Issue 19

Jan/Feb 86

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One of the first things any programmer will require is a set of utilities and the first of these to become available in the U.K. is the Kuma Ramdisk. A Ramdisk allows a portion of memory to be set aside and protected for use as a 'disk drive'. All the usual functions of a drive can be used such as saving, copying, deleting files etc. but at phenomenal speed and without ending up with a lot of junk on your disks. Chunks of code can be worked on, saved to Ramdisk, tidied up and committed to floppy disk only when completed. 8-bit users will not have appreciated the power of a Ramdisk unless they have the 130XE but there is no denying that the Ramdisk is a very useful utility.

K-RAM allows you to set up any number of Ramdisks, depending on memory, and to configure these to whatever size you wish. Each ramdisk created will have its own icon on screen which can be used in the same way as existing icons. When first run K-ram indicates how much memory is available and allocates a default of half of this for the first ramdisk. You may change this to any reasonable figure or do the opposite by telling K-RAM how much memory you require to reserve for your program and it will allocate the rest as the ramdisk. To install multiple ramdisks you merely run the program again.

With TOS on disk only 162k of memory is available and the use of multiple ramdisks is fairly restricted but once TOS is on ROM K-RAM will allow programmers great flexibility. An additional facility allows you to toggle the write verify to the floppy disk thus allowing writes to disk to occur nearly 50% faster whilst more advanced users can customise the BIOS parameter block that KRAM uses to change the size of the directory area giving more disk space or alternatively allowing more file names to be held in the directory.

Programmers will find that K-RAM fits nicely into their utility library.