Back to Firefox

Firefox 65 came out at the end of January and so I’ve dived back in to using the browser that changed the way we use the internet. I’ve been on Firefox since 1.5 on and off and there’s a lot to love.

Chrome does a lot of things behind the scenes that it’s just not telling you about. Firefox makes that significantly more transparent.

Give it a whirl and stick with it for a couple of weeks. It’s still a free download.

Let’s Talk Browsers

Ok: So one of my favorite compliments to this blog was from Logan. I didn’t know that he didn’t know that there were things called feed readers out there that would allow you watch other people’s blogs. After all there’s like 29,100,000 resuls for blog reader on google. I figured that he would have just googled it.

Well, let’s talk about web browsers. My experience this morning with myspace was less than positive. I was able to fix the problem. Two things allowed me to do so. First, I knew that there was a solution, and second I’m using software that empowers the solution.

Thanks to google analytics I can see that most of my blog visitors are using windows:

1. 215 65.15%
2. 83 25.15%
3. 32 9.70%

And most are using Firefox:

1. 232 70.30%
2. 88 26.67%
3. 5 1.52%
4. 4 1.21%
5. 1 0.30%

That’s great! For those 5 of you who are using Safari and the 88 folks using Internet Explorer this blog post is for you.

I’m the guy that likes to take a computer out of the box and performs a series of tweaks to get it working efficiently for whatever the user wants to do with it. Apple likes their computers to do a number of tasks “out of the box.” That’s one reason why the software is integrated so well. It’s part of the company’s mentality.

Microsoft has tried to keep up, but the biggest advantage to windows is it’s miracle. It’s a miracle that you can proprietarily run on operating system on so many diverse types of comptuers. The other advantage to windows is the wide distribution of the software. It’s popularity increases it’s functionality.

Each operating system comes with a browser. A browser is what you use to view web pages. The internet before browsers was really a rather sad affair–but we wont talk about that now. Apple comes with a browser called “Safari,” and Windows has “Internet Explorer.” Internet Explorer has a history of being unsecure, exploitive, and unresponsive to user demands. Safari has fared better in the contests over time.

The current versions of both browsers use something called “tabbed browsing.” They each address the security issues a lot quicker than they used to. In fact some of the issues are addressed proactively.

Why is there a fight over the browsers? Well, there’s money to be made in browsers. Safari has a little box in the upper right hand corner that allows you to search google. Apple gets an estimated $25 million a year for all the times people just decide to ‘look for something.’

Microsoft launced their own search service in 2005. Instead of searching google you search Microsoft’s version of the internet. Most users wont notice the difference. Popular sites are annotated in each search feature. Watch out though. If you launched a website this week, it may take up to 6 weeks before it appears on Windows Live (Blumen Barrettes doesn’t exist there yet). There’s other differences, but the internet is not the same depending on who’s search you’re using. Microsoft gleans the revenue from Windows Live outright.

Did you notice something? Let’s Q&A:

  • Who’s got the most popular Operating System?
  • Microsoft.
  • What’s the way they search?
  • Windows Live.
  • Who makes money off of it?
  • Microsoft.
  • Is their search as powerful as others?
  • NO.
  • Can you change it?
  • Yes, but it takes several steps–not fun.

Remember those adds I was miffed about on my previous post? Microsoft and Apple would have those stay there. Why? Because they have a vested interest in me clicking on ads. When I search using their box I see ads. If I click on those ads, they get money. If I can’t see those ads, I can’t click and they don’t get any money.

The alternative browsers are less glitchy than they used to be. If you’re going simple download firefox. (My parents generation: I’m talking to you.) Firefox is stable, popular, secure, and customizable.

The default search engine is google. But Firefox doesn’t want the money. Download Adblock Plus and get rid of the ads. No one will be mad at you.

There’s other browsers out there as well, but even Chrissy doesn’t read my blogs when they’re this long–so I better stop my rant.

I’m not anti-Microsoft. They have bills to pay as well. They do a great job. I just think that innovation has a foothold in the future of how we do computers. Stop thinking in Microsoft labels and it’s amazing what’s out there. My dad’s started to discover that from his Mac. At some point I hope to get them (and others) thinking beyond the Mac and Microsoft and Google label for things. There’s things in the cauldron bubbling away. Eventually dinner will be served. Firefox is an appetizer. 🙂

Significant Projects (Post 2)

Back in the day when I first started getting online it was through an internet service called prodigy. Like many good ideas the service is now a defunct part of AT&T. What is still around is the internet. Aren’t we glad? I am.

What has changed since the early 1990’s is how we use and view the internet. For a while there if you wanted to go online you went to netscape.com and downloaded their software for free. Then the internet looked pretty. Things called webpages had photos on them that you actually waited to see with your dial up modem. Ahhhh…. The good ‘ol days.

Something happened and eventually all the windows users were using ended up with “Internet Explorer.” While Mac users had something called “Safari.” Eventually a fluke occurred. Someone created “Firefox” and then WE had a browser that was customizable our way. Firefox continues to gain a foothold on the market of internet browsers. It’s a neat project. A bunch of geeks building something to take on a giant–David and Goliath style–and they win. Cool eh? I’m waiting for the romanticized Disney version to come out on DVD.

Firefox is definitely better than the standard alternatives, but for a couple of years now I’ve been watching another project emerge and I’m happy to announce it’s up and running!

Flock is here!

Back in the day the internet used to be exclusively for geeks. Then we started posting youtube videos and blogging and sharing our lives. Now it seems that we’re doing a lot more of keeping people connected via the internet then we did before. We myspace and facebook and flikr our lives away online. To accommodate keeping in touch Flock was created to help us manage the social networking sites we visit.

Here’s a look at my browser typing this email. On the left I’ve got my blog list. If someone updates their blog it tells me–I don’t have to click each blog and find out who’s doing what. I make the internet work for me!

Under my bookmarks you’ll see a media bar that I can’t point anywhere. I set it up last night so it showed me all of the new photos from my friends on Facebook.

There’s other gizmos and features build into this application. I would strongly recommended it to anyone. Download flock and try it for a week. Quit your InternetExploring, take two steps left of Firefox, come home from your Safari, and give Flock a try. It’s a project worth paying attention to. Give it a week, but if your using the internet to stay in touch this is the way you want it to look.