Archive for April, 2012

VM Heap Size

VM Heap Size

The heap is an area of dynamic memory allocated to programs. With a larger heap size, there is more memory for the program and the garbage collector can run more efficiently. Therefore, it is possible to get better performance by setting a larger VM heap size.

However, if you set it too high, you can run out of free memory which can trigger swapping which will degrade performance. Therefore the VM setting is a trade-off.

The optimal value will depend on the RAM on the device as well as the programs and usage patterns, therefore the optimal setting can often only be determined by the user experimentally.

Default value: varies between devices, but according to VM Heap Tool version 2.4.1 which I’ve just downloaded and installed from Google Play, the default for my 8GB Momo9 is 48MB.  This app will let me change the value from between 12MB to 64MB for my tablet and it is compatible with eyeoncomputer’s build.   For now, i won’t be changing the value as it seems optimized already, but if you are running some real memory intensive apps, you might want to try increasing the heap size a bit more.


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I did finally receive my Ployer Momo9 on 4/5 (15 days shipping from China, but it was free 🙂 ) and following my instructions shown in the first post, I was done about 20 minutes later without any issues!!   I tweaked the Upgrade Instructions further based on my installation experience.

I’ve since installed a whole lot of apps, and even though I inserted the command “adb shell pm setInstallLocation 2″ into the version 4 super script as an experiment, only 2 apps actually installed onto the “SD card” on their own (which in fact is the unreserved internal flash memory over 2GB, not the external SD card as one might think), so that needs to be investigated further.

Anyone wanting to free up internal memory by moving all of their apps out of the 2GB OS partition should install Gemini App Manager, as this great program does it, even those apps that won’t natively allow themselves to be moved.  I had no problem paying $3.99 to Seasmind for the ad-free, enhanced version!!   It even has a batch mode, so that you don’t have to click on each program and select the Move to SD card option individually.  The only program I couldn’t move was Gemini App Manager itself.  I’ve read elsewhere that apps that integrate with the Android OS and that often run in the background are better left in internal storage, while games and most other applications will have no problem chilling outside on your SD.   Also, homescreen widgets should remain installed in the OS partition as well, or they won’t work (I had uninstalled a widget because it didn’t work right, and now I know the reason why).

Skype and Netflix work fine for me – in fact the only thing that hasn’t worked with my rebuilt tablet was the aforementioned widget, which I’ll perhaps reinstall (if I can remember what it was).

Sleeve Case for Momo9 series tablets

I purchased a Case Logic case that works perfectly for this tablet and would recommend it.  Many cases advertised for 7″ tablets are too small as they are designed for e-readers like the Kindle without accommodating other sizes.  It is also well padded at the edges where the most protection is desired should you drop it.


For anyone using HomeSeer for Home Automation as I am,  I highly recommend installing DroidSeer on your tablet as a “remote control” for HomeSeer device and event commands.    I don’t think some of the reviewers realize how powerful this little program is.   I’ve modified the interface file to fix some issues I’ve encountered (and the author acknowledges perhaps not realizing that a fix was easily solved).   The Version 2 manual states:

Status only devices

This type of device allows you display the current status text of a device. So for example you could have a device which is set with the temperature of a thermostat.   The limitation with this type of device is that it can only display alpha numeric text.  Some plugins within HomeSeer can set the device status as a HTML page (Maybe an image of a thermometer and then the temperature). If DroidSeer detects this type of status it will just display “Invalid Status”. You can get around this within HomeSeer by using scripting to strip out the html code and just leave temperature.

Rather than changing the way Homeseer displays device strings, simply download my modified  aspx file that you manually install in the html folder of your HomeSeer server (use my file instead of the supplied android.htm file), so that instead of rejecting device strings that contain html or image tags, it simply removes them from the string for Droidseer displays.   Also it replaces the “&” character with the word “and”, since I discovered that the program crashes when it encounters that character in a device string.

Titanium Backup

Prepping for re-flashing the ROM (firmware) someday, I’ve loaded Titanium Backup Pro to backup all of my apps and, more importantly, the app data.   The free version of Titanium Backup may work ok if you have a few apps, but again I choose to purchase the Pro key (pay for the app), since among other enhancements, it allows batch restores without hitting OK after every app.

Also, since the LiveSuite program will erase all data in /mnt/sdcard which is the default backup location for Titanium Backup, I purchased a microSD card (which will remain inserted) and changed the backup location to mnt/extsd.   Other Preference Settings:

  • Set Auto-sync TB settings
  • Enable Dropbox
  • Normal apps (apk)
  • Protected apps (apk)
  • System apps (apk)  no (Backup/restore of System apps isn’t recommended)

Another advantage, for example, if you’ve beaten 20 levels in Angry Birds and don’t feel like starting from the beginning again after you re-flash the ROM (since it formats all of your data), the game will be restored with the 20 levels intact.

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