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Karen's Toolkit
by Karen Kenworthy

Part I
PWSwap is a handy--and free--utility from Power Windows columnist Karen Kenworthy.

Some people think you can never have too much RAM. That might be true, but one thing's for sure: For optimal performance, you must have enough RAM. So how much is enough?

PWSwap, the WinMag Swap Monitor, answers that question. It lets you see how often Windows 95 uses your hard disk to simulate extra RAM. Win95 uses this trick to solve occasional RAM shortages, but if it does so too often, it can kill your PC's performance.

Run PWSwap and then forget it as you go about your usual work. After you've run your favorite programs, take a look at PWSwap's main window. A few swap file reads and writes ("Page Ins" and "Page Outs") are normal. But if PWSwap reports over 50 swaps per second after you load your favorite applications, plan on shopping for more RAM.

Download PWSWAP.ZIP here. Documentation and source code are included.

Part II
Multiple instances of a program can slow your PC to a crawl. Karen Kenworthy's PWOne solves this problem.

Before you start cramming your PC full of extra RAM, make sure you're using the RAM you have effectively. One way to do that is to prevent Windows from launching extra copies of large applications.

PWOne, the WinMag Instance Limiter, makes that job easy. This little utility runs in place of the program being limited. Once started, PWOne checks for a running copy of the program. If it finds one, it activates the old copy of the program and prevents new copies from running. If your app's not already running, PWOne will let it start up.

Download PWONE.ZIP here. Documentation and source code are included.

Part III
Karen Kenworthy's ResLim utility helps you keep tabs on memory and other resources.

The WinMag Resource Probe (ResLim) keeps tabs on your RAM and lots of other important stuff. The utility tells you how much disk space remains on the drive Windows uses for temporary files, how much RAM and system resources are free, and even how many Windows timers are available to your applications. Most importantly, ResLim lets you know how much conventional memory (memory below 1MB) is free and in use, and which programs are soaking it up.

If any of the important resources ResLim monitors are in short supply, you may experience system crashes, slowdowns and other problems. That's why ResLim not only reports the levels of each item, it red-flags any resource hovering near critical levels.

Download PWRESL.ZIP here. Documentation is included.

Roadside Service

Copyright © 1997 CMP Media Inc.