Software

How to un-hang a hung app on a Mac

In some cases an app on your Mac would hang: the mouse cursor would turn into a spinning beach ball, and the app would ignore all clicks and key presses. If this doesn’t cure itself in a couple of seconds, there’s not much you can do other than to force quit the app and re-launch it.

Except that sometimes you can. Open Activity Monitor and select the hung app in the list. It’s shown in red as “not responding”. Then click the gear icon and select “Sample Process”:

How to un-hang a hung app on a Mac

If you are lucky, the app would just magically un-hang!

I have no idea what this feature is for, and it doesn’t always work. But if the app’s data is very valuable to you, you don’t just want to give up and force quit it. So you can try this. I’ve saved a couple of Photoshop files this way.

Mar 9   lifehack   Mac   software

Reminders app is so buggy

Reminders is one of buggiest apps Apple has ever made. Sometimes it forgets to remind, sometimes it reminds twice. It cannot sync anything between Macs, iOS devices and the watch. And now, it decided to remind me of five things:

Reminders app

Thanks, I guess.

2016   bugs   iPhone   Mac   software

Why are browsers so slow?

I understand why rendering a complicated layout may be slow. Or why executing a complicated script may be slow. Actually, browsers are rather fast doing these things. If you studied programming and have a rough idea about how many computations are made to render a page, it is surprising the browsers can do it all that fast.

But I am not talking about rendering and scripts. I am talking about everything else. Safari may take a second or two just to open a new blank tab on a 2014 iMac. And with ten or fifteen open tabs it eventually becomes sluggish as hell. Chrome is better, but not much so.

What are they doing? The tabs are already open. Everything has been rendered. Why does it take more than, say, a thousandth of a second to switch between tabs or create a new one? Opening a 20-megapixel photo from disk doesn’t take any noticeable amount of time, it renders instantaneously. Browsers store their stuff in memory. Why can’t they just show the pixels immediately when I ask for them?

You may say: if you are so smart, go create your own browser — and you will win this argument, as I’m definitely not that smart (I don’t think any one person is, by the way).

But I remember the times when we had the amazing Opera browser. In Opera, I could have a hundred open tabs, and it didn’t care, it worked incredibly fast on the hardware of its era, useless today.

You may ask: why would a sane person want a hundred open tabs, how would you even manage that? Well, Opera has had a great UI for that, which nobody has ever matched. Working with a hundred tabs in Opera was much easier back then than working with ten in today’s Safari or Chrome. But that’s a whole different story.

What would you do today if you opened a link and saw a long article which you don’t have time to read right now, but want to read later? You would save a link and close the tab. But when your browser is fast, you just don’t tend to close tabs which you haven’t dealt with. In Opera, I would let tabs stay open for months without having any impact on my machine’s performance.

Wait, but didn’t I restart my computer or the browser sometimes? Of course, I did. Unfortunately, modern browsers are so stupid that they reload all the tabs when you restart them. Which takes ages if you have a hundred of tabs. Opera was sane: it did not reload a tab unless you asked for it. It just reopened everything from the cache. Which took a couple of seconds.

Modern browsers boast their rendering and script execution performance, but that’s not what matters to me as a user. I just don’t understand why programmers spend any time optimising for that while the chrome is laughably slow even by ten-years-old standards.

I want back the pleasure of fast browsing.

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2016   browsers   programming   rants   software   web