Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Firefox Again, Again

This time I think I've found a keeper. I've been really leveraging Google's Hosted Apps for my domain using e-mail, Docs, Calendar, Tasks, Voice, etc. What I've run into is that IE7 (with IE7Pro) suffers seriously from memory creep. And no, I haven't tried IE8. IE7Pro reportedly doesn't work consistently with IE8.

The symptom I observed was that my real memory used crept up over 1GB after a couple of hours of usage. My T42 only has 1GB of RAM so that's bad. I could see this by firing up Windows Task Manager and looking at the Commit Charge at the bottom right. The Mem Usage of iexplore.exe would be a couple of hundred MB. When I'd stop IE7 the Commit Charge would drop lots more than what was attributed to iexplore.exe. Something was leaking somewhere! I suspect Javascript.

I thought I'd try Firefox again, again. Wanting to get as current as possible, I downloaded Firefox 3.5 beta 4. I haven't had a bit of trouble from the beta.

Most of the Add-ons I'd used before are still valid with Firefox 3.5 beta 4. Only Tab Clicking Options wouldn't work with it. This was easily replaced with Close Tab by Double Click. You don't even have to set any options. On QuickDrag I also checked "Open tabs for text searches in the foreground."

Besides the previous tweaks, I also found one to make search results open in a new tab. says:
Type about:config into the address bar, and then put the following into the filter box:

Double-click the value to change it to true.
This time, I also turned off third party cookies.

So far, so good.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Atlantis Takes Off

This week I flew down to Orlando to see Atlantis take off. As this was the last mission to the Hubble the area was packed. I watched from a location on the Cocoa Beach Causeway (SR 520).

The last mission to the Hubble was in 2002. This mission was scheduled for 2004 but scrubbed as too dangerous after the Columbia disaster in 2003. Post-Columbia, the plan in case of orbiter damage has been to keep the astronauts at the ISS until they could be rescued. This isn't possible when going to the Hubble. Hence, the Endeavour shuttle was on the other launch pad in case a rescue mission was required.

What sounds like wind noise starting at about 1 minute into it is the noise from the launch finally reaching our location. That says we were about 8-10 miles away. It gets louder as the shuttle gets higher then dies down.

Click on the HD in the bottom right corner of the picture. Depending on your Internet speed, you may want to then click on pause and let it load before playing.

This was shot with my Creative Labs Vado HD using a tripod (at first).

Oh, I haven't told you about the Vado HD have I? Later...

View Larger Video

Friday, May 01, 2009

IE8 Blocker

I'm really pretty neutral on Internet Explorer 8 right now. I haven't played with it yet. Microsoft just moved IE8 over to "Critical" status so it'll get pushed to a PC near you soon. I'm pretty conservative on letting things get pushed to my PCs.

With IE7 I used the IE7 blocking tool from It worked great.

With IE8 Microsoft came out with their own blocking toolkit. Needless to say, it's bigger than a breadbox! It ends up creating a script that you have to run from a command line and set switches. Yuk.

In the end, it simply creates a single registry key. I created a pair of .reg files that do the same thing.

Just download this zip file. In it are 2 files, one to block IE8 and one to unblock IE8. Just open the zip file and double-click on whichever you want to do. Click on "Yes" in the dialog box that comes up and you're done. Look at them pretty closely. Use at your own risk.

As I was preparing this post, I went back to to see if they had done something for IE8. Needless to say they have. They have added IE8 blocking to their Network Administrator tool. Their article is here.

It's not quite as trivial as my .reg files (it requires an install) but I'm sure it's very good.