Archive for January, 2009

Firefox by Garrett LeSage

Firefox by Garrett LeSage

So I was running Firefox (3.0.5) happily, but then one day, I started getting the beachball every few minutes, lasting a few seconds at a time. I noticed the CPU usage went up to 100% during these peaks. I still have no solid clue as to what caused it, or why it suddenly started. I did 3 things to speed things up however, and none will likely be of much help unless you use a Mac.

1. Tried changing some about:config options. Didn’t fix the beachball problem, but I guess it won’t hurt either.

2. Knowing that Adobe Flash is a memory hog, and particularly on the Mac, I installed the Firefox Add-on Flashblock. What it does is replace any flash element on a page with a little play icon. Click the icon to load the flash file. The only time you really want to see flash content is on a YouTube-like site, or maybe if it is part of a mandatory navigation menu. I recon this is what did the most impact for me, as I always have numerous tabs open, and some of them have flash.

3. Replaced the official Firefox build with one optimized for my Intel CPU. Minefield is available in builds for G4, G5 and Intel Macs respectively. The only difference from the official version, apart from the name and icon (for trademark reasons) is the way the code is compiled. Minefield is not going to have bugs that the official version doesn’t, or vice versa. Minefield will use and save to the same files as the official version, so you keep your bookmarks, tabs, history… the whole shebang.

I would definitely recommend trying out at least the 2. and 3. tip – the first one didn’t seem to make that much of a difference. Let me know what you think and what your experience is!

 

As a Mac user, one of the things I have to watch out for when buying new peripherals is whether or not the manufacturer has adequate support for my platform. Sure they might claim whatever on the packaging, but as soon as a new OS update is out, the device might stop working and no new drivers are being released.

I’ve long been a fan of Canon for imaging products (cameras, scanners, printers). And unlike most other companies out there, they really go that extra mile with their software. Where else would you find a scanner driver that plays music?

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If you have the CanoScan Toolbox software installed, here is what you have to do: from the main window, click the “Save” button, from the next window that pops up, check the box “Use the scanner driver to make advanced settings”, hit the “Scan” button. From the next window that pops up, click the “Advanced mode” button, then choose the “Setting” tab and then the “Preferences” button. That should bring up the window you see above, and from there just click “Setting2” and then “Sound settings…” See? That wasn’t so hard. Now about that grayed out option…

 

D60

16Jan09

Following this I thought I should post a few more pics here on the blog. Hopefully the new toy will provide even more content in the future!

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D60 kit + SB-400 kit

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Unpacking the flash. Were all these boxes really necessary? Also, the packaging is very un-Appleish 😛

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Notice how the SB-400 wasn’t JUST the flash, but a kit? What separates this from just the flash, as far as I can tell, is that you also get a microfiber cloth stitched to a bag – and a lanyard. Swag in other words. Also a lil case for the flash.

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Lots of paperwork in here. Manuals in every language possible, quick-start guides, warranty certificates, software and more.

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More unimaginative packaging.

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Camera body, lens, charger with cable, USB cable, battery, neck strap and a little piece of plastic that I haven’t bother to look up yet.

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Managed to grab a hold of a Gorillapod and a memory card before the camera arrived. All set!

 

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