Flash player is terrible. It is resource intensive, it makes my web browser crash, or load slowly, and 90% of the time makes computer use less enjoyable. In fact plugins in general have this effect. They are great when you need them, but usually you don’t. In fact usually the webpage loads something using some random useless plugin for something random and useless. Then that plugin uses up precious resources and your computer becomes slow…. ARGH. Here is the solution:
- Open Google Chrome. If you don’t have it download it. Do it now! REALLY.
- Go to about:Flags in your web browser
- Enable “Click to Play”, and click Relaunch
Now when you are browsing the web and something tries to load Flash, or DivX, or Shockwave, or any other resource eating plugin, Chrome will fill in the space it would be with a grey box saying: “Click to run X plugin.” Thus you don’t resources when browsing routinely but when you want to use the plug ins, they are there.
Note: there are some good Flags to use outside of this, but also some duds. I particularly like “GPU Compositing”,”Experimental location features”, and “Lazy Background Pages” for performance enhancement as well as the aforementioned “Click to play.”
Dec 10 '11
I once heard a joke about Windows, OSX, and Linux. I went along the lines of this:
A salesperson is selling three types of toaster, Windows, OSX and Linux. The windows toaster he explains is, “Sort of average, it looks average and it makes average toast and be had for a reasonable price.” Then there was the OSX toaster, “A beautiful machine, it makes pretty average toast as well, except looks incredibly sexy and costs more.” Then there was the linux, which he explained “It’s free, it comes with no instruction manual and its uglier than a troll, however if you can find out how to set it up just right it will make PERFECT toast, but break frequently ”
It was funny cause based on my experiences it was true. The situation has changed drastically over the last couple years. As consumers have started consuming Apple products faster than ever, apple hardware seems to have gotten worse, windows machines no longer look like a brick, and linux is more usable than ever.
In college, every student owns an MacBook it seems, and interestingly enough I know a large number who have hard drive failure. Apple once known for its superior hardware, is losing it’s edge. Yes their computers are still sexy, but the aluminum body also overheats due to lightweight fans and tries its best to scold your legs. Yes they do have superior trackpads, but other manufacturers are finally catching up in terms of build, while keeping some of the fundamentals Apple seems happy to disregard.
Then there is linux once limited to only the nerdiest of nerds, the newest versions of Ubuntu make it accessible by the masses. The App Store? Pioneered by ubuntu, it has had a software center for 3 years. Online file storage? Included in Ubuntu from the get go. Social Networking integration? Built in clients for Twitter, and Facebook as well as a a chat client for most major apps. Hardware support is also better than ever, plug in to a wire download a couple extra drivers and you are most likely going to be set to go. Window management is a mashup of the best from every other OS I’ve used. Press the “super”key (aka the apple/windows key) and it opens a search. Here you can search for any application or document on your computer. It features a windows snap feature like Windows 7. A launcher bar, not dissimilar to OSX’s dock or Windows 7′s taskbar, launched apps appear in the launcher and you can pin them their. Installation of apps is all done through the software center (although there are other options for the technologically savvy). It comes with Firefox and Thunderbird installed for your mail and internet needs. It is just easy to use. Long considered the OS of the nerd, it is now capable of being the OS of the masses. Software companies are starting to understand this, with more applications being available. I suspect will soon realize that it doesn’t get better than free as well.
Nov 26 '11
Android is extermemly open, this means that anybody has the capability of building their own version of the OS, and installing it on their phone. However, this openness and lack of restriction is also its greatest downfall. Device manufacturers, and networks install their own custom interfaces, which usually market features that nobody actually wants to use of pay for, they load up software such as Blockbuster, CityID that nag you, you can never use and can NEVER install. These custom UI’s arent all bad they have their nice points, many offer enhanced social networking features, and better keyboards, however these features cannot be disabled (again), and because manufacturers want to keep this graphical interface updates are slow to come about cause they have to recode what google has made. In other words you don’t get the software as google intended it. Take, for instance Android 4.0, its beautiful offers tons of new features, but it may never ever be on the equally awesome and beautiful Droid RAZR. Why is that? Well the interface is entirely different, how is Motorola going to port the features of their interface over to a new interface while keeping the interface nearly identical to the previous. They won’t.
This leaves those who want the most out of their phones, want phones without crippling software pre-installed (imagine a windows computer that wouldn’t allow you to uninstall PowerDVD trial edition), with one option. We hack our phones and install our own Custom ROM’s such as CyanogenMod. I highly encourage anyone with an android smartphone to do it, for non techno-philes it gives you simpler and less cluttered phone interface, devoid of the software you didn’t want. For advanced users, the rooted interface gives you complete control over your hardware. You can overclock, backup the ROM and do all sorta of stuff I haven’t even dared to try.
Nov 6 '11
After a long summer of full time work and a little bit of time adjusting to college, and we are back. Since I’ve fallen straight off the face of my blog, a lot of stuff has happened in the technology world. I the mobile device world there is iOS5 which borrows a lot of features from android(namely the notifications bar), and then there is the newly announced Ice Cream Sandwich(ICS) aka Android 4.0 release which uses a lot of CyanogenMod features (gotta love the android developer community). I will certainly have more to post about ICS later on. Then there is the Kindle Fire, and it’s Silk web browser which raises even more questions about internet security. Come back for more thoughts later. (Note there was also a new iphone release, but it was kinda a lame duck, with the only cool new feature being a personal assitant, that an older iphone would be perfectly capable of running, apple just need to sell more iphones SOMEhow)
Oct 24 '11
As you may have noticed, we have recently redesigned our site. The goal of our new design was to create an effective, easy to read design using only text. Our focus on minimalism, we believe, allows our readers to focus more on our content and less on flashy designs, while still feeling streamlined. This design was a challenge as much as anything, the goal being an effective, clean cut, imageless, gray scale website. While we realize this does not fully showcase our ability to make a flashy, look at me design, it does showcase our ability to take the most basic elements to make and effective design. We hope you find the design refreshingly clean in a web space full of clutter.
May 23 '11
You are familiar with a standard software installation right… next… next…. ooo agreement yeah sure I agree (wonder what i even agreed to)… next… next… double check… All Good. Wait a while and then run your software yay!!! Only it should be that hard!!! Ever installed software on a mac? Open dmg, drag application to folder, possibly agree to liscence agreement and done! Oh the simplicity! How about Ubuntu? Open the software center, find software click install. Done. Why does Windows have to over complicate things? Things only get worse if you want to fully uninstall software. First you have to run the uninstaller. After lots of yes, no, next buttons you have “uninstalled software.” Except not really, cause now you have to go clean up everything the uninstaller didn’t remove, the config files it was using, and oh the windows registry entries (which also should not exist). Thank you Microsoft for wasting many minutes of my life over and over again. Please fix this.
May 12 '11
First let me say, I love outlining a website. However, CSS, the stylesheets used to make website look like they do is terrible. First off is the design process. Instead of just designing it, and there being one way that makes sense to make that design, you could make it 100′s of different ways, but only one of them is the semantically correct way to do it. You end up spending more time worrying about semantic markup than making beautiful designs. Then you have to take what you thought would work and look right, then you have to fix it, because CSS never works the way it is supposed too. Whew your 2/3 of the way done with you stylesheet now for the fun part! None of the web browsers properly implement the “standard,” thus you have to make fine tune adjustments to make it work in other web browsers, inevitably when fixing it in one web browser you break it in another, now its time to do the corrections tango until you find a configuration that works properly on all of them! YAY CSS YOU SUCK!! someone please make a better standard… please.