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January 22, 2010 2:08 PM   Subscribe

The latest versions of Firefox and Safari that can run on my Mac Intel G4 tower (OS X 10.4.11) keep crashing when I open more than one video in separate tabs or windows on YouTube or Hulu. The problem isn't consistent, but it does seem to happen when I have at least 7 or 8 tabs open at once. Can anyone help me solve this?

Firefox Version: (Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.4; en-US; rv: Gecko/20091221 Firefox/3.5.7)

Safari Version: (4.0.3 (4531.9))

I'm not sure if it's the flash plug-in. This doesn't seem to happen when I have multiple flash slideshows running in different tabs, just videos. If it is the plugin, is there anything I can do?

Also, if you're going to suggest I use a different browser, please only do so if it can run in OS X 10.4. Chrome doesn't qualify, and this is an office computer whose OS cannot be upgraded by me. TIA!
posted by zarq to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
Intel G4

Which is it? G4 processors are not Intel, and are increasingly likely to have weird issues in more recent versions of OSX.

How much memory do you have?
posted by mkultra at 2:13 PM on January 22, 2010

What version of the flash plugin are you running? On my G4 Macbook (10.5.8) I had to downgrade to 9 to cure regular browser hang-ups and crashes.
posted by bizwank at 2:15 PM on January 22, 2010

Not a G4. My mistake. A Mac Pro Tower.

Processor: 2 x 2.66 Ghz Dual-Core Intel Xeon

Memory: 1 GB 667 Mhz DDR2 FB-DIMM

From System Profiler:
Model Name: Mac Pro
Model Identifier: MacPro1,1
Processor Name: Dual-Core Intel Xeon
Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz
Number Of Processors: 2
Total Number Of Cores: 4
L2 Cache (per processor): 4 MB
Memory: 1 GB
Bus Speed: 1.33 GHz
Boot ROM Version: MP11.005C.B08
SMC Version: 1.7f10

The hard drive currently has 10.4 GB free.
posted by zarq at 2:16 PM on January 22, 2010

What version of the flash plugin are you running? On my G4 Macbook (10.5.8) I had to downgrade to 9 to cure regular browser hang-ups and crashes.

From Safari's Installed Plugins page:

Shockwave Flash
Shockwave Flash 10.0 r32 — from file “Flash Player.plugin”.
MIME Type Description Extensions
application/x-shockwave-flash Shockwave Flash swf
application/futuresplash FutureSplash Player spl
posted by zarq at 2:17 PM on January 22, 2010

It could be a memory issue, honestly. Firefox is a hog, and 1 gig isn't a ton even in 10.4
posted by Oktober at 2:20 PM on January 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

This has all the signs of being a memory issue. Any chance work will buy you one more gig of ram?
posted by pmbuko at 8:54 PM on January 22, 2010

Upgrade Flash.
posted by devnull at 12:46 AM on January 23, 2010

The flashblock addon for firefox turns flash off by default and lets you turn on flash objects manually. I have have had much success with it in the past to deal with buggy browser / flash plugin combinations.
posted by idiopath at 9:09 AM on January 23, 2010

Definitely sounds like you need more memory; 1GB is low. But it's easy to confirm. On a system that hasn't been turned on or restarted in awhile, especially if it's exhibiting the crashing you described, open up Activity Monitor (Applications -> Utilities). Click System Memory tab. Look at the Page outs. If Page outs is more than 10-20MB (and especially 100MB or more) it means your system is having to write memory from RAM to the Hard Drive, which really slows things. You'll also prob see Free memory being low (a sliver of green on the pie chart or less than 100MB or so).

2GB is about the minimum I'd want to run on a modern OS X machine (even my mom runs 3GB on her MacBook).
posted by 6550 at 10:40 AM on January 23, 2010

ideopath, that's a neat app. Thank you for pointing it out! I'll get it installed and see what happens.
posted by zarq at 10:58 AM on January 23, 2010

6550, that's extremely helpful, thank you. I'll check out how many page outs I'm getting when I'm back in my office on Monday.

No idea whether or not my office will spring for more RAM. Will have to check...
posted by zarq at 10:58 AM on January 23, 2010

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