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13/03/2013

Use ThunderZap kernel to boost your Micromax A110 Canvas 2

Have you been following Micromax Canvas 2's development saga? If yes, you would have heard about (or even tried out) Varun.chitre15's ThunderZap kernel. The kernel brings all those features that any advanced Android user would want to have in his device for a more seamless and smoother experience. This post will help you understand (and enable) all those features which, collectively, can boost the performance of your device significantly. In this article, I shall first introduce the features and then guide you about the process to enable it.

FSync Control:

FSync, an acronym for file sync, is a process which sync some data files with your device and helps a bit towards prevention of data loss. I found a nice explanation of this on the web (don't know the original source):
FSync Control which can be used to disable the fsync system calls for single files and filesystems (echo 0 > /sys/class/misc /fsynccontrol/fsync_enabled). These fsync syscalls are used by kernel modules and user space programs to flush an I/O buffer (which is in RAM) to disk to make sure that this data is actually safely stored on the disk before executing the next step. Disabling fsync can result in data loss on a crash/freeze since the data is still in the I/O buffer and has not been saved to disk as it should be and can also lead to problems due to race conditions if two or more processes access the same file. On the other hand disabling fsync reduces the number of I/O operations which potentially could reduce the battery drain and also improve I/O performance.
As the explanation above says, disabling this might lead to data loss in case of a sudden reboot, or freeze, or when you just pull out battery from your running phone. The data lost isn't the one present in sd card, but the data present in buffer, i.e. OS being accessed/written by currently used apps. Disabling the fsync results into reduction of load on cpu, while (the catch is) taking a small risk of data loss.

How to disable FSync to boost performance on Micromax A110:

  1. Open terminal emulator on your phone and give the command: su
  2. Finally give the command: echo 1 > /sys/class/ misc /fsynccontrol/fsync_enabled

Overclocking upto 1.4 GHz

Well, I'm not going to explain what clocking speed of a cpu means, but it is common sense that a cpu which clocks at maximum speed of 1 GHz will perform better when overclocked to speeds of 1.4 GHz. Though it is to be kept in mind that the company has locked the CPU at 1 GHz keeping in mind the stability factor, and (the catch is) that running the cpu for prolonged times at overclocked speeds can degrade your cpu.

How to overclock Micromax A110:

Install SetCpu, NoFrills cpu control or any other cpu management app you like. In the maximum frequency box, set the option to 1.4 GHz. Note: It is recommends to overclock the cpu only when you REALLY need power, like in gaming, or hd playback, otherwise the 1 GHz processor is efficient enough (and safer) for general use.

Swap support (Increase RAM virtually):

By making a swap partition on your sd card, if the kernel supports swap, then Android can use that partition to virtually increase the RAM. Though this can't replace or match the hardware RAM due to difference in speeds, it can be quite handy to have some extra megabytes of ram to keep lags away while doing heavy multitasking. Like both features stated above, the catch here is that swap partition causes a lot of reading and writing operations and thus can degrade your sd card's life. Don't worry, the degradation process takes place over time.

How to make use of swap support to increase Micromax A110's RAM:

  1. Install swapper from Google Play.
  2. Set a swap size of the amount of ram you want to increase.
  3. A .swp file of the specified size will be created.
  4. Give the command "free" (without quotes) in terminal emulator to check if swap is active.
That's all for now, I shall talk about some other features of ThunderZap later. Till then, share this story with your friends to help them get the max out of their phone, or just to show them what you've been cooking on your Canvas 2.
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