The site www.hackaday.com recently posted a hack for Firefox that dramatically speeds up its performance on a broadband connection. I haven't used a dialup connection in years - except for just recently, when over the holidays I was forced to use a couple of my speakeasy dialup hours to check email from my parent's house.
I decided to try it out on my computers and boy-howdy does it does work well! Because it works so well, and because it is not particularly Internet-friendly, I thought I'd comment about it a bit. You should know though that there are significant reasons for not doing it. Not the least of which is that it is terribly insensitive to those who run the servers that selflessly provide you with the content that you so crave. Here are the biggest reasons not to do it; in no particular order...
1. A dial-up connection is a high-latency connection, but is also a narrow-band connection. The FireFox guys knew what they were doing when they optimized it the way they did. Unless you're swinging a fat pipe, stick with the defaults.
2. The server's may or may not respond favorably. Pipelining requests like this can streamline internet traffic, but it can also rape the server. For more information about Pipelining see the Pipelining Faq.
3. You should not attempt to hack your PC or any of its software if you will be dead-stick in the event something goes wrong. If you have to call the family geek whenever your email doesn't work, stop reading here!
If you are the family geek called in to fix a hack gone awry, I just want to say I tried to stop him. Really I did.
The permalink to the Firefox speed hack on HackADay is ...
... And, just in case the HackADay site goes away someday, the jist of it is ...
Type “about:config” into the address bar and hit return.
Set network.http.pipelining, and network.http.proxy.pipelining true.
Set network.http.pipelining.maxrequests <= 10.
I modified the original details a bit. First of all, you shouldn't set your MaxRequests to anything over 10, because it is not nice to rape the server. Ten is still kind of rapey, but at least you're not beating the server too.
Also, you shouldn't set the initialpaint delay to 0. Here's Why.