A new Windows Sysinternals tool available for download allows Windows 7 users to map out the system memory usage of their machines. Developed by Windows gurus Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell, RAMMap 1.0 is now available for download both as a standalone utility and as a part of the Windows Sysinternals package.

RAMMap is capable of showing customers just what is happening to their physical memory, beyond anything the Task Manager is capable of doing. The utility is designed to integrate seamlessly with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, but also Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

“Have you ever wondered exactly how Windows is assigning physical memory, how much file data is cached in RAM, or how much RAM is used by the kernel and device drivers? RAMMap makes answering those questions easy. RAMMap is an advanced physical memory usage analysis utility for Windows Vista and higher,” an excerpt of the tool’s description reads. More »

With the availability of the Release Candidate for Windows 7, Microsoft has also made public the system requirements for the operating system. The good news? Users who have already moved to a Windows Vista-tailored machine will not need to upgrade their hardware yet again just to accommodate Windows 7. In fact, the system requirements for the next iteration of Windows are roughly the same as for its precursor, with Beta testers indicating that Windows 7 outperforms Windows Vista on the same hardware.

Without further ado, the System Requirements for Windows 7 are “1GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor; 1 GB of RAM (32-bit)/2 GB of RAM (64-bit); 16 GB of available disk space (32-bit)/20 GB (64-bit); DirectX 9 graphics device with Windows Display Driver Model 1.0 or higher driver,” according to Microsoft.

The Redmond company emphasizes that the system requirements presented above represent the bare minimum required to run Windows 7. More »

What, exactly, are supercomputers? The clue is in the name, really: they’re powerful computers capable of calculating many millions of floating operations per second (FLOPS) essentially, they’re very, very fast.

While any array of powerful computers, such as a modern-day web server which consists of several motherboards (the main circuit board of a computer) running in parallel can be considered a supercomputer, generally the term is reserved for machines that dedicate their entire hardware to one complex task at any given time.

Take the NEC Earth Simulator in Japan, for example, which was created specifically for modelling weather problems associated with global warming. Or the world’s fastest computer, BlueGene/L at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the US, which simulates the behaviour of biomolecular structures and protein folding. It’s capable of 600 trillion FLOPS (tera-FLOPS or TFLOPS), whereas, the six-year-old Earth Simulator is only capable of 36TFLOPS. BlueGene/L won’t hold the top spot for long, though. Supercomputers twice as powerful will be online soon. More »

For most users, Firefox doesn’t use an abnormally large amount of memory. For others, however, Firefox’s memory consumption is a major problem. Typical Firefox memory usage reported by Windows is around 50-100 MB, with virtual memory usage at 100-150 MB. These numbers will vary because Firefox is configured by default to use more memory on systems that have more memory available and less on systems with less.

1. System Extensions

WindowBlinds can dramatically increase memory use. To continue using WindowBlinds and Firefox without memory issues, add Firefox to WindowBlind’s exclusion list.

2. Download History

Firefox can slow down or hang if the download history is allowed to accumulate. Clear the download history (you may need to exit Firefox and delete the file “downloads.rdf” from the profile folder in some cases) and change this setting to solve the problem: More »

Windows Memory Diagnostic is a free utility available for download from Microsoft designed to sniff out flaws in a machine’s RAM modules. The fact is that the source of the now ubiquitous blue screen is not always Windows, or any piece of code for that matter. The fault could just as well reside in system memory, and this is where Windows Memory Diagnostic comes in. The tool is capable of evaluating the RAM on a computer and identifying any error.

“Windows Memory Diagnostic supports x86-based computers with the following microprocessors: Intel – Pentium or Celeron families; AMD – K6, Athlon, or Duron families; and microprocessors compatible with those listed above. You can test all types of RAM that run on x86-based computers with the supported microprocessors,” reveals Microsoft’s description of the tool.

Both Windows Vista and Windows XP users will be able to create bootable media (either a floppy or a CD) which can be used in its turn in order to boot the computer. Windows Vista already features the tool integrated as a default component under Administrative Tools, or accessible via the Repair option in the operating system’s installation media. More »