Your firefox seems to have a problem.
I would suggest two things.
1) Boot your computer, and use firefox to go to the Xisto homepage and during half an hour do nothing except reading posts on the forum, and tell us what happens.
2) Close Firefox, and use the portable version (take it from here : http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/firefox_portable )
you unpack it somewhere in a folder of your computer and you run it from there. it has no installation, it puts nothing in the register table, so it is not harmful for your Vista system : if you don't like it you simply remove the folder. The important thing is that it will start with default setting, it will not be influenced by your installed version. And if you do something wrong, remove the unpacked folder and restart from scratch.
Please tell us the result of these two tests.
And also try the portable version of Filezilla : it's completely independent from your computer install, so it has no plugin when freshly unpacked. And you can compare with the one installed on the computer.
Also, very important, make sure that you have the latest version of firefox and all the extra plugins installed
Also try the new Firefox 3.6.4 with Lorentz. If it is OK then we know it is a problem with a plug-in such as Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight or Apple QuickTime. Firefox does consume quite a bit of memory though, ever since version 1.5 or 2, hopefully it will improve with the Electrolysis project/application tabs (moving towards separate process per tab like IE8 and Chrome).
my firefox wth loads of tabs open is not a resource hog. i don't like internet explorer because of how it has roots which extend into your system files. this is something which is internet explorer acting like a doorman to viruses saying welcome conflicker c has a nice time. my firefox only uses 3-10% of my cpu and 150,000k of my memory. this is only a small impact on my 4gb of memorey. although i am planning on geting another 4 gb to fill the other 2 slots on my motherboard since it has 4 spaces. i might even invest in 4 4gb sticks since my computer can handle up to 16gb of memory.
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