Sunday, December 5, 2004

My browser of choice – Firefox

On the eSchool News web site one of the top news stories is aboutFirefox: the new browser contender.
Three reasons given for the current interest in this browser are security, tabs and similarity in Mac and Windows versions. These are three good reasons to make the switch (which I did several months ago). All our new installations include Firefox as our primary browser, even though we still install Explorer and Safari.

There are several other reasons to switch to Firefox. It seems to be faster in most situations. You can place several bookmarks in a folder in the toolbar and open them all up into seperate tabs at one time – a nice way to start out the day opening those sites you check daily.

Firefox also has support for RSS feeds, allowing you to monitor blogs and news sources (including the eSchool News RSS feed) through your “favorites” or bookmarks. All you have to do is mouse over the bookmark and get the top news stories or recent posts to show up in an extended window.

Firefox is a stripped down version of the Mozilla Suite, without the e-mail, newsgroup, chat and web design features. If you want a mail program to run on your Windows machine instead of Outlook, check out Thunderbird. (I still use OS X Mail on my Macs but made the switch on my Windows machine.) Reasons to make this switch include speed, ease of blocking pop-ups site by site, and security (mainly from viruses). It also has a feature that allows you to save a search as a mail folder, and any time you click on that folder the search will be executed and the matching e-mail messages will be displayed. Firefox also allows you to monitor RSS feeds.

A new calendar application, Sunbird, is currently being developed, with the target being users of Firefox and Thunderbird.

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