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7. Performance

With the standard version of the 2.0.x kernels you get the 0.26 version of the ppa.c program. This is a very reliable simple program. It has gotten a lot of use and abuse and held up rather well. The only bad thing about this program is that it's not very fast. On my machine I have version 2.0.30 kernel, and 2 parallel ports. This is also a low-buck machine pentium 133 - 16 meg memory, 5 gig maxtor eide hard drive. The machine cost me 500. U.S. Dollars and the drive was 250. I am cheap but so what.

I had the ZIP drive on the second port and the printer on the first port. The second port was an old add in card, no epp mode. This made the driver run in 4 bit mode.

To base line the performance I copied the netscape tar file from the hard drive to the zip drive. This file is about 10.6 meg. Time 7 minutes 15 seconds. Going from the zip drive to the hard drive was about 7 minutes even. Not exactly setting the world on fire.

I then made 2 changes. First I switched the ZIP drive to the first port and went into the bios and set EPP mode on for the first port. At the same time I hooked up the printer to the 2nd port.

Second change I went out and downloaded the new version of the program from David Campbells page Then I installed this program. Check out the readme file that is included.

Then I ran the same test again of copying the Netscape tar file to and from the ZiP drive. The copy to the C drive was 1:55 seconds. From the hard drive to the Zip drive was 1 minute flat. This compares to 7:15 and 7:00 with the old program. This was a big improvement over the 0.26 program. This was also using the zip drive as a vfat file type.

Next I formated a zip drive in ext2 format. Ran the same test again. The copy going to the hard drive was only 50 seconds. The copy from the hard drive to the Zip drive was only 40 seconds.

Performance Summary

For this test case of moving a 10.6 meg file, the 4 bit standard port mode and program version 0.26 is the slowest 7:00 and 7:15

The new program (1.41) and EPP mode with ext2 file types is the fastest at 50 seconds and 40 seconds.

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