Cygwin slow downs in WinME

Paul Garceau
Thu Jun 7 15:36:00 GMT 2001

Hi folks,

	I felt this needed to be addressed in the hopes that others reading 
this might have a better sense of MS Millenium and a few of its' known 

On 7 Jun 2001, at 19:13, the Illustrious Travis Howell wrote:

> Has there been any progress on the Windows ME slow downs problem often
> caused when compiling programs through Cygwin ?

> Cygwin often slows the
> whole system down, especially sound (It stutters) and a few times has
> slowed it down so much that the clock loses small amounts of time! I
> have read a few similar messages about this problem on mailing list but
> no one has offered any work around or solution other than switching to
> Windows NT/2000.

	If you are locked in to Me, there is little anyone can do since most 
technical folks (such as those that frequent this list) know that Me is 
a heavily flawed OS to begin with and either stay with their Win9x or 
upgrade to Win2k.

	I've used Me, Win9x and NT4.  What is consistent is that Win9x/Me are 
always extremely sluggish when it comes to handling system resources 
and tasks.  Cygwin, by its nature, has a lot of stuff it needs to do in 
order to maintain compatibility between Win32 and a typically Unixish 
user interface.  This often means high levels of overhead (system 
resource) costs.

	Me and Win9x are known to be poor when it comes to dealing with such 
things as systems resources.  Imho, Me is nothing much more than Win9x 
with a home-user friendly (read non-technical wizard) networking 
interface and the added enhancement of Unix socket compatibility.

	Me may be worst case scenario when comparing with Win9x since Me was 
not designed to be anything but a home computer, and thus pretty 
incapable of handling heavy duty processing outside of games, spread 
sheets, etc.  Your "typical" (according to MS) home applications.

	Absolutely no developer I am aware of, outside of the author of this 
post, use Me for just the sorts of reasons I outlined above.

	Sure, you could hack ME to work a little faster, but it would only be 
a temporary increase since ME doesn't really handle fast file lookup 
very well...doesn't need to according to MS, because the home user 
hasn't any need to do fast file lookups...grahics handling, etc. are a 
different story due to enhanced DirectX related APIs that come with Me.

	Another possible workaround, again if you must have Me, is to 
reconfigure the system to do what you want it to do using the extremely 
limited resources made available for such things by MS for their Me 

	Part of this involves disabling automatic virtual memory management in 
lieu of your own custom virtual memory management and defragging your 
hard drives at least once a week (ie. if you want to have your computer 
unavailable for the hour or two it sometimes takes for ME to do a 
complete defrag using supplied defrag app, depending on the size of the 
hard drive(s) in question).

	Of course, there is always the old fallback that MS uses...purchase 
more memory.  If your system came with 64M ram, then you need to triple 
that value to at least 192M.

	Ideally, 256M ram is probably an optimum amount of ram for Me.  Of 
course, memory costs money, so you'll have to make that call yourself.  
Me is a known memory (and system resource) hog.  What Win9x can do with 
64M, requires at least 128M for Me.  And the ram value only increases 
based on any added peripherals that are there.  128M is probably actual 
minimum for Me.

	As I read through the other posts, you have a very large amount of 
hardware operating on your system, and all of these slow ME down a tad 
bit, thus the requirement for at least a Celeron or PIII/333mHz class 
processor.  PIII is probably best (short of PIV) at about 700 or 800 
mHz clock speed.

	Your peripherals are really not the problem.  Especially when I see 
you are using a Quantum Fireball 30G hard drive.

	It is the way that Me handles the peripherals (PnP?) that is causing a 
lot of your slowdown.

	Rule of thumb, your "peripherals" are only as fast as the slowest 
componenet within the system configuraton.  In this case, the slowest 
(read "most sluggish") component is the OS itself.

	I know this probably doesn't answer the original question:

> Has there been any progress on the Windows ME slow downs problem 
> caused when compiling programs through Cygwin ?

	Even so, I continue to hope that it gives a better sense of what is 
really being dealt with when anyone is dealing with "Windows 
Millenium (tm MicroSoft)".

	(Have you thought about using Mingw?)

	It is not Cygwins' problem.  It is your OS.


		Paul G.

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