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"He had a theory that musicians are incredibly complex, and know far less than other artists what they want and what they are; that they puzzle themselves as well as their friends; that their psychology is a modern development, and has not yet been understood." – E. M. Forster

Archive for November 9th, 2003

Sunday, 9 November 2003

Maintenance day: browsers and other software

I’m spending most of this weekend doing "geek stuff" (while listening to Anne Litt and Weekend Becomes Eclectic, which is very much not geeky): going through my computer and upgrading and/or trying out software in the process. Basically this means checking all of my favorite applications and figuring out if I want to "upgrade" to newer versions, if they’re available. Typically I tend to download new releases as they come out, with the intention to research them and decide if I want to install them. But just as typically, I tend not to get around to it until a day like today.

I’ve been using Mozilla 1.0.1 as my primary browser for over a year (before that it was Netscape Navigator/Communicator, from 1.2 all the way to 4.79) — I intentionally passed on the 1.2 and 1.3 series, after reading about some unacceptable bugginess — but since the hat trick of new releases in the past month, I thought I should finally check them out. After some debating, I’m now using Firebird 0.7 and Thunderbird 0.3.

In spite of the lower-than-usual release numbers, both seem quite stable (although Thunderbird has some mail-retrieving quirks I haven’t figured out completely yet). I’m only on day 2 though. One thing I haven’t gotten used to is that Firebird has a separate search window in the toolbar…I’m not sure if I want to keep doing CTRL-K to get to it, because I’ve become so accustomed to Moz 1.0.1’s Google search-within-the-location-bar, and just using the location bar to do everything. So now I find myself typing search keywords in Firebird’s location bar, and then realizing (after I’ve typed a bit) that search won’t work in that window. Then I have to select the words, copy, CTRL-K to the correct window, paste, and hit enter. I’m not sure if Moz 1.4.1 or 1.5 have separate windows like Firebird. If they don’t, it might be a reason to abandon this and try one of those. Or maybe I’ll just get used to CTRL-K. Another issue is getting used to Firebird’s very different CSS rendering and default text size compared to Moz 1.0.1 and even IE6. The text is so much tinier!

[Update – 10 Nov. ’03: I’ve installed Moz 1.4.1. Apparently I couldn’t handle even two days of Firebird and Thunderbird 😉 … but 1.4.1’s mail had no problems with my IMAP accounts upon setup. Worked right out of the box, so to speak, whereas Thunderbird seems to sporadic trouble opening them. 1.4.1 also has the location bar search function. Anyway, good thing I didn’t use the installers for Fire- and T-bird, so there’s no need to hassle over the registry.]

Other upgrades:

  • Got the latest LAME mp3 encoding engine (yes, I’m very behind) and in the process, got an unexpected laugh from a link on the download page.
  • After years of using the "lite" version of Winamp, I finally downloaded the full version of Winamp 2.81 (blegh to Winamp 3) for its Ogg Vorbis support. (I’d tried installing an Ogg Vorbis plug-in for my Winamp 2.80 lite app, but it didn’t take.)
  • Some more: XnView 1.66, CD Wave 1.91.
Posted at 5:55 pm | Filed under Tech/geek |