joi, 10 decembrie 2009

Battle of the Browsers

So, we have 4 major browsers, with each one having a piece of the statistics pie, which goes something like this:
  • Internet Explorer: 60,10 %
  • Firefox: 28,29%
  • Safari: 4,47%
  • Chrome: 4,58%
  • Opera: 2,02%
(Source Wikipedia)

So, the prize goes to Internet Explorer, a crappy web-browser, slow, ugly and insecure. The second best, is my ex-all-time-favorite, Mozilla's Firefox, a great browser, but a little old-school, in my opinion. The third medal goes to Apple's Safari. Out of that 4,47%, the procentage of users that are using Sarafi, on a different OS than Mac OS, is about 0,2% in my opinion. I, never used it, I don't know how good, or fast or secure it is, but I hear good things.
Now let me tell you about the 4th one. I've been talking lately about the Chrome OS, well this is the browser :). That means that you browse the internet with it :D. Simple right? Chrome is a relatively new browser. I've been using it since the launch of the 4 beta version. Why did I migrate from Firefox? Well, it gave me something totally new, called the BookmarkSync. Before, when I reinstalled my operating system, in Firefox, I had to export my bookmarks, reinstall the system, then import them back. What Chrome let's you do, is sync them with your Google Account, so you just have to login and Chrome does the rest. Now you can sync them between the same computer, after you reinstall an OS, or you have more than one computer on which you need the same bookmarks. It's great!
Here's a small demo from the people of Google

In my opinion, the only thing that kept Chrome under Firefox in accesability was Firefox's capability to use extensions. You know... The small pieces of code, that develop into a small program that works in your browser. Yeah, the one that let's you twitt from your menu bar, or the weather forecast, or the addblocker up there, those are all extensions. Basically anything that you add to your browser in order to make it more to your likeing is a extension. Well, since last night, Chrome has them too. The last version launched, supports extensions, and in a better way than Firefox does even. You just have to click them, they will automatically download, ask you if you want them installed, and if you click yes, they will appear straight in your address bar. No browser restart required, no nothing, just works with two clicks! Today I tried and installed about 20 extensions at the same time, and neither the OS or the browser, were the bit least affected about their presence. No lags, or crashes or anything, they simply work great. And if you used Firefox with extensions, you should know, that after a few installs, the browser started to feel a bit tired.

In the end, get Chrome Beta here, and the extensions here, and just have your fun with them :)

PS: Lately I've been writing a lot about Google, but this isn't a "I (heart) Google" blog, it's a personal tech blog, so my next post will be about a few cool tips&tricks in Windows 7.

vineri, 4 decembrie 2009

Chromium OS review

So, I've been a little busy this couple of days, but the good part is that I've also been using Chromium OS, the Chrome open sourse version, on my netbook. Now, you can find and download the Chrome beta version for download. I got it here. Just register and download the virtual machine file. But I will talk about the version of Chromium that I used because it was precompiled for netbook usage. If you want a download link just email me, because, it's compiled by someone, and I don't want to take credit for his work.

So, how can I put it short? I like it, but it won't catch as a desktop operating system, and you'll se why. I used it on my Asus eee701 4gb surf version, and ran it from a 8gb stick. You won't need 8gb, don't worry, it only uses about 700mb of space.

So I stick in my stick (:D) into the netbook's USB, and boot from it. To tell you the truth, that was a freaking fast boot! They didn't lie, I used my phone to time the boot, it really took just about over 7 seconds before I got the blue LOGON screen (don't worry, it isn't the Blue Screen of Death). Now I have to introduce my Google account, but, the version I used, precompiled for a netbook, was created so it would open the OS, without being connected to the Internet, so I've inserted a standard user and password, took from the download site. Before I've installed it, I've read online that on a similar eee, the WiFi didn't work, well, for me it did. I saw my home network imediatly, and connected to it using wep encryption. The first thing that caught my attention was the grim way the touchpad worked. It was very slow, and had to tap it real hard for it to click, but after a few minutes I found in the settings menu the sensitivity settings for it, so I managed to set it right.

Now, when it started, I wasn't surprise to see that actually the whole operating system was the Google Chrome web browser. The main window features a series of common used "aplications", that are actually web-links like Gmail, Y!Mail, Hotmail, Youtube, Twitter, etc... You even have a "get more" link, but that doesn't work now.

So, that's about all you can do with it, about now. Browse the web, communicate, manage your documents and appointments via GDocs and GCalendar, all of these, online. Me, being a avid user of both Google services, I managed to do a small part of my work using this OS, so I was pleased. What displeased me, was that I didn't have sound playing clips online, on both Chromium netbook and Chrome Virtual Machine.

Why did I say it won't catch as a desktop system? Well, as much as we are all Internet depending people, we still have to have our Photoshops or word processors or music and movies on our harddrives, something that will be impossible on Chrome.

So, that's the first look at Google's new operating system. I'll let you know more, when I find something new that it's interesting to share.

PS: Chrome OS beta, won't run very good on a virtual machine with less the 1Gb of ram assigned to it, but it will let you logon to the system using your own Google account!