Archive for September, 2007

Firefox Update

The new update appears to have improved my Firefox situation. I mentioned in a previous post that I was having a horrible time with Firefox lagging. After yesterday’s update, which ostensibly fixed a Quicktime security issue, I’m having fewer lags. They’re still happening from time to time but they’re not so frequent that I can’t use it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.


Whatever Happened to Free Speech?

This link will take you to a video of a student being dragged away, held down, and tasered for not shutting up when he was told to by Univeristy of Florida campus police. Only one person openly questioned the police’s actions and tried to help the student. The kid was a little bit obnoxious, but he wasn’t violent and he wasn’t dangerous. He had the same right to free speech that we all do. Or do we? What will you do when you find yourself watching a fellow citizen being tortured for speaking out?

Thank you to Ask-Steve for bringing this to my attention.

Robert Jordan: R.I.P.

Robert Jordan, the author of The Wheel of Time series of fantasy novels died of a rare blood disease yesterday. Fans around the world are cursing in rage and grief. Rage because he didn’t finish the series, leaving us forever hanging off a cliff, grief because we’ve lost a writer of incredible imagination and talent.

I’ll try to explain why it’s such a big deal that he didn’t finish the series. He started it in 1990 and by 2005 had completed 11 books in the series. The story is huge and encompasses the lives of upwards of a hundred characters. I haven’t done an actual count but there are a crazy number of people to keep track of in these books. By around book 7 fans were starting to get nervous, some angry, at how sprawling the story had become. Every book introduced new characters, leaving less time for the old ones. By book 10 the story’s progression had slowed to a molasses crawl. Everyone was frustrated because it was clear there were way too many loose ends to wrap up in even 1 more 800 page book. I think he was thinking he’d have it all wrapped up by book 14. When you’ve been following a story for 17 years, it’s a big deal. All of his characters died with him. Ugh.

I remember actually thinking during book 10 that Jordan had better not die before he finished this damn thing. I didn’t know he was actually ill. The problem was that even amidst the frustration of too many characters and slow plot progression, his characters were engaging and the story was fascinating. I can’t believe he didn’t finish it. He was working on book 12 so perhaps they’ll edit it into something publishable. It worked for Tolkien and I’m sure Tor Publishing would love to do it.

Robert Jordan is a pen name, by the way. I didn’t know anything about the man behind that name but I’ll mourn the writer.

Firefox is Driving Me Insane

Update: I rolled Firefox back to a previous version. Same issues. I fired it up in safe mode. Same issues. I’m typing this from IE. I can’t take it anymore! I’ll keep trying to find a solution when I have the time and if I do, I’ll post it here.

About 2 weeks ago, Firefox starting randomly hanging. It’s not related to a specific Web site although I suspect it has something to do with running Java scripts. The symptoms are as follows.

I click in a box to type something and nothing happens for up to 15 seconds. I click on a button on Web page and nothing happens for up to 15 seconds. Everything moves along fine for a couple of minutes and then I try to scroll a page. Nothing happens. Sometimes the Firefox program icon goes to the non-responding icon. My CPU usage spikes to 100% during these lags. It’s maddening.

Googling this problem has not returned anything useful yet. I don’t have any extensions installed. I reinstalled the latest Java update (which I think is what caused this mess in the first place). I ran a spyware check. I checked my processes for anything that looked suspicious. I cleared my cache. I changed Firefox so it only uses one processor. No improvement so far. Arrrgh!

The Firefox error console shows lots of the following errors: “Warning: Error in parsing value for property ‘cursor’. Declaration dropped.” The Firefox forum claims this wouldn’t cause a crash. It’s just a CSS error.

I haven’t done a full reinstall of Firefox yet. I think it may be my last hope. Help me Obi Wan!