Using Flash Drive as RAM

Hello all, here is my dilemma. I need more RAM, but my laptop (Dell Inspiron 1501) is already equipped with the maximum amount of memory the motherboard can handle (2GB). So, my options are basically get a new laptop (i can find a suitable replacement for what I need [MATLAB, Mathcad, MS Office, and EXTREMELY light gaming-Torchlight] for about $500 with a nice long warranty), or see if i can use a flash drive as more RAM as I have several flash drives.

My real question is this: Will my motherboard recognize and use the flash drive as cache memory, thus allowing me to speed up my system a bit; or will it not recognize it as usable since the max RAM is 2GB and that is what I have installed?

As far as i have noticed, it is not showing any more memory when i enable the speedboost, and I have actually not really run MATLAB, Mathcad, and MS Office simultaneously as I will need to be able to do (I have yet to purchase MATLAB and Mathcad). I also know that using the flash drive is not a long-term solution, just hoping to hold me over until I can afford a better than the $500 one would be nice.

Many thanks for your time!
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  1. If your Lappy had Vista or Windows 7, then Windows would use a (fast enough) thumb drive like it would a memory cache simply by plugging the thing in.

    Unfortunately, the documentation I see at Dell indicates this model of laptop is shipped with XP, which can not handle Flash in this manner.
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