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[Discuss] ugly problem

dan moylan <jdm at> writes:

> since yesterday i have been having irregular freezeups on my
> computer.  for instance, today i was reading the nytimes via
> chrome, and suddenly the mouse ceased to function, nor would
> the touchpad on my keyboard.  the screen content remained
> unchanged, the mouse pointer visible but stationary.
> neither ctl-alt-del nor ctl-alt-f2 had any effect.  i
> attempted to ssh in from another computer and got "no route
> to host", nor could i ping.  a hard reset restores apparent
> normalcy -- at least for a while.  times vary.  i have yet
> to experience a freeze w/o the browser running (which of
> course is seldom the case).
> the computer is an intel nuc-10 running fc27.
> any suggestions would be appreciated.

What you describe sounds consistent with running low on memory and the
system swapping a lot or downright thrashing. If you walk away and come
back several minutes later do things come back to normal at all?  You
might also try running top in a terminal or some other memory monitoring
software to verify the pig process hypothesis.

If other ideas in this thread don't work for you, chrome may have an
extension to disable javascript selectively on parts of sites (like
noscript in firefox can). You'll need at least some of the nytimes' own
urls enabled for javascript so that you see a login button and pressing
it does something, but perhaps without javascript on some of the other
domains that load along with their pages the memory use will be small
enough to suit your machine.

When people criticize firefox and chrome for bloat they sometimes don't
give proper "credit" to the authors of the websites themselves. I run
firefox on very modest hardware (a 2 GiB RAM Core Duo based laptop made
in 2006). When I have to use the web I prefer dillo where possible, but
sadly, unlike the Guardian, NYTimes is not a site you can read with
dillo. Their web developers seem not as skilled as their reporters. I
manage to at least keep up with Paul Krugman's column using Firefox,
though. I can only explain the lack of problems I have by my use of
Firefox extensions like noscript, privacy badger, and uBlock
Origin. Well, perhaps using twm as my Window manager doesn't hurt
either, but my guess is that noscript is helping me more than that. With
javascript enabled there is no limit to what sites can throw at your
machine (particularly if you aren't up to date with meltdown and spectre
mitigations ;)).

Mike Small
smallm at

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