# Alfred and Hazel Running Slower

I love zsh and ohmyzsh for my command line. It looks great and is very flexible. But, I recently added zplug as well with several great plugins. I would recommend using it. But, you might want to watch out for the “gotcha” that I ran into.

The zplug command runs several checks and loads several scripts each time you load a zsh instance. This does increase the startup time, but I figured that wasn’t much of an issue since I load several instances when I boot the system. I then use these shells for all my work during the day.

Around the same time, I started noticing that my Alfred workflows were getting slower. Since I have over 80 workflows and some of them call others, things were getting very slow. At first, I just thought that I was running too many other programs at a time. But, the more I experimented, the more I realized that the scripts were running slower due to the added time of loading a full zsh session.

Alfred started running shell scripts with full, interactive shells instead of the minimum single execution shells. That way, the .zshrc file is read where many users were keeping path configurations and many programs are adding their preferences to this file as well. Without loading the .zshrc files, many workflows would not work.

I first figured out all the necessary environment variables and made a copy of them in the .bashrc file. My bash files only setup a proper running environment for running programs without any fancy command line colorizations, special prompts, etc. I then went through and changed all my workflows to only use bash and not zsh. I also streamlined my .zshrc file by putting all configurations needed to run program in the .zshenv file and all the interactive shell items in the .zshrc file. Zsh is still somewhat slow at first run, but the added benefits of the plugins are worth it.

Now, all of my Alfred workflows run much faster and I have a great interactive shell experience as well. I did the same optimizations for my Keyboard Maestro and Hazel workflows as well.

I hope this tip will help you as much as it has helped me!

# My New Helper-Station

It is hard keeping up with all the tabs in Chrome or FireFox. On an average day, I’ll have anywhere from 10 to 30 tabs open at once. Not only is it hard to find the right tab, but my system starts to slow down and sputter with the high memory usage. Therefore, I open and close many tabs to a particular website over and over.

But, I just recently found a new friend that helps with this problem. It’s called Station. This one application allows me to park all of my different web applications (25 normally) that I use daily in one convient place. Not only that, but I have some special pages for each one saved in a sub-list. Now, I use the browser for transitory pages that come and go throughout the day.

By using Station, my CPU is breathing easier and I have more memory for other local applications. Overall, it is really speeding up my workflow.

With the <cmd>-t hotkey, I can search the name of each page quickly and switch to it with ease. The top left corner has a quick switch for the last two pages I was on. I’m still exploring all the different features of Station.

Go give it a try yourself. It’s free!

# All Projects Moved

Well, all the project pages have been moved over to this new site. Now, I need time to add to it as not all of my projects are currently listed.

I’m not sure about moving over my tutorials as they were never overly popular. But, I most likely will move over the ones that I personally like. If there is one you would like to make sure is moved over, just let me know.

I’ve also moved to the Icarus theme for Hexo. It is a very nice theme with many options. I’ll be customizing it more and more as I learn to use Hexo and the Icarus theme.

# Moving Servers

Since my site isn’t making money and the cost for the VPN increasing, I’ve decided to move the Custom Computer Tools to a GitHub Pages account. I’m now using hexo to create the static pages.

I’m still working on the transition. Therefore, not all of my project pages are in place. But, I have the Alfred workflows moved over. After everything is here, I’ll work on new stuff as I have time.

# Hello World

I’m working at moving my site to GitHub pages using Hexo.