Friday, May 26, 2006

Slow computers

My brother-in-law, my wife's younger brother, is blind. He's a good programmer though, great brains in there. He uses MS-Windows with JAWS (screen reader software). What he can do with windows is amazing, considering that it's so graphical.

He used to use a 400Mhz PIII with 192MB of RAM. I've inherited that PC since I found a used PC that is much faster (an AMD 1.7Ghz box) and gave that for him to use.

I run linux on the slow box, with icewm for the window manager (I use icewm everywhere, even on the fastest computers because I can't stand the slowness of Gnome and KDE). It runs everything reasonably well except Firefox. It's great to use Firefox on fast boxes, but it's dog slow on a slow box. I've got to look at Opera for that box.

I don't remember running openoffice on that box. Maybe I've done it, I don't use very complex files though, so I wouldn't have been stressing openoffice anyway, even if I ran it. I'm sure it's slow, but it's probably usable. I tend to use gnumeric for spreadsheets and I just don't use a wordprocessor that much though. So on a slow, memory-constrained computer, careful choice of office software can make the computer usable.

The PIII box used to run windows 2000. It was reasonably usable, but I'm not sure how well it compared with linux. It was probably about the same speed, or maybe a little slower (because of the antivirus reading everything before handing data off to applications reading the disk). On the other hand, it was *far* less capable than my current setup (apache, php, C, C++, Java, ruby, scheme, guile, postgres all running on it, plus all the client tools I use).

I've got to find an alternative to firefox though. Or wait until someone comes up with a comprehensive howto on how to minimize the memory and CPU that firefox uses.

Friday, May 05, 2006


I subscribed to the philvbdev yahoogroup to see if I could hire VB developers off there. The company I work for is hiring. After I posted though, I started getting all these emails from Indian freshers. There must be a network (or a bot) where newbie South Indian software developers get email addresses and the email addresses spread like wildfire. It's bad enough that if anyone sends me anything with "fresher" in the subject, I'm not going to see that email at all, it'll be automatically deleted [not even spending any time in the purgatory that is my spam mbox or trash].

It's a waste of time for them to be emailing me because we need the developers for local employment and we're not going to be paying anyone to come over from a foreign country to work here (with the attendant problems with visas and such).

I joined the group because I thought it was a forum for philippine VB developers. It looks like it's been abandoned by filipinos though. Very few posts are about VB problems or solutions. Mostly what I see (what I saw, I've since unsubscribed) are spam posts about certifications, certification questions and training, etc.