Re: NTLK Disappearing Memory & Newt'sCape

From: Laurent Daudelin (
Date: Wed May 10 2000 - 09:24:52 CDT

THX 1138 wrote:

> At 01:08 AM 5/10/00 "Kenny Song" <> quoth:
> >It seems to happen to me too but I was suspecting it was SimpleMail 4.0
> >b5. <snip>
> >Never had the missing memory with Simple Mail 3.3 or Newts Cape.
> after upgrading to Simple Mail 4.0, I kept getting out of storage errors
> and the like when ever downloading mail, I just attributed them to the
> increased amount of mail I was getting, until I read your letter. I tried a
> backup/restore cycle, and it freed up 1 meg of space on my internal store.
> for me freeing 100-200k is typical. I do a backup/restore at least once a
> month, and I haven't added anything new except the last version of simple
> mail, so I would think you're right on this count, that simple mail is
> somehow taking space and then not freeing it up.
> anyone know how to verify this?

That would be hard to verify. I think the problem here could be a problem that
is affecting all kind of erasable memory (RAM, hard disks, etc.):
fragmentation. If SimpleMail is moving a lot of info's around, or has to
temporarily create some entries before deleting them, then at some point, there
are a lot of tiny free spaces available in memory that, when summed up, may be
quite significant, but when taken separately, they're too small to be
effectively reused. That's why some people do a full backup regularly, then
they do a hard reset in the case of the Newton internal store, or format the
external card they use, and then restore the backup they have. That's how you
recover those tiny spots, because when the backup is restored, there is no gap
between the data, the data is all contiguous.

So, I think that this is what's happening here, and also in the case of
Newtscape, that someone else did mention yesterday or the day before (although
Steve Weyer would be a lot more qualified than me to explain this). If
Newtscape has to create a book for every single html page it has to display,
and then, delete that book after a while, you may again end up with some
fragmentation in your internal store / flash ram card. After a while, it can be
noticeable. The other problem that sometimes arises with fragmentation, is when
the OS is requested to read a file, or a stream of data that is fragmented. If
that file or stream is scarcely dispersed everywhere in the memory, then there
are additional steps that are required in order to move to each spot to gather
a piece of that file or stream. Obviously, this would be hardly noticeable on a
Newton, since everything is in some kind of RAM, but still, the OS has extra
steps to do, and that burns some CPU cycles (that's why when opening something,
you sometime have the "thinking bulb" at the top-center of the screen on 2.0
devices). It's a lot worse when the file is located on a hard disk. You know
that you have fragmentation when you read a large file and it takes several
seconds to open it, while your hard disk is spinning and chewing all that time.

Anyway, I think that's enough for now. I don't want people to start sleeping
while reading this!

Laurent Daudelin
Developer, Adaptive Infrastructure, CIS Fannie Mae
Phone: 703-833-4266
           ********** Usual disclaimers apply **********

This NewtonTalk Message brought to you by:

EVOTE.COM, the ESPN of Politics on the
Internet. Visit EVOTE.COM for all the latest
news on Campaign 2000!

Visit today!


Need Subscribe/Unsubscribe Info?


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jun 01 2000 - 00:00:07 CDT