17 January 2007

Sea Monkey

I remember using Lynx as the first browser of my foray into the World Wide Web. Back then it was purely text-based and as such there were no images to speak off. The webpages were strictly text. Then came NCSA Mosaic as my first graphic-based browser which opened a whole new world of the internet to me.

Next came Netscape Navigator and that was even before Microsoft Internet Explorer came aboard. Problem was that as Internet Explorer finally showed up and subsequently moved to version 6.0, Netscape didn't do enough to keep up with the competition and was rapidly losing market share to the "dark side".

Apparently, the next generation of Netscape took a bit longer than expected to launch. Netscape did eventually upgraded itself from version 4.x to 6.0 but the latter update bombed (in my opinion). Netscape version was very short-lived and version soon came out quietly to hope to rectify the damage that version 6 had done but alas it was too late. It still bombed and it further convict people to continue to use the Microsoft browser.

Sure, there was Opera along the side to offer as an alternative option, but I could never learn to get to like its interface.

Problem with Internet Explorer 6.0 back then was that it was very sluggish when it comes to loading webpages, we were all waiting for the chance to ditch it as soon as a better alternative came along.

Unfortunately, it was a long wait and I recall many months of suffering from having no choice but to put up with Internet Explorer.

Finally came Firefox and we all thought that the world was saved. Loading and rendering was way faster and had lotsa bells and whistles along the way. However, there was this one problem that rides up my ass like a undersized thong. It was sucking up too much CPU juice and bogging down the entire system, causing it to operate at a frustratingly snail's pace. Well, partially it was also the user's fault as Firefox allows the user to open multiple tabs within the browser.

Problem is that by the time I have 6 or 7 concurent webpages loading in their respective tabs, the CPU load could be as high as 95%.

Internet Explorer 7.0 came out recently and to where credit is due, page loading was much faster than its predecessor. However, being the nitpicking need-for-more speed junkie, it wasn't good enough for me.

That's when I discovered Sea Monkey. It is the next generation to succeed Firefox. At the moment, it is still in the Beta stage but so far I have not encountered any problems with it. As you can see from the above screen capture (click image to enlarge), I opened 14 tabs and the CPU load is a mere 30% with the occasional spike to 45% but nothing more. The extraordinarily high RAM usage is justifiable from the fact that I have 14 webpages loading at one go. However, with 1 GB of RAM available at my disposable, this amount of RAM consumption is affordable.

Granted at this stage, bells and whistles like add-ons are still in the pipeline, developers are slowly writing updates to support Sea Monkey. It will be an easy transition for developers as both Firefox and Sea Monkey runs on the same Gecko engine.

Anyway, I highly recommend Sea Monkey to anyone seeking a better browser as long as they are adventurous enough to venture in to beta version of software.

Goto if you would like to find out more about Sea Monkey, currently version 1.1 beta.

- Voxeros

1. Kevin left...
Wednesday, 17 January 2007 2:54 pm ::
I missed the days of NCSA Mosaic. Not so much for Mosaic alone, but for the three Sun X terminals reserved for me while I was doing a Uni project.

Mosaic look better on X terminal than in windows.

Yes, great potential for SeaMonkey. BTW, where is Spitland?

2. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 17 January 2007 3:32 pm :: 
Kevin: Aiyoh... x-terminal, unix, vax/vms.... ahh... the good old days....
Anyway, Spitland is another name for Ch1na. As you know, all internet traffic are being monitored and so I prefer to use Spitland instead, to stay under the radar and avoid any of my data packets getting their red flag.

3. spinnee left...
Wednesday, 17 January 2007 4:22 pm
i saw the seamonkey the other day when i dl firefox.
not that i dun trust beta, but often i kena problems with beta too many times til i fed will wait for official launch :P

4. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 17 January 2007 6:09 pm :: 
Spinnee: Well, beta is indeed not for the faint hearted but my experience with Sea Monkey has been pretty good so far.

It did hang a couple of times (my fault for overloading it lah...) but nothing Ctrl-Alt-Del > End Task cannot rectify.

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