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Do you load big/heavy software onto your tablet pc?

Discussion in 'Tablet PC' started by networm, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. networm

    networm Guest

    Hi all,

    I am trying to use my laptop to do some Matlab work. I am hesitating whether
    I should install Matlab.

    The laptop is kind of tricky since if I load too much software onto it, it
    will not only lose performance, but also lose stability.

    Since stability is so important nobody wants to reinstall Windows all the
    time(I just recently reinstalled Windows several times, because some
    softwares do not play nicely with the hardware and I could not
    standby/hibernate properly...)

    So I have to load as few as possible big/heavy software onto it... You know
    Matlab is a major performance hog and it uses slow Java... :=)

    Once these big heavy softwares are installed, even we remove them, they
    cannot be completely got rid of.

    What do you think? Any experiences on this?
    networm, Sep 21, 2005
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  2. networm

    Jan Wagner Guest

    Why not install? :) I've Matlab, two DSP programming (and simulator)
    IDEs, the Aplac circuit simulator, and other similar programs
    running on my Tablet. These are heavy weight and also do need some
    number crunching performance. They worked ok on 512mb of memory on
    this PM 1.6GHz Acer tablet before, but now with 1256mb total it goes
    even better. And everything is still stable, without having to
    reboot a lot (hibernation works fine for me, usually 1..2 weeks
    without a 'real' reboot).
    Well I'd seriously recommend that you buy an external firewire or
    usb2.0 hard disk of 100GB or more (but not Maxtor OneTouch 'backup'
    drives, these seem to drop like flies which is hardly the kind of
    reliable media you'd want for making backups...). In addition you'll
    need a backup program, for example Acronis TrueImage (TI) which IMHO
    is a very nice tool and light-weight. With TI you can make live
    backups to the external HD, or if you want then also to your
    internal HD onto an extra partition which TI calls "Secure Zone". On
    for example XP pre-boot screen you can press F11 to restore an
    earlier system state/backup. So if you keep incremental/differential
    backups of "tested and known good" setups, you can always go back to
    an earlier XP state before you installed that one program which
    botched up the entire system. It's a lot more reliable than XP's
    System Restore, but it costs a bit (in total min. $100?).

    - Jan
    Jan Wagner, Sep 21, 2005
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  3. In addition to Jan's great suggestions, I'd also add to make sure to defrag
    your disk regularly. I run very heavy software on my admitedly underpowered
    tablets all the time, and defragging the disk frequently seems to make a big
    difference in performance.

    Ginny Caughey
    ..NET Compact Framework MVP
    Ginny Caughey [MVP], Sep 21, 2005
  4. networm

    terri Guest

    Have you checked to see what all is running at startup? If you have things
    running in the background, it can slow performance considerably. Go to
    Start / Run and type in msconfig / Startup Tab and make sure you don't have
    all your programs set to start on boot.
    Terri Stratton
    Microsoft Windows MVP - Tablet PC
    Microsoft Featured Community
    Editor / Owner
    terri, Sep 21, 2005
  5. networm

    networm Guest

    HI Jan,

    thanks a lot for the useful infos.

    If I run Matlab and keep it running all the time, (when I need it I just
    switch it, I do this in order to save loading time), then it is a big
    memeory and performance hog.

    If I don't keep it running all the time, instead, everytime I need it I load
    it, then the loading time is almost more than I just do remote desktop
    control to use Matlab on my desktop PC...

    The problem with TrueImage, Ghost Image, etc. that you lose your documents
    in addition to newly installed softwares since your last known good
    configuration. btw, why isn't MS Restore reliable?
    networm, Sep 21, 2005
  6. networm

    networm Guest

    MS defrage tool?
    networm, Sep 21, 2005
  7. networm

    networm Guest

    They are all Toshiba small utilities. If I disable them all. I 'd think I
    might need them handy.

    As I said: If I run Matlab and keep it running all the time, (when I need
    it I just
    switch it, I do this in order to save loading time), then it is a big
    memeory and performance hog.

    If I don't keep it running all the time, instead, everytime I need it I load
    it, then the loading time is almost more than I just do remote desktop
    control to use Matlab on my desktop PC...
    networm, Sep 21, 2005
  8. Yes, I just use the one that comes with Windows. There are 3rd party
    defraggers that are apparently quite good, but I haven't tried them.

    Ginny Caughey [MVP], Sep 21, 2005
  9. networm

    Jan Wagner Guest

    Hmm, on my tablet Matlab 7.0 R14 it's quite responsive even at 100%
    CPU and moderate sized neural net calcs, and after 'clear all' or on
    startup it needs just ~70mb of memory. I don't know what makes the
    performance difference, maybe it's the extra memory? You have 512MB?

    Some things that could help you:
    - fix for Tablet TIP severe memory leak
    (i can't remember if this is already on Windows Update or not)
    - try http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/PageDefrag.html
    - try uninstalling resource hungry "Internet Security" progs
    (Norton/Symantec, F-Secure, ...). Lightweight ones are e.g. free AVG
    AV (http://free.grisoft.com) and free Kerio, Sygate, etc firewalls.
    I've had a very good experience in improvement after moving from
    bloated F-Secure to AVG + Kerio PF. Same Matlab calcs completed
    10..15% faster, IIRC (but it's a longer while back... ;)

    There's also the newsgroup
    microsoft.public.windowsxp.perform_maintain where you probably could
    get good suggestions on XP performance tuning.
    That of course is a solution, too :)
    There are a couple of ways to it, but personally I always do a new
    incremental backup before doing the actual restore. After the
    restore, TI allows to explore the fresher backup as a "virtual
    drive", and you can just copy all your up-to-date data (My
    Documents, X:\Matlab7\work, X:\cvs, X:\sources, etc) to your C:/D:
    Well I'm sure that SR can be reliable, it's just my own experience
    in WinME and WinXP that it's not :) Occasionally I've found that
    going back to known working (when created) Restore Points, actually
    did not revert whatever was broken to "working" again, even no
    matter how far back in time you'd go with the RPs. Ok so maybe my SR
    is somehow broken (as for others it works fine) and thus unreliable,
    but I would definitely not want to reinstall XP and /all/ apps all
    over again only to repair botched SR.

    And, this isn't a reliability issue, but:
    so some file types are kept unchanged (Word docs etc) when you do a
    Restore, but others are overwritten with the older files (C# source
    code *.cs). Different apps may "per chance" use some of the
    extensions in the list. So it is a bit of a mess, IMHO. On the other
    hand, backups are nice and clean ;-)) And a guard in case of total
    HD failure, of course.

    - Jan
    Jan Wagner, Sep 21, 2005
  10. networm

    modelin'PhD Guest

    FWIW, I run Matlab on my M200 with 1.8 Dothan and 512 frequently without
    issue. In fact, when running nearly identical simulations on this and my
    desktop and a powerbook G4, the m200 is by far the fastest. Definately out
    performs a P4 3.0G and laps the G4 like the mac was in reverse. Slows a
    little bit if I'm running more than one piece of high powered software, but
    no more so than most desktops without dual cpu's or something of the sort

    modelin'PhD, Oct 11, 2005
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