Ever experienced instances where your workstation starts to chug along very slowly? Or more specifically, have your web browser ever become unresponsive, or crash without any warning? Well, this has happened to me more times than I care to count. If you were browsing the Internet, chances are that the problem can be traced to Flash running amok – 9 out of 10 times.
Below is a screenshots of Flash misbehaving. Note the memory and CPU utilization.
This screenshot shows the updated situation after I killed off the offending Shockwave Flash process. Notice the clear dip in processor utilization.
This issue outlined here is particularly disruptive if you’re working at a cafe without any accessible power outlet. If not detected and rectified immediately, the laptop’s runtime can get dramatically reduced by the excessive processor utilization, cutting short your stay there.
Now, can you imagine your iPhone (or iPad) running Flash? Essentially, the juice in your device or smartphone could well be drained within a few hours. No wonder Apple wasn’t keen to support Flash on the iPhone. Having said that, I’m not sure how this would work out for tablet devices like the JooJoo, which supports Flash. When I interviewed him, founder and CEO Chandra did tell me that the Internet tablet gives “5 hours of continuous operation.” I’ll report back on that once I get the final production unit for review.
Ironically, having Flash crash my browser one time too many was the factor that made me switch from Firefox to Chrome. The Chrome browser offers superior process management (every tab runs as a separate process), which allows me to selectively shut-down errant tabs. The overhead is slightly higher, but I think its a fair price for grater browser stability. Unlike Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox, a misbehaving instance (or tab) won’t be able to bring down the entire browser.