The FarSightNet Client can be run on systems with as little as 128 M-Bytes of RAM, and with any Pentium-level processors. However, performance with large documents will be greatly enhanced by additional RAM, and 512 M-Bytes is recommended as a minimum for most users. With Microsoft Vista, the minimum RAM required for the operating system at each version level should be regarded as adequate for FarSightNet in all but the most extreme cases.

To provide the nearly instant response needed for effective "live" collaboration, the FarSightNet Client attempts to store images of its documents in RAM. If RAM is limited, overflow will be automatically stored on disk, but the access to the overflow data will be slow. Thus, for example, if a ten page document is loaded, it is possible that only the first five pages will be stored in RAM. As you call up successive pages, there will be noticeable delays after the first five pages as data is called up from disk. This may be tolerable if all participants are aware of what is happening.

Special Cases: However, for users needing to display large-format documents, such as architectural plans, memory should be increased to allow for the full document to be in memory at once. Otherwise, even a simple scrolling of a page may induce annoying pauses in the system's response. Likewise, for very long documents, additional memory may be required.

To estimate the RAM required for a given document, begin with the RAM required for the operating system and add about 4 M-bytes per page for letter-size document pages. To scale up appropriately for larger formats, note that the display of an image requires 4 bytes per pixel, even if the source image is in a compressed format such as JPEG (it is decompressed for display to minimize delays in scrolling). As an example, the Windows XP operating system, with current updates, will require about 512 M-bytes to run without swapping. This should provide enough RAM for up to 10-page documents, without undue delays. If you anticipate loading substantially more than 10 page documents, an additional 40 M-bytes would be required, per 10 additional pages, to avoid delays in moving about the document. Since RAM memory is currently sold in increments of 256 M-bytes or more, the addition of one 256 M-byte module would be recommended.

If in doubt, try loading a document even if you suspect that you do not have sufficient RAM. The document will load fully, utilizing as much swap space as required, and you can quickly determine if you have enough RAM by paging through the document. If there are significant pauses between the display of successive pages, it is likely that more RAM would help.

Required disk space is minimal, and depends on the number and size of documents that need to be saved locally. The application and its folder structure occupies less than 5 M-Bytes on disk.