Few tips to speed up your system - Strictly for developers


Nowadays all applications are getting better and better and we are asked to upgrade our system more frequently then before. We must think once about managing our needs in the available resources and utilizing the resources in the best way. For instance, browsers have become smart and we love to see suggestions after typing "How to" in the browser search. But do we really want this? Think again.
We can limit the system usage by limiting the number of processes ran by the applications in background. It might disable some new features, but we rarely use them.

For today, I will cover tips to make Firefox better and faster.

I know what I want to search, I don’t want suggestions and type ahead.
[Below setting is available in Options -> Advanced ->
General (Win), 
Firefox -> Preferences -> Advanced -> General (Mac)]

Disable hardware acceleration
[Below setting is available in Options -> Advanced -> General (Win),
Firefox -> Preferences -> Advanced -> General (Mac)]

Disable auto-scrolling
[Below setting is available in Options -> Advanced -> General (Win), 
Firefox -> Preferences -> Advanced -> General (Mac)]

Disable "Check my spelling as I type" (you may want to keep it on any one browser out of all the browsers that you use, I use Google Chrome in three different user profiles, Firefox in two different user profiles and Internet Explorer)
[Below setting is available in Options -> Advanced -> General
(Win), 
Firefox -> Preferences -> Advanced -> General (Mac)]


Phew, CPU usage is lowered down to some extent.


I usually have around 20 tabs open at any point, just think on the the memory and CPU used to display the live thumbnails. I simply disable it.
[Below setting is available in Options -> Tabs
(Win),
Firefox -> Preferences -> Tabs (Mac)]


I would like to open 5 results from Google search results page, but look into them one at a time. I don’t even look at the other tabs if I get my answer in first or second, I don’t load them.
[Below setting is available in Options -> Tabs
(Win), 
Firefox -> Preferences -> Tabs (Mac)]

I am doing a lot of stuff to debug my broken code, I don't think I blame Firefox for that. I prefer not to overload Firefox development team with any such data.
[Below setting is available in Options -> Advanced -> Data Choices
(Win), 
Firefox -> Preferences -> Advanced -> Data Choices (Mac)]


I don't use this system for banking purpose, do I? I don't care about the security of the browser, I want to make sure during a project life cycle I stick to a single browser and avoid issues by upgrading browser in middle of a project. Also, I want to use the limited internet I have got to browse what I want and not for downloading updates.
[Below setting is available in Options -> Advanced -> Update
(Win), 
Firefox -> Preferences -> Advanced -> Update (Mac)]



I really don't know why I want to allow Google update to run from each and every browser and even as system scheduled task. I prefer to disable it from everywhere.
[Below setting is available in Addons -> Plugins
]

There are many other plugins that we use very rarely, I safely disable them except Flash and save memory.


I open many sites just to learn new things, I don’t open them as their customer but as a developer trying to learn new stuff. I simply tell them “don’t track me”
[Below setting is available in Options -> Privacy
(Win),
Firefox -> Preferences -> Privacy (Mac)]


Lot of bandwidth saved, memory saved, cpu processing time saved. Let’s get back to business now.


Firebug is required, but not all the tabs in it. I disable the ones that are not used regularly.
 
  
We all use addons like
  • Firebug
  • Fireshot or similar
  • Color picker
  • Grid fox
  • Ruler or Measureit

There are alternatives available in Firefox itself for many. Really? yes just check the screenshot below, I am sure you are smart enough to find it in your browser.


There are some for which built-in alternatives are not available, but we can create a separate profile in Firefox to install them instead of loading all of them even if not in use.

I am sure you want to know how to create multiple profiles, let’s learn that as well.

I have summarized the steps for Windows machines below:
  • Go to your desktop and see if you have a firefox shortcut available. If not, create one.
  • Create a copy of the shortcut, let’s give it a name – gridfox.
  • Open file properties and go to the second tab – “Shortcut”
  • Add the words as below in the Target field.
    -P gridfox --no-remote
  • Open firefox using this shortcut.
  • A new window will be shown


  • Just create your new profile here, you can create as many profiles as you want.

Hope this will help reduce a lot of system load for you as well. It works great for me.

Stay tuned for tips on Chrome, IE and then some system settings as well.



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I love to have feedback on my work, especially when it is about improving my skills :)

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