Posts tagged: Optimize

A Patent 5 Years in the Making

By , August 23, 2010 10:42 pm

Soonr, the company I co-founded with some friends, filed for a patent way back in 2005. This patent described the (then) novel idea of a network that would automatically optimize its files for consumption on a mobile device. Specifically we had cell phones in mind. Sounds obvious now, but back in 2004-2005 it seemed like a bit of a pipe dream. This was a time when the Motorola Razr was the big thing because it was so small. SMS, were just an inkling in the eyes of the Telecommunications companies.

Today, everyone expects a modern day smartphone to be able to view pages with formatting and detail similar to a printed page. In fact with an iPhone, you expect to be able to seamlessly zoom to get more detail. Well, all that processing and caching has to happen somewhere. According to US patent 7,779,069 this happens on a Network Mobility Server created to optimize the mobile experience.

The first page of our patent!

This patent was granted on August 17, 2010. It was 5 years in the making, but my friends and company are happy it has come to pass. It describes the foundation for the mobile experience that many folks take for granted today.

SSD versus 7200rpm Disk Drive

By , May 31, 2009 12:32 pm

This is a continuation of my previous post regarding my experiences with the 256GB SSD drive my Dell laptop entitled “Are Solid State Drives Worth the Money?”. The installation was easy enought, now we get to the business of making it perform.

Optimizing the Drive
Without getting into too much gory details, the basic premise in optimizing a SSD is that you do NOT want to have unnecessary disk operations. Since reads are so fast and instantaneous almost anywhere on the disk, things like file fragmentation do not matter. So you start to tweak anything that writes to the disk. Here’s a quick list of things to look at when using XP.

  • Turn off automatic disk defrag.
  • Eliminate the pagefile operations.
  • Set up a RAM Disk for temp files.

The last tip works no matter what drive you are using. If you have lots of memory (3-4G) I would recommend that you set this up anyway.

The Results
So I ran an harddisk performance testing tool, first against my 7,200rpm 250GB laptop drive and got this graph.

7,200rpm 256GB Mechanical Drive test results

7,200rpm 256GB Mechanical Drive test results

This would become our baseline for the comparison. After installing the 256GB SSD I ran the exact same test and got these results.

G.SKILL 256GB SSD Drive results

G.SKILL 256GB SSD Drive results

So taking a closer look, there’s not a humongous difference in the two. In fact the SSD writes small files a little faster (.641 secs compared to 1.063 seconds) and file delete and directory lookup speeds are faster by a good margin. Upon close inspection, I am surprised that a lot of other items are not that different! In fact, the large file write speed is worse!

We could go on doing a big analysis on all these numbers, but in the end I wasn’t ecstatic. Coupled with the fact that my battery life actually dropped by 30 minutes (SSD is always on whereas mechanical drive can spin down and other power saving tricks), this wasn’t turning out to be worth the 6X investment. You see, you can get a 250GB mechanical drive for $100, but this 256GB SSD was close to $600 used on eBay!

Perhaps I need to try another brand of SSD. I hear good things about the Samsung, but it costs $800. I’ll wait until they drop down in to the $600 range and perhaps I’ll try again. For now, I’ll have to live with the sounds of a mechanical drive. The best thing about the SSD? It was silent and I love my quiet office.

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