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Hi :)  
wrt Virtual Memory/pagefile.sys/Swap on Windows the trick seems to be to set it as a fixed value.  

"System Properties" - Advanced tab - Performance (top 3rd) Settings - Performance Settings - 
Advanced tab here too - Virtual Memory (bottom section) Change 
There will be about 3 pop-ups open around now.  

Use the radio buttons there to change to a "Custom size".  This really needs to be greater than Ram 
but not more than 2xRam (else it gets confused and may even reduce performance while tripping over 
it's own shoelaces).  It has to be greater than Ram because when hibernating (perhaps sleeping 
too?) the contents of Ram gets written to Virtual Memory.  But giving it too much just confuses 
space just confuses things so just under 2xRam is good but  over that might get annoying.  Make 
sure the same number is in both the top and bottom boxes.  Often there is a recommendation for how 
much to set it too and it's usually not a bad idea to follow that advice.  I've only seen it give a 
crazy suggestion once or twice out of hundreds of machines.  

Ok, now it gets a bit fiddly.  You have to click on the "Set" button before clicking on "Ok" 
otherwise it forgets and you have to re-type the numbers again.  Then you click "Ok" on each of the 
pop-ups in turn.  Again if you don't it's not harmful, just annoying because it forgets.  

Of course if you have already been using your machine for a while then Virtual Memory is already 
quite fragmented so this will only 'stop' it getting worse.  It wont improve things.  Also when i 
say 'stop' it will continue to suffer normal system rot and there are other factors such as 
registry fragmentation that will continue.  So, it fixes just 1 problem out of many.  

When trying to resurrect an ancient and much used machine i would initially set Virtual Memory to 
0.  Then defrag quite a lot and then plonk a fairly huge file onto the system.  Then reset the 
Virtual Memory to a respectable size and get rid of the huge file.  In theory i hoped that would 
force all the Virtual Memory file to be contiguous and out of the way.  

Gnu&Linux does NOT SUFFER from fragmentation until the drive is something like 96% full, not sure 
of the exact figure but definitely over 90% (it's always that extra just 1 episode/movie of Star 
Trek).  Files might well be fragmented much lower than that despite the elegant way that files are 
carefully placed in Ext2,3,4 with plenty of room all around them to allow them to grow.  There is a 
limit to how much that policy can really work of course.  However even when files are fragmented 
there seems to be a better system for tracking where all the bits are so the read/write head can 
anticipate and plan ahead a bit better.  

So what i find odd is that despite that Gnu&Linux doesn't use a Swap file by default!  One of the 
main rules in Gnu&Linux is that for any 'rule' there is always at least 1 version or distro or 
something that deliberately breaks that rule but in the case of Swap i haven't found one yet.  They 
all seem to follow it!  They all seem to use a separate Swap partition or don't use Swap at all.  

In Windows, which can't cope with fragmented files and couldn't (until fairly recently) defrag 
system files people insist on setting Virtual Memory to fragment as quickly as possible.  Sometimes 
they set it to have a fixed lower amount and only vary the top-off but that still means the file 
gets read and re-written elsewhere and fragmented.  

Normally by default it's set to keep changing size according to how much of it is needed.  That 
sounds good in theory.  When you need more memory it just expands to fill up more hard-drive space 
when you need less it releases some of it.  You can get Gnu&Linux to use a swap-file just the same 
instead (or as well as) having a separate fixed swap partition.  Unfortunately Windows file-systems 
such as the various Fats (vFat, Fat32 etc) and Ntfs are carefully designed to make sure files 
fragment quite quickly and end up with bits scattered all over the place.  

Say you have file A that is 20units long and the next file B is 10.  Then you delete A and write a 
file C that is 30 units.  Now you have 20units of C followed by 10 units of B followed by the 
remaining 10 of C.  If you now delete B and copy A back then you get 20 of C, followed by 10 of A 
followed by the 10 remaining of C and then the last 10 of A.  So when you try reading a file the 
read/write head lurches around the drive trying to find the various shopped up parts of the file.  
If that file is a frequently accessed system file such as Virtual Memory then it can significantly 
reduce performance.  

In Gnu&Linux it is reckoned that you can significantly increase performance by putting your system 
files, particularly your log files, on a different hard-drive from your data.  i mean a proper 
hard-drive not just a different partition on the same physical device.  The main reason for putting 
your data (all in /home) on a separate partition is not to do with routine performance.  it's more 
about making the system more robust.  it allows you to install a completely new OS without any risk 
to your data (but still back-up anyway of course).  In theory you can have several different OSes 
all using the same /home although that gets a bit messy if they have the same DE.  it works a bit 
better if you have 1 KDE one, 1 Gnome(ish), and maybe 1 of any of the rarer ones (does Unity count 
as 1 of the rarer ones? i'd say it does but i'm sure others disagree).  Otherwise you find all your 
different OSes use the same wallpaper and look the same (big yawn that
 is) and you don't get the benefit of the different design teams interesting work.  

Something i haven't really tried much, or at least can't remember the result, is putting all the 
Virtual Memory on a separate physical hard-drive.  There is an option to split Virtual Memory 
across several different hard-drives/partitions some of which might be physically different drives 
but i'm not sure whether doing that is good or bad.  

Errr, i haven't mentioned Bsd or Apple because i just haven't played around with them that much.  
They don't seem to slow down as much as Windows so i guess they have a similar set-up to Gnu&Linux 
or have some neat work-around that might not translate well to Gnu&Linux let alone Windows.  

Regards from 
Tom :)  

From: Andrew Brown <>
To: Tom Davies <> 
Cc: Virgil Arrington <>; 
Sent: Wednesday, 31 July 2013, 8:48
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] 4.0.3

Hi Tom

Interesting post. Agree, sometimes these software wars becomes irksome, 
as my late mother and father used to say and raised us with this motto 
"how do you know you don't like it if you have not tried it". This was 
from our young years with foodstuffs that traditionally many young 
children don't / have never tried, up to the real things in life. But I 
am in a similiar vein in what MS charge for their O/S and Office suites 
when they are riddled with known and unknown bugs.

At least I have always tried to keep an open mind, and thankfully was 
raised on other O/S's (not necessarily desktop/workstation friendly) and 
systems pre-dating MS. I cut my teeth on IBM VAX, Pick, LISP, FORTRAN, 
COBOL, AT&T and SCO Unix, CP/M, BASIC and Xerox GEM, before the 
adventure into IBM and MS systems with the very first and crude DOS, and 
then Apple O/S starting some 36 years ago.

I can with experience say I have tried them all, and why my entire 
business and home office is OSS and FOSS, even to desktop. I give my 
staff the choice of MS or FOSS, thankfully they all eventually migrate 
to FOSS, which allows me to plow the monies recovered from ongoing and 
unnecessary licensing fees into better, faster and more up to date 
hardware. Even to the level of my servers.

To end off, the major difference I have between MS software and FOSS, 
and you covered briefly in your reply, is that when one discovers a bug, 
or has a problem, one can get a solution or have it fixed promptly 
without waiting for a major release or service pack, unlike proprietory 
and closed code. This is the same for malware, it takes so long for the 
commercial software to produce a fix and prevention compared to it 
almost being a non-entity in FOSS.

I would be intrigued and grateful, if you could email me privately, your 
tweaks you do for the virtual memory slowdown of it's fragmentation (by 
the way MS refers to it as the pagefile). And that's another feather in 
FOSS's cap, one never has fragmentation or needs to defragment it, 
unlike MS. I might know or remember them, but it's not coming to memory 
as I type this.


On 30/07/2013 03:27 PM, Tom Davies wrote:
Hi :)
I think disdain is possibly closer than hatred.  I think bioth are quite far away from the 
reality though.  I think it's simply that people would rather develop tools that are more robust 
and less susceptible   to malware and slow-downs.

I think once you start using OpenSource tools you begin to realise that MS seem to have 
deliberately built-in vulnerabilities and their slow-downs.  FOSS doesn't seem to suffer 
anything like as much, although a bit of "system rot" is inevitable in almost any system.

I'm just installing Win7 on a handfull of machines and am able to make a couple of tweaks that 
prevent their "Virtual Memory" from getting so heavily fragmented.  In previous versions of 
their OS i have found it significantly reduces the slow-downs if you can do this early on.  On 
Win7 it takes an extra couple of clicks but it's still really easy.  I always wonder why the 
default is to set it to fragment as quickly as possible.  It's only with Win7 that their 
de-fragger tool can defrag system files such as the Virtual Memory (err that is Swap to 
Gnu&Linux geeks lol).

Regards from
Tom :)

From: Virgil Arrington <>
To: Amit Choudhary <>;
Sent: Monday, 29 July 2013, 20:30
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] 4.0.3

I certainly hope the primary motive for FOSS such as LO is not a disdain for
MS. I personally don't care how much money MS makes. I hope the LO
developers are motivated by a desire to produce a great product that can be
used worldwide. Hatred usually doesn't provide a very effective motive for
productive action.


-----Original Message-----
From: Amit Choudhary
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2013 10:47 AM
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] 4.0.3

On Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 8:14 PM, Amit Choudhary
<> wrote:

On Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 2:51 PM, Andrew Brown <> wrote:
Hi Amit

I understand where you are coming from, and the good news is, in your
favour, that MS in both it's O/S and office suite are losing market share
in a big way. Here's an article from Ubuntu founder and my countryman
Mark Shuttelworth on his take on MS and Ubuntu. I like his statement that
the no.1 bug in Linux has now been
   fixed/closed, in that MS no longer
dominates majority market share.

But the numbers don't lie. I checked MS revenues and profits on and it doesn't look like MS is losing market share. MS
losing share might be an illusion.

Period Ending                                           Jun 30, 2012
Jun 30, 2011       Jun 30, 2010

Net Income Applicable To Common Shares $16,978,000       $23,150,000
        $18,760,000  (All numbers in thousands)


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