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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old January 20th, 2005, 10:28 AM   #16
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I'm now using Firefox and Thunderbird almost exclusively. I got burned really bad by the CoolWeb adware virus that exploits holes in Microsofts VM. The ad blocking and general experience of Firefox is just better. I don't know how I lived without tabbed browsing before this.

Thunderbird isn't just email, it's also a great rss news agregator for those of you who know what rss is. It also has better basic protrection against malicious email than outlook express.

Both of them take advantage of XP security features so they can properly integrate into your system, without making you vunerable. I also use ZoneAlarm and Pestpatrol.
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Old January 20th, 2005, 12:05 PM   #17
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Yeah I use Thunderbird for my personal mail (my work mail is via an Exchange server so no dice there). Thunderbird is really nice - and what I love about it is how well it handles and separates different accounts. Helps me manage my several different emails really well.
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Old January 20th, 2005, 04:09 PM   #18
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keith,

re: opening/closing browsers. i haven't encountered that problem. are you sure you installed it correctly? i never had to deal with profiles @all. google's pop-up blocker is not as even close to the ad-blocker/popup.

re: scrolling, i haven't had so many scrolling experiences i try to break it up into more folders if i need to scroll through that many places.

so all in all, these are minor issues. i think it's just a matter of getting used to it. when i started using ff i thought you couldn't get url&google bar into the VERY VERY top line. meaning i place all my buttons, url and google search bar right next to file, edit, view, go, bookmarks, tools, help so it's all on one place. eventually i figured it all through message boards and playing around/getting used to it. now, it is indispensible. and if you run into a bug the quality agent can send the error and the open source community responds quicker than MS in fixing ff probs than MS fixing IE. that is, if the quality agent is fixed. it couldn't send the error.
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Old January 20th, 2005, 05:20 PM   #19
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<<<-- Originally posted by Brent Ray : How does Firefox compare to Opera? I've been using Opera for about a year now, and I'm mostly happy with it (except that some webpages don't support it). I've toyed with the idea of switching to Firefox, but I never really got around to it? Anybody have any input? -->>>

Brent. Firefox beats Opera IMO. I have used Opera for years, and when I got Firefox 1.0 I was using both for a while while I checked out Firefox better. Now, Opera is about to be relegated to the Recycle Bin on my desktop (I only kept it cause of the email client, and now I use Thunderbird).

Up until about Firefox 0.9 Opera was still ahead in my mind, but now Firefox is a polished piece of software. Free and with lots of great plugins (Extensions).

The big reason that I left Opera was it's java support - it's bad. They use some integrated/different JVM whereas Firefox (And other browsers) use the one installed on your system. What this meant for me was that certificates on Java Applets just wasn't handled in Opera. I was developing an applet that required filesystem access and normally a dialog asking for permission would appear and you could "yea" or "nay" it. On Opera you got nothing, and got no access. It annoyed me enough that I switched.

That aside, there's many more reasons. Give it a go.

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Old January 20th, 2005, 05:31 PM   #20
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The problems I have encountered are just a bug, and not user related. But, because of the profile issue, I ended up losing all of my bookmarks. That was user related, because I rushed through the profile setup and deleted the old info by mistake. All I wanted to do was open a browser *sob*
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Old January 27th, 2005, 02:12 PM   #21
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Interesting news I just read... there have been rumors flying around for a while now that Google, in their seeming bid to fight Microsoft head on recently with various offerings, might consider acquiring the Firefox browser.

Well, some of these rumors may now be based on fact. The lead developer of the Mozilla project has announced that his income will now be coming from Google instead of the Mozilla foundation. However, his job is remaining the same. It appears Google has officially begun its endorsement of the Mozilla project, and personally I think only good things can come of it.

http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/ben/archives/007366.html

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Old February 4th, 2005, 02:59 PM   #22
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Pipelining in Firefox

Here's something for broadband people that will really speed Firefox up:

1.Type "about:config" into the address bar and hit return. Scroll down and look for the following entries:

network.http.pipelining
network.http.proxy.pipelining
network.http.pipelining.maxrequests

Normally the browser will make one request to a web page at a time. When you enable pipelining it will make several at once, which really speeds up page loading.

2. Alter the entries as follows:

Set "network.http.pipelining" to "true"
Set "network.http.proxy.pipelining" to "true"
Set "network.http.pipelining.maxrequests" to some number like 30. This means it will make 30 requests at once.

3. Lastly right-click anywhere and select New-> Integer. Name it "nglayout.initialpaint.delay" and set its value to "0". This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it receives.

On a broadband connection, this should speed up rendering in Firefox about 250%. I use Firfox exclusively on all my computers and can testify this works great.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 03:17 PM   #23
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Rob,

Thanks for the info. I tried this in Netscape 7 (same as Mozilla), and it works there as well.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 08:11 PM   #24
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here's my crazy config:

user_pref("nglayout.initialpaint.delay", 0);
user_pref("content.notify.ontimer", true);
user_pref("content.notify.interval", 100000);
user_pref("content.notify.backoffcount", 5);
user_pref("network.http.pipelining", true);
user_pref("network.http.proxy.pipelining", true);
user_pref("network.http.pipelining.maxrequests", 100);
user_pref("network.http.max-connections", 20);
user_pref("network.http.max-connections-per-server", 20);
user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-proxy", 20);
user_pref("network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server", 20);
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Old February 4th, 2005, 08:58 PM   #25
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Hey-- let's say you have Yahoo mail, and you're using firefox to access it-- can you have hotlinks in your mail? They don't seem to work, and I can't find a button to make something a hotlink.
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Old February 6th, 2005, 05:36 PM   #26
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GOOD GOD those tips are awesome!!! It's like my browers on speed!!! I love it!!
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Old February 6th, 2005, 07:32 PM   #27
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BTW, i use chrome-edit. it makes configs a snap. plus you should get as many extensions/plugins as you think you need =). they're awesome. my fav is the tab browsing preference upgrade. and the extensions are all under 500kb! that's AMAZING!
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Old February 6th, 2005, 10:20 PM   #28
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Firefox is produced by the Mozilla Foundation, a not-for-profit California corporation. Philosophically, it's another outgrowth of the Open Source movement.

The source code for the software came from the same base as the original Netscape Browser (remember that?). AOL bought Netscape the company, and used Gecko, the core of the Nestcape Browser, for their AOL-branded browser. Eventually AOL jettisoned Netscape/Gecko, but ended up endowing the Mozilla Foundation with two million dollars. Other companies (Red Hat, Sun Microsystems) also have contributed money to the project, perhaps in the hopes of chipping away at the Internet Explorer hegemony.

The donors, and the architects of the software themselves, probably have a host of motives, notably providing an alternative to IE and an opportunity to work on a cool piece of software used by thousands.

Rick, you (implicitly) asked a question lots of people would ask: What's the catch? I don't think you have to go looking for some kind of secret agenda. The makers of Mozilla/Firefox want to make cool software, and to provide an alternative to IE.

In my experience, the practical catch is that you're using a non-dominant browser. Sure, it might have bugs that IE doesn't have, but the Mozilla crew seem to be pretty aggressive in fixing them. But while the installed base of Mozilla (the browser suite) and Firefox (the standalone browser) both seem to be growing, there are definitely web sites that don't recognize Mozilla, or are tailored to Internet Explorer's own special quirks.

I prefer Mozilla because it's not Internet Explorer. Also because right now Mozilla is probably more secure. If Mozilla/Firefox usage grows enough, we may start to see significant exploits of its inevitable security holes. Hopefully bug fixes will continue to come quickly (as they have so far), Mozilla Foundation will prosper, and we won't be stuck in a one-browser world any more.

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Old February 7th, 2005, 11:20 AM   #29
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Macnn just posted an article claiming a security flaw with firefox and safari but not with IE - the world keeps spinning !
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Old February 7th, 2005, 12:19 PM   #30
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The security flaw -- also noted at boingboing.net (permanent link here) -- doesn't occur in IE because IE doesn't support a specific standard (International Domain Names). According to what I've read, you can actually download a plug-in for IE so that it will support the standard, and it too will fall prey to this security flaw.

The flaw, by the way, is that with International Domain Names there's more than one way to write the string that appears to be "verisign.com", so you could create a malicious web page that claimed to be verified by Verisign, when in fact the link you clicked on went to a web page spelled with a different encoding, so you would end up on a domain owned by the bad guys instead of at Verisign's site.

International Domain Names are cool, I guess, because you can spell, and have your browser recognize, domain names like epée.com, François.com, and so on. I blame the French.

Michael

[edit: corrected sense of text so that IE's susceptibility to security issue is described right.]
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