Odd and end computer issues

I like my Apple products, but sometimes they do things that just drive me nuts.

For example, I have a widget on my iPhone for battery level. The small version doesn’t show the percentage - just one of those circle things which give you a rough idea - though it would be easy to fit the percentage in the same space instead. Worse, the colors choices for the circles is very hard to tell the difference between the amount of power remaining and what is empty. Now, I’m partly color blind so perhaps this isn’t a problem for others. But Apple is supposed to be more aware than most of accessibility issues and this isn’t the only example of poor choices in this area!

But, on to my main issue of the day.

Sometimes my Mini runs kind of hot and, looking at Activity monitor, it seems at least part of this problem is with Firefox. It is usually the app using the most CPU - and may have more than one thing from Firefox taking the top spots. So I figured maybe it would be good to avoid using it.

But here is where Apple causes me issues. I actually use 3 browsers lately. Firefox, Safari, and Safari Technology Preview. All at the same time. The reason is that, while I’d like to just use one of the Safari browsers, I run into the problem with how Apple lets you pin tabs. Unfortunately, both versions of Safari, if you have more than one window, will make all the pinned tabs the same - which I do NOT want. I set up browser windows - at least the pinned tabs - to be focused on certain things. For example, one window would have pinned tabs for all the WayTools related pages (their home page, the forum page, the slack page for Treg testers, etc). Then another window may have mostly social media pinned tabs, etc.

Now, Firefox’s big advantage is that each window can have it’s own pinned tabs. I don’t just use Firefox because when you use different desktops on a Mac, sometimes weird things happen with apps assigned to a specific desktop get changed and it can be a real pain to get them back where they belong! I figure having just Firefox, with different windows on different desktops would really get messed up, thus I use 3 browsers - to make it easier to assign desktops and to allow a variety of pinned tabs.

But, as mentioned, Firefox really grabs a lot of CPU. So today I worked on getting everything into Safari and Safari Technology Preview, even though I can’t do pinned tabs the way I want. I can only have two sets, rather than the four I had when I included Firefox.

Does anyone know a browser which does pinned tabs, allows different pinned tabs for each window, and doesn’t eat up CPU?

Well, this is odd. I’ve made a special effort to watch the CPU usage of Firefox and it was always pretty high (close to 50%) or in some cases very high - closer to 100%. Quiting Firefox and reloading didn’t make much difference. At least not for more than a couple minutes. Sometimes I’d get up in the morning, when my computer should be asleep, and it would still be fairly hot.

So, as I said, I moved everything to Safari and Safari Technology Preview, even though the tabs were getting too crowded to suit me. Then I started researching other browsers.

Saw a lot of good things about Vivaldi and some of it’s special abilities looked like they may be very useful. So I started looking for info on CPU usage. Found a number of people complaining about it using too much but, more importantly, I also saw references to Firefox being pretty good! This didn’t match what I had been seeing!

So I start up Firefox yet again. But it’s been hours now I Firefok is hard using any CPU! I have no idea why.

However, I’m still interested in Vivaldi. Just debating whether to spend time testing it. Anyone have experience with it?

I’ve been using Vivaldi for the past few months and really like it.

It has a feature that allows you to group similar windows into a single tab, then when you hover over the tab, it shows all the separate windows in the group. You can have multiple groups as well. It is chromium based, so you can add as many or as few widgets from the chrome store to it as you like. It is also available for Windows, MacOS and Linux. The mobile version is Android only though :frowning:

Check it out here: https://vivaldi.com

IT might be the one ring to rule them all that you are looking for :wink:

I downloaded it earlier tonight and messed with it some. But I have questions (btw, love grouping those tabs!).

My first issue is very import to me. Normally in other browsers I middle click links which open in a new tab AND the new tab gets the focus. I cant find a way to do that except by right clicking and choosing that option every time or use a keyboard modifier. But often I’m not even using the keyboard. So I’m hoping there is another solution.

The second issue is loading or reloading a YouTube video. I don’t know want it to play. Sometimes I’m just reading info about it. But so far with Vivaldi it always plays!

Oh, one other thing. I told it to import bookmarks from Safari. It say it is “done” but they aren’t showing up.

Almost forgot. Sometimes I’ve tried pasting a web address in the address box using the mouse (right click then choose paste when I’m not using the keyboard. Well, it doesn’t even give me the paste option! I can do command-v but I don’t know want to have to grab the keyboard every time.

I would check the Settings page.

There is an option there under Tab Handling to Focus Page Content on New Tab which may be what you are looking to do. I think the middle click thing is part of your mouse setup.

With youtube, mine doesn’t play until I switch to that tab but it does autoplay when I switch. I think there is an option somewhere to turn this off but for the life of me I can’t seem to find it at the moment.

My bookmark imports worked fine so I’m not sure why yours didn’t import. Maybe try doing the import again?

I don’t have the same issue when trying to paste an address into the address bar with my mouse either. Mine seems to work every time I tried it.

Sorry I couldn’t be of any great help. A suggestion would be to maybe reach out to the creators of vivaldi and ask them or ask that a feature be added.

I’ve been looking at the setting pages from the start, but nothing seems to get that focus to be on the new tab. The item you mention is checked. For a browser that promotes great customization, that seems very odd.

Still can’t find a way to keep youtube from playing. I can mute it, but that isn’t the solution I need.

On the paste thing, I found something really odd about it that you can easily check:

Open a blank tab (in my settings, a new tab is set to be blank as opposed to a start page or something). I copy a link from another browser and right click in Vivaldi to paste it - put paste isn’t an option! However, it seems I can type anything in the address bar and then right click and it will let me paste! That’s just strange! And, of course, takes an extra step or two. So see what happens if there is nothing in the address bar at all. Oh, I also tried a tab with something in it, deleted everything in the address bar, and tried to paste to it. Wouldn’t work.

I tried importing bookmarks when I first set it up and then later chose the option again from the menu. No success.

So far the best thing is still those tiled webpages so for now I’m focusing on looking for separate tabs in other browsers that would benefit from this and moving them to Vivaldi.

Here’s another question. The toolbar (which the address bar is part of), if you right click it, it gives a “customize” option. But under customize, it only says “reset to default” or “remove” (apparently for whatever icon you are over). Doesn’t seem to be a blank area to click to let me add or move items in the bar.

Got the bookmarks in, but not the way I should have been able to. I first exported from Safari Technology Preview and then imported to Vivaldi via HTML file.

I also could have tried important from Firefox, but didn’t try that. Vivaldi didn’t give me an option to import directly from Safari Technology Preview - just Safari, which didn’t work directly.

Still working an putting tiled tabs in. I have 5 sets so far. It’s a slower process than I would have expected figuring out which things best go together.

That’s so strange. I know there’s a way to stop youtube from playing when you open the link in a new tab but can’t for the life of me find it.

I’m also not seeing the paste error that you seem to have. I can cut and paste an address into a blank tab address bar, both new and existing address bar cleared, without any problems.

I do seem the same action in the toolbar when you right click. It gives a “customize” option and then only options available under that are “remove” and “reset” like you see.

Glad you got your bookmarks in, but I agree that that is not the way you should have had to do it. At this point I’m unsure if it might be a Vivaldi issue, a Safari Tech Preview issue, or maybe a little bit of both.

The good thing is that the creators are issuing bug fixes and feature additions on a regular basis, so if you do notice some weirdness, it might not hurt to shoot them a message.

Tab groups are an amazingly simple idea but incredibly hard to decide what goes together with what. I think it’s my favorite feature of this browser though.

Are you on a Mac or something else? Because I found something that said the paste issue is a known bug on the Mac. Also that it was when the address bar has the focus, but not otherwise.

Strangely, after reading this, I was able to paste using the mouse by moving the focus elsewhere first. But every time since then, trying to do the same thing, it still isn’t working. As soon as I right click, the focus goes right back to the address bar. I have no idea why it worked that one time.

I presently have 12 tab stacks! I could do a few more that I presently have on Safari (as of today, I have Safari Technology Preview and Firefox no longer active at all as a result).

This is really nice on my 43 inch screen. The only problem is that sometimes I’m getting info off a webpage and pasting it into a spreadsheet - so I need to fit the spreadsheet on the same screen, of course. That keeps me from making the browser window as big as I’d like.

Maybe I’ll move the tab I use with the Spreadsheet to Safari again, on a different desktop, so space isn’t so much of an issue. That would let me make Vivaldi take up pretty much the whole screen on another desktop.

I’m a bit disappointed with the lack of options on the toolbar - for a browser which sells customization so much. I’d like to shorten up address bar space (it is really long the window so big on my screen). I’d like to be able to move things around or have more things I could add. Heck, ideally I’d like to have things like the forward and back buttons on both sides of the address bar since my screen is so big!

I found another option for giving the focus to a newly created tab when clicking a link. Not ideal, so I’ll have to experiment with it for awhile.

I have a Logitech Permormance MX mouse that has the usual 3 mouse clicks, tilting wheel, and 4 other programmable buttons.

I use an app called SteerMouse to program things and you can do pretty much anything with it.

The four extra buttons I use to:

  1. Enlarge text
  2. Reduce text
  3. Close active window or tab
  4. Force quit active app

But you can also create chords - but I had never used them before, but I thought they might help me with this problem.

First I created a left/right click chord to actually sent a “shift-click”, which will solve my problem with this particular issue (I can’t just change the regular click to shift-click because in safari, it moves the link into Apples “reader” section).

However, that solution screwed up gestures in Vivaldi - apparently SteerMouse would be waiting to see if I was going to add the second part of the chord.

So, I tried again, using the left click and the Zoom key on the side (the one listed as #3 above).

That let gestures work again. And did the job. There are two negatives though. One would apply to any chord that it just feels a bit more awkward to deal with a chord. The other is, by using that Zoom key, that one is on the side - side I’m pressing down on one and from the side for the other. Just adds to the awkwardness. But I don’t have to press them at exactly the same time so maybe it won’t be too bad.

I’ll just experiment with the different options for awhile and keep hoping that Vivaldi gives an option to let you change how middle click works! To me, that is one of the most obvious customization options I can imagine!

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Another solution. This involves an extension. I’d be happier if it was built-in (never know how much I can trust an extension!). This is the one I found:

Switch To New Tab

Offered by: Arctic Phoenix

Just did some real quick testing, but the middle click so far now seems to do exactly what I wanted.

I’ve been reading a lot of stuff on the Vivaldi website and for this particular kind of extension. I’ve been really surprised that you can find all kinds of stuff about “focus”, but almost nothing about making a new tab get the focus. But lots of stuff about whether the cursor is focused in the address bar or not. I’m sure that matters to many people, but with so little about my particular issue, I tonder if most people just work with tabs differently than I do.

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One more report. As I was reading about other extensions, I saw a comment about how one said it didn’t work in a private window so I checked it out with the extension I got. Sure enough, it didn’t work either. Not an issue for me, but wanted to point it out.

Meanwhile, looking at SteerMouse again, I found I could set it up to work specific ways with specific apps. Well, that looked good. So I did it with Vivaldi and only made one change - changed the middle click to a shift/middle click. Works fine everywhere I’ve tried in Vivaldi and when I’m not in Vivaldi, everything seems to use the default settings.

This is very cool. But now I need to start thinking about whether or not some of my default settings are not needed in certain apps at all, thus maybe I can use those buttons for something special for that app.

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I use Vivaldi on both Windows and MacOS but I was testing on the Windows machine which would explain why I was seeing the paste feature work without issue I guess. Sorry for that. Hopefully they get the issue resolved soon.

I need to look over options later today, but I think there is one for having a new tab automatically open to a particular page. If so, I could assign a really basic page that loads almost instantly to that option - which would mean there is always already something in the address bar so I can paste. It isn’t something I do very often anyway.

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Forgot to mention:

I had read that Vivaldi was pretty demanding about memory (though I haven’t noticed any issues yet with CPU usage which was my main issue sometimes with Firefox).

Since I never paid any attention to memory usage (checking with “Activity Monitor”, I don’t know how meaningful this is, but after Vivaldi has been running for awhile, it takes a LOT of my computers 16gb of memory. I’ll see a lot of references to Vivaldi on it (Vivaldi itself, Vivaldi helper gpu, Vivaldi helper renderer - a bunch of these last ones).

I’ll commonly see 13+ gb used with Vivaldi running and down around 7 gb used without it. I don’t know if the Helper renderer has one for each tab or what. Right now there are 35 of them. Plus two that just say Vivaldi helper. One of the Helper GPU and one that is just Vivaldi.

Makes me wonder if my next computer should have 32 gb! But, like I said, I don’t know what is considered to be reasonable in this area. Perhaps some apps just takes advantage of whatever is available in memory, but won’t actually use so much that a problem is caused.

Uh-oh. Things suddenly took a seriously bad turn.

I had added another set of stacked tabs (3 tabs) and just after that, my CPU usage spiked and, while it fluctuated some, I stayed very high. No tabs are showing - just blanks. A couple times the page contents for one would show up for a second and then vanish again. I’ve tried restarting Vivaldi and even restarting the computer. I can’t do anything in Vivaldi.

Strangely, even though the CPU usage is very high, the Mini hasn’t gotten hot yet. Maybe it just takes longer, but I expected it to be pretty hot by now considering how long the CPU has been high.

I thought maybe that last tab stack was acting up, but I can’t close it or doing anything else. Guess I’ll just let it run for a lot longer and see if it finally clears up. Otherwise I guess I’ll have to delete the app and install it again if I can’t get it “unstuck”.

Never could get it to work, even when I quit every other app I had. I did get one break. Instead of deleting the app and then reinstalling - which I assume would have required me to set everything up from scratch, I ran the install again and told it to replace the old one - which seems to have kept all my settings and tab setups. That saved me a lot of work!

Update:

Loaded up my other apps and still working so far. Hope this isn’t a problem that comes back because I really like Vivaldi, even just for the stacked tabs.

I did try doing the same stacked tabs as before and it did the same thing - twice - though I managed to get it working without reinstalling. Don’t know if it is those particular tabs that won’t work if stacked, or too many stacks, or what.

Might be worth a note to the authors telling what you did and what happened. They might be better able to explain what could be going on.

Don’t know exactly how to reach the authors, though I’ve looked.

I did open a second window and stacked the same two tabs. It worked in that case. Haven’t tried stacking different pages on the original window to see if it messes up that way. I guess I will eventually, but I’ll postpone that for now. Just don’t want to run into a situation where I may have to reinstall yet again!