit but with better specs & vastly increased HD capacity. It'll probably launch next spring. 64mb would be as much as P1 would be willing to put into the unit, especially as how they don't tout RAM capacity on the LD, only "gigs of storage".
I think that P1 *KNEW* there'd be tradeoffs with having just 32mb of RealRam on the LD but it probably either had a surplus of those modules from its supplier(s) (Treo 600, Zire 72, T2 etc). In fact, they will likely keep using 32mb in the eventual Zire 31 successor and a low-end Treo.
Basically think of the LD as a desktop PC circa 1998, with 32mb of system ram and a 4gb HD and a ~400mhz CPU but pocketable.
however, i did the best that i could with this app given the circumstances and i hope that it's enough to make the device usable.
here's a suggestion for your app that may somewhat overcome the "there's no way to put 64 megs of apps into 10 megs of cache" statement you made.
If there's a way for sharkcache to monitor user use of their device, then sharkcache could behave in a "predictive" manner and essentially simulate a much larger cache.
Case in point... I have a Zire71 with it's ram basically full of apps.
There are a few apps that I use almost exclusively at work or during work hours anyway. Documents to go for instance.
There are apps that I use exclusively on the weekend or after work. Aeroplayer, bigclock, games.
If an application were able to essentially "learn" my usage pattern it could probably manage to nearly always have the 4mb worth of apps that I use most often in the particular circumstance.
Just a thought.
Yes, PalmOne got one thing right, not to use similar names for new and different handhelds a la TT5.
So dont bash with the ol "SLOW!!!" because it is not a PDA, its a Mobile Manager.
regards, tyler @ LudusTech
great application! just tried and it works well on my LD.
BTW, did you build SharkCache with HB++ ?
Tyler, I'm a HB++ developer... and I think it was maked with HB++ too.
k- the interface and database management part of SharkCache is indeed built with HB++... the actual caching stuff is in C++ (CodeWarrior v9.3)
Also, Normsoft said that PalmOne will be issuing a ROM update soon. It would be nice if they addressed this issue.
Regardless, thanks Sharky for writing such a needed app so quickly!