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Opera/Firefox speed, was Re: flash in stretch again

TL;DR perhaps try http://someonewhocares.org/hosts/

On Thu 22 Jun 2017 at 13:00:35 (-0300), Wellington Terumi Uemura wrote:
> I really recommend that you switch up to Opera and forget about
> Chromium and Firefox for a number of reasons. It uses much less
> resources, native AdBlock, embedded free VPN for your privacy
> concerns, it uses chromium engine to render pages, pop up video,
> Speed Dial, etc, etc.
> http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-reasons-why-you-should-use-the-opera-browser/
> https://www.windowscentral.com/why-switch-opera-browser
> Your issue is also why I've migrated it and I'm not willing to go
> back, I don't keep track of every single change that happens with
> Debian and Mozilla. Before I used to compile a kernel specific to my
> machine, now I just want to install the thing and use it.
> I just have enough of this, Firefox is out of Debian, now is back
> again, now Firefox stop working with flash and you have to do some
> Voodoo magic to make it work until the next update that will brake
> flash player all over again.

As a result of this recommendation, I decided to try Opera on
this low-powered machine¹. Flash is the least of my problems
as I download those I want to see and am grateful that the rest
*don't* run: it's the rendering speed that is my main concern.
Many web pages completely overload the machine: the screen
clock and even the mouse interrupts can get several tens of
seconds behind and then have to catch up. (Unless you wait,
any mouse clicks will land in the wrong place.)

I found O's usability difficult after using F for years², but
there *were* individual web sites that were faster to render,
so I set up short-cuts to call those up. The two most significant
were the 10-day forecast and the weather radar. Some newspaper
sites too.

O's printing was no better that F (eg missing a line at page
top/bottoms) and it would sometimes produce the correct number
of empty pages. Saving web pages (whichever way) seemed only to
be able to produce a mystery monolithic file, rather than F's
tree of individual images and other scraps, which is a feature
I depend on.

The Google Images interface was far less useful too. (I only rarely
want to visit the pages that the images come from: for me, it's a
search tool, not a navigation one.)

It also appeared that when O started with a number of Tabs from
the previous session, it would attempt to restore them all
straight away, with completely negated any performance gain.
F only opens the Tab you're displaying, and defers restoring
other ones until you select them.

I was happy to see that O could import F's bookmarks, but the
way they were then implemented was poor as it alphabetised
them all. Imagine getting to w-eather: six or seven lists the
height of the page.

With a couple more devices to add to /etc/hosts, I though I'd
try adding in the list of machines at


This has had a much more transforming effect on F than switching
to Opera; so much so that I have reverted my short-cuts for
weather etc. The fan has less work to do too.

(BTW. I'm happy to read comments on where I went wrong.)

¹ 1.50GHz Pentium M, 512MB memory, 1GB swap, fvwm, no DE.

² Opera was, I think, the third browser I used (mid-1990s), after
Mosaic and Netscape, in the days when it had a little orange panel
top-right where it put ads. Fvwm used to put a tiny xterm over it
(set to always-on-top) to avoid the distracting animations.


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