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Temporary exile

I Bought More RAM Because of Firefox

Aside from Linux (Debian in particular) and emacs, Firefox might be my all-time favorite piece of software. I use it for so very much because the web is such a wonderful thing. I’ve used plenty of other web browsers. I used IE back in my *very* early windows days. After that, I moved to Opera and then finally the Mozilla suite (now SeaMonkey). When Firefox came out, I was pretty skeptical. “So what if it’s based on Mozilla?”, I said, “It’s just a browser!”. Little did I know how wonderful a thing it would inevitably evolve into. Still, Firefox has it’s issues. Though it is still more stable, secure and reliable than IE, it can be a major memory hog. In fact, it regularly shows up as using in excess of 350MB of memory. So, not wanting to make too big of a deal out of it, I removed infrequently-used extensions and it got better. Still, though I was annoyed that some of my flash games ran slowly but it’s not like I expected anything better or worse out of Java applets. I supposed what bothered me the most was how Firefox would often cause other apps to swap out during heavy usage, so my entire system would feel sluggish. Then, I chanced upon a deal that Lenovo was running for my T60 ThinkPad. I bought 2gb of RAM and now I have about \~4gb of virtual memory total (when counting a \~1gb of swap). I can have loads of tabs open, have big flash sites open (even a game when I need a short break) and the rest of my system doesn’t get cranky. Do I blame Firefox for this? Not at all! It’s still the best browser out there and the gateway to my life on the web. However, with the new browser war heating up, I do wonder if the devs might want to spend a little more time on stability and efficiency to get Firefox back to it’s lean-machine roots. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go check my email while watching hi-def video (streamed with flash) while running a simulation of DNA-base-pair sorting with 10 tabs open.

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