Hopefully when I return to Singapore, if I have enough willpower (perhaps), I’ll do a post on my life in 2010, and dig up all the things that I’ve done in the year to counter my previous thought that 2010 was a waste.
Today I was using my little Sony VAIO P to surf the web. I had two operating systems on it, Windows 7 and Jolicloud 1.1.
Jolicloud is an operating system based on Ubuntu, and designed for the web; that is, it is intended to be used with an internet connection, with all its application shortcuts leading to web apps instead of local apps.
My VAIO P is a netbook (although Sony refuses to call it one) armed with the Intel Silverthrone processor, Intel Atom Z530 with GMA500 graphics (codenamed Poulsbo, infamous for its poor support especially on Linux, and its brokenness on virtually anything that requires graphical processing power).
How mine looks like (this picture is not mine, though)
Both operating systems feel rather snappy on my laptop, with no major slowdowns or whatsover on regular use. However, after surfing around on my few most browsed websites/web apps (Facebook, Twitter, Google Docs, Google Calendar), I can see noticeable lag on my computer as I attempted to browse through the sites, be it opening multiple tabs, or just scrolling down a larger page (Facebook status stream for example). This doesn’t happen at all on my desktop, with an Core i7 processor.
Which leads me to the thought – so what if I can run a lightweight OS on my netbook? If the web applications are not speedy enough, the netbook will lag regardless of what OS I have. It might be the fault of the web browser too – I’m using Google Chrome on both OSes (Chromium on the Jolicloud side), and it might be Google Chrome’s rendering engine that does not scale down well to lousier processors.
It is rather impossible, I must say, for web apps to get speedier, as they are expected to improve and innovate, more towards new features and less to speed, since people are expected to have more powerful computers anyway.
I might be making a wrong assumption about speed, since I’m using the Atom Z530, which is a 2008 technology. However, based on my knowledge the new Pineview Atom N470 or the N550 dual-core variant should not be any faster.
Thus, what’s the point of innovating more operating systems for the lousier computers (e.g. Jolicloud) if the web apps or web browsers themselves are to blame for the slowdown? Shouldn’t we tackle the root problem of these sites first? Ask Facebook why it’s lagging like a snail on most older computers?