Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Firefox vs. Google Chrome practical performance review

Something crashed on my media computer recently.  It was so bad that the computer had to run "Restart Repair" in order to boot at all.  I didn't know there was such a thing!  And, in any case, how is such a thing even possible?  The computer is dead.  It won't boot.  So it runs "Restart Repair" to enable itself to boot!  Wow...

So, in any case...   It must have been something I got into online the corrupted something.  "Restart Repair" fixed whatever was wrong and I am back at my original desktop.

Chrome wiould no longer open.  After some futile efforts, I decide to reinstall Chrome.  Using Firefox, I download Chrome and "Installation fails".  Several times.

I give up and start using Firefox.  I set up all of my frequent open tabs and browse away.  I notice severe performance deficits - there seems to be a huge mouse (and sometimes keyboard) latency - missed mouse clicks and delayed scrolling.

I opened task manager and watched the performance.  Sure, I had a lot of tabs open (11 or more) but nothing was running.  CPU averaged about 25% with regular 90% spikes every few seconds.

I used to love Firefox, but I quit using Firefox before because it seemed to keep hijacking my default setting and trying to force Yahoo and AVG on me.  I suspected Firefox was actually preventing the download of Chrome!

This time I used Internet Explorer to download Chrome.  The download and installation went perfectly and smoothly.  It even replaced most of my previous bookmarks even though it had been uninstalled!

I have a Quad Core Processor running Windows 7.  As I replaced my open tabs, I checked Performance after each one to see if any of the websites had anything running in the background.  After opening each one, there was the expected spikes of activity as everything loaded, then CPU dropped back to about 0.5%.

Right now, I have 12 tabs open (but nothing actually running).  CPU usage is 0.5%.

Case closed.  Chrome 10.  Firefox 0.

Friday, November 11, 2016

I'm Fed Up with FireFox

Internet Explorer got to the point where it allowed more clutter than content, especially with the usual intrusiveness of everything from MicroSoft.  I switched to FireFox so long ago that I can't remember.  I was happy up until the last year or so.  It seemed like the updates were more and more often.  FireFox was always pretty well behaved, but lately, every update discards all of my open tabs and sets the default browser to Yahoo, which I can't stand.

I have had it!  I am now using Chrome on all of my computers at home and work.  It is only slightly different.  There are a few features that will take some getting used to, but nothing significant.

At least all of my settings will stay put.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Just How Stupid ARE you?

I have watched an inexplicable phenomenon since the 80s that I can only attribute to rage induced insanity.  (I guess that would mean 'not guilty by reason of temporary insanity.")

In every presidential election, there is a sizable group of people who say, "I absolutely will not, under any circumstances, vote for THAT person, even if they are the only choice."

If you are ever tempted to say this, first say to yourself, "I would rather have the WORST POSSIBLE candidate, than not have the one I wanted."  Now, doesn't that sound just a LITTLE bit insane?

Assuming that you do indeed believe that one political party is (at least marginally) better for the country than the other, do the math!  'Less than the best' is still far better than 'worst.'

Remember.  If you do not vote for 'our' guy, that is at least one half of a vote for 'their' guy.

For the next four years, do you really want to be 'not guilty by reason of temporary insanity.'

Monday, February 1, 2016

Hamilton Sunstrand NP2000 Propeller now available in 1/32 scale!

My propeller is now available in 1/32 scale!
For details see the original blog:
or go to Shapeways and search for np2000.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

How the Republicans Plan to Lose the Election

The Republicans always seem to have better qualified, more honest candidates for president.  They are doing well all over the country in lesser elections, but they seem to be incredibly capable of consistently losing the Presidential Election.  Here is how they plan to do it:

1. The Democrats will have a candidate that a) nobody trusts, b) nobody likes, c) nobody has ever heard of, or d) is so extreme nobody in their right mind would vote for them.  There will usually only be one to choose from.

2. The Republicans will run only candidates that are a) highly qualified, b) highly trustworthy and honest, c) well known, and d) proven to be competent and experienced in every way that matters.  There will be many to choose from.

3.  The Democrats will have only one goal: TO DEFEAT THE REPUBLICANS.

4. The Republicans will have many goals: a) save the economy, b) protect our constitutional freedoms and rights, c) protect our religious foundations, d) protect our cultural foundations, e) protect our nation from our enemies, f) strengthen our nation financially, spiritually, technologically, militarily...

5. Notice that none of the Republican goals include: TO DEFEAT THE DEMOCRATS.

6. It gets worse.  Not only do their goals not seem to include TO DEFEAT THE DEMOCRATS, their immediate goal is TO DEFEAT ALL OF THE OTHER REPUBLICANS!

7. At the moment, there are 14 Republican candidates running for President.  Some of them are, of course, better than others.  But, most of them are, at least, quite acceptable.  (See point 2.)  NONE of them want to make us over into a weakened, bankrupt, helpless, socialist welfare state that any third world terrorist can attack at will.

8. In the next year and a half, all of these many candidates are going to beat the crap out of each other in order to be THE ONE who will run for President.  At no time will they be running against the Democrats -- they will be running AGAINST EACH OTHER!

9. The media (almost all liberal) will LOVE this.  They will grasp and magnify every flaw that each Republican exposes in another Republican.

10. The fight will continue until all that is left is the candidate who was LEAST able to combat the other candidates.  For whatever reasons, he was weakest, least interesting, or least respected.  Nobody paid much attention to him.

11. ALL of the other good candidates, for one reason or another, have now been discredited.  NOW this remaining candidate is recognized as the only viable candidate.  He hasn't got a chance.

12. All this time, the Democrats -- who really don't have much in common with each other -- have been working toward their one goal: TO DEFEAT THE REPUBLICANS.

13. Now they don't have to defeat the strongest Republican, they only have to defeat the weakest straggler.  

14. Even if they lose, they win.  Even if the weak Republican straggler wins, he will be too weak to stand against the forces that are destroying the country.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Adventures in Auto Repair

I highly recommend that you replace your Ignition Coil, Spark Plugs, and Wires every 220,000 miles, whether they need it or not.  :-)

My $1800 1996 Sable Stationwagon began running really rough at idle.  It seemed to run OK at higher speeds, but at idle, it would almost die and would misfire bad enough that the check engine light would start flashing.  (That is the pull-over-and-stop-NOW indicator.) It would backfire when accelerating and have little power until higher speeds.  After a couple of minutes at higher speeds the light would quit flashing.

I was also having trouble with the transmission.  I suspected that the valve body was cracked.  It would hunt back and forth and slam into gear when slowing down and speeding back up at low speeds.  This got worse and worse.  Finally, it got so bad that I could no longer use overdrive -- I had to drive in D all the time.

I was also having temperature issues.  The engine didn't ever actually overheat, but the temperature would cycle up and down over several minutes.  I suspected a 'sticky' thermostat that was responding slowly.

Last weekend, I replaced the ignition coil, spark plugs, and wires.  I expected to have a LOT of trouble getting to the back three plugs and getting the plugs out of an aluminum engine.  Given the difficulty I have (age and condition) doing anything, it all went unusually easy.

However, when I started it up, it ran uniformly rough at all speeds.  I had a 50/50 chance of getting #1 & #2 wires swapped (they were hard to see and the wires were both the same length), so I swapped them.  It was MUCH worse.  OK, that wasn't it!  I checked all the connections.  Everything was plugged in good.

The guy at Advance said I might have a bad (brand new) coil.  I bought an OBD II DTC Code Reader.  It said that (only) 4 & 6 were misfiring.  The coil pack has 3 coils which fire the cylinders in pairs.  4 & 6 were NOT a pair.  That means it wasn't the coil.

I had been very careful with the front three wires.  They were very easy to get to and easy to trace.  And I noticed the odd pattern on the coil.  The back 3 were 1, 2, 3.  The front three were NOT 4, 5, 6.  So I had carefully put them in the order 4, 6, 5.

Since the Reader indicated only 2 cylinders, I dug the old coil out of the trash so I could read the numbers.  (The new one didn't have numbers.)  The order was 1, 2, 3 / 6, 5, 4.

I unplugged the easy-to-get-to wires that I was sure were right.  I carefully traced each one and put them back (correctly).  The car now runs perfectly.

Not only that!  The transmission shifts smoothly now!  The thermostat works good!  It doesn't kick in and out of overdrive going up hills!  The sun is shining and birds are singing!  Wow!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

C-130 NP2000 Hamilton Sunstrand Propeller

     The Hamilton Sundtrand NP 2000 8 bladed composite propeller is used on some C-130s and E-2C Hawkeyes.  They are now available in 1/72, 1/48, and 1/32 in my shop Curtis Models on Shapeways.  I built a 1/72 C-130M-200 (Snow Aviation) stretched C-130 with 4 of these propellers.  They greatly enhance an already impressive model.

     Note: These are NOT the 6 bladed props which are currently used on the C-130J.  The 6 bladed props require longer nacelles with different engines and gearboxes.  These are 8 bladed props made by Hamilton Sundstrand & are a OEM retrofit to the older style E and H engine nacelles. I had very good results with the white strong and flexible plastic.

Here is a picture of a 1/72 propeller on a propeller cart:
 When I get a chance I will publish a build story for the whole model.