I heard Yahoo! created a beta toolbar for Firefox so I thought I’d try it out. I still use google for searches, but I use Yahoo for movie listings and games (like chess when I whoop Ahmed) and I have a bunch of bookmarks stored with them (yahoo) so I thought Id see what the toolbar can do. I installed (v 0.2) and tested it out. Nothing special - mostly what you get with the IE version. I had it up for a few hours and then hid the toolbar. This was probably a few days ago?
So lately I’ve been noticing some pauses with my computer where I would be typing something, the computer would pause for a second (Id still be typing but nothing would show) and suddenly it would resume and everything would show. This also happened with scrolling where I would be scrolling a page and scrolling would stop fo a second then jump to where it should be! So then I panic and downloaded a few virus scanners and spyware finders. I never use those things but I figured this might be time where I needed one. Nothing. The spyware software found some cookies, but big whoop. I’ve always kept my machines clean and this particular one is the cleanest. What could be causing these delays?
I started thinking about what I might have installed or added to my computer that would cause this. I couldn’t think of anything. Then I remembered that last time I played Doom 3, I didn’t notice any delays. I played it again. It was fine (its a pretty boring game btw, I dont know why I play it… I guess just to beat it some time or another just to say I did). So then I started thinking and realized that the delays weren’t consistent; they seemed only to be present when I was online (and I’m on dial-up so I’m only online so much).
From there I dialed in and opened Firefox and started playing around. Was there some sort of hidden spyware somewhere that was sending/receiving info only when I was online that was causing delays? Something the spyware finder missed? I wonder how… then it hit me. The Yahoo! toolbar!
The Yahoo! toolbar connects to yahoo for button content and to check for new mail messages. Whenever it did so, Firefox hung for a little bit… and this was happening despite the fact that it was hidden (which is why I didn’t realize it at first). Solution? Uninstall, restart Firefox. Sure enough, the delays are a thing of the past and I can now rest easy at night.
What I’m wondering now is who’s fault is this? Is it Yahoo! or Firefox? I think its fine that the toolbar connects to Yahoo! for content and checking email status, but what causes the delay? Is it something the Yahoo! toolbar does that Yahoo! can fix? Or is it something deeper in Firefox itself that causes these interuptions? Eh, it doesn’t matter. I’ll never use those toolbars anyway. I just wanted to check it out.
So, just in case someone else is experiences the same, now you can know why (if it wasn’t apparent to you).