Ng: Slow machine and web censorship

IT is a tribute to the imagination that almost any story or character can be made into a movie. We have seen characters based on Pacman, Lego, Angry Birds, and Assassins Creed made into movies. In the latest attempt, Sony Pictures made “The Emoji Movie” – a movie based on the computer smileys. As a tribute to the new generation, this week, it opened second highest in the US movie box office grossing over $25 million during its opening week.

Computer slowdown

If you have been using your computer for sometime, you might notice that it is getting slower. Well, obviously applications are also getting fatter and bigger all the time.

If you are still using windows XP or Windows 7, chances are you may still be using the 32 bit version. There is a limitation of using old computers with old Windows – it is hard or near impossible to go beyond four gigabytes of memory, and even if you successfully do this, the 32 bit system can only successfully recognize or use two to three gigabytes of that. You will have more success using the 64 bit more recent versions, because you can add to eight, 16 or 32 gigabyte memory. So as my computer slows down, I decided to load Windows task manager to assess why.

Obviously, you will find some applications that are eating up memory and slowing things down, like if you use Evernote, plugins, Dropbox, clip service, anti-virus, and many others. Many of them will ask to install itself, and will load itself the moment you start up the computer, and it will not leave until you ask them to.

But, surprisingly – it is not Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, or Outlook, or many of the applications that we normally use that are eating processor speed and memory. It is those that are designed to work on the background.

In fact, the biggest user was Google Chrome, especially if you have lots of plug-ins, do Adobe Flash, and also load lots of tabs of Yahoo/Gmail, or Facebook, or news site with videos. It’s a surprise because many of us started to use Google Chrome because it was lean and fast.

Now, it really is no longer lean, and can be one of the culprits of a slow machine.

Great firewall

I’m sure many of you by now have heard about China’s Great Firewall – that when you are in China, you cannot access Google, Facebook, Youtube, Gmail, Twitter, and many other services that China prohibits. The solution normally many people use is to download a VPN service – these are apps that you run in the computer, in your Android or Iphone that logs into a server directly in the US, and uses that server to log into Facebook. This is a way to avoid the censorship by making it appear that you are not in China.

However, you may want to be aware that China is cracking down on this.

Maybe VPN services have been asked to crack down, and Apple have just admitted that to follow China’s laws, they are also taking down VPN apps in their App store.

I hope there is a way to resolve this, because for many friends, the most painful experience of visiting China is that they miss Facebook.
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