back to article 'Larry and Sergey's HTML5 balls drained my resources'

Google's latest animated logo on its search homepage has caused a kerfuffle among many surfers whose CPU has been besieged by the ballsy doodle. The Mountain View Chocolate Factory released its fancy HTML5-based BuckyBall animation on Saturday, and immediately users began complaining that it was sucking up too much CPU. Reg …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    your kidding me right? buy the latest and greatest tech that can handle it then instead of whinning about it... its the end of the world for them putting something cool on their website ha ha ha.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I win!

      I win! You're DEAD4EVER, right?

    2. Danny 14



    3. The Other Steve

      I'm with the AC kid

      "your kidding me right? buy the latest and greatest tech that can handle it then instead of whinning about it... its the end of the world for them putting something cool on their website ha ha ha."

      'kin right. I'm showing 70% idle, down from 72. And I have a whole heap of other shit running.

      Damn, I smell like jet fighters and punching.

      Seriously, buy new kit.

      1. Richard 81

        Fresh ideas

        You wouldn't happen to work for Microsoft, would you?

      2. Captain Thyratron

        Speak for yourself.

        Not everybody'd got the cash to go tossing a few hundred bucks at a new computer every few years. Which is more reasonable: To ask users to buy new computers every three years just to handle obnoxious websites in return for no improvement in basic functionality, or to ask website authors to make less obnoxious websites?

        The "computing power is cheap" excuse is apparently the most popular rug in computing for sweeping bad engineering underneath. If computers get twice as fast every few years, then shouldn't they do twice as much as well?

  2. DaveFish83
    Thumb Up

    A very prominent HTML5 showcase for Chrome?

    A pretty simple demonstration of how badly Firefox handles HTML5 canvas in comparison to Chrome. CPU cycles used in chrome are less than 25% of those seen in FFox.

    I'm sure this isn't a coincidence, I imagine the doodle was implemented to highlight the difference in performance between the two.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Stewart Atkins

      Not killing my laptop

      My laptop barely goes above 10% usage (with what i'm running its using 5% for everything else) in both firefox and chrome.

      While it is impressive, i imagine some older machines will struggle and google really should've provided a way to turn it off, although fair play iGoogle, https google etc all do just that

    3. Ryan Kendall

      what cpu?

      i couldn't find any CPU diff between the Browsers on my workstation, must have been a very old pc?

  3. Alan 6


    I'm using the latest iteration of Chrome and with 3 tabs open, Outlook and 3 massive spreadsheets open my CPU is only at 23%.

    My PC is only a Dell with a 1.8Ghz Core Duo and 1 gig of RAM, so it's not massively powerful.

    Probably the people complaining are running various flavours of IE which can't cope with HTML 5 yet...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Supercomputer on a chip and

      Its not powerful enough?

      "My PC is only a Dell with a 1.8Ghz Core Duo and 1 gig of RAM, so it's not massively powerful."

      Not massively powerful? Two CPUs at 1.8 GIGAHertz and ONLY a GB of RAM.. my how our definition of a powerful computer has changed. True you can get much more powerful PCs, perhaps for doing real-time structural analysis of wind-loads on buildings or playing real-time rendered first-person shooters, but for the tasks the average person puts to their computer yours is more than powerful enough. Running a small animation on a web-page should not even register a whole percentage point.

      1. tomjol

        Yeah, er, it's 2010...

        ...and that's a pretty puny spec for anything made in the last few years. Additionally, it's not an animated GIF, it's interactive - and it's using Javascript to do the physics. Of course it'll use CPU time.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Sad state of software

          It's an embarrassment that modern software is so slow that we need the absolute latest hardware to do basically the same stuff we were doing 7-8 years ago at the same speed.

          It's also an embarrassment that some people seem to think this is perfectly normal and acceptable.

      2. Sureo
        Gates Horns

        ...more than powerful enough...

        Unless you are running a later version of Windows, in which case you need a supercomputer to get good performance. I am always amazed how upgrading to a new PC with a faster multi-core processor and huge memory doesn't result in a noticeable improvement.

    2. Wallyb132

      I hardly see a difference

      On my "Generations Old" beast, I hardly saw an impact. Though shes old by technology standards, my little old dual CPU 2.4ghz Shanghai Opteron box only has 16gb of ram and slightly under 600gb of drive space, but it handles the workloads ok, This google page hardly put a dent in the resource usage, I think the hard drives might have helped that a little, putting these old 15k rpm sas drives in a raid 10 sure made a difference in how this old beast performs, so did adding that ancient dual core raid controller, man this old thing sure does pretty good for being three generations old...

  4. PeterHing

    or you can

    just use iGoogle

  5. Gilbo


    Google used to be the equivalent of freshly squeezed orange juice. Simple, clean and good for you.

    Everyday, though, they're rapidly becoming Sunny Delight. Increasing crammed with obnoxious additives and other shit you don't need that isn't good for you.... presented in nice colourful packaging to appeal to the kids.

    Maybe I'm just getting old but I do sometimes wish the young, social mediacentric web 2.0 whores being allowed to make decisions like this would just fuck off back to where they came from.


      Hyperbole Much?

      >Everyday, though, [Google are] rapidly becoming Sunny Delight. Increasing crammed with obnoxious additives and other shit you don't need

      Every day?

      Like what?

      A fancy graphic on their birthday (hint: once a year) or on a special occasion (a significant date that's tech/geek/science/education related) after which it reverts to its minimalist interface?

      What on earth are you talking about old man? Did your failing eyesight cause you to type in the URL for the Yahoo homepage by mistake? :P

      1. spatulasnout

        Re: Hyperbole Much?

        "A fancy graphic on their birthday (hint: once a year) or on a special occasion (a significant date that's tech/geek/science/education related) after which it reverts to its minimalist interface?"

        For me, it's not that the minimalist appearance has changed much; but rather the delay incurred by number of scripts the Google homepage loads before becoming stable enough to receive input.

        In particular, some change they made several months ago, causes a script to run once the page is apparently "fully loaded" which steals the focus from wherever the cursor may be and jams it into the Google search box. So when I bring up a new browser window with Google as the homepage, then begin typing in the browser address bar, after some random delay--say between 0.5 and 3 seconds-- (presumably affected by local caching, net congestion, and Google's server load) the Google home page "finishes loading" and the script runs and the cursor jumps from where I was typing in the address bar, to the google search box. Resulting in a nonsense "search" consisting of a portion of the URL I was trying to type in the address bar.

        I had used as my homepage for a full decade, because I liked its minimalist fast-loading nature (and I didn't mind the occasional goofy novelties such as the playable Pac Man game.)

        But as of last week I switched my homepage to a local google.html file which is an instant-loading, script-free version of the Google homepage. I don't get "search suggestions" anymore while I type, but nothing steals the input focus while I'm typing, either.

  6. Shades


    Get NoScript (for Firefox) and don't enable (pointless) Javascript!

    1. CD001


      I had to enable it to find out what the fuss was about - funny how this has been reported as a "fancy HTML5-based BuckyBall animation" and yet utterly breaks when you disable JavaScript. Rather tends to imply that this IS JavaScript and NOT (purely) HTML 5 doesn't it?

      That's what's pissing me off most about HTML 5 - all the w00t! Look at teh shinies in HTML 5 RAH RAH RAH... actually, I think you'll find it's (bits of) CSS 3, JavaScript and the HTML 5 DOM - all HTML 5 does at the moment is allows you to natively embed videos and improves the semantics of certain markup elements - <canvas> is just a wrapper for scripted graphics; not really any better than the deprecated/defunct <applet> tag IMO.

      It's just a markup language for crying out loud!

      1. bothwell

        @Look at teh shinies

        The really great thing is that this Google doodle isn't even using the canvas element, it's just a normal div with some normal JS applied. Ho hum.

        Bouncy though, I do like it.

    2. Shades

      I'm at a complete loss... understand why my innocent lil' comment attracted 5 downvotes?!? I can't work out if its a result of the Jeremy Clarksons of PCs (MOAR POWAAAAAAH!), Google employees, or just complete and utter f*ckwits?!

  7. MJI Silver badge

    Google home page gives me the creeps

    It is that hide the links bit and fading in, I started by changing search engine. Then of course just use the search box in Firefox.

    So of course I never see any different logos now.

    I often use Google groups and Google news so that is quicker than using the fade in page.

  8. NHS IT guy

    Not all that bad...

    Running on a Lenovo ThinkPad X200 (C2D 1.86GHz, 2Gb RAM) I get these results:


    Static (not moving mouse) - 42Mb RAM - 1% CPU

    Moving (chasing the balls) - 49Mb RAM - 13% CPU


    I get stuck at 49Mb RAM - 5% CPU - but the animation does not load *shrug*


    Static (not moving mouse) - 63Mb - 1% CPU

    Moving (chasing the balls) - 63Mb - 29% CPU

    (the balls are smaller and move less elegantly on IE8)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "the balls are smaller and move less elegantly on IE8"

      Now that's a brilliant tagline for IE8!!

  9. Mike Wilson

    I agree, close to 100% of one CPU

    I checked this out on a dual core Linux system. Both CPUs hovered just below 50%. That's a lot of grunt to move a few circles around.

    1. Aaron 10

      How much CPU?

      64-bit Ubuntu 10.04, 3.06GHz Core2Duo, 4GB RAM, ATI Radeon 2400HD (1280x1024@32-bit), Google Chrome... less than 4% CPU usage, even when herding the balls all across the screen.

      What's wrong with your system?

    2. Bob Gateaux

      Problem of the open sources

      The linux will always take this much as not so efficient at programs

  10. nailerr

    Oh no!

    This is genuinely pathetic, who actually needs to spend long enough on the plain, no widget google page for it to even matter? Yes, everyone has an opinion and that is fine, but to complain about something like this? Find a real damn issue to be vocal about.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    B-b-but Steve said that HTML5 was the future..!?!!

    If they had used that 'evil' Flash stuff instead we would have at least had the option of blocking it!

    1. Ivan Headache

      except that

      There's very little change in CPU usage on my Mac.

    2. Annihilator

      What's weirder

      This HTML5 Google logo doesn't work on my iPhone either! Steve!!! How could you let me down!!

  12. bod43

    CPU sucker indeed

    Google have really lost the plot this time. Famously successful for providing what people want, a clean, plain search/mail/whatever page with no stupid bells and whistles they now seem determined to mess it up.

    Other Google daftness avoidance options are;- - No disappeared magic appearing menu, no logo - I forget check it out yourself:) Perhaps no disappeared magic appearing menu, with logo.

    Or .com if that suits you.

    If I had been smart enough to buy Google shares I would hope I would be smart enough to be considering selling them now.

  13. Paul 21


    "fancy HTML5-based BuckyBall animation". How come it's not playing on the iPhone or iPad? I think there's something we're not being told.

    1. cw6

      Logo on iphone...

      Appears to work quite well on my N900

    2. vegister

      balls on iphone

      >> "How come it's not playing on the iPhone or iPad"

      you're holding it wrong.

      1. Hans 1

        it is not HTML5 it is JavaScript

        it is not HTML5, it is not HTML5, it is not HTML5

        It HAS been written above - read all comments before you post!

  14. Anonymous Coward

    HTML5 vs Flash

    So it seems Steve Jobs was right: HTML5 can do everything Flash can do... including using all your CPU time.

  15. Anonymous Coward


    seriously? i'm running on a 2ghz single core CPU and i notice no slowdown at all, despite running spotify, pidgin and steam in the background

  16. Anonymous Coward

    ... no subject req'd ...

    Boring people find something else to complain about.

    Complaining about wasting electricity because of a animated logo? Christ. Scurry back to where ever you came from! Heaven forbid a company tries to do something different...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Hear that whooshing sound?

      That's the sound of the original comment's electricity joke rushing past about 50 miles above your head.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    google search page

    Or (If you are using Firefox), just install the Scroogle SSL toolbar plugin and and see the results sans the advertising/bullshit and tracking.

  18. jubtastic1

    My experience

    2.4Ghz Core2Duo, runs at 20-30% CPU when I poke it in the balls, drops down to nothing a couple of seconds after I stop.

    To paraphrase El Jobso, 'No big deal, Just stop playing with your balls'

  19. jrb

    oh god

    idiots. stop complaining.

    finally you have a use for your cpu

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some people

    Need to get out more...

  21. Graham Dawson Silver badge


    It's no big deal, just use a text-only browser.

    Actually, it works fine for me in FF on Kubuntu. Perhaps I'm doing it wrong. :)

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Bing too!

    Go to bing, wait for it to load.

    Move mouse over the picture - now move mouse in a circle (say).

    Look at cpu meter!

    I get 100% usage. On the Google thing I get 75%.

    Fun, eh?

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Bing - what the toy train company?

      Haven't used their site I am a modeller not a toy collecter,

    2. The Original Steve


      Couple of things:

      Get a better computer. 100% or 75%.... Seriously! Close some apps, format or just upgrade

      I don't need to move my mouse over the JS boxes to use the search on Bing

      The Bing thing is at least trying to be useful. (Random topic's daily of obsecure but sometimes interesting stuff)

      Google has been praised for YEARS for it's "clean" image. Bing isn't after that - hence the rather lovely backgrounds it puts on everyday. Google went backwards.

  23. Andy Watt

    How much CO2?....

    I'm being deliberately awkward here - but how much fossil fuel generated energy did Google just consume? They can deplot this from their bloody labs in the US and inflict it on other nations... seriously, anyone got the smarts to do an estimate based on the number of dumb terminals - sorry - users who don't bother with alternative Google landing pages?

    Dicking around like this looks pretty but constant fiddling usually results in BORKING.

  24. bod43

    To add to previous comment

    I thought the article was about the orange "buckyball" spiraling whizzing logo of the other day. But no, it's a new daft useless whizzer that we don't need.

    I did not see this latest one since I switched to as my home page when the buckballs logo appeared and it does not have the logo. The new floating-bouncing-balls one is much less intensive on my PC but still undesirable to me.

  25. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Silly demo

    No CPU suckage here on FF on Mac OS (different matter when running on FreeBSD 8.1)

    The animation only seems to work with Chrome and FF with browser sniffing used on Safari and Opera. This is *the wrong thing to do*™ with HTML5 and it's also a pointless animation that adds very little to the page. But then again it's limited to the UK Google homepage which I guess doesn't get that many visitors now that all browsers have search boxes.

  26. Hegghogg


    I quite like it, actually. Although I didn't realise it *was* an animation at first. I just figured the computer was busy doing some indeterminate-Windows-background-grindy-stuff. It was only after I glanced up and noticed it was a slightly different position I realised it was actually an odd sort of slideshow.

    As for this latest thing about the exploding coloured spots, I decided it was probably better to use the toolbar search. Although the interactive animation does work prettily well on Ubuntu*.


    * Yes, I know: *everything's* better in Linux...

  27. Tim Walker

    The acid test (no, not THAT one)...

    I just accessed the Google home page via Chrome, running under Linux (Eeebuntu) on my Asus Eee 701SD (630MHz Celeron CPU, 512Mb RAM). If any recent PC could be brought to a shuddering halt by the Google ball demo, you'd think it would be an early (2007) netbook...

    Yes, Chrome ended up using about 45% of the CPU when the balls were at their most active, but the load average didn't get above 1.3 (and that was with Rhythmbox playing an Ogg Vorbis file at the same time). The machine stayed perfectly usable throughout.

    Not to be smug or anything, but if a 3GHz-packing PC can be brought down by this demo, whilst a comparatively weedy netbook barely breaks a sweat... erm, might the OS and/or browser be a factor here?

    Tux, 'cos there's no "light blue touchpaper" icon yet ;-)

  28. Captain Black

    No Title

    Isn't this a bit out of date? The BuckyBall has already gone, they are using some particle animation now. I thought for a minute you we're referring to the particles but then you mentioned HTML5, which that is not.

  29. Mage Silver badge

    It does indeed

    It works very smoothly on my 8 y.o. 1.8GHz P4M laptop 1600x1200 GeForce 440 go 32M

    But does indeed use 100% CPU. But only at load or if you "mouse over" it,

    There is also always Bing.

  30. Kolin


    Its a combination of CSS3 and Javascript, No HTML5 involved.

  31. Fork


    The BuckyBall logo was the other day?

    I take it you actually mean today's HTML5-y coloured balls logo?

  32. JasonW


    ... but how long is my browser actually pointed at the Google homepage?

    A: not often and not for long, I (perhaps strangely) open up the page, search and move on...

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Am I missing something?

    Another forum mentioned this, but all I can see is the vanilla google page.

    Browsers tried:

    IE6 (I know, I know, corporate install)

    Firefox 3.5 Windows

    Firefox 3 Linux

    Logged out of "google account" (for gmail). Not using https. Tried .com and . Just a static picture.

    Has it been taken down?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't know why they've done this

    It doesn't even look particularly nice when it runs properly. And for those poor souls stuck with old clunkers at work it's a nightmare.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    No problem...

    ...using i.e.8 or Opera...<grin>

  36. quicksilver

    Am I missing something?

    The article is talking about an HTML5 animation of a buckyball that went live on Saturday (3 days ago! nothing like current news content ...).

    Today's doodle is a bunch of dots that move according to your mouse gestures and settle down into the logo if you don't do anytihng. That's written in JavaScript.

    Seems to me there are two things being talked about here - or should i get my coat?

  37. Anonymous Coward

    Nothing to see here...

    No issue at this end...if it peaks at 17% usage it drops back down to almost ziltch after a few seconds...some folk like to moan for the sake of it, it'd seem..

  38. midnightwolf76

    Sucks up CPU, say what?

    Sorry, but something else must be sucking up your CPU, I tested Google's homepage with both cores (AMD X2 Kuma) and with only one core. No matter how much I move my mouse around and play with the doodle, my CPU never goes above 40% in single core or using both cores.

    On my laptop (Intel Core2Duo) I also tested Google's homepage with both cores 49%, with one core 47%.

    Perhaps all of you are running too many addons, don't have the latest Firefox, or something else entirely.

    1. Danny 14


      but 40% for a webpage is pretty mental though.

  39. max allan

    Which animation are we talking about?

    Are we talking the buckyball spinning logo or today's flying balls that escape from the mouse pointer?

    Neither have caused me any trouble with IE or chrome.

  40. John 62
    Thumb Up


    they may have disappeared the http:// just to annoy everyone, but the circles barely register any CPU usage on my 3GHz C2D

  41. Anonymous Coward

    I just wasted over a minutes potential productivity playing with it.

    OMG I'm crippling the economy.

    I demand the Daily Mail write an article about my freeloading.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Cue the Jobsian response...

    "Get a better PC. Not that big of a deal."

  43. bofh80
    Paris Hilton

    Almost 10 years to the day

    El Reg never made such a hullabaloo when i sent the same wondrous problem with using THEREGISTER as my home page. Why? FLASH ADS.

    Would they listen, did they even report it? NO

    In fact, with all these quips from apple about flash posted here, it's fun to note at the time that EL Reg though that Flash worked fine, and it was obviously a problem with the 3 different pc's i was using.

    funny how things go innit.

    Paris for sheer wonderous humor.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another winge

    Did the nasty google monster slow your PeeCees down?

    Awwwwww Diddums

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For a tech blog...

    There sure are a lot of luddites here...

  46. Anonymous Coward

    I just use...

    I just use Bing, have done for a while now.

    Good, relevant search results, no pointless Googly clutter, and no handing all my details over permenantly to the anti-privacy evil scum at Google.

    1. Wallyb132
      Gates Horns

      hahahaha.... excuse me while i gather myself... hahahahahaha...

      Sir you shouldn't do that so early in the morning, now i have to spend the entire day looking all filthy and dirty from rolling around on the floor laughing at your statement.

      Did you use the words bing, google clutter and anti-privacy evil scum in the same sentence trying to infer that google is evil and microsoft isnt?

      Wow, you're either a great comedian or frighteningly stupid, i cant determine which...

  47. JaneW


    Nothing about it is HTML5. It uses some CSS3 border-radius properties for the balls, but there are no HTML5 elements, it's all JavaScript and DIV's!

    Another misuse of the HTML5 moniker, I'm afraid...

  48. Jim T


    It's a search page, not your main work screen.

    It uses no CPU at all when it's still.

    Seriously, did some actually mention carbon usage?

    It's an animation, not the friggin apocolaypse.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    I noticed these bouncy ball things this morning. But I typed in the search bar, hit Enter, and never thought anything more about them. They probably spent less than 10 seconds on screen.

    You people need to just get on with searching.

  50. Andrew Baines Silver badge

    Google - so last decade

    Just use

    Just make sure you change your settings to uk

  51. Simon Lacey


    Because of the omnibar in chrome, I only ever visit the google homepage when someone points out there is something fun to see. Likewise the search box on Opera/IE/FF.

  52. Mike G
    Thumb Down


    Fact is that flash animation is a lot more cpu efficient than the same animation implemented in html5. This kind of pointless animation used to get a load of stick (rightly) when it was done in flash (albeit the best tool for the job) as it's entirely superfluous to user experience. Now that it's done in html5 it's now 'cool' to add pointless tat?

  53. Cyberspy
    Paris Hilton

    Get a life

    It's a bit of fun which (on my PC) didn't raise CPU usage above 12% for FF, Chrome, Safari or IE 8 (it did look shit in IE though, coz the balls stayed the same size instead of getting bigger).

    It made no difference to the CPU while it wasn't being used.

    If you don't like it, move on.

    If you see it as a bit of fun, showing what HTML5 is capable of, then play with it.

    Whatever you do though, quit the moaning

    Paris, coz even she wouldn't moan like this!

  54. RichyS
    Thumb Up

    No real problem either

    0% CPU usage when just idling. Max I can get is 16% when flinging my balls about. This is using Safari on a ThinkPad X61 (no idea what CPU etc. I have).

    However, some useless Symantec thing is gobbling up over 40% of my CPU. Damn you corporate IT. Honestly, having these anti virus things is worse than having a virus...

  55. Rich 30


    Just use IE6 like on my work machines. I just get the plain, boring Google page.

  56. iammart

    Google's fancy-pants doodle sucks up CPU?

    No it didn't...

    Doodles rock!

  57. peyton?

    Can't use the https version either

    As that involves encryption, which uses more cpu, which obviously* will doom the planet.

    *Where "obviously" in this case means "let me drag in something completely unrelated to make my pathetic whinging sound important"

  58. John Doe 12
    Thumb Down

    The IT Crowd

    Jesus. Would you all listen to yourselves? No wonder the IT Crowd is such a successful tv show - it's based on you bunch of retards!!

    "buy the latest and greatest tech that can handle it then instead of whinning about it..."

    What a dickhead answer - no wonder it was posted AC. Oh and learn to spell whining properly.

    "Get NoScript (for Firefox) and don't enable (pointless) Javascript!"

    Like 90% of internet users know what the hell your talking about.

    "This is genuinely pathetic, who actually needs to spend long enough on the plain, no widget google page for it to even matter?"

    A lot of people leave the google homepage up and go for a cup of tea of make dinner. You don't expect it to raise the CPU of your laptop over 25 degrees just for giggles. This poster gives depth to the word pathetic.

    "Heaven forbid a company tries to do something different..."

    Yet another AC - obviously works for google - probably designed this pointless piece of shit.

    "finally you have a use for your cpu"

    This one is classic IT crowd - I could just see the moron with the glasses and afro saying this!

    "It's no big deal, just use a text-only browser."

    This feedback is the gift that keeps on giving.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: The IT Crowd

      Alright, John, you've said your piece. Now please sit down and remember that it's a beautiful world and we are all brothers.

      Everyone else - deep breaths. If you're going to fling rotten fruit please take care because backspatter can be a bastard.

    2. Fuzz

      your you're

      "Like 90% of internet users know what the hell your talking about."

      Your is a possessive pronoun, you need to use you're as in the abbreviated form of you are. If you are going to attack people for their comments and pick them up on spelling you could at least use the correct word.

      1. Shades

        I love pedantry...

        ...especially when its with regard to a response to one of my comments!

        // Beer for you! :)

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what page

    I type my searches into a search box on Firefoxes toolbar. So I never see these fancy Google pages. Unless I go there to see what all the fuss is about.

  60. blackworx


    Funny there are so many people taking the time and energy to complain about lost CPU time and increased consumption/CO2 emissions caused by this bit of fluff.

    Ah, who am I to criticise? I'm sure they'll all be walking/cycling home from work tonight.

  61. Russell Howe

    Is it just me...

    ... or is the real story that browsers are bloated, slow, poorly coded and inefficient, not taking advantage of modern hardware (OK, IE9 apparently uses DirectX for some things - way to lead the curve MS.. DX has been out since W95!) blah blah blah.

    Oh, it's also more than a bit to do with the fact that web pages^Wapplications contain embedded programming in the form of Javascript which is making people jump through crazy hoops to produce optimising JIT JS engines in their browsers.

    It's time people sat down and worked out what HTML should and should not do. Occasionally some bright ideas come along like out of process plugins, separate processes/threads for separate tabs/windows, private modes which bypass various features, flashblock (which I believe should be on by default for every browser extension in every browser - IE can apparently do this, but it's not the default?) but these ideas are often things which really should have been there from the beginning and which seem pretty obvious now...

    Not to mention the craziness that is XmlHttpRequest - if you want a bidirectional communication protocol then design and use a bidirectional data-sharing protocol. That's not really what HTTP is, now, is it?

    If this animation slows the machine down then that's the OS's fault for not scheduling things well and if it drains your power then maybe we need to look at OS design and do things like a power cap per application or something?

    Oh and why isn't the world on IPv6 yet? We should ditch NAT whilst we're at it as well as kill those proprietary email protocols and get IMAP or something similar up to scratch.

    Any volunteers? I'd like it done by pub-o-clock please. I can pay you 20p

  62. The Unexpected Bill

    Uhm, well...

    "I've probably got the oldest computer of anyone here and..."

    Oh, never mind. Suffice it to say that while running Firefox 3.6.8 on an 2001-era 1.4GHz P4 NCR box with Windows XP, and GeForce2 MX graphics, the offending "doodle" doesn't cause any significant problem.

    Two ways I can sum it up, pick the one you like:

    1. Sometimes "it works and it's paid for" really rings true, eh?

    2. Perhaps all of you are running Vista or some equally bloated OS? (Though I'd have expected better from the average El Reg reader...)

  63. Why

    So last century..

    I need some advice. Should I bother to switch browsers to FireFox from Opera upon this Cyrix 266 chip (Circa 1998) with 196 mb of ram running, in order to "try" to watch

    1. Some sort of new fangled swirly doo hickey thingamijig not go round and about.

    2.My machine lock up and some vigorous pc. 3 finger saluting take place?

    When the buckyballs were mentioned I thought we were in for some sort of message from the future, "Andromeda effect"...sadly not, it's just another geeky day in Internet land.

    I now expect a flurry of posts from people reading el reg on even older "this ole box" (es) than this one...

  64. Annihilator
    Black Helicopters

    It's Google's new distributed datacentre

    All your CPU cycles are belong to us

  65. Why

    Trolls please


    You might have least used the troll icon.

  66. heyrick Silver badge

    I thought it was really cute!

    Running latest stable Firefox on an eeePC (1.6GHz N270), the system loading didn't change much. I can't give an accurate quote, only a look'n'feel, and it didn't seem much different to, like, when a shopping site does all its scripty stuff. The initial swirl-in effect was a bit jumpy, but once the bucky ball was full size, animation was smooth and responsive and followed the mouse nicely.

    100% CPU time? Not even close (and, frankly, shouldn't even be possible with a modern OS).

  67. Anonymous Coward

    kills bandwidth with remote displays / thin clients

    Is google trying to shoot themselves in the foot with these 'improvements' first pacman and now this? - if we wanted search clutter we would use yahoo.

    Reckon they are just turning 'big corporate' and are running out of new ideas.

  68. Anonymous Coward

    CPU, sucker. Rotten fruit?

    You know which site usually sets my CPU fan spinning noisily?

    This one, with its stupid Flash adverts. Far more than Google does or did.

    That is all.

  69. Anonymous Coward

    Use Opera NOW earthlings

    OK would be appreciated if article explained Google's browser sniffing I felt a bit of a tw*t clicking on the embedded link to get the bog-standard Googley page in my awesome Opera 10.61 browser. Of course the 1st presumption is Googles response to all these whiny breastfeeding 6 year olds was to take away the animation:(

    Being an awkward cuss I was determined to see it and naturally googled 'google cpu animation' just to find a host more whining and zero info on any status change. As a last resort of utter hopeless desperation:) I checked The Reg's comments - boy that's a sh*tload of opinion! After donning sub-aqua gear so as not to drown: I find some browsers haven't been invited to the Google party and Opera seems to be one.

    A simple tinker with page-specific settings to mask as Firefox and I get to witness a reasonably well executed 'balls up' no problems...My PC?? owzabout a 7yr old Sempron3100+ with 1gig(960MB -shared with graphics proc) I saw 40%app with loads of mouse wiggling. No big deal, looks clever, no problems WITH Opera 10.61 on an old PC that I am intending to soon replace for 64-bitness etc.

    1 conclusion possible to draw from this:- an unnamed creator of a browser called 'Chrome' is allegedly too embarassed to p*ss in the same urinal as the best browser out --Opera--.

    OK that's enough completely biased viewpoint just 'cos' wot I is using is bestest:-) With any luck this entire comments section will just turn into a my browser's bigger than yours p**ing contest. Best of luck will some moderatrix please bar the insensitive incitement that lusers like me post:)

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Long live HTML5

    Sings to upgrade boys and girls and stop getting spooked by the future.

  71. Neil 7

    Todays coloured balls - only 5% usage

    That's with Firefox 3.6.8 on Win7 and Core i7 - I really can't see what the problem is.

    Where can I test the Buckyball doodle for a comparison? Did anyone save a version as it's no longer available on Google itself.

  72. Ted Dannington

    FAO: Blingwads

    So, all you people, including the article's author, who have proclaimed this to be some "HTML5" thing - did you not bother view sourcing? I did, and I see a bunch of javascript-controlled DIV tags. I see no HTML5.

    Derp. Derp everywhere.

  73. David Hagan
    Thumb Down

    Why not Bing it!?

    A ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

  74. Anonymous Coward

    Oh my word...

    I checked it out on my ZX Spectrum and the CPU blew right out of the plastic casing, whizzed around the room, leaving a shower of sparks in the shape of the Google logo - incredible!

    I then tested it on my latest PC, with a quad-snore tripple whammy zooton proccessor, seventeen quadrabytes of gram and a 512k SiS video card.

    After carefully measuring the temperature of the CPU using my tongue and inserting a "I don't have a life" stick into my rectum, I was shocked at the results, truly shocked!

    I then decided to boot into Umbongo Lurking Looney distro to see how it ran in links browser in an xterm. It only consumed 1 millibyte of CPU, but boy, was it boring.

    Three hours of testing later, I concluded that I needed to get out more and removed my "I don't have a life stick" from aforementioned orifice.

    Those dirty google bastards, damn near ruined my entire week!

  75. Doug 3

    calling bull on this one or get some glasses

    look at the page with the flying balls and tell my seeing those balls flying around and noticing your CPU railing makes you think something other than those flying balls is the problem.

    There's a rash of whining about Google going on and way too often it's weak and sounds more like some other company is paying a PR company to dis Google as their way of competing with them.

    Really, people could not put 1+1 together and get it that all that stuff flying around in front of them was what was causing their CPU hogging issues? Come on. They knew what a CPU was and know enough to write about it so they probably have high double digit IQ numbers.

  76. Anonymous Coward

    I like it

    It's a fun logo and it's not using up all my CPU. And seriously, how long are people spending on the Google home page without, e.g., searching for something? So whatever.

    If you want to complain about the Google home page, how about all the s*** that fades in after a second? Stupid people think that if something is hidden, it's simpler and cleaner and easier to use. These stupid people used to work almost exclusively at Microsoft but I guess Google has hired some of them.

    Another complaint--why the Bing chasing? The new image search page with its "infinite scrolling" is hacky and stupid. If I want that kind of bizarre, unintuitive crap I'll use Bing. I use Google for a reason. Hint: don't copy an insignificant competitor's inferior product, Google!

  77. fLaMePrOoF


    I've tested the Google Balls Doodle with 3 PC's, Windows XP / Vista / 7, and IE7 / IE8 and Firefox and the doodle never uses more than around 20% system resources, (and you have to play with your balls pretty hard to get the numbers up that high).

    Basically this story is exactly that; a load of balls.

  78. Mike Flugennock

    Y'know, this has just reminded me...

    ...of just how many years it's been since anybody posted a really good "Ate My Balls" page on the Web.

    So... "Larry And Sergey ATE MY BALLS", anyone...?

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I see this more as an anti-IE6 ploy than an advert for Chrome.

  80. raving angry loony

    stroke them balls

    3GHz core duo, 4Gb ram with Firefox 3.6.8 under MacOSX uses 2% of cpu with google balls at idle, max 23% when I'm playing with their balls. Oooh arrr.

    Mainly I use scroogle though. Just because.

  81. Uncle Siggy

    Those aren't bucky balls.

    Buckyballs are truncated icosahedrons. The Google doodle is just bollocks.

  82. Acme Fixer
    Thumb Up

    But today's (Tue 9-7 Doodle is even more fun!

    It makes my task manager performance graph kick up to 50% or so. But it's COOL!

  83. Cactus Fantastico

    HTML5 eh?

    Seems ol' reg has fallen the way of other publications in misidentifying the last two doodles (including todays) as HTML5. Neither doodles made use of HTML5 features, but instead div parenting and some clever javascript trickery.

  84. Gavin Ayling

    Removing background image?

    Why did blue-whatever remove their background image? If you have the background image, then whenever there's an interesting Google logo, they add some colourful dots above Google's name in order to view it. Silly person!

  85. markp 1

    cpu sucking? only if you're on a pre-athlon machine, surely

    just to add more stats to the pile

    4 1/2 year old ultraportable, 800 - 1733mhz speedstepping pentium M, intel 915 graphics.

    not breaking a sweat with the ballpit logo.

    can't give you exact figures on usage, but I can say it didn't pop out of minimum-speed (ie 800mhz) mode or raise the temperature appreciably (fan didn't click up past its default level) even though i played with them a while, saw what the effect of leaving the mouse still whilst amidst them was, etc

    that was with firefox 3.6.something. IE would probably have hung my machine given the performance/cpu-load gulf between them last time I tried to use it...

  86. markp 1

    theorem MC68000/YM2912

    oh and my theory is that one of the team's probably been to a retro demoscene convention or something and got feeling all nostalgic.

    back in the day it was all about how many rastered balls you could get to fly around the screen simultaneously at smooth, single-vblank speed (i forget if that's 25/30 or 50/60fps) whilst playing some 3-channel hardcore in the background. pretty sure my old atari has been clocked at something close to 200 of those sprites at once, so enough to make up a barely recognisable google logo shouldn't trouble any PC with a 486DX or better and a PCI/AGP/PCI-X graphics card... or lets say a Pentium MMX if it's interpreted code rather than native.

    Mine's the one with a squarewave + noise PSG in the pocket and a pair of cheetah joysticks tied together through the sleeve like mittens.

  87. gimbal

    Ballsy Doodle!

    Man, it was worth it, just to read that one phrase.

    Thanks again, El Reg! Cheers!

  88. James O'Shea

    pegging the meter?

    On my Mac (Core 2 Duo) running Safari, I get about 17%, max, drops to under 1%. Maybe 18% with Firefox. On my Windows laptop (Pentium M) I get 44%, max, drops to under 3%.

    44% is a significant chunk of CPU, but it's with a Pentium M. 17%, not so significant.

    A point of comparison: maxes out at 54% on the laptop, 20.7% on the Mac. It's not as though Google is the biggest hog out there.

  89. TeeCee Gold badge


    So while you're sat on the Google page and your CPU's sitting around, scratching its arse waiting for you to get around to typing in a search term*, Google give it something pointless but fun to do?

    All those wasted CPU cycles that would have otherwise been gainfully used updating the %age load on the System Idle nose bleeds for them.

    *Symantec Users? YMMV here....

  90. Raithmir


    Simple plain greyscale logo this morning. An up yours from Google to all the complainers?

  91. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Missing the point...

    I can understand people not wanting their computers being run into the ground for the 2.5 seconds they spend on Google's homepage before submitting a search, and there probably is a valid argument for being 'green' when causing energy use to rise in order to run Google's load of balls.

    But come on, see it for what it is. A small gimmick to show an example of what can be done with the web. I assume that most of us (apart from those claiming it's HTML5) have had a sneaky peak at the source code to see how they've done it?

    It's nothing more than that. Enjoy it or move on with your search / life.

  92. bod43

    Compusory balls

    I have no issue at all with google providing arbitrary animations to anyone that wants them.

    Please however don't make my computer die by diktat.

    PC is by the way is not a dinosaur. Laptop, Core 2 duo 1.9GHz, 3G DRAM.

    The BuckBalls animation killed it dead. the more recent bouncing balls one is a bit less intrusive CPU wise but looks just stupid.

    Of course if the mesage is, get a new computer 'cos we are going to trash the one you have got 'cos we can, then I will find ways to avoid the logo. does just that.

    also .com.

    Ta ta google logo - for ever.

    The disappointment is that I used to trust google not to get up to such stunts. I laughed at people using hotmail as they waited and waited for the page to load, watched as the CPU shot to the max for tens of seconds, giggled as image after useless and unwanted image crept on to the screen.Then I smugly logged on to gmail and everything I needed appeared in a second or two.

    Now alas google has joined the insane asylum. What a disappointment.



    There is no one left to trust.

  93. Simon B

    Only for 1 day - and what problems did it cause??

    I never noticed any performance issues at work or home when on the google home page, and one is basic laptop! 1 day of something that didn't cause disruption - where's the story?

  94. Andy Watt

    Global leccy bills?

    How many tons of CO2 did google waste with this little piece of bling?

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