After trying it for a few weeks, I have given up on the Mozilla Firefox browser. I have kept the Mozilla Thunderbird email program.
I was using Firefox on my Toshiba laptop, which has a Pentium MMX processor at 200 Mhz – just a basic Pentium. It is at the bottom end of Mozilla’s recommended hardware range which may be a factor. It was terribly slow to start and load a (blank) home page, while IE Explorer 6.0.n did the job. That is only partially a function of my old computer – Mozilla has an explantion of how its browsers differ from IE and what system resources it uses. Firefox probably runs better on a faster system.
I found that some pages were just impossible slow to load in Firefox, and basically hung the machine but opened fine in IE. I tried to open monthly archives in a Typepad blog (it had a Blogads feed too) and it hung the machine. The archive was huge because this blogger was prolific and his commenters were numerous and verbose.
Some pages did not display well in Firefox. My brother-in-law codes pages for a government department and he tells me that most trained designers write for IE and don’t bother to write for the minor browers. Then there are all the interesting blogs and self-coded sites. If everyone wrote XHTML compliant… but when is that going to happen.
I couldn’t get streaming audio to work. There is an extension, which is written by a volunteer, which is supposed to integrate with some versions of various audio players but it didn’t work for me and it was too much trouble to play with …
I liked some features of Firefox. It had a built-in Google search bar and I like that much better than IE’s default MSN search, but after some poking I changed the IE search settings and I loaded the Google Toolbar into IE. I liked tabbed browsing, but it isn’t really quicker or cleaner that running multiple Explorer windows. I liked having a Bookmark (favourite) toolbar which put my most-used bookmarks on the screen for quick changes and I will miss that. I liked the idea of extensions (plugins).
Some of the extensions I tried were good. There is an Adblocker extension which blocks ads, popups and images more effectively than the built-in pop-up blocker in IE, and can be configured to filter content sources. At the same time, the tool was clumsy to use, since it closed on each setting. That was a problem in blocking ads and images on commercial sites. The extensions are not consistently good.
So I gave up and went back to IE.
There is a Firefox plugin to export Firebox Bookmarks to IE Favourites, which allowed me keep the new bookmarks I had added and to keep the folder structure that I had evolved while using Firefox.
I kept the Mozilla Thunderbird Email reader, which compares well to Outlook. It is no slower to load than Outlook, doesn’t have those business products (calendar, journal, saves itself in text files instead of those monster .PST files and is less quirky and more secure out of the box.
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