I had a discussion today with someone who maintained with confidence that “If Linux were as popular as Windows, we’d be seeing just as many viruses and just as much malware for it as we see now for Windows”.
While that argument might hold true for desktop users, to an extent, the focus of the discussion was essentially (from his point of view) that “Linux is no more secure than Windows”, fundamentally.
Which is false. When I pointed this out, it was dismissed as simply my opinion, but I believe that he’s stuck in a logical fallacy in this assertion.
Since I’ve been cycling continuously between the three browsers that annoy me the least lately (Opera, Firefox 3.6, and Chromium), I’ve been utilizing each browser’s extensibility to make it a bit more usable.
In a previous post, I discussed the various things I do to recent releases of Firefox to make it behave itself. In this post, I’ll be discussing the process I go through with the Chromium browser, namely with respect to extensions (since there really isn’t much one can configure in Chromium natively).
So I keep ranting about Firefox here, and for good reason: the Mozilla team is going above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to driving users to other browsers.
However, try as I might, I simply encounter too many dealbreakers in Chromium.
When I think about it, the last version of Firefox that didn’t drive me crazy with crashing, incompatible add-ons, and stupid UI changes and features removed, it would have to be Firefox 3.6.
I keep forgetting how to do this, so I’m posting this here as much for my own reference as for anyone else’s. This is how to downgrade newer versions of Firefox to 3.6 and keep it that way, at least until things settle down a little, or until another browser comes along that can actually be a viable replacement for it — unlike newer versions of Firefox, sadly. This works with Mint 11, which means it will also work with Ubuntu 11.04.
So in keeping with the direction the devs at Mozilla have been steering the Firefox browser, plans include more feature assassination (of course), this time in the form of obfuscating useful information — arguably the most important information for users of a web browser — in the address bar.
For the last year and some change, I’ve gone from using Opera as my primary browser to using Mozilla Firefox. I have a variety of reasons for this switch, and it was a somewhat gradual one, but as I detailed in a recent post, despite it being my browser of choice, I still feel that it has a lot of shortcomings, and as such, it needs a lot of tweaking out-of-the-box before I find it usable.
So this is a writeup of the things I do to Firefox — in this particular case Firefox 4 — immediately after I install it. It used to be a much shorter list, but these days it’s getting more and more involved, so this writeup is as much for my own purposes, as a checklist of sorts, as it is to share my thoughts with others on how to tweak Firefox 4.
Let’s face it. Browsers suck. In my ongoing search for a browser that meets all my needs, I’ve frequently found myself compromising in one way or another, and while I have good things to say about almost any browser, I can’t say that I “love” any of them.
So this is less of a list of “my favorite browsers”… I don’t have one of those. Instead, I present you with my list of The 5 Browsers That Annoy Me The Least.
I got up this morning and saw this, which led me to a pretty serious WTF moment, all before having my morning coffee.
From the article:
Mozilla’s Director of Firefox, Mike Beltzner confirmed the fact that an x64 flavor of Firefox won’t be added to the existing x86 version, per the 32-bit/64-bit Internet Explorer 8 model.
Firefox users should not despair though. Fact is that Mozilla hasn’t given up on delivering a 64-bit version of Firefox, just not with Firefox 4.0.
This implies that maybe there will be a 64-bit release for Firefox 4.1? Maybe? 4.2? 5.0? Will there be one at all? Ever?
I think that they should probably be a little more open about when there will be, and why there’s a delay.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that despite my open source advocacy, I’m still a longtime user of the Opera browser.
However, the past year has been pretty rocky in that respect; Opera 10.10 for Linux was plagued with a lot of bugs, crashes, and performance issues, rendering it practically unusable, even for an Opera fan such as myself, and despite 10.50 being released for other platforms in March, the Linux world was stuck with the problematic 10.10 (and eventually 10.11) release until this week.
Finally, after such a long wait, Opera 10.60 was finally released for all platforms on July 1st, so I was finally able to ditch Firefox and Chrome and go back to my browser of choice.
Or was I?
As many of you are already aware, Google Chrome stable was released for the Linux platform on May 25th.
Google Chrome has been one of the fastest growing browsers, and a stable release for Linux has been a long time coming. I’ve played around with beta releases and found them so unstable as to be unusable as recently as just a few months ago, so needless to say, I was pretty interested in seeing what a release for Linux marked “stable” was like.
I’ve been using it as my primary browser since May 25th, so I decided I’d do a brief writeup of what I think of the experience so far.
I’m an IT guy in what is still largely a Windows world. I’ve been managing Windows workstations and servers for a living since 1996 or so, and I’ve always been left shaking my head, wondering how, exactly, Windows is considered “enterprise ready”, especially when better alternatives — as development platforms, as workstations, and especially as servers — are widely available.
While the Information Technology industry hasn’t caught up just yet, I like to consider myself a bit more forward looking than that. The way I see it, Windows isn’t ready for the enterprise yet. Sure, it might be good for playing games, but for doing serious work? For securing customer data and transactions? For safeguarding your company’s future and productivity?
Not even close, not from what I’ve seen. Here are six things Microsoft will need to do before I’ll start recommending Windows as the “best tool for the job”.