The Battle of the Free Web Browsers: IE 6 Vs. Firefox Vs. AOL Explorer

I’m sure you’re ready for another great review of random crap you don’t care about, so this week I decided to post another. (I think I’ll do one on Apple iTunes later this month.) This week the contestants are free web browsers-in other words, browsers you don’t have to pay for to get. I had a wonderful Internet connection in beautiful Aztec, Colorado, so I decided to put it to good use and put my long-mothballed Internet Explorer (version 6) and AOL Explorer against reigning champion Mozilla Firefox. I was quite surprised.

Well, at Mesa Verde, anyway.

Overview: Internet Explorer comes with all PCs. It’s simple, and uses the least RAM space of itself and Mozilla Firefox. Lacking features, it usually comes packed with dozens of toolbars for things like bookmarks and various corporations.

Firefox is also simple, but has more features, its most important being tabbed browsing. Those of you who already know about tabbed browsing can move on. For those of you who don’t know, this feature lets you open multiple pages in the same screen, much like tabs in drawers. It’s a very addictive feature, especially if you enjoy looking at multiple pages at once (like me.) It’s easily downloadable at mozilla.com.

Finally, AOL Explorer comes with AOL’s “AIM” software. It also has tabbed browsing, and that’s pretty much it.

Layout: Internet Explorer comes with the most add-ons of any of the browsers. Mine had AOL Toolbar, Yahoo Toolbar, probably some other toolbars, blah blah blah. Nobody cares about toolbars. You don’t need anything more than a search bar, forward/backward icons, maybe a “New Window” icon, and a copy/paste tool. Indeed, Internet Explorer’s toolbars, in my opinion, are way too cumbersome and unnecessary.

Firefox has precious few toolbars. In standard form, it just has the aforementioned, plus the home/reload/stop icons. Nothing involving AOL, which means those of you who long ago left AOL do not have to stab out your eyes when you open the browser. The layout is far more customizable than IE’s. I got rid of the bookmarks bar and added my own, with my own set of icons.

AOL Explorer has the least toolbars, but also seems rather Spartan to the point of being less usable. It doesn’t have the same customization abilities as the others. And it has many silly add ons, such as reversing all the text. All of this makes it feel cheap and incompetent.

Features: AOL Explorer and Firefox have the same, but Firefox adds on color-coding to its “View Source” page, allowing the aspiring webmaster to easily track exactly how the program is reading pages. It’s very useful for some, not as much for others. In addition to this, when you go to View-Toolbars-Customize, it allows you to add your own toolbars and drag icons from what I’d describe as a “box” and onto your toolbar. Or the existing one, for that matter.

And again, Internet Explorer has toolbars, too.

Browsing Capability: I tested Firefox and IE on several websites and timed how quickly they could read the information. On jobs.aol.com, Firefox seemed to load faster, while on edmunds.com, IE worked better. Neither performed much better than the other in these tests.

I finally ran both on a specific MOCPages page, and came back with unusual results: Internet Explorer, after three tries, finally blinked out the page so that it could be viewed correctly. Firefox never could do this. It would display the page correctly, but whenever I tried to scroll, it would hang up. After several minutes, this whole mess would jam my computer, eventually crashing the system.

I was deeply disappointed with both, so I decided to try to find a browser which could beat the two. That would be AOL Explorer. I hooked it up, and, sure enough, it displayed the information, but left half of the photos blank. I tried refreshing it, but it would never display the photos. I disgustedly turned off the browser, vowing never to use it again.

The Winner: A difficult decision, as Firefox could not load a specified test page. It also required me to download Apple Quicktime to my computer in order to see certain videos, which was free (it also then loaded the videos correctly).

It depends. I would recommend taking Firefox for its tabbed browsing, and leave IE around for more serious work, or just not go to pages like the one described above. Either way, Firefox rules, which is why I downloaded it in the first place. Many sites recommend it, and almost all support it. Since I was hard-pressed to find pages it could not load, and since it has far better features and better customization, Firefox wins overall.

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YES Seeks High School Writers; I Seek Website Advertising

In every city across the United States, there is a newspaper. And in each of those newspapers there’s a section nobody reads. For example, in my state there’s the Albuquerque Journal. And in that newspaper is a section entitled YES. At first I was unsure of what exactly this bizarre “YES” was. A section commemorating the band of the same name? A call to action (Should we allow fascist Communists who support the conquering of the United States? YES!)?

It was this frightening possibility that at first made me reluctant to join such a group, a group that worked drinking coffee and writing columns that nobody reads all day. And then I found out it stood for Youth Express, and I figured, hey, as long as they’re not fascist Communists. And it might be “fun”, meaning that it “might generate free advertising for this website”.

So I decided to send in a resume for them, which is, according to their words, “a letter about yourself and your interests. Include why you want to write for YES, what ideas you have for stories and what your career plans might be. Also send three or four samples of your best writing— journalism, creative writing and/or essays.” And so of course I was very excited. And then it said:

“Students with journalism and photography experience are preferred. Be prepared for an interview.”

And of course I thought “AHHHHHHHHHH I DON’T HAVE ANY EXPERIENCE IN NEWSPAPERS OH NO OH NO AHHHHH!” But it only says that it’s preferred. You know, despite all of those students who took journalism in school, I’m sure they could use a person with my talent, someone who writes pointless, moronic posts on a website. It could happen!

At least, as long as they don’t read the said website. Especially this post. So I’ve decided that I’ll do everything, except give the URL for this website, because if I do they will take one look at it, and then look at the bad handwriting on the essays I’ll send, and laugh manaically. If anybody finds out about this website, I will be ruined, and I’ll never get the pleasure of getting to write for YES in the newspaper, and ALL WILL BE LOST. There are times in your life when you’re glad your website only gets around three hits per decade, and one of those is when your child accidentally writes your Social Security and credit card numbers where any thiefy robber could get them, and the other is when it would cost you a job writing stuff that nobody reads, not even if they’ve been smoking crack.

(P.S. I was just kidding, Albuquerque Journal editors, please don’t laugh at my chicken scratch papers and website, I was just kidding about nobody reading your wonderful papers. My computer would be happy to wash your feet with its hard drive. Thank you.)

Luigiville News Report: LANTran

In case you’re wondering, the post below, which is by “Milo the Goth Blogmaster”, is typical of posts on my original site, members.aol.com/luigirepublic. I used to post these sorts of posts more often, in fact making them the cornerstone of the site. I thought that letting the Luigivillians who wanted to start blogs on the Internet would be a good publicity stunt. It wasn’t, at least partly because everybody has a blog now, and they’re all pretty much the same. But they still sometimes want to post (most stopped long ago), and if they do I post their stuff on this Blogspot account.

Anyway, other than introducing Milo, this post is with regards to Luigiville, because I could think of nothing to write which was even remotely funny. So I’m down to telling you about two developments in Luigiville:

  1. LANTran.
  2. The fact that this one guy hasn’t sent me my LEGO parts yet.

LANTran, to begin with is the planned Luigiville subway system. But, this is no ordinary subway system. Oh no; instead, it is two PVC pipes (in its simplest form) laid in the ground, one passenger, one freight; the two connect four major cities and the national landfill, and stretch south from Luigiville southwest down our property. It will be so expensive (covering over 100 feet of space) that it may never be implemented. Nevertheless, Luigiville’s finest engineers have been working for years on it, and have created sophisticated diagrams so complex and detailed that the Yoshiian investors looking in on the project looked at them for a good three minutes before throwing them in the fireplace. Yoshiians love a good fire.

Anyway, that brings me to the argument that I’m a no good evil scumball because the houses I promised aren’t here yet. Do not worry, salvation is coming, Legoleons: the houses are about to be built. We’re just waiting for parts to come in. The Yoshiian investors who agreed to pay for the Luigiian Republic Project will be damned before they lose their investment! I swear.

That’s about it. See ya later, hosers.

Post by Milo the Goth “Blogmaster”

I just recieved a call from my cousin in Ohio, and he says it’s rained so hard it’s flooding houses, causing massive damage in the form of improvements, especially to Cleveland. For example, all of the original houses were destroyed. Unfortunately, this flooding has also caused the big lake near Ohio, whatever it’s called (probably something like Lake Chugawannamagagagaga, just like all those rivers up in the Midwest) to deposit all of the polluted, oil-covered fish to begin flopping around in the streets, like some massive protest.

Speaking of protest, I’ve heard that some of the Legoleons around here are all planning something to protest the fact that there’s no homes for them. It’s frightening, really, especially considering the fact that they don’t need them. For all the Governor cared, he could throw them in a big cardboard box and call that the city, and nobody would care. But then again, that would probably be conformist. How sad that would be.

So, anyway, see you guys next week. I know it’s been awhile, but I’ve just been bored. Just remember: Conformity is evil. Whoooooooooooooo! I’ll come to get you if you are conformist!! Whoooooooooo!!!!

LBN NewsNet Report: North Korea Launches Missiles

NORTH KOREA-Yesterday, the 4th of July, Independence Day for the United States, and possibly the most American day there is, North Korea launched several missiles into the Sea of Japan, narrowly missing Japan. One wonders whether North Korea is trying to convince America that it is for them, by destroying Japan, the U.S.’s mortal enemy, or that it hates America, by launching its missiles on the nation’s Independence Day. One thing is for certain: It has proven that all war has to do with sex. Its missiles are named Taepo-Dong II. That’s right: Dong. As in ding-dong.

Regardless of the phallic dilemma, the missiles failed, and many analysts say that the event proves North Korean President Or Whatever He Is There Kim Jong-Il is in a corner, not unlike a cat which is about to be forced to take a bath. These reporters’ conclusions leave this LBN NewsNet Reporter saying: Yeah, right. The United States did not drop bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki when it was in a corner, but rather, when its people decided that World War II was over. And the Americans were right.

However, that situation was different, because Americans are always right, and everyone else is always wrong. This means that the war probably hasn’t even started yet. The hideous Death Clown has not even stricken yet, and the North Koreans are already launching missiles. These events leave our reporter asking several questions:

  • What on earth is the Death Clown? (Answer: A clown that stalks children in the night carrying a balloon animal chain saw.)
  • When will President Bush recieve incorrect information from the CIA and accidentally declare war on Japan?
  • Where is my sandwich?