eBoostr on UMPC

Windows Vista comes with one new feature. It’s called ReadyBoost and its concept is very easy. It uses a SD, MMC or USB Drive like a second memory for use it like cache, optimizing their performance by pre-caching their files and data and allowing faster access speed and reduced delays. The result is very amazing when we speak about the hibernation or launching applications.

Even so, I use windows XP… and I really don’t like Vista so much. Well, I don’t want reinstall my operating systems. However, there are solutions for all. For a XP user, like me, there is one product called eBoostr that do the same work. I tested on my UMPC with 2Gb RAM and a 900MHz Celeron and at this moment I’m convinced.

The first thing that you must do is seek one SD or USB Drive. It must be a faster one. The card should have more than 3 Mb/s at least. You can use a fantastic tool called HD Tach or HD Tune for check the speed. And, of course, the card must have more than 1Gb of free space if you want to do something useful. If all goes well and the experiments results, then the driver needs something embedded in the machine for don’t destroy my box line. For this reason, I decided to steal the SD from the Eva’s camera (my partner). This action has some risk, but if it hasn’t risk, it will not be an authentic I+D.

The second step is downloading from eBoostr one evaluation copy. Install it. Insert your recent stolen SD and then you must create a new cache device pointing to your SD. At this moment, you can go to drink a coffee or start configuring one Oracle Application Server. This means that the creation will take some several minutes.

After the installation we can start to play. The first thing that I do was test the hibernation on windows XP. Furthermore, eBoostr improves the speeds: from 45 seconds to 15 at startup. No relevant change when you switch to hibernation the box. Good. This for a UMPC is really interesting. You can open from a hibernated stated in about 15 seconds and start to write in a meeting. 14 seconds more than a PDA :P

Talking about launching applications, before I install eBoostr, I was spending around 15 seconds for open one document with Microsoft word. Now the same task spends about 8 seconds. It seems the same percentage with Microsoft Visio.
In general, I don’t see a spectacular increase in speed and responsiveness in tasks that are not launching or hibernating the system. But, effectively, I have the feeling that eBoostr does something good.

We know that the micro, the ram and hard disk are key issues for a box performance. This cache really helps. However, my hidden objective with this test wasn’t the performance. My target is to improve the battery life of my box. I suppose that this feature is more theory than practice, perhaps because I have a special way to use the laptop. When I only use the laptop for writing documents, truly, it seems to use less battery than without eBoostr.

At summary: at first glance, eBoostr is a tool that really improves the performance of a windows XP box when we speak about loading programs and data. This is a cheaper way and a good compagnion to our UMPC.

PD: This article was writed from Port Andratx, a wonderful place to visit in Mallorca.

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