AN OLD DOG'S NEW
6 May 2002
I've been dealing with browser problems for well over a month now.
My old faithful Netscape turned on me. I'm sure it was a nefarious Microsoft trick to
force me into using Internet Explorer. (I have resented since day 1 of getting this
computer that you can neither move nor delete IE or Outlook Express. I like my desktop to
be fairly uncluttered and tried moving them to folders, but...noooooo. They have to just
sit there on the desktop mocking me.
Well, I didn't use them, and continued using Netscape. I had
downloaded the latest version of Netscape, but I think we've established here that I do not
upgrade technical stuff easily...or quickly (witness the year it took me to finally
wean myself off of my old computer when I got a newer, faster one!)
But then Netscape started acting all wonky. It would freeze for no
apparent reason. I chalked it up to that lovely ME version of Windows I have (yes, I have
the XP upgrade. See previous paragraph!)
I eventually got desperate and decided that I would see if the
problem would affect the newer version of Netscape and for awhile it did not, and I
started bonding with the newer version and was in the process of personalizing it, but
then it, too, started freezing.
I put up with this new quirk for awhile, but then it started
affecting Netscape mail as well. I'd be looking through the bazillion messages from
royalty in Africa trying to share millions with me and suddenly the mail would freeze. The
worst part about this is that once it froze, the only way you could get out of it was to
close down Netscape--and often you had to reboot the computer--and forever more, that
particular message would cause the machine to freeze.
Now while it's true that I look forward so eagerly to all these
royal messages, and am just trying to decide which one of them I'm going to allow to make
me rich beyond my wildest expectations, I began to worry that some day I would lose a
really important email, like an offer to lengthen my penis or extend my credit. Or
maybe the one or two rare personal e-mails which come from people I have actually met in
So it was the fear of losing special e-mail that finally forced me
to give in to Bill Gates' demands and begin to use IE. And, very reluctantly, Outlook
Eventually, I had to delete Netscape from my computer entirely
because, having a mind of its own, it would suddenly be there on my desktop, frozen, and
I'd have to reboot the computer.
So now the computer is Netscape-less.
I don't like Internet Explorer, though Steve swears by it.
I've been grumbling about having to give up Netscape, but gradually
I began to figure out how to configure IE to be almost, but not quite like my familiar,
However, the thing that has bothered me from day #1 is that IE is
damn slow. It's unreliable. When I attempt to go from web site to web site,
Netscape was always right there, zipping me at all the power of my 56K modem to the
With IE, I click on a link and it looks at me. "Yeah? You
really want to do that?" it seems to be saying. Then it cleans its nails, smokes a
cigarette, goes out to the kitchen for a snack, all the while I'm clicking and drumming my
fingers and saying a lot of not very nice things, most of which have strange characters
like $%@% in them, and eventually it gives a big sigh and says "Oh, OK--if you
absolutely must" and then transports me to the requested web page.
I hate it. Hate it. Hate it. Hate it.
(Don't hold back, Bev--tell us how you really feel)
Still, it didn't freeze on me. I'll give you that. So I resigned
myself to living life in the slow lane and started to dream of a DSL line.
Today is Sunday and usually on Sunday the TV I have on in the
background that I'm not paying attention to is CNN. I figure if something blows up
somewhere, I'll at least be aware of it, even though the reports have only 1/8 of my
I'm not sure how I happened, then, to hear a report on the Opera
browser system, but I watched the report that thought--hey! This sounds like something
I used my IE to amble over the Opera.com
and I downloaded a sample before deciding if I wanted to commit to actually buying the
Well, I'm here to tell you that the thing is wonderful. It has all
the speed that Netscape had and then some. I'm just starting to figure out the bells
and whistles, but after 30 minutes of working with it, I went back to Opera.com and paid my money, which gives you a key that
will remove the banner ads from the screen.
There is also an option to refuse pop up ads! No more will I
be offered discounts on cookware, diet supplements, or teens with tight asses. Nobody will
ask if I want to play casino games. I can just--surf the web, at the speed that I'm used
They say that one of the drawbacks is that Opera is not a
universally recognized browser so you can't get Microsoft web pages. But--hey--unless
Microsoft can come up with something better than this piece of crap that is Internet
Explorer, what the heck do I want to go to a Microsoft web page for anyway?
I think I'm a happy camper. I've said for years that I'm not an
opera fan, but I think I've just found one opera that I will definitely enjoy (and which
will NOT put me to sleep!)