[lug] sluggish machine

dio2002 at indra.com dio2002 at indra.com
Tue May 19 19:08:23 MDT 2009

> Folks,
> I'm having a weird problem. My laptop is slowing down often, up to a
> point where it becomes unusable. Then it return faster as it was, or

i'd bet you 100% it's your browser, especially if you tab browse a lot and
leave the browser running all day long.

i can't say specifically for ajax / js type web apps, but i know for a
fact that badly designed embedded flash will eventually eat up all your
memory (too much flash is based off of poor code examples floating around
the net).

many pages you load often contain these poorly designed flash banners, 
media players etc.  when you open multiple tabs, some of these suckers
just go rogue and loop forever eating up memory.  on windows in task
manager, you can actually see the browser process memory just continually
increase.  kill the tab with the offending flash and the memory growth

the problem is if you left the processes running too long, even if you
kill the bad firefox tab, the memory that has already been allocated
doesn't return to the pool which means you start to swap and everything
slows down.  so you sometimes have to kill the entire browser to get all
that ram back.

i imagine the same kind of things might be happening with some of the js /
ajax apps out there as well (both flash and js are based on the same base
script language ).  and even if the code isn't poorly written, the code
itself (like a news slideshow) can be eating up cpu / ram just by looping.

as someone else suggested, just kill the browser.  that'll be a quick test
if you're performance comes back.

if it is indeed pages in your browser, then make sure you don't leave tabs
with flash up for any longer than you need them.  and as the other guy
suggested, get a firefox addon like "flash killer".  i'm used to these
slowdowns, so i just nuke flash stuff when it has no bearing on what i
want to get out of a page.

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