I Thought It Was Just Me…

I change browsers about every three to six months, whether I need to or not. This time, though, was the last straw. I had switched to Google Chrome from Firefox about a month ago, and noticed it had this habit of taking over the CPU on both my Mac desktop and Windows laptop. The other day, I was trying to record a video to explain what I had done to have two blogs updating at roughly the same time, and about halfway through the recording the browser just stopped, I had the Spinning Beachball of Death, and nothing else was working. I checked my CPU usage and there must have been a dozen instances of Chrome running simultaneously and competing for system resources.

At that point, I said, “Forget it!”, revived my copy of Firefox, and sent Chrome to the bit bucket.
Evidently, I’m not alone. This morning, I was reading through Feedly and came across this article: F*** It, I’m Going Back to Firefox. The author, Eric Limer, complained of the same issues, and said he decided to make the switch when even Safari (the browser installed as part of Mac OS X) was running faster.

The comments from people who still appeared to like Chrome said the problem was the number of extensions he had installed, because each one of them opens a separate process. Thing was, the extensions are part of the reason I switched in the first place, and the extensions I had installed were ones that I used all the time (Feedly, Evernote, Pocket, etc.). I wasn’t about to uninstall them when they were the reason I made the switch to begin with.

Anyway, I’m back to Firefox, and have discovered that I can function just fine without the extensions. I mean really, the best they can do is tell you not to use the things you installed the browser for in the first place? Without the extensions, Chrome is Internet Explorer without the charm.

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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

8 thoughts on “I Thought It Was Just Me…”

  1. Don’t you hate it?? I have to use Internet Explorer at work because software I write online help for uses other Microsoft Windows products. But then they (MS) makes changes to IE and now my help won’t work without finagling code. Hate all the “advancements!” Not really; just hate the ones that make my computer life harder. Oh well.

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    1. What are you using, .NET and C#? I know Sharepoint requires IE, and the company I had been working with a few years ago wrote a bunch of Windows-only code into their product (which, up to then, was straight Java and JSP’s). I used to get around the IE requirement by installing a Firefox plugin that emulates IE well enough that everything would show up correctly.

      Supposedly, MS is developing a new browser to deliver with Windows 10 that won’t be called IE and will look more like Firefox and Chrome. Even then, most people will just use it to download Firefox or Chrome…

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      1. I have to write the help for IE; that is the product requirement. The help is just HTML. Thank goodness I don’t have to learn another coding language. I speak enough HTML to get around.
        I would guess most of our customers stick with IE because the software is on either a server or a client machine that is dedicated to the product. They probably don’t surf the web while working; it would be a security issue. Besides, I would hate to have to write help and test it so that it would work on all browsers. Hard enough to get it to work on all flavors of IE — and it does not work on Chrome. I don’t care, as long as it works on IE, life is good. But then there is HTML5. Another story, another time.

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        1. I’ve taken a couple of classes in HTML5. It’s not that bad, actually. It seems complicated at first, because there are new rules for embedding pictures, audio, and video, and there are considerations for mobile users, but the basic tags are still there, and you can still embed using the old techniques, at least for now.

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  2. Firefox is great, erm was great. Let me know how it goes. I’ve gotten used to Chrome but had issues getting my extensions to work. The main reason I went to Chrome was for the sync with my iPhone. Even that has its issues.

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    1. Firefox has its limitations, but they’re limitations I’m willing to live with. It doesn’t spend all its time opening instances for all the extensions, half of which I’m not using anyway, and “contacting the mothership” (i.e. communicating with Google). I get frustrated with web services like Quip that have built their service around everything but Firefox, but I figure I don’t need to use them that badly anyway. Firefox had gotten bloated when Chrome first came out, and a lot of people installed Chrome. Now the shoe is on the other foot…

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