Listing of August 1996 Reviews
By Lenny Bailes and John Yacono
Windows memory managers are like old traveling medicine shows-some
products work, some don't and no two take exactly the same path.
Some eliminate out-of-memory errors, while others concentrate
on increasing performance. Hurricane does both.
Hurricane includes seven performance enhancement utilities, some
used for Windows 3.1x, some for Win95 and some for both. All can
be enabled or disabled individually and adjusted from a control
panel. RAM Expander compresses application code in physical RAM.
WinPack reclaims RAM from dormant applications that are open,
but minimized to the taskbar. The Mode-Switch Accelerator speeds
the transition between Windows applications and increases the
number of system breakpoints. A Global DOS Manager avoids out-of-memory
messages by reserving additional memory within the first megabyte.
The XMS Accelerator speeds up access to XMS and DPMI memory for
DOS drivers and programs. The Print Cache module creates a virtual
cache for print output from selected printers. RAM Drive provides
a smart RAM disk that shrinks and expands in response to application
Since Microsoft has improved the source-heap handling in Windows
95, the Hurricane modules for this OS focus on heightening performance.
Under Windows 3.1x, Hurricane effectively banishes out-of-memory
errors. The included print cache, disk cache and video cache prevent
Hurricane from slowing performance. These features may substantially
improve Windows 3.x disk access and video throughput on older,
Unlike competing schemes, Hurricane's memory compression produces
a noticeable speed improvement on Win95 systems with 4MB to 8MB
of installed RAM. We timed a series of operations: We loaded multiple
Microsoft Access databases and Excel spreadsheets, then logged
on to the Microsoft Network Online Service. Our 8MB Hurricane
system completed these operations approximately 20 percent to
25 percent faster than an 8MB vanilla configuration. Speed improved
only 2 to 5 percent on Hurricane-enhanced systems with 16MB of
Pros: Effective for 8MB Win95 PCs
Cons: Not very effective with 16MB+
Platforms: Windows 95, 3.1x
Disk Space: 4MB
WinMag Box Score: 3.0