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First of all I have to specify I'm using an old system, Windows XP on a Frankenstein desktop machine. My laptop, if the friend ever gets it re-programmed, is almost as antique, a third-hand Sony Vaio given by a grateful student; also XP. Due to the exigencies of surviving on a pension with respiratory failure, no upgrades are likely soon.

In general I often have difficulty with caches getting too full. Even Facebook goes wonky after a few hours, and I can't use the video feature on my tutoring site, too bad as face-to-face is useful. Any computer folks out there who know how to improve memory and speed with few resources, please do tell.

In particular, when I am answering something on Stack Exchange and the answer takes a lot of typing and many symbols, the system chokes up. It gets longer and longer responding and the mouse seems "sticky". After a while there's no response at all. Now on other sites, when this happens I curse and throw things because if I haven't saved my work it's all lost at that point. On SE, wonderfully, when Chrome shuts itself down and I have to re-start and restore pages, all my work is still there. Great!

But is there any way to avoid this that can be managed with no money or other resources?

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    $\begingroup$ You can certainly afford to install Linux on even most ancient desktops, and thus have the benefit of a modern operating system and browser. I'm not sure how the video feature you speak of is implemented, but Chrome bundles a number of video codecs, so you might luck out. $\endgroup$ – hardmath Feb 25 '17 at 2:09
  • $\begingroup$ Linux has been suggested to me before. Problem is steep learning curve. Is there an idiot's guide to Linux anywhere? Remember, I am retired, and the great majority of IT was not even invented when I was in school (I learned Fortran on punch cards, you young whippersnappers. Email was a brand new thing when I was in my third university degree program.) I also chose not to major in computers as the subject is just not my thing; prefer pure math; so a number of "explanations" are less than no help. $\endgroup$ – victoria Feb 25 '17 at 2:40
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    $\begingroup$ Have you tried using robjohn's Mathjax bookmarks? In particular, the ones to disable/enable Mathjax are useful, as pointed out on the webpage, for when longer answers do what you're describing. $\endgroup$ – pjs36 Feb 25 '17 at 3:30
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    $\begingroup$ Darn, I find the MathJax fast preview so helpful. I have some vision issues -- car crash, eye operations, wacky bifocals but thank God I can drive again -- and the keyboard is ancient and sometimes drops things, so I proofread a lot and still miss little stuff. Rats. $\endgroup$ – victoria Feb 25 '17 at 3:52
  • $\begingroup$ Comments appearing and disappearing. Weird.. $\endgroup$ – victoria Feb 25 '17 at 4:01
  • $\begingroup$ On the comment appearing and disappearing: is it possible you had several windows open? If you post in one, it might not appear in the other. You'll have to refresh the page. (There is an auto update but it does not always work.) $\endgroup$ – quid Feb 27 '17 at 12:25
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, thank you. I tend to bounce around between pages and with my old system it can get a bit confused. $\endgroup$ – victoria Feb 27 '17 at 19:15
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The cheap cure is to have a post composed at home, close to the format needed on MSE. I have Latex at home, this is free, although you will want help installing it. Most things (not quite all) in MathJax can be done in Latex. Meanwhile, if you have a post saved in a home .tex file that works in Latex preview, you an paste that in when your browser is in a good mood, and paste it again if the browser gets moody.

As far as I could tell, email started when I began graduate school. I still think expanding Arpanet outside universities was an error. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARPANET

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  • $\begingroup$ As above, I do find the MathJax preview a great help. Drat. I have MikTeX and use it to produce work for tutoring questions that require a lot of formatting, but it is a right royal pain and I sometimes spend more time searching for the $#%^&* error than doing the math. So you're fifteen or twenty years younger than I am (took a while teaching school and having a kid before she started kindergarten and I went back for the math degree.) Just wait and see what technology does to you in another decade or two, hee hee. $\endgroup$ – victoria Feb 25 '17 at 3:56
  • $\begingroup$ More reappearing comments. Cheshire cats. $\endgroup$ – victoria Feb 25 '17 at 4:02
  • $\begingroup$ @victoria yes, you have one comment about six minutes ago, then one about one minute ago saying "Is my comment here" $\endgroup$ – Will Jagy Feb 25 '17 at 4:04
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The wysiwyg window on MathJax is a lifesaver. When your computer eventually expires, you will have to buy a replacement anyway. With that day in mind, or even in anticipation, consider getting a reconditioned professional computer, running Windows 7 or 10 and with more memory than you will ever need, which can be bought for under £100 in the UK—less than USD125—and which will run on-line MathJax flawlessly. Expect such a computer to last about 3 years; so on average the cost of running a computer will be about $40 per annum. The expected cost can be reduced considerably if you are willing to shoulder the risk of buying privately.

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  • $\begingroup$ I realize this is very little money, but so is what the pension gives me to live on. And my first priority has to be getting a portable oxygen machine so I'm not trapped in the house forever. The time will come for a new computer, when the next generation goes obsolete. :-). $\endgroup$ – victoria Mar 1 '17 at 7:06

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