I’ve had Firefox installed on my home PC for quite some time, but I wasn’t using it much beyond occasionally checking how one site or another might look and behave differently from what it appeared on IE. Then, a couple of happenings with my online friends led me to try it more extensively, and a couple of weeks ago I pretty much switched over full time.
Let’s get this out of the way: I am comfortable in being a late adopter. I never ever buy the new gadgets when they first appear on the market, and practically never switch from one software to another unless there is a serious flaw in the former and a serious benefit in adopting the latter. Since I don’t use internet browsers much beyond their basic functions of browsing and reading, IE has always been an adequate tool for me. Some people I know, who do a much fancier development at their websites than I do at mine, swear – using very strong lexicon – that IE curtails their ability to do fun and elaborate stuff, but I personally haven’t reached a point where I found IE limiting.
In any case, now that I switched, I am happy that I did. Whether Firefox is truly faster than IE is imperceptible to me, but one clear improvement has been virtual disappearance of the “Cannot connect to server” errors, which I used to get occasionally for no reason at all. I blame that squarely on the browser.
Some of the Firefox add-ons – e.g., cooliris – are nothing short of awesome. I doubt I’ll find time to make use of it frequently, but it’s one of those things that is fun to have as an option.
The biggest problem I found so far is not so much a Firefox issue, as it is a built-in disadvantage of being the later comer to the market. I find quite a number of websites – including some of my own work – which are coded with HTML attributes that only IE recognizes (simplest example: “alt” vs “title” for embedded images). Some sites refuse to work properly because of that. Thankfully, those are few and relatively unimportant.
Of little annoyance is the fact that a popup login to a Windows server is not capable of remembering my credentials. I’ve gotten so used to not having to remember the strange account name that my hosting company issued me years ago that it requires a considerable mental exertion to recall every time I need to login into my CPanel via Firefox.
And that’s about it. A pretty painless transition.
I have to consider now whether I want to move to Thunderbird for my personal email. I use Outlook Express (and very simple webmail access when I want to check my inbox from the office) and the two features that I truly need in an email client – an ability to read and an ability to write – are adequately fulfilled by that. Decisions, decisions…
Go back to the CoolIris page and download the thing they’re now calling CoolPreview. You’ll use that all the time.
I’ll check out CoolIris (and CoolPreview) at home one of these days. FYI, though – according to the homepage, at least, it’s available for IE6 and IE7 as well…
Thanks for the tip, Nathan. Not sure about all the time, but CoolPreviews certainly is a useful feature!
I use Thunderbird for my personal mail (I am on a Mac). I found Apple Mail insufficient and wanted to de-Microsoft my machine. Thunderbird does everything I need it to – filter, flag, sort, hit multiple email accounts, auto-delete after 30 days and has complete search capabilities.
I haven’t been using too many Firefox plugins but I’m working on trying out a few… learning new applications every so often keeps my brain nimble. 🙂
I only need a couple of things from a mail client, and I’m not militaristically against Microsoft (hell, I’ve owned the company stock for ages 🙂 ). Thunderbird is a bit of an idle proposition for me, Jeri, along the lines of exercising intellectual curiosity.
Thanks so much for mentioning us in your post! We truly appreciate it!
I hope you and your readers enjoy Cooliris (and CoolPreviews)! We’ve got lots more in store, so stay tuned!
Jenny & The Cooliris Team
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