Ted's Tidbits

Safari 3 For Windows -- First Impressions

As soon as I heard the announcement, I downloaded the public beta of Safari 3 for Windows.  So far I'm pretty impressed.  The memory usage seems to come in between Firefox (the worst) and Opera (the best).  ThinWire, my web application framework, works beautifully.  Gmail works fine, but Yahoo Mail has some issues (I get lots of JS errors).

I did a quick performance benchmark.  ThinWire has a Grid component that can display lots of data.  I fired up my benchmark app for the Grid, and added 10,000 rows.  Here's the performance results:

  • Internet Explorer 7: 1 minute 33.66 seconds
  • Opera 9: 27.93 seconds
  • Firefox 2: 23.24 seconds
  • Safari 3 Beta: 18.91 seconds
I realize that there is only approximately a 4 second improvment over Firefox 2 in this test, but 4 seconds is a lifetime in terms of waiting for a web application to load.

Also, while the Grid was loading, the rest of the app was still responsive; I could even start browsing and scrolling the Grid.Also, a quick look in the install directory reveals some interesting libraries.  WebKit was there as expected, but also CoreFoundation (Apple's base C library) and CoreGraphics (the main OS X graphics library).  Very interesting.

How To Make Windows Update Not Hog the CPU

Every morning I come into work, plug my laptop in, and turn it on.  It quickly resumes from hibernation, and then forces me to wait for about three minutes while svchost.exe dominates the CPU.  This morning, however, the process never finished.

Several hours and searches later, I had my computer back as well as a new disdain for Microsoft Update.  Windows Update is a standard feature of every version of Windows since 98 (I think).  Starting with XP service pack 2, we gained the “option” to have the updates auto-downloaded.  This works fairly well.  The problem occurs when you opt to “enhance” your Windows Update and turn it into Microsoft Update.  It sounds like a good idea.  You get the Office updates and any other MS product updates.  Unfortunately the update process isn’t the most efficient.

As a software developer myself, I have learned restraint in criticizing others’ design.  I will, however, let the community speak out on this: [link]

Basically, whenever you start your machine, MS Update (via svchost.exe) checks every app that was installed with Windows Installer 3 to see if there are any updates available.  This takes forever.  I did, however find a fix, courtesy of the MS community forums [link].

Here’s what you do:

Now If only I could make Windows use less RAM.  (500 MB on startup vs 70 MB on my ArchLinux system at home)