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RAM Charger 8 HTML Manual


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Fine Tuning

This section leads you through the process of identifying, diagnosing, and avoiding memory problems. Some common signs that a memory problem exists are general application slowdown, failure of an application to launch, and "out of memory" messages. RAM Charger can help you take steps towards resolving such problems. The ideal goal is to see all applications reserve only the amount of memory they require to operate, while having "flexible" access to the Total Free Memorymemory in case it is needed.

Begin by opening the More About This Mac window from the Finder's menu. Having an overview of your computer's memory use and being able to recognize how memory is being used or wasted can be helpful in understanding why a problem has occurred. Each bar represents memory reserved for the named application. It is divided between memory used (dark segment) and memory available (light segment). By pointing at one of the bars, more details of the corresponding application's memory use are listed at the bottom of the window (see below).

IMAGE images/RCRef27.gif

This More About This Mac window above illustrates the ideal for memory allocation. Notice that each application is RAM Charged and using nearly all of the memory that it has reserved, while having dynamic access to the Total Free Memory memory in case it is needed.

IMAGE images/RCRef29.gif

If, on the other hand, an application were not RAM Charged and had chosen to reserve significantly more memory than it was actually using at that moment, its memory bar could resemble this:

IMAGE images/RCRef30.gif

When you find an application that is set to use memory in this manner, there are two things that can be done to improve its condition. The first step should be to RAM Charge it:

  • Bring forward the application and select <application-name> Memory Infofrom the RAM Charger Pull-down Menu, located near the right end of the menu bar. This will open RAM Charger's Enhanced Get Info window for the application (shown below), allowing you to check the Charged box, thereby RAM Charging the application. Return to the application, quit, and restart it. Open your More About This Macwindow to view the results:

IMAGE images/RCRef31.gif

If an application is using too much free memory, try reducing the starting size. This is an area in which the RAM Charger Settings Wizardcan be of some help. The Wizard is capable ofmonitoring the application and offering suggestions:

Bring forward the application you wish to have the Wizard monitor and select RAM Charger Application Settingsfrom the RAM Charger Pull-down Menu.The RAM Charger settings for that application will appear. Click the Wizardbutton and follow the instructions.

After monitoring the application's memory use, the Wizard might recommend a more efficient starting memory size.


Greedy Applications

If a RAM Charged application is using an excessive amount of memory, dynamically growing to use much of the Total Free Memoryand far beyond what it needs at that moment, it is considered a "greedy" application. Most applications on the Mac allocate memory only when and where they need to use it. Since RAM Charger's purpose is to give RAM Charged applications access to all the free memory in the computer, some greedy applications may take it all. Keep in mind that this behavior could be normal in some cases -- it is the nature of certain applications to use a great deal of memory for specific tasks.

Unfortunately, there is no way RAM Charger can make all memory available to applications, yet stop them from using it. RAM Charger does have a setting that helps with applications that take all the memory immediately at startup by delaying access to available memory. This is the RAM Charged Method, Delay Access To All Memory. Consider changing the RAM Charged Methodfrom the Pop-up menu in the expanded view of the RAM Charger Application Settings window (see Advanced RAM Charger Settings in the Customizationsection.).

If this does not work, then it is probably best if you disable RAM Charger for the greedy application, in order to continue to using these programs in combination with RAM Charged ones.


Shy Applications

RAM Charger normally makes all the free memory in your machine available to all RAM Charged applications. However, it is up to each application to request and release memory based on its moment-to- moment needs. For applications that adhere to the standard programming methods suggested by Apple, this will happen automatically.

It is the mission of RAM Charger not only to make all your memory available to every RAM Charged application, but also to convince these applications that all of this memory is indeed at their disposal. However, there will be some applications that do things a little differently. Some applications are "shy" about requesting the dynamic memory RAM Charger has made available to it. The memory is available. The application has simply decided not to request it.

Sometimes applications are shy about asking for memory in order to avoid starting an operation and then failing to fill a memory request half way through the operation. Many applications try to figure out in advance how much memory is available without actually asking for it. If not enough memory appearsto be available to perform the operation then they cancel the operation, telling the user, "not enough memory." This prevents the user from having to wait on an operation only to have it fail due to "out-of-memory." For RAM Charged applications that examine the available memory using normal Apple provided methods, all unused memory will appear available. Unfortunately, not all applications use these methods and, as a result, some will thinkthere is not enough memory and will not bother to ask for it.

There is a fix that will work for some shy applications. In the RAM Charger Setting window (expanded view), there is a feature which allows you to Exaggerate Size. This helps in some cases. It works by changing the size of free memory kept by the memory manager in a private location; a location which should never be examined by application code, but which can be.

If the Exaggerate Sizefeature does not work for the shy application, then the only other solution is to increase the initial block size. Of course, increasing this size above the original preferred size means losing some of the benefit RAM Charger provides. Should this be the case, then there really is no way to accommodate the application's non-standard methods to check how much memory is available.


(RCustFineA -- 03/17/98)

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Copyright © 1995-98 Jump Development Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Jump, OptiMem, RAM Charger, and More About This Mac are trademarks of Jump Development Group, Inc. Apple and Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective holders.