Thursday, October 07, 2004

Why Do I Love Mozilla?
Let me count the ways - one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand.... OK that's a slaunchwise steal from Roger Rabbit and highly undignified in such a lapidary post as this is destined to be. But the title is real truth.
I am a Mac user. Have I made that clear in the past? Maybe, maybe not. Which is but proof that I'm not a rabid, teeth-gnashing Mac maniac. I'm an advocate, I'm a user but I'm not insane about it. Specifically, I mostly use a 15" PowerBook (TiBook) with an 867 MHz G4 chip and 768 MB of main memory. I also have a desktop G4 which I use as my iTunes machine as it has a lot more hard drive space for the sound files. But I also have a PC - a home-built 1 gig Athlon-chipped beige box. Right now it is lying fallow as desktop space is devoted to the Macs and power plugs, monitor space and keyboard space are all not rationalized. But it will be back in the mix ere long. I bring this up because browser use seems still to be a function of Mac/PeeCee antagonism. On my hard drive (laptop) are the following browsers: Internet
Explorer, Mozilla, Firefox and Safari. I also tried Opera for a while but found that it added nothing beyond the functionality in Mozilla with which I was already well acquainted so I deleted it.
I would never say that I'm a master browser, that I've delved into the guts of the programs and found Mozilla to be the best but
for my purposes Mozilla absolutely kicks ass. First, to dispense with IE: I'm not overfond of the overlords of computing in Redmond but IE is like Swiss cheese to hackers these days. Leave us not to forget that it was recently demonstrated that IE could be used to hack open a Wintel box by use of code imbedded in a JPEG image. That has been patched but still - yikes! Thus: no Explorer use, at least as little use as is humanly possible.
What makes Mozilla great? First and above all: tabbed browsing. Opera can do this as well (I think very highly of Opera and would consider it as browser of choice on my PC). Firefox does tabbed browsing too but Mozilla has a clickable button at the right of the tab bar that opens a new tab and Firefox doesn't. That alone makes Mozilla preferable to me. Part of the joy of tabbed browsing is opening a link in a new tab by right-clicking on the link. A menu opens which allows the user to open in a new tab, open in a new window, bookmark the link, save it as.... I must use this feature 100 times a day.
But that's not all! (As the infomercial says, "Don't answer yet!") If a site requiring registration opens (say The New York Times's site), a right-click on the window will open a menu that offers "BugMeNot" as an option. Selecting that option opens a small window with a user ID and password for that site from the estimable folks at Bug Me Not (which site is down as I write this). I logged in on my last visit to as "biasashell" with the password "dncshill." Henh. I like it.
And my final preference for Mozilla is the built in search function. I've selected Google as my search engine (does any one not use it now?) and I can just type my search criteria into the address line and the entry automatically drops down as a menu. I can click the drop down or arrow key down and hit enter if I don't want to take my hands off the keyboard. Bing, bang, boom my search is done.
If you are using IE, please go, get Mozilla, get Firefox (which, by the way, is a browser only - no mail functionality and all that other browser crap), get Opera. Safari is nice too if you're a Mac user. But for the love of Hephaestus, stop using Internet Explorer!

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