Wednesday, May 4th, 2005

See the Opera mini-banner in my sidebar?  Please CLICK that puppy, OK?  [note:  I know, I know. The “sidebar” is now buried at the bottom of the blog   Fixed!]

I don’t usually talk about stuff that’s work-related, here, but I’m breaking that trend with this post. (Yeh, I do computer stuff for warm, soft cash.)
First: if you use Internet Explorer as your only or primary web browser JUST STOP DOING THAT! NOW!!
But seriously, do switch to a better, more secure browser as soon as you can!
Here’s a site that’s done a good job of summing up choices in web browsers.  HINT: The name of the nseries of pages is Opera Lover.  Got it?  🙂
While everyone I know who has extensive experience and knowledge about web browsers agrees that Internet Explorer (or, as I prefer to call it, Internet ExploDer *heh*) is definitely the worst choice among current browser offerings, the choice about which is best is more complicated.
While in general I agree with the widely-diseminated conventional wisdom that’s Firefox browser is the best choice for a wide array of average users (especially those who need a more familiar experience when changing softwares), I use the Opera web browser almost exclusively for a wide variety of reasons, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is a bit more flexible about learning new software.  If you’re using Firefox and happy with it, though, you may not want to switch to Opera, no matter what advantages it offers: both are much more secure (the primary concern) than Internet Exploder.
The site listed above,  while dealing with an earlier, less-capable version of Opera than I now use (Opera 8.0 which has some very cool additional capabilities), details nearly all the reasons I find Opera to be  the best web browser available.  It’s a lengthy read (30 web pages?!?) but well worth it, IMO, as a tutorial in advanced web browsing.
[NOTE: the author of the site expects the new  site to be finished by the middle of May with all-new Opera 8 information/tutorials! UPDATE: Site now up-to-date.]
Take note: your workplace may require the use of a particular browser—and not allow installation of individual software by users.  If that’s the case, you can still have better security and browsing by trying out a different (different to IE, that is) browser at home.
If you decide to give Opera a try, keep in mind that it comes in two versions: a fee-based version ($39) or an ad-supported version.  The nice thing about the ad-supported version is that you can specify that the ads be simple text in the upper right-hand corner of the menu/tool bar.  Easy to see if you want to and easy to ignore if you don’t want to bother.
If you fit into the “there’s gotta be a better way to browse the web” category of user, trying a different browser may just fit the ticket for you. I think Opera is the best of the bunch, by quite a wide margin.  YMMV, of course.
Oh, and if you use a Mac, run on Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD or OS/2, there’s an Opera browser for you, too. Even for your phone or other mobile device.  Just CLICK.
Download Opera

Dissecting the rotting corpse of the undead
Liberalism is dead.  We are left with the Night of the Undead Liberalism-that-isn’t.  Liberal, that is.  Confederate Yankee analyzes the pathology of soi-disant liberals, progressives, whatever-they-call-themselves-today.  Be sure to read Part I and then continue to Part II .
Brief sample:
“Liberals really do live in a “reality-based community.”

“On a strict linguistic level, “-based” simply means something similar to, but other than. Water-based paints have water in them, but the paints are hardly water. In this same way, the “reality-based community” has some reality in it, but reality is only a small component of their constructed world… “


I dunno about this… (I still have a shadow of a memory of how “geeking” got started: a geek in a carnival was someone who bit the heads off chickens or some other such gross deed. heh)

Your Geek Profile:

Academic Geekiness: Highest
Internet Geekiness: High
General Geekiness: Moderate
Fashion Geekiness: Low
Geekiness in Love: Low
Movie Geekiness: Low
Music Geekiness: Low
SciFi Geekiness: Low
Gamer Geekiness: None

The only assessment I have any real quarrel with is the sci-fi geekiness question. My collection of sci-fi books was once above 1,000, and I often “read ahead” (works in progress) of publication books by fav sci-fi authors, correspond with sci-fi authors, buy their books as eBooks before print publication, etc.

The multiple choice offered by the quiz was weighted toward the stupid end of sci-fi, though, so naturally it’d catch only Trekkies or others of their ilk. Trekkers included. The whole Star Trek thing is dumbed-down Buck Rogers—the 1970s “abysmally stupid” Buck Rogers TV series, not the 1930s Buck Rogers or even the 1950s TV series… Both beat the ’70s  Buck Rogers and Star Trek hands down for intelligent content.  And if that isn’t daming with faint praise, I dunno what is, cos the earlier Buck Rogers shows/movies/characters were dumber than rocks. OTOH, the 70s Buck at least had a hot Erin Gray and Twiki, played by Felix Silla… Turn the sound off until Twiki comes in.  Watch Erin Gray for the pure eye candy aspect, and it’s bearable.  Can’t say anything similar about the Star Trek franchise.
whew— Well, I certainly feel better.  LOL
Can’t quarrel with the music geekiness assessment, because there’s absolutely nothing I have in common with the criteria the test-writer uses to assess it.  IOW, I like music. heh.
Internet geekiness only “High”?  Didn’t give enough options. heh
Academic geekiness… ::sigh:: what can I say?  I am educated far beyond my intelligence. And what I lack in paper training I more than make up for in autodidacticism. And then there’s my honorary degree in Bovine Scatology.  My PhDBS…