Suspending Browser Tabs for Memory Conservation

If you’re like me and have upwards to 30-50 browser tabs open at the same time, you may notice that your computer becomes sluggish.  In my case this was because all the tabs still consume memory even though I might not need them for some period of time.  I still like to keep some tabs that I might need to quickly refer back to later.

I recently found a Chrome extension called The Great Suspender that automatically replaces the tab with a placeholder page after a certain period of time, optionally with a screenshot of what the page looked like.

An example of a suspended tab

With the click of the mouse anywhere in the placeholder, the actual page reloads.

The extension also allows you to manually suspend tabs if you know you won’t be needing the tab for a while, and whitelist certain pages or sites to never suspend automatically.

I’ve found I can save a few GB of memory, which could be nearly 20% of total my system memory.  Every bit counts!

Synology Hyper Backup Options and Pricing

The Synology Hyper Backup app allows owners of Synology NAS devices to easily set up backups to various cloud services.  However, one thing that isn’t shown in the app is the pricing of each service.  So here’s a pricing comparison (prices as of Aug 4, 2018).

  • Synology C2
    • Location: Frankfurt, Germany
    • 100 GB = €9.99/year (approx. USD $0.0100/GB/month)
    • 300 GB = €24.99/year (approx. USD $0.0081/GB/month)
    • 1 TB = €59.99/year (approx. USD $0.0058/GB/month)
    • 1+ TB = €69.99/TB/year (approx. USD $0.0068/GB/month)
  • Amazon S3
    • Location: Many, using U.S. (N. Virginia) to compare
    • Pricing: Complicated – only comparing standard S3 storage costs here
    • USD $0.023/GB/month (first 50TB)
  • Amazon Glacier – not supported in Hyper Backup, but there is a Glacier-specific app that can do this
    • Location: Many, using U.S. (N. Virginia) to compare
    • Pricing: Complicated – only comparing storage costs here
    • USD $0.0040/GB/month
  • Microsoft Azure
    • Location: Many, using US West 2 to compare
    • Pricing: Complicated – only comparing storage costs here
    • USD $0.0184/GB/month (first 50TB)
  • IBM (SoftLayer) Cloud
    • Location: Many, using US – East to compare
    • Pricing: Complicated – only comparing storage costs here
    • USD $0.0220/GB/month (first 500TB)
  • Rackspace
    • Didn’t have time to figure this out, but looked more expensive than the other options.
  • Amazon Drive
    • 100 GB = USD $11.99/year (approx. USD $0.0100/GB/month)
    • 1 TB = USD $59.99/year (approx. USD $0.0050/GB/month)
  • Dropbox
    • 1 TB = USD $99/year (approx. USD $0.0083/GB/month)
    • 2 TB = USD $199/year (approx. USD $0.0083/GB/month)
  • Google Drive
    • 100 GB = USD $19.99/year (approx. USD $0.0167GB/month)
    • 1 TB = USD $99.99/year (approx. USD $0.0083/GB/month)
  • hubiC
    • Location: Gravelines, France
    • 100 GB = €10/year (approx. USD $0.0097/GB/month)
    • 10 TB = €50/year (approx. USD $0.0005/GB/month)
  • HiDrive
    • Location: Germany
    • 100 GB = €5.80/month (approx. USD $0.0672/GB/month)
    • 500 GB = €12.52/month (approx. USD $0.029/GB/month)
  • SFR NAS backup
    • French website, didn’t translate to find out
  • HiCloud S3
    • Location: Taiwan
    • Pricing: Complicated – only comparing storage costs here
    • TWD $0.75/GB/month (approx. USD $0.025/GB/month)
  • Backblaze B2
    • Not supported by Hyper Backup, but can “sync” through Cloud Sync
    • USD $0.005/GB/month

Whistler Ski Run Topographic Map

My cousins from Toronto came over to ski and snowboard at Whistler over the last month.  I had the opportunity to pick up skiing again and accompany them up at Whistler a few times.

Whistler Blackcomb is pretty big, so one would usually look at a map to find suitable runs.  This is a sample of what is provided in the “Mountain Atlas”:

A portion of the official Trail Map/Mountain Atlas you get from Whistler Blackcomb

It looks nice and is mostly useful.  But for all the map geeks out there, can we find anything better?

Turns out that Google Maps conveniently has the ski runs in its map.  But there’s more: Google Maps in Terrain mode shows the contour lines like a topographic map!

“Topographic” map of Whistler Mountain (north is upwards — so the Village is towards the top)

Beautiful!  The top-down view makes it easy to see the actual orientation of the run and “behind” the mountains, and the contour lines makes the rate of descent visible.  So from here you can see there is a green run from the Peak—Mathew’s Traverse—whereas it’s not depicted on the trail map.

How do you get to the map?

Here’s the link: Google Maps Terrain @ Whistler
Alternatively you can search for the location you want in Google Maps, then open the menu at the top left, then select “Terrain” mode.

Terrain is one of the layers in Google Maps

Enterphone intercom anywhere

My apartment building has an old hard-wired Enterphone intercom to buzz visitors in.  This poses a slight annoyance since the dependency of the phone line in conjunction with a conventional corded telephone means I have to walk to the phone in order to answer the intercom.

Given the low rate of visitors and the small size of my apartment, in retrospect, this isn’t really a big deal.  Most normal people would just buy a cheap cordless phone and call it a day.

But that only helps if I’m in the apartment.  What if I wanted to be able to buzz myself in if I somehow got locked out?

Continue reading “Enterphone intercom anywhere”

My T-Comm site gets its 15 minutes of fame

Earlier today, a few local blogs mentioned my T-Comm website (a live map of all the buses in Metro Vancouver):

The site wasn’t really designed for day-to-day navigation, but more for transit enthusiasts who are looking to find specific buses (e.g., the double decker test buses we have on the streets right now, 1008 and 1009).  In addition, I’ve also heard that bus drivers also use the site to locate their bus as it arrives to their pick up point.

I wish I took some time to polish up the site over Christmas, since it’s pretty much still running on the same code base (both in the user interface, and behind the scenes) as when I created it six years ago!  Nevertheless, it’s cool that the site’s been found and mentioned by some local online media, and to spread some “transit geekery” out there.