No, its not April 1, but a couple of new products, aimed initially at the Macintosh market, might make you wonder. The first, RunWay from Rad Unlimited Networking Ltd of Tel Aviv, claims to quadruple the speed of AppleTalk-over-Ethernet file transfers, with slightly smaller speed-ups for LocalTalk. The company is coy about how the technology […]
No, its not April 1, but a couple of new products, aimed initially at the Macintosh market, might make you wonder. The first, RunWay from Rad Unlimited Networking Ltd of Tel Aviv, claims to quadruple the speed of AppleTalk-over-Ethernet file transfers, with slightly smaller speed-ups for LocalTalk. The company is coy about how the technology works, but says that data compression is not involved. Stick a network analyser on the wire and you will simply see more Ethernet packets than normal, the company says. It is not Ethernet-specific, either; the firm says the technique, whatever it is, is applicable to Token Ring or FDDI. The decision to go for a Mac implementation was prompted by the large population of users on the machines who transfer large image files around the network, but in the future it will be available for other systems. The product will be formally launched in the US on February 15, and costs a hefty $1,030 for a two-user pack. RUN says at by the end of the year the technology will be implemented in hardware, embedded in an Ethernet adaptor board. To look at, RunWay is a standard Macintosh application, which is used instead of the Mac Finder’s Copy and Move drag-and-drop operations. The program can tell whether the Mac at the other end has RunWay installed and will set up a session accordingly. One current limitation is the application’s failure to run properly with 5th Generation Inc’s Autodoubler disk compression system. While RunWay is offering seemingly miraculously increasing network throughput, Ram Doubler from Connectix Corporation of San Mateo, California claims to double the usable memory on any Powerbook, or Mac II or better, that already has 4Mb or more RAM installed. The downside is a 1% to 5% processing hit as the machine actually compresses the memory used for background tasks. However, the claim is that most of this overhead will manifest itself when the user switches between programs, rather than impacting the running application. Connectix says that the software is compatible most major applications – those that are happy with virtual memory should be happy enough. On machines near the 4Mb RAM lower limit, the system may produce a 4Mb to 6Mb swapfile on the hard-disk. The company says its technology can actually triple memory under optimum conditions, and that the times-two saving is a safe bet. Versions for Windows and Windows NT are under development. The software costs 70 in the UK where it is distributed by Computers Unlimited.