Sunday, November 22, 2015

Chrome Extension Recommendation: The Great Suspender

One recurring problem I've experienced with my Chromebook and Chromebox -- and have heard others complain of as well -- is low memory. Not surprising. Most ChromeOS devices come with only 2 gigabytes of RAM (I get a weird feeling any time I use that "only," given that my first computer, a Commodore VIC 20, came with 4.5 KILObytes, and I experienced an embarrassment of riches when I got the 16k expansion card). So of course, what happens when you have a whole bunch of tabs open is that all those tabs consume a bunch of RAM and things slow down.

The Great Suspender addresses this problem quite nicely. When you have tabs open that you haven't actually looked at for awhile, the tabs automatically "suspend" and release your RAM back to you. When you come back to one of those tabs, you can click to reload it. You can set the wait time before suspension manually, and you can "whitelist" domains so that important tabs that you use a lot never suspend.

In the week or so that I've been using The Great Suspender, the slowdown problem has pretty much gone completely away for me. Highly recommended for ChromeOS devices. I expect I'll keep it even when I get around to expanding my Chromebox to its maximum 8 gigabytes of RAM. Assuming (I can't tell for sure) that the extension is also available for the Chrome browser for Windows and Mac, you might want to try it on those platforms as well. I've never known anyone, no matter how powerful his or her machine, who didn't occasionally complain about memory-hogging apps slowing the thing down.

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