A better internet experience

Today Microsoft released another security patch for Microsoft Internet Explorer– or IE or- “exploder” as the serious programmers refer to it.
I also visited a client and used their PC- with the aforementioned evil default browser: it drove me bonkers. No nice little Google window at the top of every page (which actually is a pull down menu that can give you instant access to Amazon, Wikipedia, Dictionary.com or hundreds of other useful search sites) no RSS feed indicator built into the interface- and worst of all- terrible rendering of legal CSS (the code that good sites are coded with).
I asked why they didn’t have Firefox loaded on their machine- and the answer was “What’s Firefox.”
Not only didn’t they know about the Open Source browser- but they were quick to share stories of viruses, pop-ups and broken sites. This made me realize that there are a lot of people out there- who are Internet savvy- yet still have no clue about what a total web experience can be.
So- here is what you need to make your web experience all it can be:
Replace IE with Firefox as your primary browser. You can still have IE on your machine- and may need it for some sites, but in general- you will never look back (at least until IE 7 comes out and possibly becomes halfway useful again). You can import all your bookmarks (favorites) and not skip a beat.
I also recommend for those who don’t use all the features of Outlook- like the calendar etc- to switch to Thunderbird– the companion to Firefox. It will also import all your Outlook or Outlook Express addresses etc. Again- this is only if you just use it for e-mail. Once you switch- you will never need to go back.
Then- the customization of Firefox. It is fully extensible and can be skinned if you like.
The most critical tools:
Google tool bar– which can add auto-complete for forms, and a quick link for Sage– my RSS feed reader of choice.

While you PC users may enjoy the Google tool bar- I was finding it slowing my Mac to a standstill. I’ve deleted it from my Firefox installation and used the Autofill extension.

Once you have added both of these, you are set, but I also suggest making sure you have the latest version of Flash (this is the link for mac- it should redirect you automatically for a PC) (even though I don’t recommend it for building a site) and download Quicktime so that you can get the best video experience available on the web.
If you don’t know what RSS is- I highly recommend you take the seminar. It will change your life online.


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