Tag Archives: Running

Start Firefox 4 in 32-bit Mode For Less RAM Usage

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64 Bit Firefox 4
64 Bit Firefox 4

If you hadn’t noticed yet, Firefox 4 now runs in 64-bit mode by default (at least on Mac anyway). I’ve noticed that Firefox uses up almost double the ram in 64-bit mode compared to when running in 32-bit mode. Also, some plugins (like Silverlight) are not yet compatible with the 64-bit mode of Firefox.

 

Update: running in 32-bit mode will also help with a known problem with Java MIME types not being recognized correctly.

Here’s how to run Firefox 4 in 32-bit mode (by default) on Mac OS X:

  1. Using Finder, navigate to your Applications folder and locate the Firefox app.
  2. Command+Click (or Right-Click if you have a 2+ button mouse) and go to: “Get Info”.
  3. Check the box that says: “Open in 32-bit Mode” and close the Firefox Info box.
  4. Quit and then Relaunch Firefox.
Open Firefox 4 in 32 Bit Mode
Open Firefox 4 in 32 Bit Mode (click to enlarge)

It’s as easy as that!

Note that 64-bit Firefox does run faster than 32-bit Firefox, but you probably wont notice that much of a difference, and you will reap the benefit of less memory usage, which can be crucial if your system is always low on RAM.
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Fix Ubuntu 10.10 Slowness

Some people have been reporting problems with Ubuntu 10.10 being sluggish, slow, and worse. This is not the first update from Ubuntu to have such a result, but don’t worry because there is hope!

The odds are your problem is due to a conflict with the Kernel that is released with Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat.

Upgrading the Kernel – Problems??

So why not try updating to the latest Kernel? The problem is that Kernel you likely need isn’t going to be available using the usual Ubuntu update methods (i.e. Update Manager, Ubuntu Software Center, Synaptic, or even Apt/Aptitude).

Why So Difficult??

The challenge is that Ubuntu releases new versions with the latest available Kernel at the time of the release (well, for the most part anyway). As a result, the kernel you have (and is possibly causing you grief) is in fact the “latest” kernel for your system…

So What Are You Talking About Man?!

Well to fix your problem you are going to get the latest Release Candidate (or RC) Kernel. Don’t be scared, you will be keeping your default kernel so if there were ever a problem you could just boot up with that…

Let’s Do This!

OK the fastest and easiest way to do this is using your Terminal (of course). Go ahead and open it up (Applications->Accessories->Terminal or alternatively by pressing Alt+F2, but stick with the former option if you are uncomfortable going GUI-less).

Enter the following commands in your terminal to download the kernel parts you will need and then install them: (Please Note: you need to pick amd64 if you are running 64bit Ubuntu, otherwise pick the i386)

For 64-bit use this:

wget http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v2.6.36-rc7-maverick/linux-headers-2.6.36-020636rc7_2.6.36-020636rc7.201010070908_all.deb
wget http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v2.6.36-rc7-maverick/linux-headers-2.6.36-020636rc7-generic_2.6.36-020636rc7.201010070908_amd64.deb
wget http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v2.6.36-rc7-maverick/linux-image-2.6.36-020636rc7-generic_2.6.36-020636rc7.201010070908_amd64.deb

sudo dpkg -i linux-headers-2.6.36-020636rc7_2.6.36-020636rc7.201010070908_all.deb
sudo dpkg -i linux-headers-2.6.36-020636rc7-generic_2.6.36-020636rc7.201010070908_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i linux-image-2.6.36-020636rc7-generic_2.6.36-020636rc7.201010070908_amd64.deb

For 32-bit use this:


wget http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v2.6.36-rc7-maverick/linux-headers-2.6.36-020636rc7_2.6.36-020636rc7.201010070908_all.deb
wget http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v2.6.36-rc7-maverick/linux-headers-2.6.36-020636rc7-generic_2.6.36-020636rc7.201010070908_i386.deb
wget http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v2.6.36-rc7-maverick/linux-image-2.6.36-020636rc7-generic_2.6.36-020636rc7.201010070908_i386.deb

sudo dpkg -i linux-headers-2.6.36-020636rc7_2.6.36-020636rc7.201010070908_all.deb
sudo dpkg -i linux-headers-2.6.36-020636rc7-generic_2.6.36-020636rc7.201010070908_i386.deb
sudo dpkg -i linux-image-2.6.36-020636rc7-generic_2.6.36-020636rc7.201010070908_i386.deb

All Done!

If all goes according to plan you should be able to restart your computer and boot up with the new RC Kernel. Hopefully this fixes your problem. If it does not fix your problem, let me know and I’ll see if I can help. Or try the Ubuntu Forums.

Thoughts on Unity

Ubuntu Unity Interface
Ubuntu Unity Interface

Mark Shuttleworth announced (back in May) that Ubuntu is going to begin phasing over to a new user interface called “Unity”. There seems to be a lot of talk about it now for some reason — probably because it is starting to become a reality with Ubuntu 10.10 going official just weeks ago and in less than 6 weeks 11.04 will go official, which is when Unity will become the default GUI for Ubuntu.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention… Unity will work with multitouch gestures… that’s kind of a big deal 😉

Why is Unity such a big deal?

Well basically it is taking a new approach to how users interact with their operating system. Instead of following in the shadow of Windows and Mac (as Linux has for so many years), Ubuntu is taking a bold step to break free from that shadow and go a new direction.

Fanboys will love it, Haters will hate it — that is to be expected right?! But the real test will be with the rest of the world (and especially newcomers who are curious)…

What’s My Take On This?

I think it is a gutsy move and I really hope they do this right. If they really focus on getting it right, make it polished and smooth, then I think great things will follow… But if they botch this it’s not going to be pretty at all… Here’s hoping for the best!

Want a Preview?!

You can get a 1st hand preview of the Unity interface right now! Here’s a nice handy guide to get you through that: How to Install Unity in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

I tried it out on my Netbook (running Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook Edition) and I think it has a lot of promise, but as-is needs a lot of work before I will accept it as my main/default GUI…

After Further Review:

**Start Update**

OK after playing around with it some more, here are a few more thoughts on improving the Unity experience… (I actually wrote this section to Ubuntu devs on Facebook in response to their asking for feedback on it, hence the “you” refers to Ubuntu Developers)

1.) Whatever you do, make sure it is absolutely polished before you make it default. Any bugs or issues with it may kill any momentum you might otherwise have built…

2.) Allow some customization and make it easy to access. Make a “Unity Settings” program/app/whatever and make it easy to find.

Allow adjustments for:
– sidebar position (left/right)
– icon size in/on the bar
– icon size in the shell (or whatever you are calling the overhead menu interface)
– color / theme
– which file manager to use
– and etc.

3.) Give some options to show/hide all windows for an program/app using the launcher (perhaps double-click to show/hide, or some other method).

4.) Make sure users can easily manage the launcher — i.e. allow us to drag/drop programs to the launcher and to move them around (to change their position/order).

5.) Make sure users can view multiple windows at once without hassle and without messing up the menu. When I tested Unity it would mess up the menu bar if the window was not maximized…

I’m not sure if this last one applies or not (I have only tested Unity on my Netbook, and I have Maximus disabled because I can’t stand it)….

**End Update**

Other interesting Reads:

Article by Mark Shuttleworth (with pics)

ZDnet Article about Unity (with pics)

Digitizor Guide to Testing Unity in Ubuntu 10.04

How to: Initiate a Timed Shutdown

On Friday I was downloading some files on my Netbook (running Ubuntu Remix 10.04) and was not planning to stick around for the downloads to finish (it was already close to 7pm, I needed to get home for the weekend). I didn’t want to leave it running all weekend and I still had another hour to go before my downloads finished…
What to do?

Well I decided to initiate a delayed shutdown of my system. Since the downloads had about 1hr and 15 minutes left, I decided to be extra safe and set the shutdown for an extra 30 minutes after that… Here’s how I did it:

In your terminal, run the following command:

sudo shutdown -h 20:45 "See you on Monday!"

you can change the time to fit your needs and change the message (between the quotes) to whatever you like or leave it out as the message is optional.

You could also set it to shutdown by using a slightly different format, like this:

sudo shutdown -h +120 "Shutting down in 2hrs -- or 120 minutes"

This works on Linux and Mac. If you want to do this on Windows you could try something like this (if you are an admin):

at 20:45 shutdown /l /r /y /c

But I cannot vouch for how effective this will be (on Windows I mean) as it may only shutdown the OS not the machine/computer…

Top Secret Project – Phase 3

Status: In Progress

Name: Prepare for Launch

Description:
Make necessary preparations to be prepared for official launch of this site. This includes making changes to themes and appearance of the site as well as adding initial content.

Estimated Time to Complete:
2nd week of January, 2008. — Originally I wanted to Launch the site by January 1st, 2008. However, this was unrealistic since I have such a busy schedule and this is just a project and so far does not amount to a paycheck.

Notes:
I have a lot to do to get this ready, and I need to have it up and running before Winter semester begins.