Remembering DiskDoubler and RAM Doubler

Years and years ago, when hard drives were expensive and small, there was an app called DiskDoubler. It would sit in the background and compress/decompress your files on the fly so you could squeeze as much information as you could on the drive. Most files were relatively much smaller back then, so it did not bog down the computer that much.

There was also another app called RamDoubler that compressed the contents of the memory spontaneously so it would look as though you had twice the memory.

Times certainly have changed.


Blasts from the past! But in my case, bad memories from the past. In addition to DD and RD, we also had StuffIt. They all were more than occasionally problematic, especially when you most needed them to work properly. It seems like almost forever since running into emergencies when a much needed font or archived document wouldn’t decompress. Keeping track of what compressed files were on what removable floppies or Zip disks was problematic as well. And sitting around waiting for a huge file to decompress was no fun either.

My recollection is that RAM Doubler included some sort of virtual memory as well as compression. Then there was software called something like RAM Disk (maybe part of System 7?) that created virtual disk space in RAM so that the contents could be accessed rapidly. In any event, whatever the names, I recall someone on usenet bragging (tongue in cheek) that he (or she) would run the VM software to get lots of RAM and then use some it to run RAM Disk software to get high speed disk access, and the computer would go like greased lightning.

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I never bothered with these. The “jury came back” on them rather quickly: Too kludgy.

I simply went the “real” route and upgraded what was needed. …not cheap at the time for a family man with three, young kids. We’ve come a long way, baybee!

Yes, RAM Doubler was magical. I mentioned it a while back and remember it fondly.

Yes, I remember RAM Doubler fondly also. So, now my son and I are nostalgic for the same good times?..

Chris Engst


I don’t remember them being kludgy at all – they were just system extensions you installed and forgot about. You instantly got more RAM and disk space – they were awesome!

In a way, such a thing still exists today as MacOS automatically compresses used memory that’s been inactive for a while.


Darn right! And we like old tractors that you can fix yourself too, none of this John Deere nonsense.

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Independent of this thread, I started down memory lane when I found a list of software I had purchased. I found the Internet Starter Kit by some guy named Adam Engst, as well as Ram Doubler and Ram Doubler 2.0, and many other titles. Most of them I vaguely recall, but what was HAM?

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Took me a minute to pull that one out… HAM stood for Hierarchical Apple Menu and was published by Microseeds. Apple added the feature to System 7.5.

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Going on with nostalgia, I did buy - from a small store at UCB (I believe) in 1987 - Servant by Andy Hertzfeld It was packed with a (clearly home made) booklet explaining its usage (see it here: It was love at first sight. It was never released (see the story here:, but its interface was waaay superior to MultiFinder.

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Memory lane, eh? So who else played Airborne! back in the day? Heck that thing is so old I could barely even find a screenshot. :laughing:

I remember another similar INIT called BeHierarchical which was very similar.

If I remember correctly, you could put any arbitrary Finder object on the Apple menu and it would expand hierarchically down the directory tree. For a while, I would put the internal hard drive’s root directory there, allowing Apple menu access to every file on the computer. Back when hard drives were small (typically 30-40 MB), this was a pretty useful capability.

The oldest Mac game I remember was StuntCopter. I first saw it on a demonstrator Mac at Macy’s department store (at the time, they sold the full line of Apple equipment).

I still have a copy and it runs fine on any Mac/emulator capable of running the Classic Mac OS, but (like many games from that era) it is silent on anything running System 7 and later because Apple removed the original sound manager APIs in 7.

Which is why I always kept the ability to boot System 6.0.8 (whether in an emulator or on my old Mac SE) - so I can play these ancient games with sound.

Stuntcopter! in some form still lives on for Mac OS X

Several versions of StuntCopter are playable at, in all the mac classic goodness:

The Duane Blehm Collection : Duane Blehm : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

TidBits - First 100 Issues in Hypercard format is there too:

TidBITS - First 100 issues in HyperCard format : Adam and Tonya Engst : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

I still miss Alice (Through the Looking Glass) by Steve Capps.

From later, Gofer was a wonderful search utility desk accessory that I’d love to find a replacement for. It had a full suite of search terms, so you could search for something like “(pink or white) within ten words before elephant and at least two sentences after sale”, or “exact phrase” in the same paragraph as “fuzzy phrase”. Devonthink has a couple of these terms, but not nearly as rich as Gofer. The Gopher results display was also wonderful; it was easy to skip through from hit to hit across multiple files until you found the one you wanted, a little like bbedit today but better, and much easier than Devonthink.

Does anyone remember the Mouse Hole BBS? I managed to get some department funding to pay the long distance charges because enough faculty wanted to know more more more well before the educational price was available (in Oct 1984) and it was cheaper to pay once than multiple times for the same stuff. (Educational discounts meant something back then: 50% off.)

I’m glad you said this! Last weekend I came upon a receipt for Dunce. (Dunce Gold, I believe)

I had to look it up, it had something to do with online access. Did it by chance hold onto all the BBS numbers dialed in those days so you didn’t have to enter them?

I cleaned out my old office closet a year ago and there was a treasure trove of manuals and books in there. They are all in the attic for now, until I have more time to go through and organize them.


I found FinderPop from Turly over in Ireland (?) to be my most used one back in those days. Gave you a contextual popup menu that you could populate with whatever you wanted from apps to documents to folders with formatting, lines in between items and the like. Once I discovered it my days of opening folders by double clicking on them like an animal were pretty much over.

There was even a DiskDoubler Nubus card that was supposed to improve performance. I never noticed a difference.

Thanks, Adam. Did you remember that or did you a have source for strange information?

I thought I had played it, but the screenshot was unfamiliar. Maybe I just wished I had it.