Slow iBook

For quite a while my iBook G3 600 MHz has felt slow even sluggish, and it can be very annoying. Applications take forever to start, when quickly changing to Safari and starting to write an URL in the address bar it can sometimes take 2-3 seconds until what I write is shown. So it generally feels like the user interface can’t keep up with me, and I hate having to wait for the computer, I’m not such a fast thinker so it should not have any problems, really…

So what can I do about this? Probably nothing, a PowerBook or one of the new 800 Mhz G4 iBooks would be really neat to have and a lot faster but I just can’t justify spending so much money on yet another machine to myself. Maybe I’ll try to upgrade the memory on my current iBook. Now it has 384 MB of memory, doubling that should have a positive impact on the performance. It’s a shame that the 512MB memory modules for laptops are way expensive though.

On another note, I bought a new battery for my iBook middle of January because my battery time was down to 50 minutes with the old battery. It’s now end of March and the new battery has already lost 107mAh (down from 4.400Ah when new to 4.293Ah). But I guess that is what happens when one use a laptop like a laptop should be used.

D-Link and Apple’s AirPort card

I got my D-Link DI-514 Wireless Router today. I followed the instructions: connected it to the ADSL modem and then used a network cable between the D-Link router and my iBook so I could configured it. Then I had set it up as I wanted it, I unplugged the network cable, enabled the AirPort card in my iBook and expected it to work but no, of course it didn’t.

So I investigate the problem a bit and find out that the iBook gets assigned an IP address from the DHCP server running on the D-Link router, and the router logs shows it giving out an IP address. But I can still not connect to anywhere from the iBook. I can’t even ping the router. If I reconnect the network cable everything works fine, so I feel quite baffled.

I turn on my PC, which I earlier used as my “Wireless Access Point” with the help of an USB wireless LAN adapter. Configure that one to use the D-Link router, and it works fine. Of course. So has my AirPort card decided to break itself?

I reconfigure the USB wireless LAN adapter to use adhoc mode, set IP addresses on the two machines, and they can ping each other. Alright, so it ’s nothing wrong with the hardware. Now I turn to the almighty google and I find this post in a forum after a couple of minutes. I change the settings from using short preamble to long preamble, and look and behold, it starts to work! Thank you D-Link for wasting three hours of my time.

Mac OS X – good but not perfect

Bruce ‘Tog’ Tognazzini has written three excellent articles about Mac OS X Panther:

Read them!

The one thing I find myself lacking the most in OS X is an easy way to access a menu with a shortcut-key. In Windows I can do Alt-f to get to the file menu and then use the up and down arrow keys to navigate to the desired menu option, in case I don’t remember the short-cut for the option I want to use. So I don’t need to move my hand away from the keyboard to the mouse.

In OS X I have to press Ctrl-F2 to get to the menu bar, which can theoretically be done with just the left hand, if I didn’t have an iBook on which the fn key needs to be pressed to access the function keys. So I need to press fn-ctrl-F2, quite a job. It can be done with one hand but requires such a big hand movement that it’s easier to move the right hand to the mouse instead. Not to mention that I can’t control which menu that is opened. It’s always the left most apple menu, which is the menu I actually most seldom use…

Apple

After mostly using my windows machine for some time I had forgotten how wonderful it is to have a real unix under hood, as in OS X. It’s so great to be able to just alt-tab to a terminal window and have a real unix shell there. There is of course cygwin for windows but it’s not the same thing, emulating unix on top of something won’t be the same as the real thing. Too bad my old iBook with just a 600 MHz G3 processor is started to feel a bit slow. I’ve been drooling over the new iBooks with G4 processors, but I’ve already got one laptop, what would I need another one for?

Some quick OS X links:

Safari is a memory hog?

I just noticed the following when I ran the top command a couple of minutes ago:

  PID COMMAND      %CPU   TIME   #TH #PRTS #MREGS RPRVT  RSHRD  RSIZE  VSIZE
 3368 Safari      10.1% 82:36.27  29  1556  2917   175M- 26.0M   153M-  740M-

Does Safari really need 740 MB of virtual memory? Seems a tad bit much.

OS X FTP client

Because ncftp which I installed from fink for some reason has decided to just exit straight to the shell whenever I write a Swedish character I had to find another free FTP client for Mac OS X. After a bit of searching I found this blog entry which lead me to RBrowserLite.

I got it working after some initial problems, for some reason I had to set the initial remote path to / otherwise it wouldn’t show anything. But now I can download things with Swedish characters in their names so I’m happy.