Find which Firefox profile is being used


Firefox allows users to have different profiles when starting the app. To figure out which one you're using, type about:cache in the browser URL field.

Look for the Storage disk location entries, it'll be something like /Users/example/Library/Caches/Firefox/Profiles/8686feh.FF43/cache2

The part after the weird string (8686feh in the above example) is the profile being used.


Do you think?


Mystery number four, solved.


Over the last two years, I've developed a series of tricks, rituals and processes that maximize the battery on my laptop. The current laptop, being all shiny and new and cool and number three in the last four years, is a MacBook Pro, thanks to Kate and Mike and their Apple-y ways (just close enough to Linux that I really like it, but all pretty and bee-you-tee-full, blah blah blah).

The MBP, named fuji, has a battery life of around 3 hours, 4 if I'm not running many other programs than a text editor (which happens rarely, because I need the webserver and database server going to check the website I'm usually developing, and the browser to actually view said website).

The previous laptop was an iBook, recently renamed gala (see the theme?) when the name fuji went to the new shiny MBP), and that thing could last for-ev-ver. When I first started using it, I could work comfortably for six hours on one charge, longer if I turned off what I didn't use.

The long charge required several adjustments: no videos, no iTunes, turn off the wireless (recall, I'm developing locally, so this is fine), turn down the screen. I considered all of these steps incidental to the fun of being able to program across the country, non-stop.

Towards the end of my daily use of the iBook, however, the charges stopped lasting as long. Instead of my expected six, four if I was rough, hours of battery, I started getting two hours, then one hour, then half an hour. As the length of the charge dropped, I started turning off applications, watching the Activity Monitor output to see what was causing the drain.

Eventually, I tracked the problem down to Firefox.


I use the new tab feature very heavily in Firefox. I rarely close the tabs, they just accumulate until I realize, whoops, I have eighty tabs open on four lines and they're taking up real estate on my browser. Then I'll bookmark and close the tabs. What I really want is a plugin to save pages, like does, but to my Drupal website. This will go nicely with my mirror module (that's still not done - grrrrr....). Until then, I'll tab-bookmark-tab away!

When the iBook started losing charge quickly, and Firefox seemed to be culprit, I assumed the problem was the kabillion tabs I use. If I needed to be low-energy-consumptive, I'd dim the monitor, turn off the wireless, close Firefox, and use Mozilla or Safari to test pages. Easy enough.

So, imagine my shock when, just today, I open up my Firefox javascript editor and saw a new error popping up on the console more than once a second (but not quite twice a second). I looked at the error, realized it was for some annoying ad network, and immediately set out to find the tab that had the offending HTML in it.

I had to close 40 tabs before I figured that one out.

The problem was that I used FlashBlock and AdBlock to block flash and images from the offending ad network, but AdBlock didn't block the javascript coming from that ad network, also. As a result, the javascript loaded, and accessed the missing image and flash elements at a retardedly high rate, causing the javascript errors.

I believe this (general issue, not the specific page I was viewing before) was the cause of the high CPU usage from Firefox on the last box, and the cause of the fast battery usage rate.

Well, that and the ridiculously large number of tabs causing Firefox to hold a lot of content in memory.

Another aha moment, and yet another mystery solved.

Having a voice


So, I have a lot of tabs open at any given time in my browser. I normally use Mozilla, but am slowly switching to Firefox. At some point soon, I'll switch over cold turkey, shut down my Mozilla, and join the Firefox movement.

My normal browsing includes leaving tabs open with interesting content, bookmarking all of the tabs at once and coming back to them when I have time. Problem is, I run out of browser-top real estate, having more than 20 tabs open at once.

Best to process them more quickly than I would normally.

Take, for example, Messina's post about finding/having his voice in his blog. It's been the second tab in my browser since the sixth. I found it interesting because (damn, I really wish I were writing this with flock, and I'd be able to quote Messina easily...) he comments about writing his posts as if he were talking to his four readers ("his mythical four readers"). Before, he didn't have a well-defined, well-known audience (he has lots of readers, he didn't know who they were), and so may have not known who to write to:

... and I’ve realized that my blogging voice so far has been somewhat forced, a bit too apprehensive, much too self-conscious (this is an offline issue I’ve got as well) and I think that’s because I didn’t know who I was writing for.

The idea of “conversations” from Cluetrain has liberated me to write more freely and openly, I think, since I now feel like I’m only talking to a small, close, tightly-knit community of readers.

I can believe this technique works, but it ultimately means his blog is for those people, and no longer for himself. Instead of being a place for him to put down his thoughts, things that are interesting to him, observations, conclusions, puzzles, plans and artwork, the blog becomes a more of a, darn, I'm not sure, a political (in the proper definition) chore of catering to the whims of others to please them. It's no longer a personal site, and more of an assigned task; less of a passion and more of a job.

I've said again and again, this site is for me, so it's full of things interesting to me, about me and for me, but much of my original content is an imaginary conversation to someone. 70% of the time, the conversation is with me (I'm unable to explain that one well, but, basically, I write as quickly as I can the thoughts in my head, then drop out and edit the words later), and the other 30% of the time the posts are conversations with someone else (usually Kris, though often my mom, Jenny, Jessica, Mike or Doyle).

Every once in a while I write about something when I'm not particularly in the mood to write, much less write about that topic. When I go back to read those posts, the writing style is different. It no longer feels like my thoughts. In this vein, I think people find certain authors appealing because the writing style mimics the construction and style of their own thought processes. The similarity and familiarity breed enjoyment and comfort.

I also found it interesting that Messina recognized the vulnerability that comes with an open journal like this site:

And I imagine that this will become pretty obvious the more I blog. I’m sure I’ll get burned for this at some point, but that’s part of it. That happens offline too, as Ben pointed out. You just gotta roll with the punches and know that the more you make yourself vulnerable and on a level with everyone else out there doing the same thing, the more likely you’ll have friends to back you should the need arise.

Still struggling with that one. Can't say I'll ever be completely comfortable with it. I want my family and friends to be able to see what's happening in my life, but it has to be easy, or it isn't going to happen. At this point, I have no plans on running for office, but, who knows what I'll be embarrassed about in ten years.

Or what pages I'll be tabbing.