Sunday, April 24, 2005

Optimizing the Palm OS emulator

Most of us already work with PODS. They use the Palm OS simulator for testing their programs. This program can be quite a beast to load and can use up to 142 MB of RAM if configured improperly.
But-its once again time for PODS tuning! The emulator takes up only 17500KB on my Windows 20000 development machine-and it loads incredibly fast. Here is what you need to understand in order to achieve this performance:
The Simulator basically has a RAM image of the entire simulated machine-and this RAM image is of course in system RAM and nowhere else. Now, some applications require a storage heap of 8 Megabytes and more-so the emulator can be set up to use a stograge heap of arbitary size. Most programs do not need more than 2MB though, but since Palmsource wants to avoid crashes etc. they set the initial value pretty high.
And here are the steps to reduce memory waste:

  1. Launch the simulator

  2. Open the context menu(right-click)

  3. Click Settings->Memory->Ram size->4 MB


Well, I originally had my ermulator set top 128MB. While this amout of RAM is similar to a Zodiac 2 and definitely looks impressive in the launcher's info dialog, it took 142 MB of RAM on my P4. Downgrading to 4MB may make the simulator less impressive, but it still enouigh for most (of my) apps. And I sure know a better way to use the 100MB of RAM...

7 Comments:

Anonymous Kossi said...

Hi Tam,
what about "tuning" PODS itself to save memory and get more performant?
Eclipse as PODSĀ“s IDE has a variety of command line options, so you might be able to improve the performance of PODS depending on your hardware environment by setting the proper arguments.
As you might know, Eclipse is Java-based an since that, you can specify a JVM to be used, using the "-vm"-switch.
Also you can specify varios memory options for Eclipse, e.g.
"eclipse -vmargs -Xms128m -Xmx256m" gives eclipse more memory starting with an amount of at least 128MB and a maximum of 256MB memory...
So see the Eclipse-documentation for further information about the command line options!
Nevertheless one thing is clear for every Eclipse-based IDE: You cannot have enough RAM!

12:41 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi Kosi,
I heard about something like this quite some time ago and now have it proved. Will test it ASAP and report about success!
Best regards
Tam Hanna
P.s. By the way, my box has 512 MB of RAM...

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