Internet Explorer Upgrade Nags

Fortunately, Microsoft hasn’t pushed out a required upgrade to Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP yet. They’re definitely trying to get people to upgrade, though. A few times now, I’ve had the Internet Explorer download page from Microsoft.com open on me, instead of my homepage (iGoogle over HTTPS). At the moment, it says, “Upgrade with confidence,” right under the first heading (normal text, below “Internet Explorer 7 downloads”). Sure I have confidence in how much better IE7‘s rendering engine is, but I don’t like the new interface or their implementation of tabs. That’s why I still use Internet Explorer 6.…

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Windows Update Reboot Prompts

No, I wasn’t recently annoyed by one of these, but I thought I’d mention them while I’m out of town and unable to keep up on the latest news. So every PC user has probably seen a restart prompt by now. Windows pops them up every ten minutes after installing updates, trying to get you to reboot the computer and apply the new code. What Windows doesn’t take into account is the fact that you might be in the middle of something that takes more than ten minutes. Granted, there are workarounds (like using the Group Policy Editor), but it’s…

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Funny Randomization: Microsoft Downgrades Vista

Found a little site called isyournewbicycle.com, which allows you to plug in any word before the domain (such as I did for this with microsoft.isyournewbicycle.com) and get back a randomized phrase. On the third or fourth try, I got this little gem: Great fit for the company that made the worst operating system I’ve ever heard of, eh? Just thought it was funny. Any takers? Beg-to-disagree-ers? Hit the comments; I’m waiting to hear from you!

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My Recent Posting Frequency

I know it’s been a week since I last posted here, and that I’ve been really low on post volume for the last month or two. I’m just getting busier with school and have also been getting distracted by Wikipedia (up to over 16,500 contributions as of right now). Also, there hasn’t been as much going on that’s really stirred an opinion in me, which is really why I blog. I considered blogging about Microsoft’s recent bid to acquire Yahoo!, but found I didn’t really have a strong opinion to write about. Blogging without an opinion to generate the words…

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UK Schools Advised Not to “Upgrade” to Vista, Office 2007

The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA) has issued a report advising UK schools not to upgrade to either Windows Vista or Office 2007. Neither new release offers any must-have features over the previous release, and the $350 million deployment cost (only about 30% of that would go to Microsoft) just wouldn’t be justified by any significant gains. We already know that , being the worst operating system to come out of Redmond since Windows ME, but I haven’t written much about Office 2007 yet (I plan to rectify that in the next couple days). Needless to say, my…

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Q4 2007 Site Stats Review

As , I’m reviewing the browser and operating system statistics for this site again. All data is from the period 2007-10-04/2007-12-31. So, on to business. First up is the overall browser chart. Firefox leads with 57%, followed by Internet Explorer at 29% and Safari at 10%. I also got some negligible visits (less than 2%) from Mozilla, Opera, Camino, Netscape, and Konqueror, plus a very few hits from what appear to have been mobile browsers, such as HTC_TyTN_II Mozilla and Palm680. Drilling into per-browser version information, Firefox had a pretty good spread of versions, even getting about 80 hits from…

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Silverlight vs. Flash Battle to Heat Up Next Year

It’s been a while since I last blogged about . So long, I had to search for the post in my blog dashboard (it’s no longer on the first page of results for the tag “Microsoft”). But the news media is covering it again, this time as part of New Year’s stuff (predictions for 2008, duh). PC World’s article from a couple hours ago suggests, using mostly quotes and its tagline, that the battle between Adobe and Microsoft will get hotter next year, as Silverlight battles Flash, Flex, and AIR for supremacy in the rich Internet application (RIA) arena. Microsoft’s…

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Netscape Getting Killed Off Next Year

AOL/Netscape has announced plans to kill off Netscape Navigator, the venerable old browser that once held 90% market share, spun off its code into open-source Firefox, introduced the world to JavaScript, and showed us what CSS could do. The end of support: February 1, 2008. The official recommendation is to switch to Firefox. Extension developers from Netscape’s development team have been working on creating Netstripe, a Firefox version of the Netscape 9 default theme. (Update (2010-05-12): Netstripe is gone; the Netscape Navigator and Messenger 9 themes were merged to create Simple Green.) I used Netscape briefly to test website designs,…

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Internet Explorer Patch Fix Released

Microsoft has released instructions for fixing the Internet Explorer installations by an update. The fix entails editing the Windows Registry, that hulking configuration database that is the bane of all consumers (due to how often it gets corrupted). Apparently, the problem affects certain customized installations of IE6 on WinXP SP2. While Microsoft didn’t say what customizations caused the problem, users of some newsgroups speculate that the problem was related to antivirus software, seeing as how users of Norton (Symantec) and McAfee users who experienced the problem were able to solve it by uninstalling the patch, uninstalling the antivirus software, reinstalling…

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Yuck! Proprietary USB Cables

Chris Pirillo makes a good point in this video. Before I say anything further, you should watch it: There, now that you’ve seen his ire, you can read my reasoning. Plenty of us know that proprietary anything is usually bad for the consumer. Proprietary data formats force us to use the same program (switching would be a pain — manual re-entry — because the software company didn’t make a converter or export function). Proprietary procedures mean patents, trademarks, copyrights, or whatever, and mean no two companies will necessarily do things the same way. And proprietary connectors lock in an accessory…

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