Category: Other Views

What others are saying about the Tempest sites

Skype Click to Call makes Firefox painfully slow

I’ve been having some troubles with Firefox lately, particularly when trying to use gmail. It’s been painfully slow (10-15 seconds just to change folders), and locking up the whole browser in the process. I decided to finally take my own advice and go through the troubleshooting steps we suggest people use when they’re having similar problems with SearchTempest.com or AutoTempest.com.

I found that if I restarted Firefox in safe mode (with all add-ons disabled), things were once again nice and snappy. Went from 10s+ to switch labels in gmail to around one second. Sweet. At first I figured the culprit must be something gmail-related, like PowerBot or Gmelius. (And I was pretty choked. Losing Gmelius wouldn’t be a big deal, but PowerBot is a huge productivity boost for me.) Fortunately though, the real culprit was an add-on I never use and didn’t even install: Skype Click to Call. It appears that this add-on is installed automatically when you install Skype. It’s probably an opt-in of some sort, and I imagine I must’ve figured it would be useful at the time, but for some reason, they failed to mention how it would make the browser an order of magnitude slower…

Anyway, it’s gone now, and gmail (and everything else) is fast once again!

My all-time Favorite AutoTempest Blog Post

… is not this. 😉 Actually it’s not even on this blog. It’s this one over at wisebread.com. And not just because they call AutoTempest possibly the “best search engine ever for cars”… although that helps. It’s because of how they found the site.
The site is one I found quite by accident. I’m not in the market for a used car, I was actually looking for a quote from Bill Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and stumbled upon this gem. Ahh, I love the Internet.
How awesome is that? The best part is, Kevin Purdy at Lifehacker apparently read that post, so the next day, AutoTempest was on Lifehacker and got it’s most visits in a single day, by about 300%. Better to be lucky than good, huh? Although I guess ‘you’ve got to be good to be lucky’ might apply too. Let’s go with that one. PS: My second-favorite AutoTempest coverage is this interview with Keith Griffin of about.com. Mostly because, as an engineer turned web programmer, you don’t tend to do a lot of interviews. 🙂

SearchTempest vs The Rest

MakeUseOf.com just wrote an article comparing several craigslist search sites. Naturally SearchTempest was first on the list. 🙂 What struck me though were the cases made for some of the other sites. Crazedlist – has some of the features of SearchTempest, but ‘provides instructions that will help you’ get around blocks imposed by craigslist. That’s great, except that their instructions only work for Firefox, and besides, with SearchTempest things just work – no fiddling with your browser required. Doesn’t sound like much of a selling point! Craigzoom and Search All Craigs – these sites are both essentially front ends on top of Google custom searches. And that’s a good idea. In fact, SearchTempest also lets you tap into the power of Google. Just click the ‘All Cities Together’ tab on the results page. Only with SearchTempest, you still have access to all your advanced search options – particularly the ability to search by distance from your zip code, or pick and choose which cities to search. (Or, of course, search everywhere, if that’s what you want!) You can’t be everything to everyone, but we do try! 🙂