Analysis of problem.
The Adobe Type Manager software, along with the fonts I required,
occupied a space of roughly 500 Kbytes. I needed this to be accessible
at all times when it was in use, as Windows has no suitable facility for
finding missing files, and tends to crash when it encounters such
I could think of three approaches to the problem. All three involved an
entire drive being dedicated to the software. They were:
- Stacker drive.
One possible solution was to have as Stacker drive on the network. This
would appear as a single compressed file unless mounted using the
Stacker software, and would not be immediately recognisable as
containing a piece of software.
This was not a suitable solution. Such a volume would have exceeded my
data space limitation, and would not have gone unnoticed by the network
managers. Also, the Stacker program comes in the form of a device
driver, which must usually be loaded at boot time.
- Floppy drive.
My first idea was to put the program onto a floppy disc. This worked,
but it meant that I could not easily use the floppy drive for anything
else. If I wanted to access any other floppy disc, I had to be very
careful when I swapped discs, and it was safest to exit Windows to do
so, which was time-consuming and irritating. Because I often worked on
files at home, at work and at College, keeping them on a floppy disc all
the time, I needed to access floppy discs a lot. This solution was not
very suitable, and I only ran ATM when I really needed it, because of
the problems it caused.
- RAM drive.
This seemed like by far the best solution. The workstations I was using
were all equipped with 4Mb RAM, so installing a 500Kb RAM drive would
cause no memory problems. The software could be copied onto the RAM
drive once when the machine was set up, and would remain in place until
I logged off.
The main problem with this solution was again that the RAM drive
software was in the form of a device driver which needed to be loaded at
boot time. This is not easy to achieve on a workstation which does a
remote boot from a server over the Ethernet network.
Devload Project Writeup - David Woodhouse