September 14, 2008

A Tale of 3 Browsers

Old Jack is relatively computer savvy. That is a semi-folksy way of saying that I know my way around PCs, Macs, toasters, microwaves, new cars, digital watches and all sorts of other modern technological crap.

In simple terms, I know enough to be dangerous. I can make most of these things do what I want them to do, even if it means forcing the circle into the square hole. It is not elegant, but it is functional. And function is what brings us to our tale of three browsers.

A short while back the lords of the computer declared that it was time to bring my HP home to meet its maker and I was forced to migrate from Windows XP to Windows Vista. XP worked just fine, but Vista has some idiosyncrasies, or at least that is what it seems like to me.

Firefox has been my web browser of choice for a number of years now. On the whole I have been pleased with it. A short time before the old computer went to visit the great computer in the sky I downloaded Firefox 3. On XP it worked just fine, but on the new unit it has had a consistent glitch.

For some reason it has a habit of dying on me. I'll try to load a page and it will just hang, the page never does load. Eventually you get the ever so pleasant message of "Firefox is already running, but not responding. To open a new window you must first close Firefox or restart your system."

That just irritates me. Why, oh why does this happen. More importantly why can't I control-alt-delete and use task manager to close it. Why do I need to restart the whole thing. In the days of dial-up I didn't care if it took 15 minutes for the page to load, I was so damn happy to have the nifty net. But not now, instant is the word.

And so I switch to IE 7. On the whole I don't really any major complaints with IE 7, other than I am a creature of habit so I prefer Firefox.

That is two browsers, time to bring in number three. A couple of weeks ago I downloaded Chrome, Google's wacky offering. I can't say that I am particularly impressed. It is not bad, but it is not outstanding.

Not to mention that I have been partially influenced by a few things that I have read that have bad mouthed Chrome and the data that Google is pulling from it. Truth is that between IE and Firefox I haven't really had much need for Chrome, so I can't say that I have spent a ton of time using it. Who knows, maybe one day I will change my mind.

Just to be thorough let me add that I think that Safari is terrible. Whenever I am forced to use a Mac I make a point of downloading Firefox as it seems that Safari just gets lost in the jungle that we call the web.


Anonymous said...

Try Maxthon. It's what I use, and I like it better than all the ones you mentioned.

Leora said...

Thanks for your review of current browsers. The techies that I work with recommend Firefox. I've had some hanging problems with Firefox and Vista, but not many, not enough to move away.

I've never heard of Maxthon before this. The Wikipedia article says it originated in China. Hmm.

Jack said...


I'll take a look,


I am not going to get rid of Firefox, but the hanging thing is annoying.

benning said...

I never cared for Firefox. The first browser I actually paid for - years ago - was Opera, which I continue to use a few times a week. It never gives me trouble. Mostly I use Avant Browser which rides the IE engine but runs so much faster than IE ever does.