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How I Use Ie Vs. How I Use Firefox Vs. Other Browsers

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This posting is best viewed in Firefox.


*** IE ***


First, let me begin by saying that I'm not scared of using Internet Explorer. I have done a couple of things to it to turn it into a well-performing and relatively secure application.

1. I downloaded ToolbarCop at:




Then I went on a cleaning spree, removing all suspicious-looking browser helper objects, including plug-ins for various things such as Acrobat Reader. All these toolbars and plug-ins do not belong in my IE, with maybe one notable exception - Java from Sun Microsystems.


2. I went into all shortcuts to Internet Explorer (desktop, QuickLaunch, start menu etc.) and I put the string " -nohome" at the end of the "Target" text field, like this:


"C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" -nohome


I'm amazed at how much faster IE starts now.


3. I downloaded and installed Privoxy at:




It's an ad blocker (among many many other things) in the form of a web proxy. And I discovered a super-cool feature it has: you can use its activity log as a URL snooper. More on that in a moment.


That would be it for Internet Explorer. If you are doing additional things to IE to make it a well-behaved application, please let me know.


*** FireFox ***


Love it :heart: :heart: :heart:


The sheer number of generously contributed extensions / add-ons makes it a very attractive proposition if you want more from a browser than just occasional surfing and checking your web-based e-mail.

These add-ons are a very powerful differentiator from other would-be browsers.


However, despite best efforts, FireFox is a memory hog, at least on my PC.


I have 4 add-ons installed in FireFox (CacheViewer, DownThemAll, Greasemonkey and McAfee SiteAdvisor) of which only one stays enabled all the time - Greasemonkey - I only enable the rest of it on an as needed basis.


It is worth at this point to explain a usage pattern involving the combination of IE+Privoxy and FireFox+CacheViewer that I developed over time.


I sometimes find a very funny home-made movie that someone posted on the Internet on some obscure video sharing site, and I would like to have a copy of the FLV file on my PC.

The sequence of steps to do that is:

1. Right-click on the Privoxy icon located in the system tray (the blue circle with a capital P inside of it) and select "Show Privoxy Window", and from the Privoxy menu select "View" - "Clear log" to clear up all the clutter that has accumulated in the activity log.

2. Open the video link in Internet Explorer and watch the first few seconds. You don't need to watch the whole movie, you just need to make sure that IE got to the point where it requested / touched the FLV file at the remote location.

3. At this point there is a trace of the full URL to the FLV file in the Privoxy activity log (minus the "http://forums.xisto.com/; at the beginning, but no big deal).

4. Now open the same video link in FireFox, assuming you have installed the CacheViewer extension for it. This time you wait until the movie is completely loaded (let the progress bar of the embedded FLV player reach the 100% mark).

5. Select "Tools" - "CacheViewer" in the FireFox menu and sort the list of cached files by size in descending order. Locate the entry that corresponds to the FLV URL you located a few moments ago in the Privoxy trace, right-click on it and select "Save As ..."


*** K-meleon ***


K-meleon is basically Firefox without the sophisticated features and, importantly, without the bloat.

The code base behind K-meleon and FireFox is the same.


I use it as a no-frills replacement to Firefox when my PC grinds to a halt from too many memory-hungry applications.


*** OffByOne ***


Portable, extremely low-memory-footprint, but still usable browser to send to your friends via Yahoo-messenger file-transfer facility for those rare occasions when their installation of IE becomes corrupt or unusable and they have no way to go out and download FireFox.


*** lynx / links ***


For showing your friends what web browsing used to feel like in the stone age of the Internet.


*** Konqueror ***


Love it, love it, love it :heart: :heart: :heart: :heart: :heart: :heart:


My browser of choice in a Linux KDE environment. Beats the living browsing out of FireFox by a factor of 10-20.


I wish there was a Windows version for it. As it is, you need to have a Windows-based X server like Cygwin to be able to run it.


I hate to imagine how popular Konqueror would be if it were available for Windows and it had the extensibility via add-ons that FireFox has.


*** Opera / Safari ***


Used them occasionally, wasn't terribly impressed, don't know enough about them to make an intelligent comment.


w3schools statistics reveal that Internet Explorer is the most common browser. However, FireFox has become quite popular as well.



See also:



Firefox has achieved what many thought impossible and overturned Microsoft's browser monopoly. The company recently announced that the browser had achieved 400 million downloads.

Article "Firefox: We caught Microsoft asleep at the wheel":



Who ISN'T catching Microsoft asleep at the wheel these days? They're becoming the classic example of a company losing direction and resting on their past successes. Nobody with real power in Microsoft's upper tier of management cares much anymore. They're just waiting to retire and cash in their stock options. If they can limp through the next decade, some of the young guys (who are probably engineers today) will revitalize the company once the dead-weight leaves.

You can thank the Mozilla team for all the improvements in IE 7. Basically, Microsoft sat on their tails for years until there was some real competition.

Their refusal to support png transparency was proof enough of their being asleep at the wheel. Their current refusal to support svg images is proof that they still are.

Numbers are going to be different depending on who is doing the data gathering. One website that averages about 1000 unique visits a day might see about 75% of its traffic from Firefox users. Another one that averages about 400 unique visitors a day might have only 30% of its visitors using Firefox. Coding still needs to be done for more than 1 browser. Most designers always try to code for IE 6 and 7, FireFox 2 and Safari (even though safari is usually less than 1%). Most designers can't imagine doing any sort of web application development without Firefox. DOM inspector, Web Developer, and Firebug have become essential add-ons that a serious designer couldn't live without. Even if you always test against IE, Opera and Safari, when it comes to debugging code or layout issues, Firefox has the best integrated tools.

The biggest thing that motivates people to use FireFox is the add-ons. AdBlocker alone saves many people's sanity daily. And no, it doesn't kill advertising revenue - people still click on the interesting Google text ads, just no flashy in your face graphics, pop ups, pop unders, overs or outs.

FireFox got it's mojo on thanks in part to the absolute fiasco IE 6 was. IE 6 introduced the world to hijacks, spyware, adware, and the like, some of which would be so difficult to remove that it was less time consuming to crush and rebuild the things. The AV companies did not offer a solution early on, everyone sat on their tails pointing fingers. It was a mess. IE 6 was the single most destructive thing to ever happen to the internet.

Mozilla exists to make better software. Microsoft exists to extract money out of their monopoly. Microsoft hasn't cared about improving their products for years. The best you could say is that they are trying to band-aid all the ridiculous deficiencies from their prior versions. IE 7 would have never happened but for FireFox, and as it is, it is a pretty pathetic attempt that doesn't even catch up to Firefox. Microsoft is years behind the curve and will never catch up. Their management is criminally incompetent, and all the tremendous talent and resources they have at the technical engineering level is completely nullified by the evil, bloated, hateful bastards at the top who have nothing but contempt for their users, the industry and computers as a whole. Microsoft's problem is that it hates everything and everyone except money.


Another issue concerns ads. In the world of advertising, nothing is really free. When you listen to a radio or watch a television show, advertisers pay the costs and earn the right to broadcast their messages any time they want. Most people tolerate radio and television advertising since they've grown accustomed to its constant interruptions.

However, in the world of the Internet, people have a much lower tolerance level for advertisements. While advertisements pay for many free web hosting services and free or low-cost Internet services, there's a fine line between product promotion and invasion of privacy. When you hear or see a commercial on radio or television, you can freely ignore it. Unfortunately, advertisements on the Internet aren't always like that.

Ideally, an Internet advertisement would pop up once and give you the option of making it go away. Instead, Internet advertisements not only pop-up (and keep popping up over and over again), but they may also track which web pages you visit, to determine your preferences, which would be like having a radio or TV that could peek into your living room to see which brand of potato chips you might be eating at the moment. To intrude upon your privacy, Internet advertisers use a variety of tools including web bugs, adware, and a never-ending cascade of pop-up windows.

Advertisers always need to know how effective their current marketing campaign may be. Since the Internet spans the world, it's nearly impossible to tell how many people looked at a particular ad and who they might be. To solve these two problems, advertisers created web bugs.

When you visit a website, your browser asks the website server to send your computer all the text and graphic images that make up the web page. Thus, every webserver needs to know the IP address of your computer so it knows where to send the text and graphics.

When your browser receives information about a web page, that information appears in the form of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) code, which tells your browser exactly how to display and position text and graphics. The specific HTML code that your browser receives from a web page defines the name of the graphic file, its size, and the name of the server it came from. In the following HTML example, the graphic file is called dotclear.gif, its width and height are both one pixel, and the server it came from is ad.doubleclick.net.

Web bugs hide on ordinary web pages as invisible, one pixel by one pixel size images so you won't notice when you're being tracked. When the server sends the web bug to your browser, the server can immediately identify the following:

- The IP address of the computer that fetched the web bug

- The specific web page that contains the web bug (useful for seeing which web pages someone might have visited)

- The time and date the web bug was retrieved

- The type of browser that fetched the web bug

At the simplest level, web bugs help advertisers determine how many people have visited a particular website and viewed a particular web page. On a more insidious level, web bugs can work with cookies to track which websites each person visits so they can display advertisements specific to that individual.

Web bugs can sometimes appear in spam too, buried inside email so an advertiser can see how many times people read (or at least open) a particular message. If someone doesn't bother to view a web bug in an email, this tells the advertiser that the email address may not be valid or that this particular person didn't bother to read it. In either case, the advertiser will likely remove that person's email address to avoid wasting time sending advertisements that no one will read.

Edited by dserban (see edit history)

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interesting, a vision from someone who realy used a lot browsers before starting to piss on Internet Explorer :P .I personaly I'm not too fancy about Internet Explorer or Firefox. It takes too much trouble to get IE safe and secure and since I'm a lazy person I try to avoid having to do that. Firefox is getting more like IE, the number of known bugs and security holes grows every day ... the 'safe' days of FF are over. I'm a happy Opera user and even tough it doesn't allways starts very fast, it still works a lot faster and more convenient than FF does.

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Nah i use Firefox I think its the best has awesome extensions and also on the last release it has gotten faster and safer. i use to use Internet explorer till like a month ago but then my friend told me about firefox i tried it and it awesome. :P

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