A new, small application is now available from RISC OS Developments (ROD) that sets up the system so that the Iris web browser can be run from your RAM disc.
IrisRAM runs when the computer is booting, opening a splash window so you know what’s going on, and copies the browser application to the RAM disc, updates the icon bar ‘Apps’ so it knows where Iris is to be launched from, and so on.
The browser is a fairly sizeable application, so on some systems – particularly those where the primary storage system (or the IO to access it) is slower – running it from the RAM disc should be faster, even allowing for this approach of ‘front-loading’ the delay; shifting much of the load time from when the browser is actually launched to the machine’s start up.
In that context, it’s worth remembering how much more quickly RISC OS generally boots than other systems thanks largely to the small size of the operating system – so what may seem like a longer boot time to us will still be pretty good overall, and if it makes the browsing experience itself snappier, that’s got to be a win.
The test system used by ROD was a Raspberry Pi with an SSD for storage, accessed via USB, and on that machine the initial process of copying Iris took around five seconds, which was more than recouped by the time it took to launch it to the point at which its icon appeared, coupled with the improved page-to-page responsiveness.
IrisRAM is supplied free of charge to everyone who has supported ROD and is an Iris user – as such, it’s not on ‘general release’ and is only available to those people; if you have and use Iris, you should find the new application in the download location you have for the browser itself.