Firefox and Thunderbird with ToggleMINIMIZE

When using Toggle Software‘s ToggleMINIMIZE with Mozilla Firefox and/or Mozilla Thunderbird, you may find that it’s not minimizing to the tray as it should. You need to set a preference in the Moz apps before it will work.

I totally stumbled upon this by accident. I was investigating Firefoxes’ atrocious memory handling and how to deal with it. I found the config.trim_on_minimize Mozilla preference (FYI, I’m still evaluating this to see if I like what it does). After restarting FF and TB, they started minimizing to the tray all of a sudden! To verify that config.trim_on_minimize was the fix, I removed that pref, restarted and tried to minimize to the tray. It didn’t work. So, there’s your fix for that, found on a fluke.

See Mr. Tiensivu’s blog for more info on the Mozilla preference.

Sveasoft Alchemy vs. HyperWRT Thibor

I recently updated my internet connection to a screaming 8 mbit cable connection. This is up from my 1.5 mbit DSL connection. The downside is that I now need to frequently change my underwear when I download something at 1000 KB/second. I’m now a Concast customer instead of a Qworst customer. A lateral move IMO! But I digress…

I had a WRT54G running Sveasoft’s Alchemy doing most of the gateway-type stuff. I wasn’t even using the wireless. When I got the new cable modem connected, I hooked my laptop directly into it. From there, I had a great 8 mbit connection. Ok, off to a good start. But once I plugged the new cable modem into my network setup (with the WRT54G in between me and the internet), things got slow. What’s up?

Skip to the end where I decide to try out a different firmware. I’ve never liked using Sveasoft due to the author’s dick-head attitude and GPL violations. I’ll let you google for that story on your own. Anyway, I thought I’d try HyperWRT. It appears to me that the standard HyperWRT project is a bit stagnant. However, another fellow picked up the code and has been improving it and releasing it as “HyperWRT Thibor” which is what I installed. Once I did that, *poof* I got my 8 mbit speed back! And as a nice side-effect, I’m not running Sveasoft anymore 🙂

To give a little more information, I believe the issue was Alchemy’s QoS handling. I have to run QoS because I have two separate VoIP routers (Vonage RT31P2 & RTP300) that need priority. I tested this theory by disabling QoS in Alchemy and my speed increased. I also tried setting the max up/download speeds on the QoS screen and no matter what I entered I always maxed out around 5 mbit. Again, HyperWRT Thibor does not have that issue.

My details:

  • WRT54G v4
  • Alchemy 1.0
  • HyperWRT G Thibor14

Decided against WestHost, looking at TekTonic

So I signed up with WestHost, but I’ve decided against them. Of course I slacked and didn’t decide this within the 30 day money back guarantee time frame. Oh well, I only signed up for 3 months so not a huge loss.

The reason I decided against them is that I found a post on their forum saying that they have no package management for their VPS servers whatsoever. Ugh. I’m too much of a novice to not have an RPM or apt-get app. Also, WestHost does not provide root access. They have “near-root” but that sounds like “kinda pregnant” and “sort-of dead” to me. Oh, and WestHost’s “backup” is simply you clicking a button on their Web control panel and downloading the tarball it gives you. I’m not impressed.

I was looking at unixshell again which I mentioned in a previous post. After reading their history a bit, I saw that they are a spinoff of TekTonic.net which is a more user-friendly and supported VPS product. I’m currently sending emails back and forth with them to see if they are a viable solution. I’m intrigued because they have:

  • True root access in a true VPS environment
  • Awesome snap-shot stuff, rebooting takes seconds
  • They backup every day and keep the last 7 days worth of backups. Restores are free
  • DirectAdmin . I’m not super familiar with it, but anything would be better than ugly-ass cPanel.
  • Virtuozzo seems like a cool VPS product. You can perform a manual backup of your VPS whenever you want which is nice.

To be continued…

Palm Wi-Fi Card and Uninstall Manager

Be sure to disable Uninstall Manager 3 when installing the Palm Wi-Fi Card software. They don’t play well together. My screen was blank for roughly 4 minutes. I reset the Palm, disabled Uninstall Manager 3, then ran the palm wifi install again. I then saw the “please wait” dialog and it was finished in no time.

BTW, my device is a Tungsten T5.

Moving to VPS

My company, Prise Design Group, is a Web development firm in Portland, Oregon. We’ve been maintaining our own servers in a colo in downtown Portland for many years now. However, as the sole server administrator, I’m tired of running them. Oh, and they’re windows boxes as well. Quite down everyone!
I’m wanting to move away from Windows for so many reasons (I won’t go into them here). But more importantly, I’m looking at VPS or Virtual Private Servers as the way for me. Why? Well 1) I want control but 2) don’t want to pay for a dedicated server. Enter VPS as a nice mid-way point.

So what about VPS hosts? There are a million of them. Here’s a just a few:

  • ProHosters
    Seemed like a good company. Reliable and whatnot, but I found better prices elsewhere.
  • unixshell
    Great feature list. Ability to install a different distro at the push of a button! Wow. Also you can take a “snapshot” image of your VPS and restore it in minutes. That’s nice if an upgrade goes awry. But they’re very hands-off and I have the feeling you’re on your own. I’m not there yet … maybe in a couple years.
  • BurstNet
    Looked good, but they’re in Pennsylvania. I also hate cPanel as it’s ugly as hell.
  • midPhase
    I wanted to sign up with these guys to test them out, but when you click order a page telling you “we’re not accepting orders due to high demand” pops up. That’s not good. I mean, better they not over sell it, but still.

    * Note: I’ve read way too many negative reports for these guys, so I’ve nixed them from the pool.
  • WestHost
    This one is the most promising. They’re, you guessed it, on the west side of the country (Utah) and they are a good size. An employee told me “40+” which isn’t too small or too big for my tastes. They have good prices and I’ve read mostly good things about their service and support.

The features I desire the most are:

  • Fair price
  • Mid-sized company
  • On the West coast
  • Good support

WestHost seems to provide those things for me. I looked at local Portland hosters and they are just too small to compete price-wise. Seattle faired a little better, but not much. I spoke via “Live Chat” to a couple people at WestHost last night and they were nice and helpful. They have a 30-day money back guarantee so I think I’ll give them a try.

Can anyone out there give me some advice?