SharkCache is a new application designed specifically to speed up the palmOne LifeDrive.
To understand what it does, it is necessary to understand how the LifeDrive handles its memory.
All applications and files are stored on the hard drive. Even the files that are in what appears to be RAM are actually stored in a 65.2 MB partition on the hard drive. However, applications are not run from there.
When an application is opened, it is copied into a 10 MB cache of traditional RAM, and that’s the copy that the user interacts with.
When another application is loaded, the first isn’t automatically removed from the cache. It remains there, waiting to see if it is needed again. So if user opens it again, a new copy doesn’t have to be copied off the hard drive; the version that is already in the cache is run.
Only when the cache gets full do applications that haven’t been run for a while get bumped out of the cache.
This is why there is sometimes a several second lag when an application is run. This happens when the software is being copied off the hard drive and into the cache. If an application is opened that is already in the cache, opening it is virtually instantaneous.
What SharkCache Does
SharkCache allows users to specify that certain apps are moved to the cache and never taken out, so they’ll immediately load every time.
The applications will always launch as quickly as they would on any other Palm OS model, even if the device has undergone a soft reset. Related databases, such as the calendar and address book, are also moved into cache.
SharkCache allows users only 4 MB of applications to be permanently in the cache, as totally filling the whole 10 MB cache cases sever problems for the LifeDrive. This means that every application that is only used occasionally can’t be moved permanently into cache. However, 4 MB of Storage is enough to hold a few very frequently used applications.
SharkCache is available now for $10 on the Ludus Tech web site.