2bit Software
QuickBits Manual (for version 1.1)
Copyright © 2000 2bit Software, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Speed Chart

QuickBits is a performance enhancement utility for Palm, Handspring, IBM, Sony and other PalmOS compatible handheld computers. QuickBits optimizes several common operations to improve their performance by as much as 8 times the original speed. Applications which rely heavily on these operations (text drawing, memory read/write, memory filling, form popup/hide, form draw) gain a significant speed boost. All this translates into a snappier, more responsive Palm user interface.

QuickBits is NOT an overclocking utility. It does not alter the speed of your handheld's CPU and avoids the complications which can result from doing so. However, QuickBits is fully compatible and complementary with overclocking utilities. Use QuickBits on top of your favorite overclocking utility for the ultimate in PalmOS performance!

QuickBits incorporates a benchmarking facility which graphically illustrates the speed of your handheld with and without acceleration. Your handheld's performance is ranked on several charts against baseline measurements of other common PalmOS compatible handhelds. QuickBits reports a QuickBits Index (QBI) number which represents the collective speed, on your handheld, of the operations QuickBits accelerates. Higher QBIs indicate higher performance.

QuickBits requires a PalmOS 3.0 or greater compatible handheld. QuickBits is NOT compatible with Sony CLIÉ N series (e.g., 700, 710, 760, 770, 600, 610), T series (e.g., 415) or HandEra 330 handhelds.


A trial version, complete with all the features of the full version, is available for free download. It expires after 30 days. You may purchase the full version for a mere $14.95 via the 2bit Software web site at www.2bitSoftware.com. Our site provides links to secure order forms and immediate download of the full registered version upon purchase.


How To Install

Before installing QuickBits you should read the included End User License Agreement (EULA.txt). Then, if you agree to the license, install QuickBits as you would any other Palm application. Double-click on QuickBitsTrial.prc or QuickBitsReg.prc (depending on whether you have the trial or purchased version), either from within WinZip or other .zip utility, or after extracting the files from QuickBitsTrial.zip or QuickBitsReg.zip to a hard disk directory. After you hotsync QuickBits will be installed on your Palm, ready to run.

How To Uninstall

Uninstall QuickBits the same way as any other Palm application. Select "Delete..." from the application launcher menu, then pick QuickBits from the list..

First Run

The first time you run QuickBits it will perform some speed tests on your handheld to determine the best ways to speed it up. When it asks you, tap "Run Speed Tests" and watch them run. They'll only take about a minute to complete. Afterwards press the "Enable QuickBits" button and the appropriate speedups for your handheld will be turned on. You can turn them off at any time by tapping the "Change" button at the upper-right of the QuickBits screen.

Main Screen

The main screen is divided into two sections. The top section shows you QuickBit's status (on or off) and has a button for changing the status. It also displays the QuickBits Index (QBI) calculated for your handheld during the speed tests and has a button for rerunning the speed tests, including recalculating the QBI.

The bottom section displays the results of the speed tests charted against results measured on other PalmOS compatible handhelds. At the top of the chart is the name of the speed test. The rows of the chart show results measured on various handheld models, including your own. Your handheld is measured twice, once with speedups on and once with speedups off. The rows that represent your handheld are highlighted. Monochrome handhelds highlight by displaying the results in a bold font. Color devices highlight by showing the unaccelerated results in blue and the accelerated results in orange. The rows of the chart are sorted from fastest (top) to slowest.

Each row of the chart provides three pieces of information: the model of the handheld measured, the absolute speed measured (in timing-specific units), and a multiplier indicating how much faster/slower that model is than your handheld's baseline (unaccelerated) speed. Overlaid on this information is a bar which graphs the handheld's speed relative to the fastest handheld.

The timing-specific units are: QBI (QuickBits Index), CPS (Characters Per Second), /sec (iterations per second), and MB/sec (MegaBytes per second). "N/A" is displayed for models which don't have the capability to run the test. For example, monochrome devices can't run the "Colored Text" test.

You can cycle through all the test results by tapping the left and right arrows at the upper-right of the timing results section. The page up and page down buttons can also be used to cycle through the results.

The measurements reported for other handhelds were acquired on stock, unmodified models. Changes you may have made to your own handheld (e.g., system settings, installed applications) may impact your performance, and thus the numbers QuickBits reports for "Yours" may be different from those it reports for the stock model.

Rerunning Speed Tests

If you make any settings changes or install an overclocking utility and are curious about how these changes affect your handheld's speed you'll want to rerun the speed tests. Tap the "Run Tests" button. After the tests finish the new results are displayed, along with an updated QuickBits Index number.

Changing Settings

QuickBits allows you to enable or disable individual performance optimizations if you like. Normally there is no reason to do this. You'll want to leave on all the optimizations to achieve maximum performance. However, in the unlikely event of one of the optimizations interfering with another application, perhaps a Hack or some other system patch that affects the same operation, you can disable the optimization by tapping "Change..." and unchecking it. Afterwards you can rerun the benchmarks to see how your handheld's performance is impacted.


TIP: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics Benchmarks
As with any benchmarking program, the numbers returned by QuickBits can be misleading if you don't understand what is being measuring and how to interpret the results. The first thing to understand is that QuickBits does not speed up every operation of your handheld equally. For example, text drawing on some devices is over 6 times faster! On the other hand, database operations may be only 1.1 times faster. The amount of performance improvement bestowed on a given application is completely dependent on the mix of operations performed by that application. On top of this is the issue of one's perception of performance. Different people have different sensitivities to application speed. One person will say a given application is unresponsive while another says it is just fine. Some people can perceive a speed improvement of 10% while others won't notice the difference until it reaches 50% or more.

So, what does QuickBits measure? QuickBits quantitatively measures each speedup it implements as well as an important case the various speedups contribute to (Form Draw), then rolls up the results of tests which are common across devices into a single number called the QuickBits Index. Curious people can use these numbers to see how much these areas of their device's performance are improved by QuickBits, how these operations on their device compare to the same operations on other devices, and how other applications (e.g., Chrome, overclockers) impact the performance of the measured aspects of their device.

The qualitative measurement, how much performance improvement you perceive in the Palm applications you use, can't be measured by QuickBits. Some applications will be hugely improved by QuickBits (e.g., those that spend a lot of their time drawing text) but for others the improvement will be negligible. Some you will consider "plenty fast" already. This is why we provide a trial version. The bottom line is: after installing QuickBits, if you can feel improved performance in the day-to-day use of your Palm then buy it! Otherwise, save your money!

Q: Why are the baseline test result values for my handheld as shown by "Yours" different than those reported for the same model in the chart?
A: Due to the nature of the timers being used there will be slight variations from run to run and from device to device. However, large variations indicate something is impacting the performance of your device. Overclocking will cause large variations and some Hacks or applications which patch the OS can also impact baseline (and accelerated) performance.

Q: <insert PalmOS compatible device name here> isn't displayed on the speed test results chart!
A: There are two reasons for this. First, there isn't room to list every PalmOS compatible device. Second, we don't have access to all devices to acquire baseline measurements. So we decided to list the most popular (best selling) devices for comparison purposes. If you're curious about other devices, please come to our web site where we maintain a more comprehensive, up-to-date chart.

Q: My Palm IIIc reports significantly lower unaccelerated numbers than the baseline Palm IIIc (e.g., Typical Text score of 843 CPS vs. 1306 CPS)? What's up?
A: If you are running a utility like Chrome which alters the default foreground and background colors of text it slows your device down. This is because the PalmOS is slower at drawing colored text than black and white text. With QuickBits enabled, this penalty for colored text goes away. QuickBits draws colored text just as fast as it draws black and white, 5.8 times faster than PalmOS.

Q: How fast is <insert device name here> with QuickBits installed?
A: Our online speed chart includes accelerated timing of various PalmOS compatible devices. Check it out.

Q: How does QuickBits work?
A: Trade secret!


If you have questions about QuickBits please check our latest updated FAQ online at www.2bitSoftware.com/QuickBits/FAQ.htm. If the answer isn't there please email your question to quickbits@2bitSoftware.com.