Aug. 25th, 2017

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Sometime after dinner tonight our download speeds dropped to half a megabit per second on direct connect and pages wouldn't load over wifi, which I caught onto when I couldn't get to display after seven minutes. I was on the phone with Comcast by then because seriously, seven minutes.

Other Person was complaining of the iHeart Radio app buffering before dinner and I was like, "iHeart, it always does that", because iHeart, it always does that, which is why I use YouTube on AutoPlay (and might also be because I keep forgetting Amazon Prime. I should sell my subscription to someone who'll actually use it, but that's probably somewhere out there in ToS territory.).

But no, this time he was actually onto something. Which meant our internet was fubared...again.

It was so late by the time we realized the modem was blazing away at baud speed our call was routed to India, which I knew it would be before I dialed, and I was steamed because I know India doesn't do tech support late at night, and the rare times they've tried I've wished I could fly to India to tell their entire team to never try to do tech support again. It's some combination of barely being able to grasp each other and lousy training that just doesn't work.

After 10 minutes of questions and troubleshooting (the rep didn't ask us to power cycle the modem; instead, without asking, she reset it, opening our signal to the public after I just locked it down again last month - for the third time in a year) which got us nowhere (the ethernet and wifi stayed the same - half a megabit down/too slow to measure, respectively) the rep had the sweet presence of mind to transfer us to tech support - in the US! I was like, "Oh, thank God I don't have call back during business hours tomorrow".

But I sensed USian tech would also not help. Sure enough, he made us power cycle the modem right away, so I was walking between the modem (well, jumping - I have to climb on the back of the couch to reach it, then hop back down) and my laptop sitting on the table nearby making the same sounds Eminem makes in some of his more gut-wrenching raps: "Aaaarrrggggghhhh!" because fuck, this is tech support, and I was over power cycling about 295 years ago.

The signal, of course, showed no signs of improvement, so he signed us up for a tech to come out. I asked uselessly whether we'd be charged or not, because I knew the answer: if it's on our end; yes, on their end, no. AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!! I had a hunch, so I waited 'til OP went to bed and took the entire living room apart, shoving furniture aside, and dug up the 10 feet or so of coax buried under the rug.

Coax is not supposed to be under a rug. But ours crosses a walkway to reach where we had it (more in the center of the room; it actually grows out of a corner on the far side of the living room near the patio door - thank you 1970s pre-internet cable installer) so it had to be under the rug because there wasn't enough line to go across the floor in any other direction.

But, after I got off the phone with tech support, I recalled how I recently came into more coax when someone nearby moved out. You can wrap this cable around the entire downstairs, and it's untouched, still in its original binds. So that was tonight's project: tucking in the new coax from a different spot I knew would leave just one foot exposed instead of seven or eight. And I could just tape that down to the hardwood floor.

As I took the old coax out, I checked the length of it with my fingers, a big, bright floodlight and my reading glasses, hoping if the problem was on our end, I'd find it. I got three quarters done and looked away, ready to toss it aside and unscrew the other end, when I felt my finger catch. Looking down, I went: "Oh my God" and held the coax to the light. My hunch was right: we got new (to us) leather furniture in exchange for a job OP did this week; it weighs a ton, and my guess is someone dragged one of the pieces at an angle and tore a bit of coax under the rug.

But then I had a plague of doubt if it was indeed the dragging of the new furniture that tore the chunk out of it, or if the missing chunk even affected the signal that much, or at all.

Either way, I unrolled the new coax, got it where I knew its living situation was an improvement, taped the entirely expected one foot of leftover cable to the hardwood floor (I think I've been practicing this in my head for a year; I don't know why I didn't dig out the new cable sooner), re-assembled the living room, power cycled the modem, restarted my laptop, and gaaaah...1mbps down. Then two. Then three. Ran a few more tests. The same. Ran another. 15mbps. Another. 35mbps. Another. 33mbps. Then I got back online and wrote this.

Everything's been fine since, and the coax needed refreshing anyway, so I guess this worked out pretty good.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

I wonder if I'll get used to it. My current online project is: "Make Firefox not use so much RAM it stops responding" and boy howdy, has it been a project. I'm still getting two or three (Not Responding) white title bar freeze-ups per start-up and Firefox is taking between a few and 20 minutes to just calm down and be a browser already, but once it does, it goes pretty fast. What I've done to get it that way is almost unreal.

Starting last week:

  • Completely uninstalled Firefox; removed all personal data, files and folders, reg entries
  • Installed Firefox latest from scratch. Because Mozilla couldn't find an old copy of Firefox, I became a new user, so they kindly gave me the 64-bit version with multiprocess (e10s)
  • Installed add-ons, then kept uninstalling any that weren't e10s compatible (how to tell: the add-on list will show a message saying the browser isn't multiprocess compatible. That means one of the add-ons isn't playing nice)
  • Got rid of LastPass, which by itself was hammering RAM
  • Dropped Web Dev by Chris Pederick (which killed me; it's my favorite add-on besides ABP) and taught myself how to at least find the "Style Editor" in Firefox's Web Dev (there's not another panel in that tool that I know from Adam)
  • Dropped custom themes; am using Firefox's default dark theme

And between all that, I'm still having consistent, repeated browser freezes for the first 5-20 minutes until Firefox finally becomes usable (that's on first run; on any subsequent runs the freeze total is about the same but the wait time to get through them is usually quite a bit less).

Remaining add-ons are:

  • ABP
  • Add-on Compatibility Reporter
  • Archive Url
  • Clean Uninstall
  • FlashDisable - not sure if I need it or if it works - but it doesn't disable the video embedded in the article I linked to in my last linkcatcher post (ETA, 8-28-17: removed)
  • Ghostery - hammers RAM, but I like it
  • Google search link fix - not sure if it works (ETA, 8-28-17: works better than the add-on discussed next) I prefer the version from the guy I worked with on the JS to add to my Google search userscript, but even his doesn't work on topfold, onebox results and isn't e10s compatible
  • gui:config - I could probably scrap it and about:config everything; not what I thought (ETA, 8-28-17: removed)
  • HTTPS Everywhere - another RAM eater, but practically indispensable (don't see why the same tech can't be built into the browser)
  • IP Address and Domain Information - DT Whois add-on replacement
  • KeeFox - LastPass replacement (ETA, 8-28-17: removed; put Lastpass back)
  • TrafficLight - WOT replacement; WOT is e10s ready not e10s ready, and it eats so much RAM. But TrafficLight thinks eBay is a scam or phishing site and blocks pages and tries to whisk you away and just grrrrr
  • WayBack Machine - I used the in-house Firefox experimental of this add-on (I think after being tipped off to it by [personal profile] darkoshi - or was that the other way around?) and wanted it back

In all of that you'll see three of my favorites are conspicuously MIA: Web Dev by Chris Pederick, ColorPicker and MeasureIt. That's because all three add-ons are rolled up into Firefox's native Web Dev. The last time I tried them, MeasureIt no longer worked (blank dialog boxes), ColorPicker was acting pretty janky, and Web Dev wasn't e10s compatible, so I felt like I had no choice but to stop using them if I was going to make Firefox stop crying big, RAM-filled tears.

But native Web Dev is weird. I don't know if you can kill all the extra panels but I hate them. When I'm in their pretentiously named "Style Editor" I don't want a bunch of panels: I want my CSS. The Web Dev add-on did that, and displayed dark-on-light or light-on-dark (I have blurry vision and astigmatism so light on dark is out) but with native Web Dev, the editor color must match browser color. I prefer a dark browser and light editor, so it's forced me into light-on-dark editing.

And in the Web Dev add-on, when you make live CSS changes they "move" into view. In native Web Dev, they "slide", and it makes me feel like my stomach is turning, watching page elements start sliding around. I can't explain it.

The font is also too small and I have no need to work in syntax highlighted code because I generally know what and where things are, so the syntax highlighting is distracting, because I'm probably (not kidding, just not diagnosed yet) a bit ADD.

So from an accessibility standpoint, it seems native Web Dev needs some work. Knowing Mozilla, though: "Oh, that doesn't matter because we're re-writing the engine for that, it'll be ready in 2019!" and I just...grrrrrr.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

By how firmly he's standing on his hair helmet while federal-diaster-declared Hurricane Harvey blows through Texas to perform the care and feeding of his fringe, he shows that if this is the output Cambridge Analytica gives him, the inputs must be nothing short of well nigh primordial: today and tonight the same sprayed-on tan who believes "nice Nazis" exist pulled a hate-group-approved triple play: pardoning Arpaio, considering the cancellation of DACA (apparently he just likes to play with his food - this would hardly be the first time), and signing* a directive on the transgender military ban.

ETA, 9-4-17: When I said "likes to play with his food" I had no clue I was being that literal. But yes, I was! Jesus Christ.

Looks like he's picking up where Bannon left off on the weekend-ruining - because obviously Texas blowing apart - possibly twice - wasn't bad enough.

And ETA, next morning: The Orangado regime really does get a kick out of fucking up your Fridays (not news when Bannon admitted as much after, if I recall correctly, three weekends in a row earlier this year of sowing absolute chaos with everything from the Muslim ban to deportations).

*Fixed/updated link after posting; hat tip to [personal profile] darkoshi for finding the error.