Posts Tagged ‘Review’

ClickToFlash - performance benefits all around

July 27th, 2009

ClickToFlash is the best app to regain performance on your Mac, especially your MacBook.

You know when you visit just about any website and the MacBook fan kicks on, it runs slow, gets REALLY hot, and your battery quickly drains? Well, usually this is due to Flash embedded in an open web page somewhere.

I really thought my MacBook was slow and its battery was abysmal. Then I discovered & installed ClickToFlash and Flash no longer loads or executes without my permission. This increases page load speed, responsiveness, battery life. And it even upgrades YouTube videos to the hi-res version if available.

ClickToFlash is open source and Leopard and Snow Leopard compatible. It works with any app that uses WebKit such as Safari and NetNewsWire.


Rating: ★★★★★

Mac, Review , ,

DisplayLink and Mac

October 26th, 2008

I wanted to add another external screen to my MacBook Pro and decided to go the DisplayLink route and use the IOGear USB-DVI adapter. The other option was the Matrox DualHead2Go.


The DualHead2Go was attractive because it emulates a double-wide monitor. Two like-resolutioned screens can be used side-by-side with full graphics acceleration. The drawbacks however was

  • price
  • lack of discrete displays thus impeding window management and physical display relationship
  • dialog boxes would appear in the center of both screens
I liked the DisplayLink IOGear USB-DVI adapter solution because
  • The price was very low compared to the DualHead.
  • The OS recognized it as a different display. This allows me to assign on display as the primary by locating the menu bar there.
  • The driver just turned 1.0.
  • Unplugging USB port has the same effect as unplugging a DVI plug. The Mac collects the windows on the primary monitor without any reboot or other interruption.
The compromises I made are
  • The redraw rate is slow, but usable. YouTube videos play ok, but window dragging is choppy. I think this is a combination of no 2d acceleration and USB bus speed. The mouse can be jumpy. The feel is similar to VNC, ScreenRecycler, or Screen Sharing over a network, but a little faster and there is no need to have a spare computer as ScreenRecycler requires.
  • Heavy redrawing (such as playing a you-tube video) will increase CPU usage.
  • Limited color gamut; looks gradients are flattened on photogrpahic images. Text was sharp however.
  • No color matching. The colors are slightly off from the native display.
I chose the DisplayLink and IOGear USB-DVI adapter solution because the work that I do is not very graphics intensive. The second display is used as a utility screen for email, web, Adium, or text editing.
The Mac driver was recently released as 1.0. I hope a near-future update will add better 2-D acceleration.
IOGear is among many vendors that sell external USB-DVI adapters. Some LCD monitors have this capability built in.
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Mac, Review , ,