PlecoDict on SD card slower then RAM?

Henry

进士
Hello All,

I'm thinking of having my copy of PlecoDict installed on a memory card rather then in RAM, and I'm wondering if I will notice a significant slow down in performance... and if so, what are some things I can do to speed it up?

The card in question will be a microSD in my new Centro and my T|X with a card adapter. (Currently it is installed in RAM on the T|X)

Thanks, Henry
 

ipsi

状元
The Pleco PRC (and the HWR? Or is that included in the PRC now?) *must* be installed to the internal memory. Everything else can be installed on the SD Card. I don't believe it's any slower having stuff on the card, and in any event Palm devices don't have enough internal memory to store more than an extremely basic installation.
 

Henry

进士
ipsi said:
The Pleco PRC (and the HWR? Or is that included in the PRC now?) *must* be installed to the internal memory. Everything else can be installed on the SD Card. I don't believe it's any slower having stuff on the card, and in any event Palm devices don't have enough internal memory to store more than an extremely basic installation.
Sorry, I think I wasn't clear in my original post-

I want to have the program licensed/registered to a card rather then to a particular device. Because I would be switching between devices (a T|X and Centro) I think I would have to put all of the files on the card... otherwise I would fill up the RAM on both devices with dictionary files etc...

Regards, Henry
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Actually you could still do a combination - install some files in the internal memory of each device and others on the card - but the performance impact is pretty negligible, so you might as well just run the whole thing off of the card. The card licensing doesn't impact performance at all, Pleco uses the exact same code for reading data off of memory cards regardless of whether it's locked to the card or the handheld.

The handwriting recognizer still has one separate file, but Pleco will automatically copy that into internal memory for you if it starts up and can only find it on the card, so you don't really need to worry about installation locations in 2.0.
 

Henry

进士
Thanks, that is good to know.

A related question: are there significant performance differences among the various producers of microSD cards? (or the micro->regular SD adapter?)

Regards, Henry
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
I don't think the adapters make any difference in performance, though for compatibility reasons you should always try to get one included with the card - we've found that some brands' adapters won't work correctly with other brands' cards.

As far as the performance of the cards themselves, they can vary significantly, but with any reasonably new card you shouldn't notice much of a difference - the limiting factor there is usually the Palm SD card interface's performance rather than the performance of the card. You can check the reviews of each card at NewEgg if you want to get some sense of which ones are fastest, though.
 

Henry

进士
I purchased the card+adapter (2gb SanDisk) and installed and unlocked Pleco on my Centro. The speed is at least as good as on my T|X (with most of the data in RAM), so I'm really happy about that.

I'm having a small issue which I hope I can address here-> the pleco icon does not appear in the list of recently used programs that comes up when I hold down the 'home' button, and it does not appear on the list of programs that appears when setting hardware buttons.

Regards, Henry
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Copy the Pleco application program into internal memory using the Palm OS "Copy" screen (copy "Pleco" from your card to internal memory) - that'll make it available in recent programs / button assignments.
 

Henry

进士
mikelove said:
Copy the Pleco application program into internal memory
Will it still be locked to the card? ie I will still be able to use the program (legally) on both devices?

Thanks, Henry
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Yes, it doesn't care about that - it'll still only boot up if the card is inserted, regardless of where you're running it from.
 

Henry

进士
Just an update about the speed-

I just tried running Pleco from the SD card (microSD in SD adaptor) in my T|X and it ran fine, with no noticible speed difference compared to running it from internal memory.

I'm really surprised! In the past I filled up my internal memory with dictionary files (as opposed to putting them on a card) to improve the speed, but it doesn't seem to make any difference.

FWIW, I have hardly touched my T|X since getting a Centro. I don't mind the smaller screen of the Centro, it is much more portable, and I find the keyboard absolutely essential... especially when looking up English words in PD!

Regards, Henry
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
That's true on almost any NVFS (flash-memory-based) Palm, actually - records in internal memory are being read from a flash memory chip into RAM, just like those on an SD card, so the only speed benefit to internal memory is that the interface to it runs a bit faster than the SD card slot, but a lot of that difference is made up for by our database caching system.

And yeah, the keyboard's a big improvement - part of the reason for my enthusiasm about the Pre and now also Android. As one's Chinese level improves, the handwriting recognizer gets progressively less important and Pinyin input gets progressively more important, so I think a lot of people will put up with the mediocre handwriting input on the Pre for the sake of having a keyboard.
 
I wonder. As one's Chinese improves, one needs less and less pinyin. You begin to think in characters and write (and think) in characters. If your level is advanced, pinyin is less and less useful. Most Chinese, including the ones having a solid grounding in characters, rarely use or conceptualize words in pinyin. Also, it is much faster to write in characters if you are experienced in semi-cursive writing.

Henry
 

Henry

进士
I'm not sure I entirely agree with Mike's statement either, but I do find that (when I'm looking up a Chinese character/phrase) I use pin-yin much more often than character input.

There are two reasons-

1. On the Centro the full keyboard makes pin-yin entry + selecting the right character quite a bit faster than directly entering the character, something that was NOT true on my T|X, and

2. I now know (or am able to guess) the pin-yin for the majority of new characters that I see, something that wasn't true in the past. (this could be evidence for Mike's statement above?)

Regards, (a different) Henry
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Yes, Pinyin input on a keyboard-equipped handheld at least is significantly faster than handwriting, or at least that's my experience - if your cursive writing is neat enough / stroke order accurate enough that you virtually always get the correct character as the first matching result, then maybe it'd be close, but otherwise Pinyin comes out ahead. Hanwang's recognizer is a brilliant piece of technology, and with a tablet on a desktop where you can enter multiple characters at a time with a smooth/accurate capacitive stylus it matches up well with MS Pinyin, but on a resistive-screen handheld for a non-native speaker Pinyin is still faster. Though the mental shift to Pinyin can be a bit jarring if you're thinking about characters, so I can see hleperlier's point about that, and of course if you don't know the character you may not have a choice.
 
Top