Firefox 3.1 Intel Optimized Build

Shiretoko

Shiretoko

Update: Shiretoko 3.1b4pre is now available, some new numbers and a slightly updated FAQ.

BeatnikPad has been offering G4/G5/Intel optimized builds of Firefox 3.0.x and earlier for a number of years now and I’ve grown somewhat reliant on them. This has been a great service to the Mac community and I really appreciate all of Neil’s efforts. He is not only timely with the builds, but is very good with user support as you can see in his comments.

I’ve been using WebKit, Minefield, and increasingly Opera as my main browsers for a while now (and Bon Echo (Firefox 2)) and have recently been running Shiretoko (Firefox 3.1) to take advantage of TraceMonkey. But I’ve been longing for an Intel optimized build and haven’t found one, so I’ve made one.

Shiretoko 3.1b3pre had a SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark of 1333 and Shiretoko 3.1b4pre clocks in at 1449. The regex engine is vastly improved, while 3d/access/math took a hit. I think I can optimize further with the browser config, but don’t have time at the moment.

I’ve also made a few adjustments to the default config, namely turning on TraceMonkey and other minor tweaks to eek some additional speed out.

Go To Downloads Page

Mini FAQ

What’s the deal with all these weird names?
Non-official builds cannot use Firefox branding. I guess I could call it something else, but everyone in the dev community knows this particular version as Shiretoko.

Is Shiretoko Japanese for something?
Yes. Since dev builds are named after parks and this one is named after the Shiretoko National Park in northern Japan. (thanks Mike).

Is this going to break my existing Firefox?
No. You just cannot run them simultaneously.

Will my add-ons work?
Maybe. Firebug works and that’s all that matters to me.

Will you be doing nightly builds?
Yes. Since there is the demand for it, I will start nightlies once my current data crunching project is finished (I cannot interrupt this project every night). I expect to have this done by the end of March.

Will you build for different architectures?
No. Intel is where it’s at.

Off To Japan

I finally realized I was about 7,000 miles from home in a foreign county.

I was in bed reading, trying to get tired at 2:30, when the call came. I needed to get to Japan immediately. I packed as fast as possible and headed to the airport without even a ticket. The prices at the various airlines were outrageous topping out at $4,500. A quick web search got me a ticket for $1,200.

Twenty hours later I arrived at my in-laws. With severe jetlag and sleeping pills flowing through my body, it all felt like a dream. Two days later I finally came to the realization of what had happened.

I won’t go into the details of why I’m here, but the trip was absolutely necessary.

I’ll be on a brief hiatus from blogging while I’m here but will continue twittering.

Squirt: Follow Me On Twitter

Twitter Stream

I used wordle.net to generate a tag cloud of my twitstream so you can see the kind of stuff I’m blabbering about on Twitter. I’m usually complaining about something or another – The “All Mail” Gmail folder in Mail.app, Frustration with Kindle for iPhone, The App Store – but sometimes I tweet some useful junk like blog announcements or problem fixes.

So follow me!

I’m working on a couple interesting posts here so don’t write me off just yet. You can also subscribe to this blog to get updates.

SSH Login Without Password

This is the old public/private SSH key switcharoo that allows clients to log into servers without being challenged by a password. This is one of the least secure of the SSH setups, but still beats ftp security by a long run. Here are the steps:

  1. Make sure you have added the RSA key fingerprint of the server to the client’s “known_hosts” file. This is as easy as attempting to ssh to the server and answering YES to the dialogue. The key will then automatically be registered to the “~/.ssh/known_hosts” file. You don’t even need to successfully SSH to the server at this point to get the key registered. This step can actually be avoided as you will register the key in step 3 when you scp.
  2. Generate the client’s SSH key. Just type
    # ssh-keygen -t rsa

    at the prompt (you want an RSA key type), then just hit enter to accept defaults for everything, including leaving the passphrase empty.

  3. Move the client’s public key – “~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub” to the server. You can do something like this
    # scp ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub hostname:/Users/clatko/

    Where you put the key on the server at this point is irrelevant.

  4. Add the client’s public key to the server user’s “authorized_keys” file. On the server you can “cat” this key to the existing file by doing
    #cat id_rsa.pub >> .ssh/authorized_keys

    Also, you can add keys across users if you want, but this opens up the ability for abuse (adding a regular users key to root’s authorized_keys file, etc.).

That should do it. If this doesn’t work, you probably have a permissions problem somewhere – SSH is very picky if the wrong permissions exist on the .ssh directory or its contents. .ssh needs 700 and authorized_keys needs 400 (at the very most).

Beetle Labs

Beetle Labs

I’ve decided to create an application launch platform called Beetle Labs. The purpose is to have a public staging area where I can get feedback on different ideas. Whatever gains traction, I’ll spin off into a separate site with a new UX. Most of the stuff I put out there, I expect to fail. Failing applications just won’t receive the attention that more prominent ones do. It’ll be a sort of survival of the fittest. The first app probably won’t launch for another week or so, but I’ll announce it at that time.