Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cleaning up Firefox

After looking at a recent speed test and various browser comparisons from lifehacker I decided one thing had to be done, to slim down firefox. I looked at the various tests and I was astounded to see that Firefox still wins for memory usage. I jump over to activity monitor and look at my current firefox usage with two tabs open and it was in the 200+ MB range. What's with this discrepancy I wondered. Why is my firefox using so much memory and why is it so slow? Thus the task to slim down my Firefox profile started.

First of all I deleted most of my history except for the most recent 7 days or so of my history, as firefox couldn't do that automatically as I mentioned in a previous post. I also tried this tip from a lifehacker to vacuum the firefox database http://lifehacker.com/5344418/make-firefox-faster-by-vacuuming-your-database just in case it actually did do something. Then I went over to my vast library of bookmarks, and I right clicked on the descriptions and selected visit count. I went through all my folders and realized that for most of my bookmarks I rarely visited, if at all as most of the counts were 0.

Now I would say that I'm the kind of person who likes keeping everything, and this is also evident for bookmarks. I googled hoping to find some bookmark archivers. I stumbled across this one but it looked like that development on it had stopped and I stopped to think. How can I archive all the bookmarks that I don't use, so that it'll speed up searching from the awesome bar? In the end I made an entirely new firefox profiles (one of the advantages of using firefox in my opinion) and exported all my bookmarks as html and deleted all the bookmarks that I didn't use. I then went over to the newly created profile (by the way just a small note you can actually open two instances of firefox at once with different profiles, which I did) and I imported the bookmarks into the new profile's bookmark manager. And now, on my slimmed down firefox, I have the relevant bookmarks and I must say that performance got a lot better.

Just a small note, redoing your profile is also a good way to boost performance on firefox. About a year ago I moved all my saved passwords and bookmarks over to a new profile on firefox and I was very, very happy with the speed boost.

Though looking at that lifehacker article again about browser comparisons I was quite surprised to see that opera actually bested google in javascript. I must say, if opera could do this, then so can mozilla developers with their development of the gecko rendering engine. Go Firefox! Though I am also interested to see what sorts of new features google chrome for mac beta is going to have.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Firefox 3.6 is Out!

http://www.macworld.com/article/145825/2010/01/firefox36.html?lsrc=rss_main Hurrah, so Firefox 3.6 is out, and even when I was trying the beta and RC in the later stages it was pretty stable. Fast too. I find that it does load a bit faster, and the pages do load noticeably faster.

Though, in spite of these changes I've been waiting for a number of features for a while. I'm just going to go ahead and list them.

1. Safari had this for a while, it would be nice if you could get a "new window" option when you right click the firefox icon on the dock. I really don't like it when I have to click on the icon to open my minimized window, reminimize it and then click command N to open up a new window. Very inefficient.

2. Initially I used master password, but in firefox it's just too much of an hassle. Also, I liked to quit with many windows open so when I reopen firefox I had to enter the master password for EVERY WINDOW. Entering it in once would suffice, would it not? Also, I wish that there could be an option to just ask for the master password when you click the show passwords icon, because at least for me I just don't like other people peeking at my passwords.

3. I was a bit perplexed at this when I first saw this, but in the privacy settings the history settings are as such, to keep history for "at least X days." I was baffled as it's illogical and was wondering why it shouldn't be "for at most X days" because keeping history for at least, for example, one day doesn't make any sense at all.

4. Keychain integration (I bet a lot of mac users have been waiting for this)

5. Now this is just a small issue, but it would be nice if we could toggle favicons on and off (I don't want to install stylish just to get favicons on the mac).

And then there's the whole list of features people want, such as lower memory usage, faster launch, etc. on mac. Though I've been playing with chrome on windows and that program loads very fast, faster than safari on the mac at least (and obviously firefox).

In the end, just a small list of things I hope to see in Firefox 3.7 :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ah How I Hate the Finder in 10.6

I would say that I'm a person of organization, and that applies to the finder immensely. I like having all my finder windows the same size, with the same icon size and tile size. But I never really liked the finder, and that aspect has been even a bigger problem in the "new and improved" snow leopard "revamped" finder. First of all, you can't even make the view default. Ok, I know that it "says" it's default when you click on "show view options" and you click the button the bottom. But, in 10.5 when you set your view options and you clicked the button it would make that change across the whole system, but that has not been happening in 10.6 . Now I don't know whether it's apple who want to change the feature or whether it's a bug, but what I do know is that it's very, very annoying. I use a launcher which launches separate folders, and I can really see the difference in finder window sizes that way. But if you keep opening for example your documents folder and click folders from there you won't find it as big of an issue.

Today I just encountered another problem. So, just now I diligently set my finder sizes for the icons and the tiles for my download finder. But it looks like finder can't remember what it's doing. Initially when I set it all the icons are spread nicely throughout the window, but when I look at the downloads folder again, it for some reason bumps an icon to the next row, which is very annoying. As you can see on the right, the settings are EXACTLY the same, but for some reason the finder appears to have alzheimer's and can't make up its mind.


Hey Finder, what happened to you?

Other problems I have with the finder is the speed, especially when it comes to display icon previews. In 10.5 it was blazing fast, but now its speed is slightly faster than vista's preview loading speed, where it would take a while to load the preview to folder of video files. Also, for some reason the sidebar width seems to change on its own depending on how long the longest name is. Now normally I would be find with this, because the longest name is the name of the computer, but when I plugin external drives that changes, and it increases the sidebar width, which messes up the finder icons. Also, at least for me, the applications folder always takes a while to load, when in 10.5 it loaded like any other folder. All in all, I'm disappointed by the finder in 10.6 and I really hope that it's improved in the next release of 10.6.3. I also wish that there was a way to quit all finder windows as you can't quit the application, so you have to go through every window and press command-w, which I find time consuming. So, just some thoughts about the annoyances I've been having with the 10.6 finder. In the end it does feel fast overall, but I think that the 10.5.8 performs a lot better than the revised finder in 10.6.

Edit: Changed the site theme again as I didn't like the old one. Think this one will be here to stay.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Ever since I've moved to snow leopard I was disappointed that fliqlo wasn't supported as a screen saver. There was a period where i tried getting other screensavers and I even tried word clock but I still wasn't satistified. I wanted fliqlo back. For those who don't know fliqlo is a very basic screensaver, it just shows a flip clock as a screensaver but I've always seen it as useful because first of all the whole background is black so it saves power, and it has a basic but useful and informative functionality, showing the time. For a lot mac screensavers I see they sap so much power that there's not much of a point using them as a "screen saver" But finally the fliqlo developer recently updated fliqlo at http://www.9031.com/downloads/screensavers.html which I am very happy about, immediately switched back to fliqlo. By the way this is my current screensaver collection.

Edit: By the way I hate how when I post images on my posts they don't take up that much space but when you click the white space around them you actually click the image. If there's a way to fix this please do tell...

Edit 2: Ok I think I fixed it. It's because I chose the "centered" layout and when I reuploaded it and chose "none" it worked perfectly. :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A New Year Dawns

Happy New Year everyone! Since it's a new year I just wanted to try out a new layout for the blog. Going to see how it goes before I decide on whether to keep it or not. School is going to start again soon, so I might make one more videos, but I'm pretty sure that there will be a lapse in videos until the summer. Thanks for watching my videos, and also thanks for subscribing (for those who have watched or subscribed to my youtube videos).