I installed Charity Engine on my netbook a while back and ran it a few times. Gradually I realised that it took quite a bit off the performance of my machine, so I scaled back the memory it could consume; then I eventually asked it to not run at startup.
Flash forward a few weeks and I started noticing a significant drop in the comp's performance. After running task manager and the resource monitor, I eventually discovered that Charity Engine had continued to assign tasks, seemingly without my permission, that were causing a severe shortage of RAM (it left me with <1% free). I really felt I had no other option but to remove all traces of the program from my computer in case it continued to do this.
Not sure if this experience has been shared by anyone else. It's really disappointing, because I absolutely fell in love with the idea behind it, but I can't risk that again -- it ended up being a pseudo-virus.
Sorry to hear about your trouble. Netbooks are a not very suitable for volunteer computing, as they're a bit underpowered compared to normal laptops or PCs. Not much spare capacity, as you've noticed.
How long ago was the RAM problem? One of the humanitarian apps we donate computing to (Rosetta) did have a RAM issue a few months back, but we fixed that.
About a month ago I would say. The tasks being assigned were from all different sources as far as I can recall. I did think that the netbook wasn't the ideal computer type to run this, but I thought that I would try it out -- wasn't expecting the result to be this! Thank you for responding so quickly though.
It is odd that Charity Engine or a project would ignore the preferences set. To assist us in looking further into this behavior I would be interested in finding out more about which preferences you changed to limit the RAM use and what the operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux) you are running on your Netbook. Also what is the model number and brand of the netbook? We want to see if we can reproduce this behavior to find out its cause.
You can submit this information privately to us via our Contact Us form.
P.S. While Netbooks may not have the computing powerhouse under the hood some applications run just as well on a Netbook as a Desktop... these would be lower computing projects such as web crawling, sensor monitoring, and etc.