Saturday, July 01, 2006

Crazy Like a (Fire)fox

I had my first freeze-up on the new computer today; I'm still not sure why. One of the sites I was visiting on the Safari browser was likely responsible for the freeze, so it made me consider the possibilty of switching to Firefox for more of my online activities. (I already use it for blogging, most of the time, because Blogger isn't fully supported on Safari; among other things, the date/time stamp menu and the comments allowed/disallowed buttons don't show up.)

But when I restarted the computer, I was quite surprised to find out that Firefox had disappeared from the Dock. It wasn't in the Applications menu or anything, so I decided to reinstall it. Yet when I did that, it relaunced with my settings intact (using The Musings as its default homepage, among other things). It obviously wasn't gone the first time; it must have just been...hiding? And when I quit the program later on, its icon disappeared from the Dock again. I now have a Firefox alias on my desktop, but it's really weird that it doesn't seem to keep its Dock position. Any comments from OS X users would of course be appreciated...

They picked the wrong place to get the munchies: Two pot-smoking guys decided to drive through a KFC in Buffalo recently; unfortunately, their smoke wafted through the window into the restaurant, where two narcotics detectives happened to be having dinner. The detectives went out to the car and made an easy bust.

FREE FOOD ALERT: Want free Chick-Fil-A on July 14? All you have to do is dress like a cow from head to toe and you'll be rewarded as such; it'll be Cow Appreciation Day, after all. (This seems a lot harder than dressing up like a Chipotle burrito on Halloween.)


MacMomma said...

I don't have a laptop but do have a new G5. For a while Safari would just quit when I would try to go to a particular site (same one every time) but when this occurred a msg. would pop up giving instructions to notify Apple of the problem. I notified everytime that happened and eventually there was an upgrade that seems to have fixed that problem. If you can't figure out if it's something you are doing I'd suggest calling AppleCare asap for assistance. It might be a glitch that they'll have to fix. Also there is a Mac Blog that is full of info and very smart tech people. You might want to visit that.

Theo Boehm said...

Hi Kev,

I've recently installed Firefox on my 17" PowerBook running OS X 10.4.7. Yep, everything's up-to-date and tickety-poo. The main reason I installed Firefox is for the same reason you did, blogging.

I've not had the problems you've experienced with Safari--nary a freeze or crash--and I haven't had any trouble keeping the Firefox icon in the dock, either. You might check and make sure that you've not made both of them the default browser, though. I had Firefox crash once under that circumstance, although I hadn't yet installed the icon in the dock. I made sure Firefox wasn't the default, dragged the icon to the dock, and everything's been fine. I've discovered that if you use both browsers, it works best to leave Safari as the default.

Also, you might want to take a look at the installed extensions in Firefox. If you have a lot of them, you should uninstall them, see how things work, and reinstall them one or two at a time until trouble happens. SOP for those of us familiar with the bad old days of, say, System 7 extensions.

I tried to use Firefox about a year ago with 10.3. Don't remember the Firefox release, but it was a complete trainwreck for OS X then. 1.5 is a lot better, although there are a couple things that could stand improvement. One is that the CPU usage shoots up over 90% when you click or drag in an active web page. Ordinariliy this is no biggie, but it can bog things down a bit and help drain your battery faster than you'd like.

Another related problem is the slightly funky overall appearance vs. Safari. Both of these are caused by the fact that Firefox still uses the Carbon API instead of the current Cocoa. You get the same sort of thing when using legacy apps under Classic: They suck power and look like hell.

One thing that can improve your Firefox experience is to use a theme that's more Safari-like. This one's pretty good, and has the ever-handy bookmarks button on the bookmarks toolbar: GrApple (Eos)1.9.1

Sorry to go on so long, but we seem to be living in parallel universes, and I always like to chat with other Mac users. Hope this helps.