Sunday, October 4, 2009

Almost Went Back to the Dark Side

I don't like change. Once I do make a change, I stick with it. It took me over a year before I switched from Internet Explorer to Firefox, which I have used since. I've been using it for the past four years now and have had very few problems. Recently, however, I updated to Firefox 3.5 and started having big problems. Every so often, I would come upon a page that caused Firefox to use 50% of my CPU power. It became impossible to do anything in Firefox, and I would have to close that page. It had gotten so bad that I started using Internet Explorer(!) to visit those sites. I've had to do this for a few months now, but obviously, I couldn't keep on doing this forever.

Luckily for me, though, I finally fixed Firefox! I should have troubleshooted it sooner; it was easy to fix (but I know myself well enough that I knew I wouldn't do anything about it until it became unbearable). It turns out it had nothing to do with Firefox and everything to do with an add-on for ruby characters. All I had to do was change one setting, and magically everything went back to normal. In fact, even better than normal; whereas a few sites would perennially overexert Firefox, now nothing does.

In any case, if I hadn't been able to fix Firefox and had to give it up, it definitely wouldn't be to use Internet Explorer. Version 8 is a big improvement from previous incarnations, but it is still a terrible browser. It's incredibly bloated and loads extremely slowly. Even opening a new tab takes longer than it should. I probably would have downgraded back to Firefox 3.0. Or maybe I would have tried out Google Chrome.

Everyone asks me about Chrome. I used it occasionally at my tech support job at school. It's a nice, light browser. It runs slightly faster than Firefox too -- and yet I'm not using it. I've got a few reasons, none of which are probably very good, why I haven't downloaded and installed it. One is that Firefox comes with lots of useful add-ons (which I don't really use). Another is that I don't want Google to become the next Microsoft (even if in this case they do offer a superior product). To be honest, the real reason I haven't taken the leap is because I'm too lazy/resistant to change to do it. Maybe one day, though....

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