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[Up] [Optimization Tips] [Using With MySQL and Other Database Engines] [Screenshots]

Optimizing the Musatcha.com Advanced WiFi Mapping Engine

While the WiFi Mapper was designed to run as fast as possible, even on older machines, often it is desirable to speed things up even more.  Here's a few tips to do so.

Get Smaller Maps

The WiFi Mapper was designed on purpose to be extremely responsive once a map has been loaded, for use on the road.  However as a consequence, the entire map is loaded into memory.  If you try and load a 2000x2000 pixel map and zoom in 8 times, you would be using several gigs of memory.  If you find that the maps aren't zoomed in enough, you might try getting maps that cover a smaller area and are of higher resolution.  The easiest way to do this is download TerraServer maps by clicking the 'Get Maps' button on the map pack manager tab.  Other ideas suggested have been splitting WiGLE.net map packs into smaller pieces.  This however currently has to be done manually.

Disable the Magnifier

If you run the program on something as slow as a 166MHz box, you might disable the magnifier to speed things up a bit.  Just click view, and uncheck the magnifier.

Disable Mouseover Network Info Popups

Everytime you stop moving your mouse for 50ms, the program does a database query for networks underneath your cursor.  This can be costly in CPU/Disk resources.  To disable this popup, uncheck 'AP Info Popup' under the 'View' menu.

Disable OUI Statistics

While the OUI stats don't use too much CPU or RAM, you can save a little by deleting oui.txt in the directory in which you installed the program.

Disable Nice-Looking Graphics

On the 'General' tab of the options panel, uncheck Anti-Aliasing.  You can also disable interpolation, or change it to a less nicer method.  This will make things look like crap, but should speed up plotting considerably.

Change the Update Speed

While plotting and calculating statistics, the WiFi Mapper "wakes up" every 500ms to update the status bar and what not.  The time it takes to update and redraw the screen is extremely minimal, but if you want to save load time by a second or 2, crank up the update time.  To do this, you need to edit this key in the registry:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Musatcha.com\WiFiMapping\optStatusUpdateFrequency

Use a Different Database

The WiFi Mapping Engine is capable of using any SQL98 compliant ODBC data source.  A copy of the schema can be found in the folder in which you installed the program.  There is a tutorial on how to do this.

Optimize Your Database

(I'm writing a function to do this, but it's not written yet)

Enable DB Transactions

DB transactions are enabled by default, and as far as I know only work with the SQLite3 db that the program comes with, but make sure you don't disable this unless you are changing DB types.

Disable Speech Input/Output

Speech doesn't bog down computers very much unless they are extremely old.  (<200MHz)  However if every bit helps, you may want to disable this by unchecking them on the 'Options' menu.

 

Drop me an e-mail if you have other ideas.

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Musatcha is pronounced moo-SA-cha.  I have no idea where it originated.
Copyright 1998-2005, Brad Isbell [www.musatcha.com]