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      19.07.2005 23:11
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      The free [portable] eMail client from the home of Firefox

      ...or not as the case may be. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself.

      No, we are not talking about the cult 60s TV series. Our subject for today is email, one of the greatest inventions and one of the worst plagues of the 20th and especially the 21st century. What would we do without it? Why do we put up with it? It’s a love/hate relationship. It’s [one of] the reason[s] why the Royal Mail is going through such hard time. People simply don’t write letters any more, at least, not the sort that gets written on paper, put in an envelope and stuck in a postbox.

      So, like it or not (and personally, I wouldn’t be without it, despite the frustrations) it’s here to stay. The problem is, how do you manage it?

      I have numerous email accounts. Most I’ve picked up over the years and still use because I haven’t yet managed to get around to telling everyone that I don’t use that one any longer. So, from time to time I have to check to see if anything has arrived that I want to read, rather than just the usual junk.

      Hotmail is one of those accounts. Hotmail was my first email account. I’ve been using it off and on now for around eight years. Another is the new kid on the block, Gmail. However, like most people, my primary email account is the one provided by my ISP (Internet Service Provider).

      How do you read your email? Most email accounts are accessible via your web browser, whether that be Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Netscape or indeed any of the dozens of web browsers available today, free or a part of a package.

      Webmail (as it’s called) is very useful to get access to your email anywhere in the World, not just from your own computer. The drawback (and you may not consider it as such) is that the email messages you want to keep, rather than read and delete) stay on your email provider’s server. Unless you diligently delete it, it builds up and, unless you have an email provider as generous as Google, eventually exceeds your limit.

      Now, even apart from that, I don’t know about you but I am uncomfortable about leaving potentially personal information sitting on someone else’s computers. I know that email providers assure you that your information is totally secure and that no one else can access it but there have been just too many instances where personal details have “gone astray”.

      My preference is to have my email where I and only I can access it. This means that you need a program to retrieve your email from your email provider’s server and to delete from there once you’ve got it. Such a program is called an email client.

      There are very many email clients available. Some are free. Some you have to buy. If you are a Windows user you will be aware of one that comes with the operating system, I’m sure. It’s called Outlook Express. Very many people use it and are perfectly happy with it. It’s fairly basic and doesn’t provide many of the facilities that others do, especially in the area of automatically identifying junk. Most especially, it’s very much tied to the computer on which it was originally installed. If you don’t have your computer with you, you don’t have your email with you.

      Now, I don’t know about you but although I regularly use a laptop computer, I don’t carry one around with me. Just a bit too big to stick in your pocket! OK, I do know that you can have email on the go with a Blackberry device or with a PDA like the HP Compaq iPaq. However, I don’t have one of those (yet). Maybe one day, when I find one that has everything I want in one package. Right now, one like that doesn’t exist.

      What does exist is the memory stick. Many of these have quite significant amounts of storage and many double as an MP3 player. These plug into any computer via a USB port and enable you to take all of your information with you and use any computer going. I found one that fits the bill in a Sumvision 1Gig memory stick that is also an MP3 player, voice memo recorder and FM radio. I’ll review it just as soon as Dooyoo add a category, whenever that may be. Don’t hold your breath.

      The only other choice you have to make is what email client you are going to use. Microsoft’s Outlook Express rules itself out since, as far as I have been able to determine, it can only be installed on and used with the copy of Windows with which it came. What you need is a “Portable Outlook Express”.

      Such do exist and many, though not all, are free. I’ve been trying a couple and, at least for now, I have chosen to use Thunderbird.

      Thunderbird is Open Source software. You may have heard the term. It relates to computer software for which you have completely free access to the code in which the program is written. If you wish and are skilled enough, you can alter it to make the program do things you want it to do that it doesn’t do “out-of-the-box”. You can even submit you changes back to the original author for consideration.

      However, Open Source does not mean free, although it often is. Thunderbird is free. It doesn’t just run on Windows. In fact, it wasn’t designed to run on Windows. It was designed to run on Linux and UNIX operating systems. But it does also run on Windows. It comes from the same organisation that built the Firefox web browser, Mozilla.

      Firefox is the fastest growing web browser in the World. People are ditching Internet Explorer (IE) left, right and centre and using Firefox instead, mainly because it’s far more secure than IE. I use it myself. Thunderbird is destined to do to Outlook Express what Firefox has done to IE.

      Now, anyone who is already familiar with Thunderbird may be wondering why I am so enthusiastic about it when I am talking about a portable email client. After all, Thunderbird isn’t portable! Well, no, your right, but then again, you’re not. Correct, as delivered, Thunderbird is not portable.

      It has to do with the various folders in which it is installed on your computer. If you put it on to a device that could then be removed and plugged into a completely different computer, you cannot guarantee that that device appears as the same drive letter on the new computer as it did on the old. That confuses many programs.

      Enter John T. Haller (http://johnhaller.com/jh/). Good old John T. has solved the problem. You can download and install his modified version of Thunderbird (remember, Open Source!) and Thunderbird will work on any removable storage device (so long as it is big enough – 16meg or more). John T. has also created a portable version of Firefox, in case you want to take that with you as well.

      So, Thunderbird is the answer. What is it like to use?

      Thunderbird’s appearance is not significantly different from Outlook Express so learning to use it is off to a good start. On the left is the list of folders. On the right, in the top panel is the list of email in the chosen folder, the one from the list on the left. Below it is a preview of the specific email highlighted in the top pane.

      Of course, to start with there will be no entries. However, Thunderbird has extensive Import capabilities and will enable the importation of eMail, Settings and Address Books from a variety of alternative email clients, including Outlook Express.

      Imported eMail appears in folders below a root of the name of the email service. If you import from multiple email services then you will end up with potentially many folders of the same name, each under its own original service. So you may have an Input folder for Hotmail, Gmail plus the general one for Thunderbird. If you don’t like it that way then you can reorganise the folders by simple drag-and-drop.

      The toolbar contains the usual expected buttons. Get Mail can be all email or just from a selected email service. Write and Address Book are self-explanatory, Reply, Reply All, Forward and Delete, likewise. The next one, though, indicates a function that picks Thunderbird out from the crowd, Junk.

      Thunderbird has built-in, self-learning Junk filters. They aren’t perfect. They do miss junk but the “Adaptive Filters” can be trained to do as good a job as possible. This requires you to hit the Junk button whenever you spot an email of a type you always want considered Junk. If email is identified as Junk then the button changes to Not Junk so that you can eliminate “False Positives”.

      There are many Options for Thunderbird. One I like is not to display embedded images. Images can conceal malicious code so this helps prevent this being executed. A Show Images button enables them to be revealed if you decide the source is safe. You can also elect to prevent the automatic execution of JavaScript embedded in email.

      Another very good option is that you can set each individual account to only download email headers. The advantage is that you don't then download any messages in their entirety which you known you don't want to read at all. If you do want to read any then you simply click on the confirmation link for each one, to get the rest of the message.

      Most of the other options are ones you would expect, including how you want email to appear. There are also email filters that you can set up to automatically sort incoming mail according to source and content. There is also the usual spelling checking that can be executed automatically when you click Send.

      Thunderbird can also be modified to suit your taste and needs. There are Themes with which you can “skin” Thunderbird. There are also all sorts of extensions you can download, to numerous to mention.

      I really like Thunderbird, especially the portable version. I consider it superior to Outlook Express but then that isn’t difficult. Whether you decide to use it as your resident email client or as a portable email client, you could not do much better.

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        30.06.2005 23:27
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        It knocks the socks of Internet Explorer while making your surfing much safer.

        So what are the bets that you have heard something about this but are really not too sure what it is? Or maybe you are just too scared to take the plunge and leave Internet Explorer?

        Well, with any luck, this review will make sure you are a bit clearer on what Mozilla Firefox is and why you should use it.

        What is it?
        *********

        Well, starting at the beginning, it's a web browser. As far as I am aware, about 90% of internet users will be using Internet Explorer (some monopoly Mr Gates!) and the vast majority of them will simply have no idea that this isn't the only way you can get onto the sites that they want to see. Firefox is Mozilla's offering to the internet world to ride the cyber super highway and works largely in the same way as I.E only it offers quite a lot more in the process.


        What does it look like?
        *******************

        To be honest, it largely looks a lot like I.E does. But then this is deliberate as if they want to attract people away from I.E why (with so many millions of users) would they want to make it a browser that the average net user would have to spend hours getting to know before being confident enough to use it? So it has a lot of what you will recognise - the same buttons such as stop, go, refresh (called reload) etc, the address bar, the status bar etc. It does however look a lot fresher, cleaner and up to date. I have added a picture at the bottom to show what it looks like and will refer to it through the review. That's only the standard look though, it can be changed but more about that later.

        Why is it different then?
        *******************

        Well, for me the main thing is the security aspect. Lets face it, I.E is full of holes that any half decent internet hacker can pick though quicker than a bowl of spaghetti. Firefox has been designed with this in mind and the security is top notch. How do I know this? Well before I started using it I had to run my spybot program quite a lot and would always find countless amounts of spyware hidden in my computer and was constantly having to delete them. Since changing to Firefox however, I don't need to do this half as often and when I do, there is usually only one or two files that I have to delete to ensure my data is safe. Big thumbs up there from me, and all the evidence I need.

        Then there are the 'tabs'. This is the feature that all Firefox users RAVE about. It's simply brilliant and I just couldn't do without them now. If you look at the picture at the bottom, you will see that underneath my favourite buttons (which again are much better than in I.E as they save the logo of the site on them) you will see that I have about five different tabs showing. If you look at the picture in the largest view, you will see that they have names of website on them. So, that means that I have five different webpages open within the ONE browser page and all I have to do to go to each one is click on the tab that corresponds to the webpage I want to look at. This makes the buttons at the bottom of your screen (where I.E would show five different browser pages) much cleaner looking and you can have loads of pages open without having to resort to cluttering up the bottom of the screen. If you click on a link in a webpage, it does normally open a new browser but then if you right click on the link, it will give tyou the option to open the new page in a new tab. Also, you can set up Firefox to open up more than one tab when you load it, and program it to open multiple webpages at this point. This means that you can have ciao as you home page, you can have your email account as your homepage, and any other you fancy and they all load up from the moment you connect to the net! SO handy! But what if I hit the X button? They have thought of that. If you accidentally try to close the window and you have more than one tab open (you were perhaps trying to close just one of the tabs), you will have a warning come up asking you if you actually want to do it so you wont loose the 6 tabs you have open!

        A master stroke that Mozilla have up there sleeves is the fact that the initial download of the program is really quite small as they don't automatically fill it with all the options they have at their disposal. What they do is give you access to 'extensions'. To do this, you go into the tools option at the top and choose extensions. It will show you the ones you have installed and give you the option to search for more on the extensions website. An extension is basically a feature that you can choose to build into the browser. For example. Do you know the REALLY annoying advert that is likely on this page at the moment? You know….the one that scrolls down with you? Well I don't have it. That's right, it just aint there. Neither is the one at the top that flashes at you! This is because I chose to download an extension that can actually block adverts within a webpage. All I have to do when opening any page is click a little button in the very bottom right that says 'ad-block' and it gives me all the things on the page that can be blocked and all I have to do is choose the one I want to block and its gone (or right click on the advert and choose adblock). If I even wanted too, I could choose for it to block out pretty much anything on the page I wanted - including all your coloured dots over on ciao that a lot of users hate! How cool is that?!? I also have an extension that tells me if I have an email in my gmail account that sits at the bottom beside my ad-block button, I have one that allows me to simply right click and instantly access my blog and write about the page I am looking at (and adding the link at the same time) and a few others. What this allows you to do, is have your Firefox as feature filled or as basic as you want. There are hundreds of extensions and obviously some will be more useful to certain people and not others. Also, with the basic set up, Firefox runs so much faster than I.E does with a similar processor so if you have an older computer, you will be able to have a faster time online with the basic set up.

        Have just added another extension....this one allows me to control Windows Media Player (and most other music players including Itunes and Winamp and loads I havent heard of..) from my browser! Ok, it maay be lazy but very cool!

        Now, the themes! Remember at the beginning I told you you could change the way it looked? Well this is done in a similar way to choosing your extensions. You go into tools and follow the same steps (except choosing themes) and you will be led to a site that has a plethora of different looks you can choose for your web browsing time. There are serious ones, there are animal ones, there are sport ones, and many more.

        Built in to the browser is two other great features. How many of you have the google tool bar in I.E? Well this comes ready made for you with this and does exactly the same thing without having an ugly bar hiding yet more of your web page view. At the top and to the left (see picture) you see a box beside the address bar which houses the Google search. "But Drew…whats so special about that over I.E" I hear you cry! Well, if you click on the G then it gives you the option to not only search google, but amazon, ebay, dictionary.co and yahoo. Not only that, but you can add many other sites to search automatically as well in the same way that you add extensions and themes!!! At the moment, there is not a lot of them to be added however they are working on more and they are getting added all the time. And of course, like the google toolbar it has a pop up blocker pre installed into the browser which stops those annoying pop ups in a very similar but (from my experience) more effective way.

        Is there anything wrong with it?
        *************************

        As with any product, there is usually something that is annoying. For me, I find that when you initially click to open Firefox, it can take a bit longer to open than I.E does but this is only really an extra 30 seconds I have (almost) got used to this now. Also, I have had problems with PDF (Adobe Acrobat) files which has meant I have had to Ctrl-Alt-Del to get the thing to work again. I hate those kind of files anyway as they are such a pain to use and take ages to load so pretty much try to avoid them like the plague anyway.

        The only other problem at this point is the fact that you will sometimes (though really not very often at all) come across a web page that has not been written with Firefox code in mind so looks a bit different. I really don't come across this very often and the only example I can think of is that when I get a private message in ciaochatting, it doesn't flash the way it would in I.E. No biggie though, I can deal with that! This is something that will change in time though as Firefox gets more and more popular as web page designers will have more need to write and test using Firefox.

        How do I get it then?
        ***********************

        All you need to do is go to this link.

        http://download.mozilla.org/?product=firefox&os=win〈=en-US

        The download is quick and painless as the file is reletively small and installation is easy with the wizard guiding you along.

        There is a very good help section provided within the browser that will link you directly to the Mozilla webpage if need be and will take you step by step though anything you need. However, it is actually quite straight forward anyway and I have personally not had to use this very much.

        So to finish off…..
        ****************

        If I could give this product 10 starts I would. It really has changed the internet for the better for me and I hate having to go back to using I.E when I am in university or work. I love it. The fact that I can personalise it whatever way I want and can add and take away extensions make it a truly adaptable browser in a way that no other browser has for me in the past. I urge you to at least give it a go, trust me you will not regret it.

        Take care and happy surfing,

        drew x

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          06.05.2005 13:46
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          I have to admit that I went six months blissfully unaware of the problems a broadband user using Internet Explorer (IE as it shall now be known) experiences. It was not until I found my computer running slower, displaying irritating and often-inappropriate pop-up advertisements and crashing on frequent intervals despite regular security downloads from Microsoft. On running my spyware scanner and antivirus software I discovered my computer was plagued with Trojan's (software which consumes hard disk space and can make your computer behave strangely) and adware (programmes installed by websites to monitor and even hijack your internet usage). Irritated by the lack of protection IE was offering me I began looking for alternatives which provided more protection but the same simple user interface IE is famous for. A friend pointed me in the direction of Mozilla Firefox and I have not looked back since.

          What is Mozilla Firefox?
          *******************

          Mozilla Firefox is a web-based browser that is used to browse pages on the Internet. Those who use Internet Explorer will find it very similar in look and style and that is its aim. The idea behind Firefox is to provide a free (yes it's free!), secure alternative to IE with a similar user interface enabling new users to become instantly familiar. Indeed initially you may well wonder what the differences are.

          IE versus Firefox
          **************

          The look and feel of both browsers are very similar. Buttons along the top of the page are standard with forward, back and home buttons virtually identical. Indeed the only true difference is in the terminology with refresh renamed reload and favourites now saved as bookmarks. The option to "drag and drop" websites onto a quick links bar remains unchanged for both browsers and you may find yourself wondering why bother switching at all?

          It is in the little things in which Firefox is in so many ways superior to IE. One of the primary annoyances with IE is the amount of spyware it allows onto a system. Running the admittedly inferior Windows 98SE I would often run my spyware scanner to find forty plus items needing removal some of them deemed critical. Running Firefox this is down to one or two negligible objects inherent to the programmes I have installed (Windows Media Player and Realplayer histories being a good example). Firefox claims this is because it does not load the potentially harmful Active X controls inherent in the IE system. This is supported by the definition from netdictionary.com which describes Active X as, "A software technology developed by Microsoft that allows programmed capabilities or content to be delivered to Windows-based personal computers via the World Wide Web. Active X is notable for a complete lack of security controls; computer security experts discourage its use over the Internet." Add to this a pre-installed pop-up blocker which blocks most annoying ads and what we have is a far superior browser.

          I remain unconvinced
          ******************

          The main reason many others and I choose Firefox over IE is it entirely customisable to individual needs. Lets start with the fact the search engine is built into the toolbar. Discreetly placed in the right corner of the screen I have instant access to Google, Yahoo, Askjeeves and countless other engines if I so wish. It is in its ease of use that Firefox continues to surpass IE.

          Tabbed browsing is perhaps my favourite advantage Firefox has over IE. Do you browse multiple websites perhaps browsing ebay while looking at dooyoo reviews and checking your email? The multi-taskers amongst us can do this by a simple open in tabs option in the bookmarks section in the Firefox toolbar. No more multiple and obtrusive windows instead have your webpages neatly organised in a filing style system along the top of the page. No waiting for separate pages to load either as they all load pretty much at once. What I also like is unlike IE there is no chance of you accidentally closing a window down as Firefox asks for confirmation first. No more losing dooyoo reviews due to a misclick (which I know I should prepare offline but I hate MS Word!).


          There are an assortment of skins, plug-ins and themes available to make Firefox even more suitable to your needs. I hate the ads prevalent on sites such as dooyoo and yahoo yet by installing adblock as an add on to Firefox I merely have to right click on an ad to remove it. Indeed by clicking on adblock I can remove all the irritating ads on a page!

          The amount of plug-ins and extensions available is amazing. Just last week a found a handy ebay one that with the right click of a mouse displays the negative feedback of a member. Of course none of this would be any good if Firefox was incompatible with popular software. Fortunately, Firefox is compatible with nearly all popular programmes including Java and Realplayer. Indeed downloading programmes such as these is made even easier with Firefox's simple download manager that shows how long an item has left and downloads it straight to the desktop. No more searching files and folders and you can even open the installation files from the download manager itself.

          I cannot be bothered with the hassle
          *****************************

          Do not worry. Firefox is made for ease of transfer and automatically transfers all your favourites, Internet history, cookies and passwords to its system. At a small 4.7MB download it really could not be any easier. Firefox works on a fairly minimal PC and all operating systems Windows 98 onwards including Linux and Mac.

          How fast is it?
          ************

          Fast! A little faster than IE with its basic configuration but you can tweak it to warp speed by typing about:config into the address bar and changing network pipelining to true then max requests to 500. Page loading then becomes virtually instantaneous.

          Any disadvantages?
          *****************

          A couple. It can be slower on initial start up than IE and some websites may not appear as they should under Firefox. However, this is usually a sign the website is insecure and such sites should probably be avoided. Nevertheless there is an extension available for Firefox called IE view which allows a page to be loaded in IE if necessary.

          What about the other options?
          *************************

          Of course there are other free browsers out there. Avant and Opera are supposed to be at the very least on a par with Firefox and certainly better than IE. However, I am happy with Firefox and considering the increased security and extra features would not at present consider switching to any other browser.

          Where to download?
          *****************

          For those who are convinced download Firefox at http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/. For those who are not enjoy your pop-ups and adware.










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            16.04.2005 12:08
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            If you're reading this then you have an internet browser installed on your computer, and chances are that it's Microsoft's baby, Internet Explorer (IE). If you're like me, you probably didn't realise that there was any other choice but to carry on using IE, but there is and I discovered Firefox about 5 months ago and haven't looked back.

            ---Getting Firefox---

            Firefox can be downloaded for free, from http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/. It's available in 32 different languages, including English (thank goodness) and for three different Operating Systems (Windows, MAC OS X and Linux i686). The actual download for Windows is 4.7MB and takes less than 2 minutes using a broadband connection. (Mac is 8.9MB, Linux is 8.4MB). As well as being available for download you can order a copy on CD for $5.99 (+delivery).

            ---System Requirements---

            There are different requirements depending on which operating system that you are using, which are :

            -Windows-

            Windows 98 or above (XP recommended)
            Pentium 233MHz (500MHz+ recommended)
            64MB RAM (128MB+ recommended)
            52MB Hard Drive Space

            -Mac-

            Mac OS X 10.1x or later
            PowerPC 604e 266MHz (PowerPC G4 667MHz + recommended)
            G3, G4, 64MB RAM (256MB RAM + recommended)
            72MB Hard Drive Space

            - Linux-

            Linux kernel - 2.2.14 or higher with the following libraries or packages:
            glibc 2.3.2 or higher
            XFree86-3.3.6 or higher
            gtk+2.0 or higher
            fontconfig (also known as xft)
            libstdc++5


            Firefox has been tested on Red Hat Linux 8.0 and later

            Intel Pentium II or AMD K6-III+ 233 MHz CPU (500MHz + recommended)
            64 MB RAM (128 MB RAM + recommended)
            52MB Hard Drive Space

            My computer is running Windows XP and is many times over the minimum recommended specs at:

            Pentium 530 (running at 3000MHz)
            1024MB RAM
            2x200GB Hard drives (350GB free space)

            ---Installation---

            Installation was very easy, once I had downloaded the program, I simply opened it up and followed the very simple instructions, which were basically a case of agreeing to the licensing agreement and choosing whether to install everything or just particular parts of the program. I chose to install everything, and it took a very few minutes before Firefox was on my system and ready to go. A nice little touch was that I was given the option to transfer my settings from IE, which I didn't bother about as this was installed on a "clean" copy of XP and I didn't have any favourites yet.

            ---First Use---

            When you first open Firefox, you have the chance to set it as your default browser, which I did, and then it opens. The first thing I noticed when I opened it, was how well laid out it was, it looked similar to IE, but somehow cleaner. Most of the actual functions were pretty similar but a few had changed name. For example, favourites had been renamed bookmarks. One thing I did find confusing was that there was no history button, but I did manage to find it in the end (it was under the Go button).

            Another immediately noticeable addition was a search bar in top right, which allows you to search several different engines without going to the particular site. I really liked this, although the actual engines were American, you can add others.

            The final noticeable thing about the first use is the intelligent address bar, if you don't know the actual address of a website, you could try just putting keywords into the bar. For example, I was looking for a software DVD player for my computer, so I typed in the words "DVD player" and was taken straight to a site that offered a free player. This also works for Dooyoo, and takes you straight to the site, but unfortunately not for Ciao.

            ---Customising---

            Unlike IE, you can customise the appearance of Firefox, by using themes. These are similar to skins that can be used for Winamp and Windows Media Player and change the appearance of the top bar. I currently have one called Qute installed, which makes it look even more modern. I wouldn't say they make a great deal of difference to how Firefox looks though.

            Of course as with IE you can set any page as your homepage, I currently have Ciao as my start-up page. But unlike IE you can add a number of extensions to improve your browsing experience. There are extensions for more things than I could list but they include improved download managers, bandwidth tester, pop-up blockers and many more.

            ---Security---

            It was because of the lack of security in IE that I decided to take the plunge and change to using Firefox, so the question is, is it any more secure?

            Well I believe it is, for more than one reason. Firstly, as it is used by far fewer people the IE, it's less likely that hackers will be bothered to attempt to hack it. Secondly, since changing over to Firefox I've had no problems with adware or spy ware, or course this may be coincidence, but it might not. The last good point is that it comes with a built-in pop-up blocker, that while not perfect does an excellent job.

            Oh and the fact that it's not integrated into Windows means that if it does become compromised it's less likely that my whole system will be affected.

            ---Actual Use---

            Since I installed Firefox, it has become my default browser and the one I prefer using. Pages load just as quickly, if not quicker, than they did with IE. And a lot of pages actually look a lot better, this is actually because IE displays a lot of websites incorrectly, it's just that most people don't notice (I didn't actually notice until I started writing in JavaScript). While the pop-up blocker does annoy me occasionally, especially when I actually want a pop-up to appear, it is easily disabled for a particular page and does mean that sites such as Ciao and Dooyoo are not filled to the brim with adds.

            Another great feature that I use all the time is the "open in new tab", which instead of opening a page in a complete new window, opens it in the same window you're already in. This means that I don't have loads of open windows in my task bar, and makes moving between web pages easier. For example I can have My Ciao and the Ciao homepage open in the same window and simply toggle between the two. It makes it so much easier to answer guest book messages.

            There are also a few websites that I cannot access while running Firefox, and in these cases I need to fall back on IE, these are however few and far between.

            The thing I really love about Firefox though is the built in download manager, which allows you to pause and re-start downloads, and keeps a record of what you've downloaded. This has proved to be very handy on countless occasions.

            ---Help and Support---

            The help function is extensive and covers all of the different topics that you might need help with. If you can't find the appropriate help here there is also a help forum on the Mozilla website which appears to provide a reasonable level of support from more experienced users.

            ---The Good Points---

            * It's free
            * More Secure than IE
            * Built in pop-up blocker
            * Download Manager
            * Tab browsing
            * Google searchbar
            * Clean modern feel
            * It Works (for most sites)

            ---The Bad Points---

            * Not all websites work, especially those that rely on the .NET framework.


            ---My Opinion---

            If you haven't already guessed I've been completely converted to using Firefox, so much so that a loathe those occasions when I'm forced to use IE. It did take a little while to get used to, but I would say it was totally worth persevering. I had also tried Netscape but found that although it worked better than IE, it just didn't look very nice, but Firefox not only works well but looks good too.

            I am therefore unreservedly recommending this browser to anyone who cares about security on their PC, and wants to improve their surfing experience.

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              22.12.2004 20:10
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              Mozilla Firefox is a very popular internet broswer which is now used by many many corperations and business because of its ease and safety to surf the internet. Mozila firefox comes complete with many functions which IE does not have or i have not seen with it. There is extra protection when surfing via firefox, (i have never had a pop up advertisement while i have used firefox, and no other annoyances) ive been using it for 3 months now. Theres a great function whereby you can access and read and write emails from the tools menu in firefox,. An update feature which allows you to update any plug ins, or file extensions the brower may need. And one of the great things about this software is that when you download something, its like a download accelorator. Its certainly kept my download speed at maximum most of the time.

              Firefox is run by java so it has a different interface to IE, but i still think that Java is a very respectable piece of kit, and that when it works with firefox, there is a lot of extremely fast web page transfers, and a beast or playing java games online. For help in firefox, theres a help function which allows you to go directly to the mozilla website and view the online manual or the offline manual. Bookmarks to save your favourite webapegs and links. You can actually open up the javascript console inside firefox and read any errors which are happening within the application. There are usually errors in the java console, because obviousley web pages and sites you access by internet explorer will be interpreted diferentley by firefox beause of its java interface, and its difference in html coding etc.

              There is an options menu inside firefox which allows you to setup different tings with firefox, like: Homepage, Fonts and colour, languages, default browser setting which you can enable, to check wether firefox is the default browser, and a very nifty device to setup the proxy settings if you connect via a proxy server. A privacy option which gives you a range of functions, like website history, saved form information (which saves details you enter into online forms to save time entering them in later, can be disabled if user doesnt want it) Passwrod saver, which saves your login passwords for different websites, cookie control, and data manger control. An actual web browing option feature which gives you the opportunity to enable or disable the following functions:

              Block pop up windows
              Allow websites to install software
              Load images from websites
              Enable Java
              Enable Javascript.
              Unless you know what you are doing, leave all these details as they are, dont mess around with them because in doing so, you might find yourself not accesing websites and your internet my malfunction.

              Built into firefox there is a downlaod maager, so theres options for the destination folder where all downloads should go,. And theres a whole more range of functions whic hcan keep your tweaking hands at bay. So i reccomend this to you because of its powerfulness, safetyness, and itdoesanythingness.
              And best of all its FREE!!! hehe!!
              Me and my free stuff :P

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                01.06.2004 16:53
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                Well, the title Kind of gives it a bad name, what I meant to say was that Mozilla actaully is like Godzilla cause its better and larger than Internet Explorer! I have recently had to reinstall windows and I found that internet explorer had suddenly decided not to work, and be very slow, even more so than normal. I have used Internet explorer for the past six Years, I Have never used Another browser, apart from Netscape navigator, don?t bother, for about one day. I have always stood closely to internet explorer, until this week, when I wanted to change. I had already heard of Mozilla and some other open source Browsers, so I looked for Mozilla 1.5, well I now have the update to Mozilla 1.6, but there isn?t much difference anyway. So I decided to go to their homepage, http://www.mozilla.org/start/1.6/, and looked for a download source. The main browser for Mozilla is around 11.3MB, about three mins on a broadband connection for me. The good thing about it is that its completely free, and made by people who know about computers, not Microsoft then! Mozilla also do Mozilla firebird, a cut down version of Mozilla very handy for general browsing, I went for the larger one. This browser is highly stable, most people who don?t want to use internet explorer use this one, as they are almost the same, but Mozilla doesn?t have the security holes in it. Probably one of the most secure, and stable, Mozilla is the one to go for. One thing is that Mozilla 1.4 is actually Netscape 7.1, but much better. But I will not refer to firebird much because it?s the wrong category to do so. You can get add-ons for it, themes, that do not hinder its great stability, plugins/updates. You can customize what it looks like, how is handles website, what the toolbar contains, and even lets you search in Google using the address-bar. New features and updates from the old include the following ? ---An Improved download manager ---A
                n IRC client, very useful for chatting ---email composer ---address book ---improved form filler, for usernames and passwords ---email client Plus, loads of smaller updates and add-ons that have proved to be very useful. You can hide all the toolbars if you want to, so you have more browsing room. Many features in Mozilla are very similar to Internet explorer. Like internet explorer, An email client comes with it, very useful, and much better than outlooks express, I personally prefer outlook 2003. For those of you that are going to use Mozilla, I would recommend anyone to, on the main website page, they have some very useful tips for internet explorer users and on the main browser, and they have a bookmarks folder, which includes a folder for your internet explorer favourites. There also is included an IRC client, this can be very useful, at times. And I love to us it when I get bored or have nothing else to do. Because Mozilla is so customizable, you kind of get very used to it in a very short amount of time, which is good for impatient people like me. I thought that Mozilla was a very fast browser, It worked on 9/10 pages that I browse through, I mean, really, I have actually found a site that doesn?t work for me yet. More and more pages are being made to be compatible with Mozilla, so you have not a problem there. Mozilla isn?t so good at handling flash and shockwave animations, I mean, its ok for simple games and stuff, java, JavaScript and all that, but it cant keep up with flash. The plug-in for flash for Mozilla isn?t even the newest one. Installing the main browser was very easy, and unlike internet explorer, you don?t have to download the program as you install it. God I hate it when programs do that, and companies. The install program takes about five mins, maybe less to install. Every body makes a big thing of installing something new, like a browser, but this was very easy. B
                est of all, the software is totally free, so you be rest assured that you are not going to be bothered with advertising, and you get great support from the developers. The email client is good, with is lows and highs, but all in all, Mozilla is a very good browser to sue for general browsing. Other features, like page sourcing, Image tools, downloads managers, popup blockers, all come as standard, they are not advertised as being some extra feature that you have to pay for. I would recommend any to use Mozilla, maybe not some people who prefer Internet explorer, obviously, but anyone who wants a change from boring browsing. http://www.mozilla.org/start/1.5/faq/ http://www.mozilla.org/docs/end-user/guide/get-started.html#oh-yeah http://www.mozilla.org

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                  25.03.2003 18:09

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                  Great Browser and free too! - Advantages: Free, Standards Compliant, Fast - Disadvantages: None

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                  03.08.2002 13:33
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                  • "Use Netscape"

                  If you like Netscape, don't really care for Internet Explorer, or just want something new, Mozilla is the choice. This is the core of Netscape, with a cool Graphical User Interface. While it can be hard to manage for non geeks, it can also crash on Linux based systems frequently. This browser is for many operating systems, but honestly stay with Netscape. The plugins are unstable and unsuitable. Get Netscape, or Opera, stay away from IE, and try something different for once.

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