Time flies, software changes… or not!

I’ve been a long time user of Zone Alarm free firewall (and pro when there were free promotions).

However, during this time, every time I had internet issue,s ZA freezed my system (well, the applications that needed internet access verification, anyway). Why in the world does it have to timeout after a few minutes if there is no internet connection and why it doesn’t cache the information instead, is beyond me. I’ve even opened cases with their support on the issue but of course to no avail. So, just as with moving from opera to firefox, I switched from zonealarm to outpost firewall, but I disabled the firewall in outpost (something impossible to do in zonealarm) as I don’t really need the firewall part, only the application control, because I am behind a linux firewall and truth be told, nothing get’s passed that. And even if I wouldn’t be, I strongly recommend a hardware firewall instead of a software one, because the software one always needs updates and consumes a huge amount of system resources and let’s be honest: the firewall part is really no big deal and doesn’t really need updating. Iptables is “old”, in the sense that I use the exact same rules in it that I wrote over 5 years ago with minor additions/tweaks to support development in the system and the internal network and services provided.

And today my free AVG antivirus wants me to upgrade and their site mentions that software updates are not included in the free version. Well, boys and girls from AVG, I’ve been with you from a very long time and promoted you everywhere but now … I switched to avast. Just because they’re still free with updates. As I always say: Your AV is only good until it’s properly updated. Bye-bye.

Now, onto firefox. As some of you might remember and some don’t, I wrote a little while ago about how I ditched opera and moved to FF. However, that hasn’t become a much better experience as I initially hoped for and that’s because even though I now use “only” about 50 or so tabs open (compared to 120 in my tests) it still eats up almost 600 mb of memory (ram+disk). Not to mention that it takes a few minutes to close it down which obviously has a huge impact on the time needed to both close the PC and startup FF.

Now, there is something I really cannot understand. Why in the world are todays software such huge resource hogs? Really, if I install 5 such software they will all need a total of over 4 GB ram, including OS and that is about the average user programs somebody will have running at a given time. Are todays programmers really that stupid? Why the fuck (sorry) do I have to keep buying new hardware to meet the resource necessity of new software? Seriously, I only use a browser, email client, some IM programs and software development stuff. Not counting the last ones, all those are fairly the same in principle as 20 years ago, but their resource consumption is trough the roof. Where the hell is the progress if during these 20 years, I never ended up having a faster machine ? The OS should start in under 10 seconds, any application should fully load in less than 3 seconds. Everything should work like “snap”. And still, we’re not better at this than we were 20 years ago.

Where is the progress?

My needs haven’t changed in the past 20n years. I want to be able to communicate with somebody, (IM & email), and get some information off the internet (browser) all this in a simple OS that manages just that.

Instead, I get a load of crap. Over 80% of the services installed on my system are disabled, as I don’t use them. From whatever is left, I’d disable almost all if it weren’t for my system to become unstable as I don’t need them either. Of all the features the OS provides, I probably don’t need even 90% of it. And I’m thinking as a general user, begin somebody who installed PC’s for a lot of “average” people. Same thing goes for applications.

Current hardware is so fast, that the user cannot notice a significant difference between loading 20 MB of data off the hard drive or from RAM . And I’m not talking about raw data, which obviously is hundreds of times faster loaded from RAM than disk, but for the dump of a web browsers content in a tab. That is, a webpage. So why the fuck (sorry again) do you browser developers have to keep all that shit in memory instead of keeping it on disk. Do you really think that I give a fuck (sry) that when I switch tabs I have to wait about 1 second for it to load from disk? Seriously, 1-2 seconds are not even enough to notice that.

I’m thinking of re-writing firefox to behave like that. Too bad it’s in C++ and I’m a delphi/pascal punk.

I think for starters I’ll just create a new browser based on IE, although IE sucks; but I’ll just use that for rendering pages so that I can implement my theory and prove that it’s usable.

But since I’m scarce on time and hence don’t want to work in vain, anybody interested in this project? IE users will probably be 🙂

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