Firefox Sucks

Mozilla Firefox, while being a better browser than Internet Explorer, has a big problem. It hogs memory. It takes over all available memory and doesn’t return it to the OS until you close Firefox.

You heard me right: Mozilla Firefox sucks. I do understand that it is a better browser than Internet Explorer and has much better support of the W3C standards. But it has the fatal Windows flaw: Like Microsoft Windows, Firefox has to be shut down at least once a day.

I am using Firefox 1.0.2 on my Windows XP Professional laptop. I surf the net by opening lots of tabs in Firefox and then closing them one by one as I finish reading a tab. This almost always results in Firefox eating up most of my computer’s 512MB of RAM. As Windows starts paging everything to disk, the computer starts getting slower and slower. The only solution then is to close Firefox and start it again.

The reason for this problem seems to be memory leaks. What sort of software has memory leaks? Unfortunately, it seems the answer is most software, though Firefox is the biggest memory hog I have seen. This is like Toyota or General Motors making cars whose gas tanks leaked all the time.

کچھ عشق کیا، کچھ کام کیا

کچھ عرصہ پہلے ہارورڈ کے صدر لیری سمرز نے خواتین کی پروفیسروں میں کمی پر اپنے خیالات کا اظہار کیا۔ جو وجوہات لیری نے بیان کیں ان میں سے ایک ہی تھی کہ یونیورسٹیوں میں لوگوں کو ۸۰ یا زیادہ گھنٹے کام کرنا پڑتا ہے اور خواتین اس پر راضی نہیں ہوتیں۔

کچھ عرصہ پہلے ہارورڈ کے صدر لیری سمرز نے خواتین کی پروفیسروں میں کمی پر اپنے خیالات کا اظہار کیا۔ ان کی باتوں پر بہت لوگوں نے اعتراض کیا کیونکہ لیری کے خیال میں خواتین کے خلاف سلوک ان کی کم تعداد کی وجہ نہیں ہے۔ جو وجوہات لیری نے بیان کیں ان میں سے ایک ہی تھی کہ یونیورسٹیوں میں لوگوں کو ۸۰ یا زیادہ گھنٹے کام کرنا پڑتا ہے اور خواتین اس پر راضی نہیں ہوتیں۔

اس موضوع پر بریڈ ڈلونگ اور این ایپلبام کی تحریریں مجھے اچھی لگیں۔

میری سمجھ میں نہیں آتا کہ امریکہ جیسے ترقی یافتہ اور امیر ملک میں لوگ اتنے زیادہ گھنٹے کیوں کام کرتے ہیں۔ آخر زندگی میں روزی کمانے کے علاوہ اور بھی بہت اہم چیزیں ہیں۔ کروکڈ ٹمبر پر کمبرلی مارگن اس ہفتے کام اور فیملی کے مسائل پر لکھ رہی ہیں۔

جانے کیوں مجھے ان سوچوں سے فیض کی یہ نظم یاد آئی۔

وہ لوگ بہت خوش قسمت تھے
جو عشق کو کام سمجھتے تھے
یا کام سے عاشقی کرتے تھے
ہم جیتے جی مصروف رہے
کچھ عشق کیا، کچھ کام کیا
کام عشق کے آڑے آتا رہا
اور عشق سے کام الجھتا رہا
پھر آخر تنگ آ کر ہم نے
دونوں کو ادھورا چھوڑ دیا

Happy Easter

Happy Easter, everyone.

Webhost Recommendations

Urdu and Unicode require better support than Perl 5.6.1 can manage. Since my web host can’t install Perl 5.8.x any time soon, I can either install it in my user account or switch web hosts. Help and suggestions needed.

Since I having been trying to use more Urdu on this weblog, I have run up against a number of issues related to Perl 5.6.1’s support for Unicode, which is the version installed on my web host’s servers. I asked them if they had any plans of upgrading Perl to a more recent version (5.8.x) but Dreamhost has no such plans in the near future since the current stable release of Debian Linux includes Perl 5.6.1. Until Debian 3.1 is released and installed on Dreamhost’s servers, I am out of luck.

Therefore, I have two options:

  1. Install Perl 5.8.6 in my user account (without root access). I have heard that this is a hassle and I am not sure what sort of problems I could run into. Plus would I have to maintain all Perl modules that I need by myself as well? If you have any thoughts on the matter or can point to an installation guide for non-root users, please let me know.
  2. Change web hosts to one which has Perl 5.8.1 or later installed. Please suggest reasonable web hosts.

Currently, I am on the Dreamhost Crazy Domain Insane plan which costs about $120 per year. It includes 2.4GB disk space, 120 GB/month bandwidth, 1 free domain registration, 3 domains and 15 subdomains hosting, unlimited MySQL databases, video streaming, lots of email accounts, etc. I am currently using about 415 MB of disk space and 3 GB/month bandwidth.

My requirements would include at least 1 GB of disk space and 20 GB/month bandwidth. I have 4 subdomains right now, so at least that number should be available. I would need at least 3 MySQL databases as well.

Currently, the major use of my web hosting is with Movable Type and WordPress. I am also posting lots of photographs and some videos (streaming) online. So obviously a new web host would need to support these.

What do you think are the pros and cons of the two options I have listed? Which do you think would be better? Please note that other than the Perl Unicode support issue, I am satisfied with Dreamhost.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Ottawa Travelogue

Continuing on with the Ottawa impressions, it was quite cold there all week. This caused a problem as Michelle refused to wear a coat, hat, or mittens. Because of Michelle, we were only able to go sightseeing on Friday.
We walked around in downtown and toured the Parliament …

Continuing on with the Ottawa impressions, it was quite cold there all week. This caused a problem as Michelle refused to wear a coat, hat, or mittens. In addition, Michelle’s gums were hurting and she was missing Amber who had to work long hours there. So Michelle went on a bottle strike. Because of this, we were only able to go sightseeing on Friday.

We walked around in downtown and wandered about the Byward Market, Rideau canal (which works as a skating rink in the winter), National war memorial etc. We also took a tour of the Parliament. We were the only non-Canadians in our tour group.

One thing we noticed in Ottawa was that there were lot of French Canadians there. When we had been to Canada last time, we didn’t meet any, but that was in Toronto.

Here are a few photographs.

Canadian Parliament
Roof of Senate Chamber
View of the river
From the Peace tower
Another view of Ottawa
Chateau Laurier and East Wing
East Wing of Parliament
A Parliament wing
End of Rideau Canal
I in front of War memorial
War memorial and Chateau Laurier
All dressed up
 

More Interviews

Continuing with the interview meme, here are the questions for the two remaining interviewees, Fazia and Renee. That completes my part of the meme since I have now interviewed 5 people.

Continuing with the interview meme, here are the questions for the two remaining interviewees.

For Fazia:

  1. How can you be both a cat and dog person? Doesn’t it have to be one or the other but not both?
  2. What is your favorite cookbook? Science fiction book?
  3. Tell us one good and one bad thing about Texas.
  4. Do you think blogging is an extrovert activity or are most bloggers introverts?
  5. Since Reid mentioned disco music, let’s hear your thoughts on disco.

For Renee:

  1. How did you and M meet?
  2. Give us a tour (in words or images) of the house you are getting.
  3. What is the best thing you like about Atlanta?
  4. What sort of books do you like to read? What are the best fiction and non-fiction books you like?
  5. How did you survive Colorado winters?

That completes my part of the meme since I have now interviewed 5 people.

UPDATE: Replies from Renee and Fazia.

Interview Questions

Three people asked to be interviewed in the blog interview chain, so here are the questions for them.

For Asif:

  1. How many languages do you know? How did you learn so many languages?
  2. Tell us an amusing incident from your time in UET, Lahore.
  3. How and why did you decide to go to Germany? How do you like the country?
  4. Why did you start blogging? Why in Urdu? Were you familiar with any other Urdu blogs when you started?
  5. What are your plans after you are done with your PhD?

For Munira:

  1. Which brother do you like better, me or him? Just kidding! How do you like Karachi? Compared to other places you have lived like Islamabad, Wah Cantt, Tripoli, Rawalpindi and Lahore?
  2. How does living by yourself feel?
  3. Name one quality or action of Musharraf that you think will be good for Pakistan.
  4. What are your thoughts on women leading prayers?
  5. What do you think is the biggest problem facing Pakistani women?

For Reid:

  1. How did you start professional photography?
  2. Has the web helped with your work in photography?
  3. Looking at your old photos, I was amused at the 1970s fashion. I am too young to have been a fashion culprit then, but everybody seems to have gone crazy in those times. What are your thoughts about 1970s fashion looking back after 3 decades?
  4. How would you describe your political philosophy? What are the overarching themes and principles shaping your political beliefs? Are you a pragmatist or idealist?
  5. Why haven’t we met when our public addresses are less than 2 miles apart?

There you go, guys.

UPDATE: Replies from Asif, Munira and Reid.