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Jon

...Better than Safari's tabbed browsing? (curious)

jonny

the tabbed browsing is exactly the same. there are certain things such as typepad's tools that firefox does and safari doesn't (yet). firefox is also very fast...

ray

thanks, jonny, got it last night and am a much better man for it. i am no longer a slave to the Gates. i believe tabbed browsing is the way to go. Also i like the cleaner toolbar.
i was looking at the openoffice.org productivity suite and was wondering if anyone new much about it or would even go so far as to recommend it.

Ross Kendall

There are plenty of other advantages as well.

Bloggers may be interested in the 'live bookmarks' feature for keeping track of RSS feeds:
http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/live-bookmarks.html
and some blog extensions:
https://update.mozilla.org/extensions/showlist.php?application=firefox&version=1.0&numpg=&category=Blogging

Extensions are being created for all kinds of things. If there was anything that you wished you webbrowser could do, it won't be long before there will be a Firefox extension to do it (if there isn't one already).

The main reason for [windows users] to use Firefox is security, but that is obviously not a reason for Mac users to switch. Mac users are lucky to to have Safari.

I've been using Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox since about version 0.3 (http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/releases/0.3.html) and thing it's the best thing since sliced bread!

jonny

ross thanks - had no idea about this - v.cool....

Ross Kendall

Ray,

OpenOffice.org is another good piece of OpenSource software (see here for some more http://www.theopencd.org ) and much better than spending £360 on Microsoft Office.

It is NOT Microsoft Office however (and even more powerful), so be prepared to spend some time to learn how to use it, and don't set the default document format to .doc, just export as doc or pdf when you need to.

Unfortunately the Mac version is not quite up-to-scratch yet, but there is work being done on it.

A new major version (2.0) will go into a 'beta' trial very soon. (I use the pre-beta development version). This has a lot of major improvements!

I think it's a shame more Christians don't support OpenSource software. It is helping to bridge the 'digital divide' between the have and have-nots. (see http://www.digitaldividenetwork.org/content/sections/index.cfm?key=2 http://mithrandr.moria.org/writings/opensource-digitaldivide.html and http://www.iosn.net/ for further reading)

ray

well, i did it. downloaded openoffice.org and was so excited about it but was left with a feeling of disappointment, particularly with Impress, OOo's version of powerpoint. they had better sound effects, but i have, in 9 years of working with powerpoint, never used one in a presentation.i also was able to make a fairly neat 3d box . . . not very useful. other than that, i just don't have the features i have depended on to make good quality presentations. maybe in time i will figure it out but not in time for worship tomorrow. it may be better than powerpoint 97 but not XP or 2003.
i am all for opensource software, but it should not be at the expense of quality and ease of use. i am confident and hopeful that they will make a better product in the future.

Steve Litchfield

I switched to Firefox at the start of this year and it's great. I've managed to convert everyone in the family so we don't routinely use IE or Outlook and I feel our PC is a bit less vulnerable. The only time I succumb to using IE is for the fairly rare website that uses features unsupported in Firefox or to test that a website design works OK. And every time the computer press reports another drop in IE use I have to admit to a small rush of happiness. Microsoft have got away with sloppy security for far too long - in comparison to the enormous resources at their disposal to address the issues. And it's also just that hugely powerful monopolies usually turn out to be a bad thing in my view ... (caught myself on the verge of a rant there)

Ross Kendall

...here's a rant!

Would you buy 'Fair Trade' coffee if it didn't taste as good? (my opinion is that we should).

Would you use Open Source software (fair trade) even if wasn't as good? ...

P.S. Microsoft is all for 'democracy'

ray

Alright, Ross, i see your point, and that of Steve's. i think that the parallel between free trade coffee and open source software is pretty weak, but is still there. Here is something to think about in that discussion, when new technology or some new concept comes about that its pioneers take the lead and will dominate the market. Its control is unfortunate, but its effects in the long run are incredibly beneficial. For example, here in the U.S., for many years there was the monopoly not so affectionately known as "ma bell" which was the "bell system" or "THE phone company." It was the only show in town, so to speak. no competition whatsoever. it was much more of a monopoly than Microsoft (with Microsoft there was some competition with apple, etc.). Anyway, the U.S. Gov't. broke up the monopoly into "baby bells" if you are interested in the story go to http://www.bellsystemmemorial.com/bellsystem_history.html , if you aren't then don't go (free will you know). During their time on top they were able to make some incredible advances that lots of smaller companies would not have been able to do very efficiently. One that comes to mind is that they were able to get this country connected with a very impressive (and impressively ugly) network of phone lines, which for a land mass the size of the continental U.S. is quite an accomplishment. With the advent of the wireless phone that network of wires is quickly becoming irrelevant. A problem that we are now and have been having is that the covering of the entire country has been incredibly difficult because of its size and also all of the wireless phone companies refused to share technology, towers, air space, essentially just refused to work together. We were not able to achieve many of the advances that Finland and many countries in Asia have made. Only now are we seeing the cooperation of some companies and an improvement in service and coverage areas. The cooperation is resulting in some pretty big companies as they merge together.
I never am happy with this as these mega companies swallow up lots of smaller companies and then big layoffs happen and it becomes a mess, the mega companies become the villain that everybody complains about while they are using the service that company provides. Then smaller companies emerge that is made up of usually victims of downsizing who can do it better and build upon the negative vibe towards the big monolith. These small companies start to grow and the world is better for it but then these small companies grow, swallow up other smaller companies, taking advantage of the market the smaller companies have and their technologies. The whole thing just keeps happening over and over again. It is some weird cyclical economic Darwinism thing.
We may deride it and hate the way it works, but the truth is most of the things that make up our life, including the forum that we are using now, is a product of it. In a perfect world, we wouldn't have to rely on this system. We are not in a perfect world. Many technologies that exist that benefits the world exist because of it and, to an extent, greed and pride. These will always exist. They will always exist as the major motivators in society as long as we are here on earth. Our job is to rescue people from that prison and also to take advantage of the progress(?) made by people with less than the best of intentions to help others in need. We are doing this in blogs, websites, and other forms of media, reaching out to the lost of the world. We turn the products of a greedy world into the tools used to help those in need.
Just an observation. sorry for the length.
ray

Ross Kendall

(sorry jonny for hijacking your blog comments)

ray, thank you for your comments, however I don't know if your description of 'how things work' fit the Microsoft story very well. You make it sound as if Microsoft 'invented' the Personal Computer (in comparing them with Bell).

In particular, Microsoft did not get to it's position of near-monopoly through pioneering inovation, rather through luck, stealing other people's good ideas and anti-competitive behavior (and some innovation and some good business management).

Try this alternative story:
http://users.aol.com/machcu/msrise.html

You may be interested to read my recent comment on an LICC article about Microsoft.
http://www.licc.org.uk/culture/the-corporation#comment-263

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    i have been blogging for twenty years in fairly eclectic fashion. i am an advocate for pioneers, lover of all things creative, an explorer of faith in relation to contemporary culture, a photographer and writer. explore the presences section below to find me in other spaces

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