Lately I’ve been noticing significant DNS latency when visiting certain sites. This is most obvious when my browser spends ages with “Looking up some.web.server.com…” in it’s status bar. It’s particularly bad at sites like wordpress.com where many pages make reference to sub-domains of wordpress.com and typically also to google.com for analytics or ads.
While my ISP’s DNS infrastructure is pretty good, there are a couple of things I can do to improve DNS look-up, which makes page loads a lot quicker.
Older X.org and XFree86 used to have this neat feature where pressing Ctrl+<numpad +> and Ctrl+<numpad -> would cycle through the screen modes defined in your config file in the “Screen” section, effectively switching screen modes on the fly and letting you pan around the full virtual screen size with the mouse.
This was a really useful feature for zooming in on small details, or to blow up videos without incurring high CPU overhead.
But since about X.org 1.7 this feature seems to be missing. I’ve been researching and discovered why it’s missing, and what to do about it.
I’ve been experimenting with the awesome tiling window manager as a replacement to KDE’s kwin, and I’ve managed to hack together a recipe for getting them up an running. It’s surprisingly simple, although the learing curve was a little steep.
This post documents what I’ve done to get things working nicely with the basic awesome config. No customisations here, see the awesome wiki for some ideas.