Falcon1986-Online

Home of a med student who likes to manage websites and talk tech!

Posts Tagged ‘speed

[HOW-TO] Speed up OpenOffice

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When it comes to free office suite software, the most common recommendation is OpenOffice. Two of the great features that I like about OpenOffice are the ability to open/edit Microsoft Office documents and to directly export to PDF. The OpenOffice environment is quite intuitive for the first-time user, but some may find that, out of the box, it may perform sluggishly. In this HOW-TO, I will show you how a few quick tweaks can speed up the performance of OpenOffice so you can spend more time creating your documents instead of waiting for them to load.

  1. Launch one of the OpenOffice applications, such as the OpenOffice.org Writer.
  2. Go to Tools > Options and open the Options control panel.
  3. Navigate to the Memory section under ‘OpenOffice.org’ and modify the existing values to those mentioned below:
    Number of steps: 20
    Use for OpenOffice.org: 128MB
    Memory per object: 20.0MB
  4. Navigate to the Java section under ‘OpenOffice.org’ and remove the check mark beside “Use a Java runtime environment”.
  5. Click OK to apply the changes and exit OpenOffice.
  6. Relaunch an OpenOffice application and notice the improved performance!

These settings should apply for OpenOffice installed on any operating system.

Written by falcon1986

1 June, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Posted in Software

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[HOW-TO] Speed up Google Chrome on Ubuntu

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Ubuntu LogoAlthough I use Mozilla Firefox more than I use Google Chrome, the latter does come in handy when testing how websites display on a different browser or when there is need to diagnose internet connectivity problems. On Windows, Google Chrome is fast; perhaps even faster than Mozilla Firefox. However, on Ubuntu 9.10, I have noticed that it can be a little slow to initiate or even load a simple web page. In an effort to find a solution to this problem I stumbled across quite a few user-submitted posts that described a simple fix. After applying the fix, there was a significant improvement. Read on to find out how you can speed up Google Chrome on Ubuntu.

Apparently, the slow response of Google Chrome on Ubuntu has to do with the slow DNS lookup of this browser. These instructions should not be limited to Chrome on Ubuntu 9.10 alone and should work on any version of Ubuntu where the latest version of Chrome is installed.

  1. Close any instance of Google Chrome that might be running.
  2. Open a terminal window by going to Applications > Accessories > Terminal.
  3. Enter the following command and press ENTER. It will open nsswitch.conf in gedit.
    sudo gedit /etc/nsswitch.conf
  4. Locate the following line within the file:
    hosts: files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns mdns4
  5. Replace that line with the following, save the file and exit gedit and the terminal.
    hosts: files dns
  6. Start up Google Chrome and experience a faster browsing experience!

Written by falcon1986

1 June, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Posted in Linux

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Force GZIP compression on your HostMonster-hosted website

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NOTICE: An update to this article has been posted here in which I have made a few adjustments.

As you may already know, I am a speed and performance junkie. When it comes to website management, nothing makes me feel better than a website that loads fast! If this can be done with dynamic content then it is something to admire.

Works on HostMonsterOne feature that I have implemented on the HostMonster-hosted website that I manage is GZIP compression. For a detailed description on GZIP you can read this very interesting article on BetterExplained.com. In short, however, what GZIPing does is that it compresses downloaded files which essentially saves a bit on server bandwidth and slightly speeds up client-side viewing. Although you can use some PHP to call for compression on the fly for specific files it is much easier to simply activate compression from the web server. Here, I will show you how you can activate it for a website hosted with HostMonster. This should also work if you are on another shared hosting provider that runs under Linux and Apache. You need access to your php.ini file and .htaccess file.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by falcon1986

29 January, 2009 at 10:31 PM

Posted in Web Development

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OpenDNS – a more secure, fast and reliable DNS service

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I have been using OpenDNS for quite some time now ever since I came across it while browsing the internet. Setup is quite easy: just manually change your DNS IPs at your PC’s network card or your router and you are ready to go! For more customizations and control you can sign up for a free account – there are many features available for activation. Watch episode 223 of DL.TV to get a quick taste!

I have to say that after manually setting my DNS information, webpages felt like they were loading faster even though I’m using a slow laptop. I was quite surprised at how reliable this free service was. At first I did not think that changing your DNS server could help speed up web browsing, but after reading the “How it works” article, I got a fairly good idea of what was really happening.

Head on over to OpenDNS.com and take it for a test drive. It may or may not be better than what you have now, but it does not hurt to try. Furthermore, it is absolutely FREE and easy to set up!

Written by falcon1986

8 April, 2008 at 11:43 AM

Posted in Computers

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