While departing shipyard on a 750′ exploratory drillship I was asked why, with over 42,000 of horespower at the props, we couldn’t get the ship’s speed into double digits. Raw horespower certainly helps and we did reach 10 knots once we turned with the current but neither was our primary problem. Our problem was that modern drillships are built for stability, not speed. With a flat bottom and a (barely) rounded bow the vessel was simply not optimized to go fast. No for speed the ship itself needs to be designed with smooth hydrodynamic lines, a bulbous bow and a keen eye on lLOA vs breadth.
Your internet connection at sea has nearly the opposite problem… it’s severely lacking the horsepower to make your online browsing fast and enjoyable but is it being further hampered by the shape of your ship? Would a bulbous bow, less weight and a clean browser help you surf faster? Certainly!
Lifehacker offers some tips, here are snippets of the top five:
Pick Your Browser (Hint: Opera)
Obviously, the first thing you need to do is pick which browser you’re going to use as your secondary. I highly recommend Opera, as its one of the fastest options out there and has the very nice Opera Turbo feature that is absolutely perfect for browsing on slow connections.
Block Ads and Flash
You may already do this on your primary browser, but others may not—I know I usually try to support sites I like (after all, it is how I make a living), but when I’m on a sluggish connection, all bets are off. There’s no surer way to use up bandwidth and slow down page loading times on slow connections than by trying to load ads and flash animations all over a page.
Use Fewer Extensions
Using too many add-ons can seriously slow down your browser, both on the local end and by using up bandwidth. I’ve kept my secondary browser almost completely free of add-ons, including Xmarks and Lastpass. I don’t need them bogging down my browser startup, nor phoning home to sync all the time. T
Use Mobile Sites
Mobile sites aren’t always pretty, but they’ll get you checking your email and reading those articles much, much faster, so if you’re on an unbearably slow connection, it might be worth using them. It isn’t necessarily something you want to do all the time, because it gives you a seriously minimal page. Of course, this is all personal preference. Some mobile webapps, like Gmail’s iPad-optimized page, are quite nice, and will run much better on a slow connection. You’ll just have to decide how awful the connection needs to be before you turn this on.
Disable Automatic Updates
These days, its become common practice for most browsers to automatically update themselves in the background, and to do it often. It’s convenient as heck most of the time, but if you’re on a slow connection, you don’t want it to be sucking up bandwidth in secret while you’re trying to browse.
The full article at lifehacker goes into more detail and contains 10 tips in total so be sure to check it out for all the “high speed on low bandwidth” goodness: How (and Why) to Set Up a Secondary Browser Optimized for Slow Internet Connections
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