- During conversations regarding religion, science or technology, you may have heard me glibly say the following, "E=MC2 is my religion, Bill Gates is my god." I truly love Microsoft and most of their products. I am not one of the raving anti-Microsoft computer nerds who takes every opportunity they can find to bash Mr. Gates and his wonderful company.
In 1998, Microsoft released Internet Explorer, and quickly over-took Netscape as the most popular web-browser. I used Internet Explorer religiously for the past 7 years, but now I have made a switch. Starting last month, I began using Mozilla's web-browser, Firefox 1.5. It is, without a doubt, the best web-browser on the market. It's completely free, and highly customizable (even more so than Internet Explorer.) Since it is an open-source product, this means that any programmer can write code to expand the functionality of the web-browser. Here is a list of other reasons to use Firefox 1.5:
1. It runs faster than Internet Explorer.
2. It allows tabbed-browsing, so you can have multiple webpages open at one time, but only have one instance of Firefox open, thus saving you space on your Windows taskbar.
3. It is much more secure than Internet Explorer. It is almost impossible to put spyware, malware, or viruses onto your machine via Firefox 1.5.
4. Thousands of developers are making new programs that can run inside of Firefox, and expand its capabilities.
A year ago, about 1% of the internet community used Firefox. Now, roughly 10% of internet-cruising is done via Firefox. Among IT professionals, over 50% use Firefox. Large companies, like Google and Dell, have started to throw their weight behind Firefox. I highly recommend you give it a try. Download it at the following location:
If you dont care for Firefox, you can always give Opera 9.0 a try. Opera is also a free open-source web-browser. I think its interface is slicker than both Firefox and Internet Explorer. Opera offers tabbed-browsing, just like Firefox. However, I dont user Opera very often because it isnt completely compatible with all web-pages, and it runs a touch slower than Firefox. Overall, I still think Opera is a better web-browser than Internet Explorer:
- Now to go along with your new web-browser, try one of the following internet start pages, based on the concept of "Web 2.0" technology. Web 2.0 is a new way of writing webpages. Most webpages use "push technology" meaning they push content onto your web-browser, whether you want the content or not. Web 2.0 based webpages use the concept of "pull technology." These webpages allow you to decide what actually appears on the webpage, where it appears on the webpage, and how much of it appears on the webpage. For example, I use Google's Start Page as the home page for my web-browser. Within that page, I see all headlines for the newest articles from Fox News, The National Review, digg.com (a fantastic technology blogsite), Stock quotes, Phoenix weather updates, ESPN headlines, and new e-mail messages to my Gmail account. All of these options were picked by me, placed anywhere on the webpage by me, and I decided how much content would appear in each section. Give the following free start pages a try:
- A few weeks ago I mentioned the bookmark sharing website, del.icio.us. I promised to put all my bookmarks on this site, so my friends can share them. I have completed the task. Here is a link to all my bookmarks. I use most of these bookmarks everyday, and some I use several times a day:
- This guy is closer to being Tony Stark than I am! (Then again, who isnt.) He has functioning boot jets!
- A review of the market-share for personal computers from the past 30 years. By my count, I have owned five of these computers:
- The baby-boomer generation (your parents, not mine...my parents were born in the 30's) starts turning 60 this year. The government already takes 1/3 of my paycheck, and thanks to the democrats sabotaging George Bush's social security plan, the theft of my hard-earned money will likely increase, rather than decrease.