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Tilting at Windmills

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May 16, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

FIREFOX QUERY....Technical questions for the masses. I'm using Firefox, and on certain web pages my system slows down to a crawl. When I bring up Task Manager it reports that Firefox is sucking up 95% of my CPU time. As near as I can tell, it seems to be related to advertisements that use Flash: some of them cause the system to go crazy by sucking up every CPU cycle they can get their hands on. Or maybe it's certain Java or Javascript applications. I can't tell for sure, but in any case it seems to be clearly related to some kind of bug in certain advertisements.

Anyone else ever come across this? Any solutions?

Kevin Drum 11:24 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (92)

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Comments

Use Opera instead?

Dunno, really. Sorry. 95%? That can't be right.

Posted by: anonymous on May 16, 2007 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

This has happened to me as well. To fix it, I got the Flashblock "Add-on" (they used to be called extensions), which you can get here:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/433

It blocks all flash operations when you view a site, allowing you to selectively view each one. Very cool, and it makes the web so much nicer to look at.

Posted by: joe p on May 16, 2007 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

I experience this as well. I guess I'd never really thought it was a flaw in Firefox; I just assumed it was in the nature of dumb flash ads.

Posted by: Greg on May 16, 2007 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

OK, my Firefox is using 45 megs of ram and 2% of my CPY. I've got a bunch of tabs open, with animated flash ads, and all it does is increase RAM a bit, but doesn't touch the CPU. Animated flash ads should only touch videocard processors anyway, if you have a non-ancient PC. Or a laptop, I don't remember, but some low-end laptops (PCs too?) calculate video on-board the CPU.

Amateur tech support over and out.

Posted by: anonymous on May 16, 2007 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

ad-block plus (find it at mozilla.com) cuts out a lot of that crap, especially pages that have 9 million images etc that have to be loaded individually. alas, that isn't all...mark thoma's page takes a long time to render for me and it has no flash; I think it is something to do with the stylesheet, but I can't tell by looking at the css what the problem is.

Posted by: supersaurus on May 16, 2007 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Just an obvious question.

Presumably you also have Internet Explorer on board. Does it exhibit the same behavior on the same pages?

Posted by: frankly0 on May 16, 2007 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

I'm using Firefox with five tabs open and the CPU usage is 4%.

Posted by: Rich on May 16, 2007 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

If you have been upgrading-as-you-go, you might want to uninstall Flash, Shockwave, and Java and then reinstall fresh copies (assuming you want Flash and Shockwave). All three have been updated substantially recently and our experience is that the inline upgrades don't work too well. The new Java in particular causes problems if you have older versions of pages in the cache from before the upgrade, so clear cache too.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on May 16, 2007 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

get the NoScript extension for Firfox (or addon) it will stop all crappy scripts from running... whether they're for ads or otherwise... Get it... Use it..

http://noscript.net/

Posted by: joe on May 16, 2007 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Can I take the opportunity to ask my own Firefox question?

When I type, say, 'Wash' into the address bar 'Washingtonmonthly.com' appears on a drop down below the bar. In Internet Explorer I can simply click or double click 'Washingtonmontly.com' and the page will appear. On Firefox, however, it will ofen send me to Wash.com or some other page that the search engine has determined is related to 'wash'.

It works sometimes so I know that this is a feature. Is it just buggy or am I not clicking with the correct procedure?

Posted by: P on May 16, 2007 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

make that mozilla.org

Posted by: supersaurus on May 16, 2007 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

I'd recommend just removing Flash. It's essentially adware. Installing it causes webpages to be covered in distracting moving advertisements that make it difficult to concentrate on what you're reading.

Posted by: Philip Brooks on May 16, 2007 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

I use flashblock and noscript and this still happens sometimes. The culprit for me is greasemonkey and a google mp3 player script on pages that have lots of mp3 links. I just deactivate greasemonkey and reload the page and all is good.

Posted by: srb on May 16, 2007 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Get a mac.

Posted by: no@name.com on May 16, 2007 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, are you on Mac or Windows? What version of Firefox? (Help->About Mozilla Firefox) What version of Flash? (type about:plugins into the addressbar and hit enter)

- A

Posted by: Asa on May 16, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Same thing happens to me - but the processor keeps running after I close Firefox.

Uninstall Flash? Great idea. I never liked YouTube, Crooks and Liars, Atrios, Talkingpointsmemo, or Digby all that much anyway.

Posted by: HeavyJ on May 16, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Something strange happens to me when I read Eschaton (atrios) with Firefox on the Mac. It usually happens when there is a YouTube link on the front page, I think, but I'm not sure. Then it freezes firefox. When I close the Eschaton tab, the tabs look like it closed, but Eschaton page content is still visible, and the only thing I can do is quit and start firefox again.

Posted by: Misplaced Patriot on May 16, 2007 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Just hit random keys and pray.

With love and experience,
Tyler

Posted by: Tyler on May 16, 2007 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Two words (and a link): Adblock Plus.

Trust me. It's fantastic.

Posted by: Stan on May 16, 2007 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

a) Get Flashblock; see other comments above.

b) Set image animation (gifs) to once as follows:

1)Type 'about:config' in the address bar
2)Type 'ani' in the filter box
3)Set value to 'once'

This will keep animated gifs from cycling endlessly. The price is that you might miss an animiated gif occasionally.

Posted by: Fred on May 16, 2007 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

For what it's worth, Asa, I'm running version 2.003 on a Mac with Shockwave Flash 9.0 r28.

Posted by: Misplaced Patriot on May 16, 2007 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Flashblock is a great add-on. I used to have trouble loading pages with embedded YouTube files or Flash-based advertising, but not since I isntalled Flashblock.

Posted by: John on May 16, 2007 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Also, sometimes Acrobat files opened in a Firefox window cause my browser to go haywire. I just kill the AcroRd32.exe task and the browser unfreezes and works normally.

Posted by: Fred on May 16, 2007 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

I have the same issue happen to me frequently. You can determine what specifically is consuming all of your CPU cycles using the tree view in Process Explorer, which is available for free (huh; just found out that SysInternals, who made procexp, was acquired by Microsoft). With that, just find Firefox, then look underneath it to see which child process is actually chewing up the CPU.

In my experience, this is usually one of two things: Flash, as others have noted, or Quicktime, which is just a terrible terrible awful application on Windows. That'll help you determine which sorts of things you need to deal with.

As for the snarky "Get a Mac" comment, as a friend of mine recently commented, "I'd buy a Mac if I could afford a second computer that's twice as expensive as my first computer that's twice as powerful as the second one would be." The primary reason Macs haven't had as many problems as PCs have had historically is because Macs just aren't as big a target because of their small market share.

I'm not a Windows fan-boy (I use it for my personal machines primarily because of gaming support), but prefer *nix for development and server machines. But I am constantly irritated by Mac fan-boys.

Posted by: Rick on May 16, 2007 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Don't overload on the add-ons. Each one you use takes a performance hit. Pick three or four that you like, and disable the rest.

(i like NoScript)


Opera is supposed to be faster & lighter on the CPU.

Posted by: absent observer on May 16, 2007 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Get a mac.

Get a life.

Posted by: frankly0 on May 16, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

I used to have this problem from time to time ... I had both flashblock and Noscript extensions installed. Here was my solution, which solved the 100% CPU problem every time it would arise... (but it requires NoScript):

Open the NoScript options, go to the General tab, and check the box for automatically reload affected pages. Exit options and right-click on NoScript, and select "Allow Scripts Globally", which will reload all tabs with scripts. Then unselect "allow scripts globally"... the problem should be solved.

A more permanent solution is to create a new profile in the firefox profile manager, but that means reinstalling all your favorite extensions and settings.

I suggested the first solution to others at the mozilla forums after struggling with the problem for weeks, along with MANY others. It fixed the 100% CPU bug for those who tried it.

Posted by: Triskele on May 16, 2007 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

I've got AdBlock Plus and still run into the same thing sometimes.

One other problem - sometimes when I click a link for a javascript pop-up (like Haloscan comments or a calendar on a travel reservation site) the info inside the pop-up window will expand past the borders of the window. The bad thing is that the window cannot be re-sized. I don't have this problem with IE.
Thx.

Posted by: Timewalker on May 16, 2007 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

As others have noted, get both 1) noscript and 2) flashblock.

Although you can set noscript to block flash (and you have to, since flashblock uses javascript, and will not work on sites where js is blocked), you still need flashblock for sites where you allow js.

The last time I tried adblock plus, it wasted more time than it saved. Instead, I just right click on ads and choose "Block Images from..."

Posted by: Disputo on May 16, 2007 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

I agree that the snarky get a mac (or get opera) comments aren't helpful here. But Rick's tirade against "Mac fan-boys" is perhaps even more irritating (of the "make unsabstantiated and just plain wrong claims about systems' relative performance and price" and then "advance hypothesis - which happens to be ill informed - concerning security" variety). And it's quite odd coming from someone with a unix background. Oh well.

Kevin, here are a couple of links that might be worth looking at it:
http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/announcements/msnbc-ads-bothering-you-257262.php

http://blog.taragana.com/index.php/archive/how-to-solve-100-cpu-hogging-by-firefox-in-2-steps/

Posted by: Just saying on May 16, 2007 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Kevin for asking, and Joe P, for the link to the Mozilla add-on. It sure works for me on my ancient iMac.

Posted by: slanted tom on May 16, 2007 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

I'll restrict my Mac trollery to pimping the best browser available by far on any platform, OmniWeb.

Among its other great features, I love the site specific preferences that let me surf the web with Javascript and Flash turned off on most sites (like this one), but enabled on sites that I selectively choose.

No out of control Javascript or Flash for Petey. OmniWeb rocks.

Posted by: Petey on May 16, 2007 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Well, from my experience, noscript blocks too much.

I use adblock (I'm sure adblock plus is also good) together with adblock filterset.g updater. For me this works nearly perfectly. Only a very few ads sneak through.

Posted by: zoof on May 16, 2007 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Never had these issues - either on my Mac or PC. I use several extensions, the best of which is Adblock Plus - you can sign up for pre-written subscriptions that block most of the annoying internet ads, esp. Flash ads.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1865

Posted by: matt on May 16, 2007 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

kevin.

as absent observer noted, your browser will slow to a crawl if you have a lot of plugins (extensions). you can easily remove them by going to Tools => Extensions and uninstalling.

gwen

Posted by: gwen on May 16, 2007 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

get a mac.

works every time.

Posted by: no name on May 16, 2007 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

AdBlock with Filterset G, or whatever it's called, should fix it. Then install Stylish and remove all the junk all over the place on this site.

Posted by: Gary Sugar on May 16, 2007 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

I find the idea that simple extensions and flash could possibly require 95% of the CPU for extended periods of time to be, well, not credible. I suspect spyware.

Posted by: wwz on May 16, 2007 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Don't overlook the fact that Asa Dotzler from the Mozilla Foundation has responded with a request for more info. You must take him up on his offer of support. You get to go right to the source!

Posted by: David on May 16, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

I can't stand noscript. It often stops legitimate pages from loading and doesn't even work to blog ads half the time. It makes me respond to a dialog on practically every web page I visit and is in fact more annoying than most ads.

Posted by: dave munger on May 16, 2007 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

get a mac.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on May 16, 2007 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

"I find the idea that simple extensions and flash could possibly require 95% of the CPU for extended periods of time to be, well, not credible."

Then you're not particularly educated on the issues involved.

I've previously seen this behavior on a variety of browsers on both OS X and Windows.

Javascript and Flash both have the ability to be incredible resource hogs, especially when poorly coded.

Posted by: Petey on May 16, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

This Noscript thing can't be set so it defaults to scripting enabled? Could the designer really be that dogmatic? Then switch to Opera and deal with its rendering and plugin problems instead.

Posted by: Gary Sugar on May 16, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

I can't stand noscript. It often stops legitimate pages from loading and doesn't even work to blog ads half the time.

Noscript is not designed to block ads. It is designed to block javascript from running. You can easily disable it for sites where you need js either with a reverse click on the page or clicking on the noscript icon on the status bar.

Posted by: Disputo on May 16, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

"This Noscript thing can't be set so it defaults to scripting enabled? Could the designer really be that dogmatic? Then switch to Opera and deal with its rendering and plugin problems instead."

Seriously, switch to OmniWeb instead. Very well designed preferences to control Javascript and Flash in any way the user chooses.

Posted by: Petey on May 16, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

This Noscript thing can't be set so it defaults to scripting enabled?

Of course it can. It has both blacklists and whitelists.

Posted by: Disputo on May 16, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

I had the same problem which has mostly gone away since I installed the most recent Java update. Usually, I have 3-4 open windows and 15-20 open tabs. There are still rare (once per week or so) 30 second pauses in changing tabs which are accompanied by intense disk chatter and may just be paging as what MS calls virtual memory is exhausted.

Posted by: scraig46 on May 16, 2007 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

If you were using Opera you could block selected content by site.

Posted by: Rula Lenska on May 16, 2007 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

There are still rare (once per week or so) 30 second pauses in changing tabs which are accompanied by intense disk chatter and may just be paging as what MS calls virtual memory is exhausted.

Set a larger permanent paging file, defrag your disk (make sure to first disable Restore Points and delete your Journal File to remove all the undefragable system crap), and then use another SysInternal product (mentioned above) PageDefrag which will defrag your page file. You'll be happy you did.

Posted by: Disputo on May 16, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

"Set a larger permanent paging file, defrag your disk (make sure to first disable Restore Points and delete your Journal File to remove all the undefragable system crap), and then use another SysInternal product (mentioned above) PageDefrag which will defrag your page file."

Or just immerse the afflicted computer in warm soapy water...

Posted by: Petey on May 16, 2007 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

FlashBlock, AdBlock, NoScript, UnPlug.

Controls those nastys.

You can enable the objests that you want to see.

FlashBlock puts a Play Button on top of the Flash (you can see the 1st frame) -
You want to see it Click It.

No script puts a red circle in bottem frame - If you need a script to run - click it.

I have EVERYthing shut off and LOVE it.
When I have a page that I need to see in it's entirety then I open it in IE.

Posted by: skibumlee on May 16, 2007 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

I asked a similar question at /. a few months ago.

What I was told made me think there is a pretty horrible design bug in firefox that I hope will be excised at some point.

Basically all of your extensions (and page loading ?) seem to run in the ui thread. So if a page is loading in one tab and an extension is choking on it, it is not confined to just that tab, but causes every tab to choke.

So there is some logic to only having a few extensions, which is a real shame.

I don't know why they can have a thread pool for ui threads and have more than one ui thread available....

I use adblock plus and noscript. I think flashblock (at one time) was incompatible with adblock plus.

noscript is ever so slightly incompatible with various windows media player embedded sites and will cause a page to erroneously claim a segvio, but all that is needed is to enable javascript and reload.

to stop animations at any time on your current page, you can hit the escape key.

Posted by: jerry on May 16, 2007 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

I have seen this phenomenon on every major (1.x) version of Mozilla and every version of Firefox. Everyone above is correct: Flash block or noscript or AdBlock Plus will make this problem go away. I prefer AdBlock Plus myself (makes MySpace usable!), because noscript blocks too much for my taste.

Essentially, anytime FF instances script, you're running a slow interpreter, multiple scripts mean multiple interpreters; the major problem seems to come when some invokes a script from inside a script, and that second script is going out to fetch something from the net, or it gets invoked zillions of times or it goes into an infinite loop. All of that will eventually consume all the cycles in the system. Flash tends to be RTS (because it's animated) and the thicker the code, the more cycles it consumes. All of that becomes a problem when some cheeseball builds a FLASHY FLASHY FLASHY ad on a newest CPU and hey! It runs ok... but when you go to run it on a slow machine the Flash scipt is essentially demanding more cycles than the system actually has, so it floods the machine. Bang, 95% CPU usage.

As near as I can tell the formula is something like (Sum of total # of cycles for all scripts/flash) * (total number of scripts/flash)^squared == total number of cycles consumed. Newer machines obviously have many more cycles to spare, and each cyle is faster/shorter than on an older machine.

m, whee

Posted by: max on May 16, 2007 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

I see several people have recommended getting a mac, so I'll refrain.

Posted by: Horatio Parker on May 16, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

All browsers will slow when loading Flash elements, though they should pick back up after the file is loaded into memory. Javascript is usually the culprit of sluggish browsing. Not much you can do other than turning javascript off (dis-able plug-ins or add-ons) or use a program that blocks ads. Blocking ads has helped me tremendously as it frees up memory and the number of files/graphics to download so the javascript and/or flash the Web page uses isn't encumbered by ad memory requirements.

I use Safari and a program called SAFT for ad blocking. Can't recommend any for FireFox though, sorry.

Posted by: Tom on May 16, 2007 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Never has happened to me on Firefox or IE.

I think it's because I use Norton security to block ads and popups. Probably can be done with other security packages as well.

Posted by: CKR on May 16, 2007 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

I have another problem with Firefox; sometimes the video seems to be slow to refresh and I'll just have a white screen. Don't know if it's related to the CPU and Flash apps.

As for ad blocking, I have about 20 pages of URLs on my host file; that takes care of a lot of stuff.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on May 16, 2007 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

alt-t (tools), a (addons)
click on "get extensions".
Find the 'flashblock' addon. Basically it replaces All flash with an little icon that you can click to activate it. Removes unecessary annoyances (and many slowdowns), but lets you retain the ability to view the flash stuff you do want to see. I woudln't surf without it.

Posted by: Some Guy on May 16, 2007 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

re: all the people who say noscript can whitelist. Yes, that's true, but it still disables other sites for no apparent reason. I find very few occasions when it does more than cause trouble, so I don't use it. Flashblock sounds like a better approach. If I ever run across a really persistent ad I'll have to try that one.

Posted by: Dave Munger on May 16, 2007 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

it still disables other sites for no apparent reason.

Example?

Have you reported this to the author, who is very responsive to user input?

Posted by: Disputo on May 16, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Noscript is not there to help or hinder you from seeing your videos.

Noscript can make a site harder to use, like the Maine Times (IIRC) that insists you have javascript enabled to see their content.

Noscript is there to keep badly behaved sites from abusing you and your browser.

Noscript is there as security from accepting javascript from sites you know nothing about.

Noscript is basically a condom and is about safe-surfing, and like a condom, it makes some surfind a little less fun, until you get to know them, feel good about them, and can whitelist them and take the condom off.

Noscript keeps you from being turned into a bitch.

Posted by: jerry on May 16, 2007 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Get Flashblock and Adblock, the add-ons for Firefox.

Makes everything so much nicer. Expecially Flashblock. It doesn't even download the Flash info until you tell it to play the content.

Speeds things up tremendously, plus it cuts out the annoying Flash adds that I detest.

Posted by: Ranger Jay on May 16, 2007 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

I've noticed random slow Firefox page loads on Linux with *no* plugins at all.

I suspect that Firefox, as wonderful as it is, may have a few bugs still. My suspicion is the filesystem interface, since the freezing most often happens when saving a download file.

As if IE doesn't.

Ask a computer question and you'll get a thousand different expert opinions based on a million experiences from a google different circumstances.

Posted by: Joey Giraud on May 16, 2007 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Another vote for Opera here.

Why mess with add-ons and disable features when you can still get everything and more with a better browser. I've been using Opera for years and never really understood the recent boom in Firefox's popularity. Sure, IE sucks, but Firefox is no better.

PS, if you do try out Opera, try the "Freestyle" skin.

Posted by: bubba on May 16, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

"Get a Mac"

I have a Mac. I have the same problem as Kevin, (especially on Lawyers, Guns & Money) since I added Adblock to stop all the noisy ads. I'll try Flashblock next...

Posted by: Peter VE on May 16, 2007 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think anyone's pointed out that this is actually a global warming problem. When I go to sites like Raw Story with lots of flashy ads, my computer is actually using more energy, thus dumping more carbon in the atmosphere.

Posted by: KathyF on May 16, 2007 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

KathyF, this link's for you!

http://ecoiron.blogspot.com/2007/01/emergy-c-low-wattage-palette.html

Posted by: jerry on May 16, 2007 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Thank you! Your posts are so timely. I've just been suffering from this today (also recently--and my Java did recently update, maybe incompletely). I now have flashblock, we'll see what happens.

Posted by: susan on May 16, 2007 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

My suspicion is the filesystem interface, since the freezing most often happens when saving a download file.

FF's native file download function sucks (the last time I used it, which was quite awhile ago).

I use the "Download Statusbar" plug-in, which speeds things up considerably.

Posted by: Disputo on May 16, 2007 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Also, sometimes Acrobat files opened in a Firefox window cause my browser to go haywire. I just kill the AcroRd32.exe task and the browser unfreezes and works normally.

*Never* open up a PDF file using the acrobat plug-in; it's just way too slow. Much more efficient to just open them up in acrobat reader. I have FF set to do this automatically whenever I click on a PDF link.

Posted by: Disputo on May 16, 2007 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

The recommendations for extensions ("addons") above are good, I've got them all, but the current Firefox is still more sluggish than were its earlier versions. If you're using a Mac do like me and switch to Camino, another Mozilla browser with many of Firefox's advantages but much faster.The most important Firefox extensions are already built into Camino, and Camino will import all your Firefox bookmarks automatically. Even faster, though still in early stages of development, is the Japanese browser Shiira. Try them out.

Posted by: fyreflye on May 16, 2007 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Get flashblock.

Posted by: anon on May 16, 2007 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

I use Noscript, which works fine. Another thing you might consider (as an anti-annoyance measure) is disabling blinking text by typing "about:config" in the address bar, then scrolling down to "browser.blink_allowed" and double clicking on it to set the boolean value to "False".

Another thing to do is preventing animations from looping. Once you have a script blocker, this is less important, but if do you want to do it, scroll down in "about:config" to the image.animation_mode" line, then double click on it and enter "once" in the pop-up box. This will allow animations to run only one time and then stop. You can interupt animations running however by pressing Esc, so this is probably not really needed.

Posted by: Grawl on May 16, 2007 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

While waiting for Firefox take a look at the Mac/PC spoofs David Letterman is running.

Posted by: Ross Best on May 16, 2007 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Update your copy of Java. I've seen older versions of Java hog the CPU like you describe.

Posted by: Carl on May 16, 2007 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

There is no need to use Adobe reader at all. Use the Foxit reader instead, it is an incredibly slim program that opens pdf files instantly. I keep Acrobat Reader installed just in case, but I cannot remember the last time I used it, because Foxit as my default is terrific.

Second the comments about NoScript being more trouble than it is worth. AdBlock Plus with Filterset.G strips away almost anything you don't need to see. I sometimes can't believe that people still view ads on the web.

Posted by: skeptic on May 16, 2007 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

You pretty much a newbie with the computer Kev? Don't worry, You'll catch on!

Posted by: Mooser on May 16, 2007 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

It's the flash ads. 100%

Avoid these pages or install flashblock.

Posted by: Nick Kaufman on May 16, 2007 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

Just had to toss Firefix for the same reason and after years of loving it. Sooner or later FF and Windows decide to fight. Machine is running mean and clean now, but I hate IE.

I don't like Windows. Never have, never will. Arrogant, stupid, dictatorial, aggressive, manipulative, obscurantist, antisocial, illiterate. It's the Bush White House of operating systems.

Posted by: PW on May 16, 2007 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

"Certain web pages"? www.washingtonmonthly.com exhibits exactly this behavior on the Internet Explorer computers in the break room at work. I type in this site at the start of my break, read five or six other pages, and then come back to click on the message that says, "A Flash script on this page is causing it to load slowly. Do you want to continue executing the script?"

Posted by: Noumenon on May 17, 2007 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

For god's sake, Kevin, this is like your jillionth post about the problems you have with your PC. It's like you're driving a Yugo and telling us about each new breakdown.

I see I'm not the first person to have this immediate response, but... get a Mac.

Posted by: Oregonian on May 17, 2007 at 12:53 AM | PERMALINK

Oregonian et. al. - getting a Mac means tossing out the old one. Great if you have tons of money, not so great if cost or the environment is a figure.

*If* the solution is getting something new - apart from the extensions mentioned above - it'd surely be getting a copy of Ubuntu 7.0x and installing it alongside Windows. Installs (almost always) like a charm, runs as stable as anything, will run fast and stable on even pretty old hardware - and it's free.

Regards.

Posted by: Ole on May 17, 2007 at 5:57 AM | PERMALINK

It's just bizarre how all these people who know nothing whatsoever about computers are all jumping on the Hate Flash bandwagon.

And the person who said that Flash is basically adware: Get a frickin' clue!

Posted by: -asx- on May 17, 2007 at 6:46 AM | PERMALINK

Re: all the people who say "get a mac," Flash animations slow Firefox down on Macs too. I have a very recent iMac and it still slows down. Not so much that I can't do anything, but it's noticeable. Macs aren't the solution to every computer problem.

Thanks to the commenter who pointed out I could email the noscript developer when his software didn't work, but that's not exactly the sort of interaction I want with my software -- I just want it to work.

Posted by: Dave Munger on May 17, 2007 at 7:26 AM | PERMALINK

I have the same problem with Firefox on both my workplace PC and my home Mac(s). Not sure what causes it, but the freeze-up system resources hogging by Firefox is a regular occurance, even on pages without Flash.

-- MDT

Posted by: MDT on May 17, 2007 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

What causes it is probably the NSA surveillance system kicking in.

Posted by: cld on May 17, 2007 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

I am using firefox v2.0.0.3 and when I clicked on an add (this page) for a camera / dvd burner it locked up my pc... which hardly every happens

Posted by: roy on May 17, 2007 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

One of the easiest ways to protect your computer from advertiser and malicious sites is to re-route their addresses to point to your computer instead. E.g. if you type doubleclick.com into your url bar, it will resolve as localhost (127.0.0.1) via your hosts file.

http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm

This file has 100's of the common advertisers' addresses included. You will see great speed improvements in page load time, as well.

Posted by: Ian on May 17, 2007 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

I used to have this problem regularly, but no longer. I just don't read any of the articles posted on Slate.com! Ever since Slate was taken over by the Washington Post, the site has become worse and worse in behaviour (not content). The home site is constantly refreshing itself, so just as I was about to select an article to read the page went blank and went through a refresh cycle - if I went off-line while reading an article, the home page was consequently marked as "page not found". The machine load by firefox increased to 99% as more tabs were opened with Slate articles. Sometimes, killing Firefox and then letting it restore the pages allowed me to read all the tabbed articles since often, the reload didn't come with the high machine load.

Posted by: hjf on May 17, 2007 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Try an add-on called RefreshBlocker.

It stops automatic refreshing of a page before you've finished reading it and puts a thing at the top that you click when you want to refresh it.

The only drawback is it can stop automatically re-directing pages so you have to click the thing to get them.

I am only just athletic enough to achieve this.

Posted by: cld on May 17, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

I know I'm late coming to this party, but I'd still like to weigh in:

Assuming your system is spyware-free and you have enough RAM, check out some ways to speed up firefox from Gina Trapani's Lifehacker:

http://lifehacker.com/software/firefox-2/geek-to-live-top-firefox-2-config-tweaks-209941.php

Posted by: anjinsan on May 17, 2007 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

Lotus has plans: the Elise is going to get a detuned Exige engine (220 BHP without an intercooler), a new Exige SR model will feature launch and traction control systems, California series Elise and Exige models are in the pipeline for the boulevard cruising crowd, and Lotus is also going to inject some luxury into the Europa. But the big news which isn't the Esprit is the Lotus Eagle, which will be "a mid engined four seater" made of aluminum for the luxury lifestyle set. Lotus CEO Mike Kimberley said there will be seven (count 'em, seven) versions of the car, and in a crow eating first for Lotus, the car will have paddle shifters. Lotus had previously sworn never to include them on a car, citing purity of the driving experience. But what does the market care for driving purity? (Insert maniacal laugh here.) The Eagle arrives at the end of 2008. The much anticipated, exceedingly long awaited Lotus Esprit was sent back for reworking by Kimberley, who said it didn't have enough...
http://all-info-here.com/

Posted by: uaasspajiz on November 8, 2007 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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