Re: Agenda ROM card?

Wed, 22 Apr 92 10:55:07 EDT

To: UNIXML::"uunet!!ultralite-list"
Subject: Re: Agenda ROM card?

On Apr 20, 8:12am, John M. Pearce wrote:
> Subject: Re: Agenda ROM card?
> >
> > BTW, I've run version 2 on the UltraLite, and *boy* is it slow.
> > I guess it has ton of overlays. I don't think that Agenda 2 is
> > worth running unless you have extended memory.
> The current issue of Atlantic Monthly has an article about Agenda. The
> author concludes it's not very useful on a computer with less than a 386
> chip and 2MB of memory.

I'd say this all depends on one's point of view, and what you really use Agenda
for. Yes, Agenda 2.0 can be slow on the UltraLite, but in some cases the
performance can be improved. Agenda 2.0 does offer many features that Agenda
1.0 lacked; they are features that I regularly use, so I wouldn't want to go
back to Agenda 1.0. With some significant tweaking, I'm able to use Agenda 2.0
fairly well.

Some ways I've improved things on my UL are listed below. (In my
configuration, I don't print from Agenda. I LapLink the data file to my
desktop machine, and print from there. Besides, the Agenda 2 print engine is
pretty big, and would not have fit with my other programs (123 Release 2.2 and
Quicken 4.0).)

So, here are the things I tried:

1. Don't use Stacker on the .EXEs. I know this is asking a lot from the UL
user, but unfortunately it's also the only way to really improve run-time
speed. Agenda 2.0 uses an overlay managing scheme to move program code in and
out of memory. On the UL, Agenda swaps program code to the disk. In
addition, text for menus and dialog boxes is stored in another file (AGENDA.RI)
and is read on the fly when you use the menus. This high amount of disk access
directly translates into slow performance when the program EXEs are on a
Stacker drive. I noticed a significant improvement in performance with this
one step.

On my UL I created a 900 Kb Stacker drive, which I use for everything except
the Agenda executables. On the C (non-Stacker) drive I placed these files:

A EXE 677282 3-24-91 2:00a --main program
AGENDA ENV 1298 4-21-92 1:03p --default settings
AGENDA RI 169858 3-24-91 2:00a --dialog box info

A.EXE is really the main Agenda program. AGENDA.EXE is a shell that lets you
print from Agenda. Since I don't print from Agenda, I don't use AGENDA.EXE,
and thus save a few Kb of disk space and RAM.

You'll find that there's enough leftover space on C for a couple of Stacker
utilities, like SDIR and SCHECK. Since the Stacker utilities are too complex
to be compressed anyway, you may as well put them on the regular drive instead
of the Stacker drive.

Use the Stacker drive for your Agenda databases, and other Agenda output
files. Although it would be quicker to have them on your non-Stacker drive,
disk space restrictions force them to the Stacker drive.

2. Try not to load other TSRs before using Agenda. The Agenda main program
needs about 440 Kb to load. The remaining available memory is used for holding
your database. A temporary disk file is used to store the parts of the
database that can't fit in memory. If you load lots of TSRs, there will be
little space for your data, which will make Agenda use the disk more often.

You can find out how much memory is remaining for Agenda data by selecting F10,
Utilities, Customize, Memory usage.

3. Try to trim your databases. Delete unused categories, views, and items.
Categories take up more space then the items you enter, so if you can remove
categories you never use, you'll make your database noticeably smaller. To see
the size difference once you've deleted categories, views, or items, you need
to choose F10, File, Maintenance, Compress. Agenda won't make the database
smaller on its own.

That's all I can think of for now...

--Lee Mosqueda