Thursday, February 10, 2005

Take Back the Web

I've been using Mozilla Firefox at home for the past couple of weeks. There's a lot to like in this browser, even aside from the integrated pop-up blocker and spyware blocker. I like being able to open new pages in tabs, rather than whole new windows. I like the tight integration with Google, my current favorite search engine. Finally, I like the fact that it has nothing to do with Microsoft.

Now, I'm not one of the radical MS-phobes that think Bill Gates is taking over the world. I use Windows as my operating system (98 SE at home and XP Pro at work) of choice and MS Office as my office suite of choice. The price that you pay for Microsoft products can be a burden sometimes, though. I'm not talking about the price in dollars (or Euros or yen or whatever). I'm talking about the intrusiveness and buginess of the software itself. As a former Windows NT 4.0 MCSE, I know what I'm talking about here.

The biggest problems are that Microsoft has grown to large, and it is ruled by marketing. The various development teams are obviously not talking to each other, so the software tends to work together as well as it should. After nearly 20 years, they have finally got the Office suite working pretty well, but the operating systems are another story. Windows 98 Second Edition was the only Microsoft Operating System since Windows 3.1 way back when that was actually stable.

XP does OK, but it does have some major peculiarities. Take Service Pack 2, for instance. How could a comapny release a patch that actually broke the operating system even worse? No communication between the development teams and rushing to meet a deadline set by marketing without regard for the needs of the software development cycle. That's bad business.

Get Firefox. Use it. See for yourself.

Putting the soapbox away now.

New features

I'm now BlogRolling my links. Maybe I can sorta kinda keep them up to date better. I've got more I want to add, but it's such an enormous pain in the ass to edit the template every time. BlogRolling just makes life easier. Isn't that what technology's for? Is anybody in Seattle listening?

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