Friday, 21 July 2017

We internet veterans have seen it all before ...

Many seasoned web users will recall when Netscape Navigator was the browser to have, when your modem had to dial the BT internet number, usually managing to connect after about six tries, when newsgroups were the means of downloading huge 56k jpg pics, sometimes downloading an entire image in fewer than ten minutes. Your modem would drop the connection every hour or so, and data lines were so congested that even a page of plain HTML 1.0 text would take several minutes to load. 

So the dire state of the web today - the results of a mash between secure browsers, greedy Flash, ad-blockers and the attempts of commercial sites to overcome them, is really nothing new. The Telegraph crashes Firefox every other time I load it, one can't watch a streaming video and look at the Evening Standard at the same time (browser locks) and the machine sends at least three crash reports a day back to Firefox HQ.  

Even Blogger is becoming unusable - capcha routines that frustrate participation and make commenting a chore, and unexplained faults that just freeze the screen (oops - there's another one!).

Is this all some great plan to get us out in the open more? Because really I'm as brown as a nut already from working outside and graft hard on house renovation during all the lighter hours. C'mon computer folks - the internet wasn't made for mono-tasking. We're quite capable of placing an eBay order, watching the news and making backgammon moves on the same screen at the same time - so sort yourselves out. 

17 comments:

DeeDee99 said...

The Evening Standard? ........... Why? It was dire even before Little Lord Fauntleroy decided to turn it into a personal vendetta against Theresa May.

Poisonedchalice said...

Firefox? Ditch it. Use (featureless) Chrome if you must but the latest IE from Microsoft is just fine. Install the free version of Malwarebytes.

Yes, I well remember the slow old days. I had a customer (Trinity Mirror) who used to have their free-after-eight internet service, "IC24" (do you remember IC24?) hosted on our platform at Brentford Cable & Wireless. Huge quantities of Cisco dial racks with 16,000 available simultaneous ports. And boy, did we make some money out of that lot! Now all gone - including the once-mighty C&W!

Wildgoose said...

Firefox, Vivaldi or Chrome. Avoid IE like the plague, (and I'm not keen on Safari either).

Also, Maxthon is really quick if you're just browsing/reading.

Sobers said...

Chrome seems to work pretty well at the moment. I can't remember the last time it crashed.

John Miller said...

I remember the old days. I remember a great genius and visionary sneering at Netscape Navigator, saying that the internet wouldn't amount to much. A few years later the great man had second thoughts and a crappy Internet Explorer made its debut in Windows.

Dave_G said...


....the excitement at getting the latest 4800 baud modem after being stuck with 1200 baud....

The current 'problems' are down to the lack of compatibility between systems but we all know what would happen if there was a 'global standard'.

Sometimes I hanker for the simpler times - although the internet is very graphical and very much eye-candy there must be some occasion when simple 'text' is more than sufficient thereby increasing speed and reliability?

Dioclese said...

Dumped Safari off my Mac and use Chrome instead. It's just fine. Safari was somewhat flaky.

I use Silk on my cheapo Kindle Fire tablet. I'm not overly fond of it but it works ok as long as you accept you can't block the bloody ads. Problem with the Kindle is that it has limited storage and even if you use something like Naked Browser you can't uninstall Silk, so I just live with it.

Michael said...

You can sometimes wait anything up to a fortnight waiting for the Kent papers to load!

Given up really, and just look out of the window or read a good book! (try David Hewson's 'Sleep baby sleep', it's absolutely riveting)!

RAC said...

Am not highly technical so don't know if I've got this absolutely correct but it seems that if one buys a new desktop now it will only boot win10 or maybe win8, something to do with something called safeboot. Some time ago, couple of years maybe, there was the option in the bios to choose between legacy or UEFI, think that was the interim period when this idea was coming in. Now though this option is no longer available so the choice is win10 only. I stumbled into this minefield when my old machine died recently, having been repaired twice previously and having only a 32 bit processor wasn't worth a third repair. I may have got the wrong end of the stick here but it seems to me that microsoft and the manufacturers have stitched it up nicely for themselves.

GJH said...

Have you considered installing Linux? I installed this on my old PC and was amazed at the speed increase. There are many distributions freely available on the Web. PC/laptops can be bought directly from manufacturers without an operating systm installed. Alternatively, Linux can be installed on a Windows PC that allows dual boot. This means you can run whichever operating system you want from boot up. This requres partitioning the disc and Windows may not read the Linux partition. One is not forced to use Windows. It is just made difficult to avoid it!

Anonymous said...

Commenters here seem to understand the EU more than I do, so may I ask a genuine question?
Why can't we just say, "Get stuffed, we're off. Why would we write a cheque for billions of pounds, why do we need your permission to negotiate trade deals with others?"
I hope someone can spare the time to educate this somewhat naive reader - thank you!

Jay

Anonymous said...

Sorry I've posted above on the wrong thread - going to now copy and paste *rolling eyes*

Jay

RAC said...

@ GJH said 22 July 2017 at 08:34.... Aha that is exactly what I did, stumbled upon a uk manufacturer who was selling brand new blank machines ( a bit of detective work pointed to them being perhaps old stock left on the shelf) however they came with a guarantee and are excellent value. Got one tried it, was happy and because of the value got another as a spare.Compared to my 9 or 10 year old packard bell the bios was horrendously complected but with the aid of a half understood instruction manual I was successful. Now have ubuntu 14, it's (for me) a steep learning curve but once one has the original dvd it doesn't cost anything to do a reinstall,have had it running smoothly for over a month now, so microsoft, google etc., go screw yourselves.

RAC said...

As a P.S. a lot of things wont work or are unsupported for older 32 bit processors even the firefox browser, so think a new 64 bit one is the better option than trying to keep an older machine going.

Ravenscar. said...

Still the go to blog R!

Just a bit trying trying to post if you get my drift but glad you're getting a tan...........working!! hmmm.......aren't you retired mate?

Mind you if you're good, used to graft, you can't sit down - can you?

hee, hee, hee!

And if a jobs worth doing.....havin' said that, I'm sure your help will be top notch!

Ravenscar. said...

Oh FFS have look at this.............

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/831861/general-lord-dannatt-threatened-to-quit-like-French-counterpart

//General Dannatt, who went on to become Chief of the General Staff until he stepped down in 2009, said that he too had come close to quitting, during his turbulent tenure under Tony Blair.//

he thought he'd hang in there just to increase equality and diversity and further fuck up the Army.

Stephen Bayliss said...

You can put chrome on the fire too. Works fine. And you can install Google play to get the whole range of Android apps