Printer slows page loading to a crawl

It's me again! Happy? Ever since I downloaded a new Netscape 4.79 and then downloaded Norton
anti-virus I'm having a problem. When the printer is going each website I access is *very* slow loading
and jerky. The printer and the loading were fine before. I have Windows98, Netscape 4.79 and a Hewlett-Packard deskjet 712C which has always worked wonderfully. The Netscape works fine if the
printer is not running. After this loading problem started happening I deleted Netscape 4.79 and also
Norton anti-virus and then downloaded a new Netscape 4.79 but it didn't make any difference. Can
you help me please? Thank you for your wonderful support. It is very much appreciated.     mythyme
Who is Participating?
cquinnConnect With a Mentor Commented:
64MB is a very small amount these days.  Adding more would make a huge difference to the performance of your machine and is quite inexpensive.

Add as much as you can afford, and watch the difference!  A recent article in a british magazine quoted these figures for spooling a photo file of 3 megapixels:

128Mb memory -   25 secs, 256Mb - 10 secs.

As you are at the minimum amount of memory, you will be getting lots of disk swapping, which slows your machine down considerably.  Using Netscape & the virus checker will take up most of your memory, then printing adds to your problem
Hm.. Netscape seems to be a bit more processor-intensive than other browsers. So is printing/spooling. Combine this with Norton... well, I'm almost surprised you can print at all.

Check all processes running on your system (Ctrl-Alt-Del) and if there seems to be a lot of them, do some prioritizing: do they all need to be running? Eliminate one at a time to see if you can notice any difference in performance.

I am not familiar with the HP 712C but it should have its own internal print spool.
When that is loaded, the printer should go into a free-wheeling mode that would
allow other computer processes to go on undisturbed by the printer activity.

So, if I had this problem I would be looking at the size of the print spools, both
in the main computer (hard drive?) and in the printer itself.

My guess is that HP has a HELP icon on your desktop, and that should take you to
a troubleshooting menu.
Free Tool: Port Scanner

Check which ports are open to the outside world. Helps make sure that your firewall rules are working as intended.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

How much memory do you have?  Spooling of print files speeds up considerably with more memory, as does everything really!
Have you tried contacting hp's support?

Here are some netscape communicator alternatives you might want to try:

      Mozilla (32-bit) 1.0 RC 2

      Netscape 7.0 Preview Release 1
mythymeAuthor Commented:
pleasenospam - I don't know what a print spool is or where to look for it, either on
the printer or on the computer. Can you enlighten me?      mythyme
mythymeAuthor Commented:
cquinn, I have 64mb Ram with 73% free.         mythyme
crash2100, HP support said they are no longer giving support for 712C. I am
tempted by your suggestion of Mozilla and may try it soon, but if I can figure out
why the printer is effecting my downloading (while the printer is running) I would
like to do that first.

Has anyone already tried Mozilla?  The reviews look good but that's only 14 reviews.   mythyme
A print spool is a storage area that acts as a staging area for printing.  It
frees up the main computer for other processes.  When the printer needs the next line
to print, it goes to the print spool instead of interrupting other computer
activity.  Every modern printer has a print spool, the larger the better.  You should
be able to find the size of the spool by looking at the printer specifications.

I've been using mozilla for the last eight months or so.  Although it still has a few bugs in it, it is so much better than communicator ever was for me.  With communicator it would lockup on me all the time (just about every time a page would load), I got so sick of it I was about to switch to IE.  But, then I found mozilla and I've used it ever since.

Definition of Spooling:
Acronym for simultaneous peripheral operations on-line, spooling refers to putting jobs in a buffer, a special area in memory or on a disk where a device can access them when it is ready. Spooling is useful because devices access data at different rates. The buffer provides a waiting station where data can rest while the slower device catches up.
The most common spooling application is print spooling. In print spooling, documents are loaded into a buffer (usually an area on a disk), and then the printer pulls them off the buffer at its own rate. Because the documents are in a buffer where they can be accessed by the printer, you can perform other operations on the computer while the printing takes place in the background. Spooling also lets you place a number of print jobs on a queue instead of waiting for each one to finish before specifying the next one.
mythymeAuthor Commented:
Hi all - I need to step back and study all of what you have suggested so I won't be back for awhile. Post if you like though.        mythyme
mythymeAuthor Commented:
First though, how do I increase the amount of memory on my computer. Do I go to a repair place or do it online, and if it is online are there different types and what website do I go to.  Thanks.
Crucial is a good site to find out what type of memory your computer uses and they also have pretty good prices.  If you've never done anything inside your computer, I wouldn't recommend trying to install the memory yourself.  If you have a friend or someone who knows how to do this, do that.  Otherwise you can just purchase the memory (if the price is better online) and take it to a local store and have them install it.
For your information on "disk swapping"...

When the computer doesn't have enough memory to execute a complete program, it
creates transient "virtual memory" by bringing in pieces of the program from
the hard drive into the main memory area as they are needed.  There was a
time when this was a common requirement on main frame computers, and it made
the programming task quite difficult because the timing was quite critical.

Long before the name "virtual memory" was introduced I worked on an IBM 650
at a "think tank" in Santa Barbara, California.  The computer had a tiny area
of main memory, so the instructions were brought in from a magnetic drum that rotated
at high speed.  The main memory was called "high speed core".  The controlling
software synchronized the rotation speed of the drum with the execution time of the
"high speed core".  This operation created what is called "virtual memory" today.
In this definition, "virtual" means that the effect was that of "real" memory, without
actually being real.

Now, for some further background:

In the early days of main frame computers there was no magnetic storage media.
So, the actual stored program was on punched cards or even punched paper tape.
Later on, magnetic tape became available.  Programs were stored there and brought
in as needed.  So, the earliest control programs were called "Tape Operating Systems",
or TOS.  Then, magnetic disk became available and the control programs were called
"Disk Operating Systems", or DOS.  Finally, when main memory prices dropped, a
complete control program could be stored in main memory as an "Operating System" or OS.

So, the history of operating systems has gone from:

None --> TOS --> DOS --> OS

When no operating system was available, all read, write, and other control operations
were included as part of the application program itself.

Now, notice that with the personal computers up through Windows 98 the DOS was
actually a step BACK in comparison with what is now available on main frame
computers.  As the cost of memory drops even further, we should see a continuous
migration away from DOS and toward OS.
mythymeAuthor Commented:
Hi, I downloaded Mozilla as my starting point on correcting my problems but, even though I like
it and it doesn't seem to effect my printer, it didn't transfer my email from Netscape 4.79. It
dug up some email from a long time ago and put it in my inbox. Anything I can do about it please?
One unsofisticated method for saving emails from one program to another is to forward/send all the important ones from your old program to yourself, and then download ("check mail") from your new program. If you have a very large number of messages you want to save, this is a bit cumbersome, though...

mythymeAuthor Commented:
I have decided to accept cquinn's answer here and then repost when I do all the things suggested and give points to
someone else who has answered my question so well. It's difficult to decide which one to accept. Thank you all for your great help as usual. I'll be baaaaack!        mythyme
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