The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Computer access has become impossibly sllooowwww

Chuck's picture

Computer access has become impossibly sllooowwww

I have an "older" computer, one that's neither as fast nor has as much memory as the latest and greatest. (But it's paid for:-) I have a broadband connection, which provides a pretty snappy display of lightweight sites.

TFL has always been a bit slow for me to access, but in the past it's just been an annoyance. Sometime in the last few days though access became really slow. When I click on a thread topic on the home page, after suffering through two browser warnings about possibly looping Javascript, I finally see the thread after more than 20 seconds. When I'm done and go Back to the home page, it costs another 20 seconds every time. (And other operations have the same or even worse delays.)

I thought the days of the "World Wide Wait" were long past  ...but maybe not.

(It's been my experience that the software life arc passes the "done" stage at some point, after which it continues to become slightly more robust and slightly more feature rich, but at the cost of much higher compute power needs. Has Drupal perhaps passed this point of diminishing returns?)

LindyD's picture

I don't think your rig is any older than this office dud I'm on right now, which is a Windoze 98 unit using a 1991 bios and less than 512MB RAM.

It runs an unsupported out of date version of Firefox (nothing else works with W98) and has no problems or slowdowns at TFL.  In fact TFL is the only site that works well and relatively fast on this antique junker.

Have you run a recent a.v./malware check?

You didn't mention your OS - but have you tried Chrome?  I use it at home and it is very fast.  It does require XP and higher.

mrfrost's picture

I have three systems of various ages, all running XP sp3, IE, plenty memory(2GB), cable hi speed. The latest a 3yo Dell 2.2 GHz Core 2 duo. The other 2 systems are slightly older, self assembled systems.

I do have Firefox, and use it occasionally, but mostly just IE. No Chrome.

Yes, similar experiences on all systems. TFL access is often slower than other sites. Probably not as long waits as described in op, but definitely, relatively speaking, slower, sometimes.

Sometimes, only the right side columns of the home page will load. Have to refresh browser to get the right column("latest posts", etc) to load.

Just some of the issues, and not very often.

Again, just reporting. I do understand that TFL is basically a one man, not necessarily for profit, operation.

PaddyL's picture

But I've been getting those "Oops!  Google cannot find....." messages quite often lately.  There have been times when Google could not even find itself!

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

My computer is old enough that XP SP1 hadn't come out yet. I tried CA, that was free with the cable internet service, and Norton. Both were relatively slow and didn't protect against some of the more devious and malicious things going around these days.

If you want a free anti-virus, the AVG is said to be reasonably effective. I'm using ESET NOD 32 and it's letting this old box run much faster. You may have to go to the MicroCenter in Cambridge, MA if you want to buy this software on a disc. It is available on line. Investigate before you buy but it does come with a 30-day trial I believe.

Something else that might help is the Firefox 4 Beta 6 browser.  Firefox 4 is due after the New year but meanwhile this beta version is faster than IE8 or Firefox 3.6 on an older machine.

wmtimm627's picture

I switched over to Ubuntu Linux almost 2 years ago on all my computers, and couldn't believe the difference over Windoze, especially on my crappy old laptop. If you don't have a lot of dependencies on Win only programs (of which there are a few methods to run under Linux), you might want to look into a different OS. The other bonus is that almost all the software that you get for Linux is FREE.



Chuck's picture

The dramatic slowdown I noticed recently turned out be a problem in the configuration of my caching "bind" on another computer; my apologies for incorrectly suspecting that TFL had changed recently.

Even with my problem corrected though, TFL speed remains rather mediocre like it always was for me. I've investigated further (network packet trace, etc.) and have found:

  • Issue is almost entirely the particular browser used; the OS used (Win98, Linux, etc.) doesn't make too much difference (provided only that the desired browser will run on whatever OS is being used).
  • Several different browser option settings make such a big difference that even what appears to be "the same browser" will behave very differently on different computers.
  • Especially browser options for larger cache sizes, browser options for more multiple parallel network requests, speed of access to cache disk, and speed of access to paging file make a big difference.
  • Computer name-to-address lookup matters a whole lot, some sort of DNS caching server or large configured name cache helps.

At root though the issue is the pages are "Javascript-Heavy"; just the Javascript(JQuery) part of the processing of every page takes 10-20 seconds on my computer even with all available browser options tweaked for speed and no networking bottlenecks. Javascript-heavy web pages are so common these days (by no means is it just TFL or just Drupal) that all newer browsers are optimized for Javascript speed (usually they boast of something like "JustInTime compilation). It would however be nice if the Drupal developers were a little more sensitive to this issue, taking more care to eliminate unnecessary use of Javascript(JQuery) rather than showing off their coding skills.

Folks who are stuck with older browsers -because newer ones won't run under their OS- seem to be just plain SOL. All they can do is speed up everything else, then hold their breath during the Javascript(JQuery) processing.

leocwa's picture

probably nothing wrong with your computer , Could be your ISP, do you have high speed internet? or 56K