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Thursday, 9 July 2009

And now for something vaguely useful

The principal reason I had for starting a blog (apart from having somewhere to sound off) was to be able to give back a little bit of knowledge to this amazing repository that the internet has become. Now comes my first chance.

I switched to using Mozilla Firefox for web-browsing when it first came out, and haven't regretted it. Apart from its own rich set of features, the add-ons you can download give it a real edge over its competitors. Firebug and Hyperwords are both amazing, when you consider how much functionality they give you, for free.

Last week I upgraded to the latest version: Firefox 3.5. Not a great deal to see in terms of extra features, but the start up time was remarkable, unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. It was literally taking several minutes to load. Firefox 3.5 was really slow.

I hoped it might be a glitch, or it might recover by itself. No such luck. So I did the natural thing and asked Google. Bingo!

I started to follow the instructions, but when I went to the Temp folder like they said, there were so many files in there that Explorer just showed the torchlight icon for a couple of minutes, before I gave up. In the end I had to delete the files from the command line. It freed up over 5Gbytes of disc space, and Firefox now loads really quickly again.

I have a suspicion that more than one program is going to be running a bit faster now. The annoying thing is that I've bumped into this sort of issue before, a while back. These Temp folders fill up. It would be nice if the applications that put the files there had the courtesy to get rid of them when they'd finished, but clearly many of them don't. So it's left to the users, and how many of them know to look in their application data folders? I'm one that does, which is why it's annoying.