You'll get your Mac news here from now on...

Help TMO Grow

Subscriber Login

Advertising Info


The Mac Observer Express Daily Newsletter


More Info

Site Navigation

Home
News
Tips
Columns & Editorials
Reviews
Reports
Archives
Search
Forums
Links
Mac Links
Software
Reports
Contact

iTeen
by Steve Siercks, Jordan Streiff, & Chris Rogers
computer news with the teen perspective




How To Make A RAM Disk
by Brandon Drezner
June 22nd, 2000

With all of the commentaries that iTeen has been putting out lately, I though it would be appropriate to toss in a little bit of tech advice. For those of you with slow Internet connections and/or slow computers, I have a solution that will help put a little bit of life back into your machine. I suggest this for us teens because we usually don't have enough money to buy a G4 with half a gig of RAM. Therefore, we need to make do with what we do have.

Well, all you need is a little bit of free RAM, and when I say RAM, I mean real RAM, not RamDoubler or Virtual Memory (VM). If you haven't already guessed the trick to which I allude, then here it is: Store your internet cache files on a RAM Disk. This will increase the performance of your Internet browsing.

Let's start with the RAM Disk. A RAM Disk is a pseudo disk that your computer can create out of RAM; it doesn't really exist physically. It is just a segment of unused RAM that gets put aside to be partitioned into a "disk." To create this pseudo disk, go into your Control Panels, and open up the Memory Control Panel. At the bottom of the window, you will see an option to turn on the RAM Disk. Turn it on, then set the desired size of the disk. Remember, whatever amount you set aside for the disk will be static, meaning that although you might not fill the disk up, it will always take x number of megabytes away from your total RAM available to the system. I set mine to 1.4 megs., the size of a floppy disk. Depending on how much extra RAM your system has, and how much browsing you do, the size should be set accordingly. Don't forge that you can always go back and change it later.

Now for the actual application of the disk. Open your favorite web browser. Go into the settings/preferences and locate the section for the Cache. Set the size of your browser cache to slightly less than the size of the RAM Disk. Next, select the location of the Cache folder (somewhere in the RAM Disk). Now save the changes, and you can surf the web with a slight speed boost.

What makes this whole RAM Disk thing faster, anyway? I am so glad you asked. Your web browser stores information from the web sites that you visit on your hard drive. When you go back to those web pages or web pages in the same site that use the same information, your computer loads them from the cache folder rather than downloading them again. (Notice that pages load faster when you click the "BACK" button than when they load for the first time.) The hard drive in your computer is slow. It moves at 5400 – 7200 Rpm's and has a seek time of roughly ±8 ms. RAM on the other hand moves at the speed of light and has a seek time of 0.00001 – 0.00006 ms. (10 – 60 ns) Therefore, when you go to load a page that is already in the cache, it comes up much faster than if it were transferring from a regular hard drive. Plus, you'll reduce the wear and tear from storing thousands and thousands of files on your hard drive over time.

The best part about this trick, is that it can be applied to anything with a cache. FTP programs, image editors, CD burning software, and more. So the next time you need to boost a program's speed a little bit, try relocating the cache folder to a RAM Disk. Remember as always, if you have any questions or comments as to the execution of this, feel free to email me.

-Brandon


iTeen Most Recent Columns

iTeen Archives


Offering computer news with the teen perspectiv, iTeen Online started with a weekly column at theimac.com under the supervision of Robert Aldridge. When they realized that there was a huge demand for teen computer news, iTeen Online was born. iTeen Online posted daily, original content that anyone (including adults) could read. Hits soared and iTeen Online became the number one source for teen computer news.

Now iTeen Online has once again became iTeen. At The Mac Observer the iTeem will produce a weekly article that will air on Thursdays at MacObserver.com. In addition to the weekly article, the iTeem will give you the same reviews and content that you're used to at iTeenol.com.



Today's Mac Headlines

[Podcast]Podcast - Apple Weekly Report #135: Apple Lawsuits, Banned iPhone Ad, Green MacBook Ad

We also offer Today's News On One Page!

Yesterday's News

 

[Podcast]Podcast - Mac Geek Gab #178: Batch Permission Changes, Encrypting Follow-up, Re-Enabling AirPort, and GigE speeds

We also offer Yesterday's News On One Page!

Mac Products Guide
New Arrivals
New and updated products added to the Guide.

Hot Deals
Great prices on hot selling Mac products from your favorite Macintosh resellers.

Special Offers
Promotions and offers direct from Macintosh developers and magazines.

Software
Browse the software section for over 17,000 Macintosh applications and software titles.

Hardware
Over 4,000 peripherals and accessories such as cameras, printers, scanners, keyboards, mice and more.

© All information presented on this site is copyrighted by The Mac Observer except where otherwise noted. No portion of this site may be copied without express written consent. Other sites are invited to link to any aspect of this site provided that all content is presented in its original form and is not placed within another .