New Firefox and Turn Off The Smoothscrolling

I love Firefox.

Well no, Pee Wee I don’t want to marry it.

On the other hand, I’m so very used to the way it works and its quirks that I can’t conceive of using anything else.

It works on all the computers I use – Linux, Windows, and Mac.   It does things well.  It can be extended so that I block advertisements and “nasty” websites.  It does not spy on me (Hear that Chrome?).  It’s not Bloated (I’m talking to you Internet Explorer).  It isn’t forced on me (I don’t want to go on a Safari to check into a website).

So yesterday I updated my Firefox.  If you click on the link, it will tell you if you are up to date.

After loading up my normal 150 web pages and muddling through most of the routine, I see only one problem.

Smoothscroll was turned on “accidentally” by the upgrade to Firefox 13.

I’m not the kind of person who likes Smoothscroll.   It reminds me of when I was a kid sitting on a swivel chair and spinning around faster and faster so that when I stopped the world kept moving.

On this particular laptop (2 year old Core2Duo with Windows 7 and 8 Gigs of Memory), Smoothscroll doesn’t smoothly scroll it fidgets to the next page.   In a spastic wretching and lurching forward, you get the next page of data instead of a quick “Snap!” to the next page.

I know Smoothscrolling is supposed to look like you are skimming down a written page but to me it is annoying.   Not nausea inducing, just annoys me while I sit there thinking why isn’t it there yet?

I don’t want to be that kid in the back seat saying “Are We There Yet” when I’m looking at pictures of cats or puppies, nor do I want to be wondering why it’s taking so long to scan to the bottom of a page of 100 jobs in a job search website.

Do the job.  Do it quickly, efficiently, and with a minimum of that eye candy nonsense.  You’re just slowing me down.

Ok, enough of the rant.  If you want to turn on or turn off Firefox’s “feature” of smooth scrolling down your pages – which doesn’t work, here are the basic instructions.

  1. Launch Firefox.
  2. Click on Tools.
  3. Click on Options.
  4. Click on the Advanced icon that looks like a gear.
  5. Click on the General Tab (No, not the one that looks like a light switch, the tab below that.  I’ll wait.  Good.)
  6. Look down to the middle of the panel in the browsing section and click the box to the left of “Use Smooth Scrolling”.
  7. Enjoy.

Now that you have finished, here’s your treat.  A short video about an adorable little girl being taught by a friendly Boxer dog how to drink from the hose.

Repeat after me… Awwwww.

Firefox 7 Upgrade – One Day Later

In a sentence, So Far So Good.

I was having considerable problems lately with Firefox 6.  When I load my morning web pages, all 170 of them, I would get into “the middle” of the list somewhere and notice that things were bogging down.   It would slow.  Then it would just “stop”.

I would have a shock as I would now be looking at my desktop and a “helpful” bug reporter saying that it was time to restart my old session or just start over from scratch.   Since I would typically be looking through quite a few web pages all at once in a programmed order, of course it was time to restart.

Now granted it is only One Day Later, but so far so good.  I downloaded and upgraded Firefox 7 by going to their www.getfirefox.com link and clicked on the helpful green button.  I then launched the upgrade by clicking on the program from the download manager window within Firefox.   That is to say I clicked on it around 3 times since I got three windows starting.  Why I did that was because Firefox 6 was getting sluggish again and it was preparing to crash.  I don’t have proof that it was going to crash but it “felt like it was”. 

Not very scientific I know.

Having gone through my 170 pages plus other open links and a day of emails and other web silliness I can say it feels much more stable.  

Again, not scientific, but I was used to Firefox 6 crashing twice a day during that exercise.  

Firefox 6 was better than version 5 at returning memory to Windows 7.  Version 7 has returned more memory so that when I am through with my pages and I’ve spiraled down to the usual 20 tabs I keep open, I’m well below 1GB of memory in use.  Specifically I’m watching Firefox 7 use between 15 and 35% of the machine, 840Meg to 880Meg of memory on a Core 2 Duo.

I promise not to be so tech for my normally non-technical reader base.

Bottom line is that it seems like a solid improvement – so far.  I run a lot of Firefox extensions while the browser windows and tabs are up.  A weather watcher called Forecast Fox, an ad blocker and some others are always running.  I can’t live without “AdBlock Plus” and highly recommend it, and I have to check radar before the dog walk since I go far enough away in that half hour walk that getting soaked is a regular occurrence in the Wet Season.

I am happy I did it.

Some will insist on using Internet Explorer or Chrome.   I would uninstall Internet Explorer if I could, it just feels bloated and pudgy and with every version that comes out it introduces new annoying tweaks to the way things work.   Chrome may run faster but I have questions whether it isn’t phoning home to Google every time it runs.  It’s like driving through a part of town you don’t know with Chrome – you’re always looking over your shoulder. 

If it works for you, either of them, enjoy.  For now, I’ll stick with Firefox.   I am just more comfortable with it, I know what to expect and I’m enjoying the improvements.   It’s free and a painless upgrade – and it may actually be “pushed” out to you users of earlier versions of Firefox.