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Ram Doubler Review

Paul Cipywnyk


Have you avoided the Windows95 tsunami? Are you still clinging to Windows 3.1X? I suspect a lot of people are leery of jumping to Win95 after having tuned and massaged their Windows 3.1X systems for years.

Whatever the reason you're not upgrading to Win95, whether it be suspicion of any ".0" operating system release, or perhaps under powered hardware, there's a great new utility called RAM Doubler that can make your present Windows more stable, and more usable.

I've got the hardware for Win95, but I'm hanging on for Win95.1 or Win96, or whatever it will be called. It's getting harder to hold out, and the Win95 media frenzy is stirring my lust for the latest features. In the meantime, I've installed RAM Doubler for Windows on my 486DX2-50V with 24MB RAM running DOS 6.0 and Windows 3.1.

RAM Doubler for Windows doesn't double your RAM. What it basically does is manage memory under Windows better than Windows does, and especially helps to resolve the problem of running out of System Resources before running out of RAM. What does this mean?

Many of you have probably gotten "out of memory" messages in Windows well before you've run out of RAM. Even on my 24MB system, I got "insufficient memory to open application" messages. The problem is that no matter how much memory you have in your system, Windows 3.1X reserves a fixed, limited amount of "System Resources" to keep track of icons, windows, and open applications. That's as technical as I'm going to get! I am happy to report that RAM Doubler really goes a long way toward solving this problem.

To prove the point, here's a comparison done on my machine of System Resources free before and after RAM Doubler:

Pre RAM Doubler Post RAM Doubler
After Loading After Loading
ProgM Only75%ProgM Only73%
Word65%Word70%
Excel49%Excel62%
Access34%Access55%
Publisher21%Publisher49%
After Closing After Closing
Publisher31%Publisher54%
Access42%Access60%
Excel57%Excel68%
Word68%Word73%

As you can see, a lot more System Resources stay available after installing RAM Doubler, and RAM Doubler also does a much better job of getting back System Resources after closing applications.

I haven't noticed any decrease in speed, or any other negative side effects, but I did have one conflict with existing software on my computer, that was quickly cleared up.

When I first installed RAM Doubler, there was a conflict with my Ensoniq sound board. The sound board was not recognized by Windows with RAM Doubler enabled, but disabling RAM Doubler (which can you do by simply holding down the Escape key while starting Windows) brought the board back. Hmm.

Connectix, the maker of RAM Doubler, has an Internet email support address (support@connectix.com), where I sent a report about the problem. While I was waiting for a reply, I decided to try my own fix. I accessed Ensoniq's WWW page (http://www.ensoniq.com/), and downloaded the latest Soundscape driver and installed it. Bingo! The problem was solved.

I should also point out that Connectix returned my email within 24 hours, and suggested that I download the "RAM Doubler 1.02 updater" from their WWW page (http://www.connectix.com). I downloaded and installed the updater just to make sure I had the latest release, and I've had no problems since.

All of my drivers and applications are running fine. If you want to stick with Win 3.1X, but be able to stably run three, four or five applications without running out of Free System Resources, you might want to take a look at RAM Doubler. I got RAM Doubler (English version) at T-Zone in Shinjuku for 6,600 yen.

Note: It *doesn't* touch your AUTOEXEC.BAT or CONFIG.SYS files, and takes no conventional memory. It's one simple file that is placed in your Windows\System directory, and one reference to that file in Windows SYS.INI. It comes with an uninstall option that gets rid of the file and the SYS.INI entry. The manual is all of 17 pages long.

Jeez, I'm starting to sound like a salesman! Anyway, if you're staying with Windows 3.1X for awhile longer, give RAM Doubler a try. I wonder why the heck Microsoft couldn't have done this years ago!

RAM Doubler will run on any 386, 486, or Pentium with a minimum of 4 MB of RAM, though 8 MB of RAM is recommended. You must have Windows 3.1 or 3.11, or Windows for Workgroups 3.1 or 3.11, running in 386 Enhanced mode.

Connectix
2655 Campus Drive
San Mateo, CA 94403-2520
1-800-950-5880
Tel: 415-571-5100 Fax: 415-571-5195
email: support@connectix.com
WWW: http://www.connectix.com


Authors note: this article is taken verbatum from the original text published in Algorithmica Japonica, so some of the references to links may "read" a bit strangely on the WWW.
© Algorithmica Japonica Copyright Notice: Copyright of material rests with the individual author. Articles may be reprinted by other user groups if the author and original publication are credited. Any other reproduction or use of material herein is prohibited without prior written permission from TPC. The mention of names of products without indication of Trademark or Registered Trademark status in no way implies that these products are not so protected by law.

Algorithmica Japonica

November, 1995

The Newsletter of the Tokyo PC Users Group

Submissions : Editor


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