Random Musings of an Unfit Human

Tech. Life. Politics. Philosophy. Fun. Entertainment. Nothing is considered off topic here. But be warned, just like life, this isn't sanitized, Disney-ized, or prettified.

6.21.2004

Various

Hmm...my last rant was a bit...Venomous. End of a tough day, you know? Well, this one is going to be quite a bit more pleasant. I hope so anyway.

I finally got a gmail account. I can relax. I felt like I was going to lose my membership card to the Geek Club. For those of you not in the know, Google is launching a free email service which is currently in beta (the final testing before release. You have the Alpha build, which is internal testing, then the Beta build which is much wider and sometimes public testing phase, then the Gamma release which is the Gold release, meaning that this is the copy that is sent to the manufacturer for burning to the master disks), but it is a closed beta, by invitation only. These invitations have been highly prized in the Geek circles, being a badge of honor. Well, I finally got my invitation making me one of the select 5,000,000 who have accounts. Yeah, I'm a bit late and low on the Great Geek Totem Pole. But it is cool. Email me at kelly.oconnor@N O S P A Mgmail.com You will need to remove the nospam part of course. If you don't know, there are spiders (small programs) which crawl the web looking for email addresses listed in web pages which then adds those harvested addresses to mailing lists for spam.

Moving along, if you still use Internet Explorer, stop. It really isn't a good browser in any sense other than the sheer number of users it has. There are a few alternatives, most notably Firefox which is based on Mozilla. Mozilla is a full blown Internet Suite, which includes a browser, email client, Instant Messenging client, and html editor. Firebird is just a clean, super fast, small browser.

Why is it better than IE?

A) Tabbed browsing - multiple tabbed pages inside a single window
B) Faster - pages load faster
C) Smaller - in both hard drive and memory footprint, which makes the rest of your computer seem faster
D) NO POPUPS! - I've had about 5 popups in the past year. And I guarantee I spend more time on the internet than most people.
E) Standards - Mozilla/Firebird conforms to net coding standards far better than IE. The Internet is a cross-platform, open network. There should not be proprietary corporate standards. Every page should run equally well on all compliant browsers on any major Operating System (Windows, Mac OS/X, *nix, etc), but IE doesn't play by the same rules. Some standards (cascading style sheets, for instance) don't work well in IE. Plus there hasn't been a single major upgrade to IE in 4 years, while other browsers are constantly working to improve and upgrade. Microsoft has the far majority of the market share (above 85%) and they no longer have to play be the rules. So I refuse to use it as much as possible.

Anyway, I hope to have another update later today, but we'll have to see.
|| Kelly O'Connor, 9:24 AM

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