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RAM Charger 8 For Macintosh
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Microsoft Office 98 and RAM Charger.


(Tech0018A -- 03/26/98)

Switch Word & Excel to start in their minimum sizes

Based on reports from users, and testing in house, we have seen Office 98 display non-functional and flashing dialogs, as well as random crashing problems when used with RAM Charger out of the box.

In our testing, we found that if you increase that "starting size" for Word and Excel in the "Get Info" window, or in RAM Charger Application Settings, then the problem goes away - at least for us! Unfortunately, we were distributing preset custom settings for previous versions of these applications that appear to be slightly too small when automatically applied to their behemoth Office 98 counterparts.

For users running these applications we recommend that you adjust the starting size to the "minimum" for these applications, up from using the smaller and overly aggressive custom sizes which were pre-configured.

Please let us know as soon as possible if you do not find that changing the "starting Size" for Word and Excel to use the minimum does not fix your problems. You can send mail to RAMCharger (at) RAMCharger.com.

Tutotial by example: How did I diagnose this?

I selected Word and ran the wizard.

The wizard reported that "Word did not use too much memory...If you find problems with the current settings, try increasing the starting memory...". True enough, I recalled that Word had expanded immediately upon startup using our pre-configured overly aggressive "custom" startup size which was fine tuned for Word 6 (as mentioned in the Notes). This "custom" size was much smaller than the "minimum".

As a result, I switched to the Word to the "minimum" size, which would have been the default had no pre-configured settings for word existed, and ran the wizard and found Word worked. Upon completion, the wizard suggested a lower settings, slightly above the custom we had in place, and the new setting seemed to work for simple testing. However, in this case, I might do well to choose a slightly larger starting size if I wanted to be conservative. If I had plenty of memory, I might stick with the minimum on these.

But, should the minimum size work fine for you, and you want to try and save some more memory, you may succeed finding a happy medium between the minimum and our too-small custom. I was able to run word in 2500K with VM on and 7000K with VM off, a few Megs less than the minimum. The difference with VM on and off is the "File Mapping" amount displayed at the bottom of the Get Info window - issues recently discussed in this forum, detailed on the web page "//rc8/tech/tech0007.html".

Finally, in my testing I noticed that the wizard increased Word's Fast-Access reserve to 50K. Since these products reserve so much memory anyway, and since my attention had been drawn to these products that they might have problems under tight memory conditions, I have increased the value to 100K. I would not do this as a general rule, I just do this because they are very common applications which have shown themselves to be "touchy", and I want to give them a little extra insurance.

Why can't these applications start so small?

RAM Charger does enhance the memory available to an application immediately upon startup. However, there still may be some applications which make absolute assumptions about their starting size, and will not work properly in a size less than their minimum. This appears to be the case in Office 98.

Logically, there is no reason any normal application should require more than a couple hundred K starting size. RAM Charger is programmed to provide extra memory immediately on startup. However, reality is not always logical.

Beyond this, it is rarely beneficial to start an application in less memory than it requires when started without a document, or with your standard default document. In fact, we recommend the best starting size for an application is slightly more than required when started, so that it does not expand upon startup at all. This is the starting size the "wizard" attempts to suggest.


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