Mac OS X Tiger Network Speed Fix

Over the weekend I noticed that browsing in Safari and in Firefox was significantly slower than normal and since I had upgraded my Powerbook to Mac OS X Tiger, I figured it was probably a bug and Apple would fix it in 10.4.2 or some other update. However I started to look at it and see if I could fix it myself.

Apparantly some OS X Tiger users have been recommending that you disable IP6 in your Network Preferences, which does seem to work, but I’m not sure how long this lasts or if it is the actual fix or not.

I decided to spend some time tightening up my Netgear wireless router and noticed that the router setup did not have my ISP DNS server ip addresses. I corrected that and then in OS X Network Preferences I put the ip address for my router and that seemed to fix things and now browsing is back to normal.

The bug must be with the DNS settings, it must some how not be sending them through the router correctly, like it use to on Mac OS 10.3. Hopefully Apple will fix it soon.

UrlTrends Tool

If you are monitoring your Pagerank status or just want to know more about how the different search engines are ranking your site, you should try out UrlTrends, which has a simple web-based tool that outputs some nice graphs for the different search engines. There is also a tool for displaying your site’s pagerank, for your blog or site.

What I liked best about UrlTrends is that it shows multiple search engines and the results page is clear and simple.

Optimize Your MySQL Databases

Many popular PHP applications like WordPress and Textpattern, along with forum software like Invision Powerboard use MySQL databases to store their data and over time these databases require some maintenance. For example if you have deleted a lot of posts from your blog or forum recently, you might consider optimizing your database tables to improve performance.

This tutorial explains how you can run the Optimize Table command in cPanel.

Warning!!! Before you attempt to do this tutorial on your own data, you should backup your MySQL databases either from within cPanel or through your own program, if it has a backup database function. You should not attempt to do this procedure if your software has its own database maintenance functions, like Invision Powerboard which has its own database options in the Administrator panel. Proceed at your own risk!

First log into cPanel and open up the MySQL Databases manager icon. At the bottom of this screen you will find a link for phpMyAdmin. Clicking on this link will open up a new browser window with the home screen for phpMyAdmin.

On this screen, click Databases. This will list all the databases you have setup. Click on the database you want to work on. The database screen will list the tables for the given database.

phpMyAdmin Database Tables

Click the Check All link on the bottom left. Then from the pulldown menu choose Optimize Table.

PhpMyAdmin will give you some information once the operation is done. Close the window and then logout of cPanel on the original browser window. Close out of your browser completely to end the session.

If you are wondering what the Optimize Table command actually does, according to the MySQL Manual it basically defragments your database:

OPTIMIZE TABLE should be used if you have deleted a large part of a table or if you have made many changes to a table with variable-length rows (tables that have VARCHAR, BLOB, or TEXT columns). Deleted records are maintained in a linked list and subsequent INSERT operations reuse old record positions. You can use OPTIMIZE TABLE to reclaim the unused space and to defragment the data file.

In most setups, you need not run OPTIMIZE TABLE at all. Even if you do a lot of updates to variable-length rows, it’s not likely that you need to do this more than once a week or month and only on certain tables.

Note that it is possible to run phpAdmin without going into cPanel, but for the sake of simplicity, this is the easiest way for most cPanel users to find phpMyAdmin.

For more information:

phpMyAdmin: This is the homepage for phpMyAdmin.

WordPress Optimize Your Database: an interesting post describing why you should optimize your WP database.

cPanel User Guides & Help: more links for learning cPanel.