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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 11:06 PM
Original message
The Firefox Explosion
For Rob Davis, the final straw came during a beautiful weekend last summer, which he spent holed up in his Minneapolis apartment killing a zombie. The week before, a malicious software program had invaded Davis' PC through his browser, Internet Explorer, using a technique called the DSO exploit. His computer had been repurposed as a "zombie box" - its CPU and bandwidth co-opted to pump reams of spam onto the Internet. Furious, Davis dropped out of a planned Lake Superior camping trip to instead back up his computer and reformat his crippled hard drive. Then he vowed never to open IE again.

Lucky for Davis, a new browser had just appeared on the scene - Firefox, a fast, simple, and secure piece of software that was winning acclaim from others who also had grown frustrated with Internet Explorer. A programmer friend told Davis about Firefox. He didn't know that the browser was an open source project and a descendant of Netscape Navigator now poised to avenge Netscape's defeat at the hands of Microsoft. He just knew that he didn't want to waste another weekend cursing at his machine. So Davis drove to the friend's house and copied Firefox onto his battered laptop. He hasn't had a problem since - and now he's telling anybody who will listen about Firefox's virtues. "I'm no anti-Microsoft zealot, but it's unconscionable that they make 98 percent of the operating systems in the world and they let things like this happen to people," says Davis, a PR man by day who liked Firefox so much that he initiated a fundraising campaign to help promote the browser. "There's a lot of pain out there."

Firefox couldn't have arrived at a better time for people like Davis - or at a worse time for Microsoft. Ever since Internet Explorer toppled Netscape in 1998, browser innovation has been more or less limited to pop-up ads, spyware, and viruses. Over the past six years, IE has become a third world bus depot, the gathering point for a crush of hawkers, con artists, and pickpockets. The recent outbreak of malware - from the spyware on Davis' machine to the .ject Trojan, which uses a bug in IE to snatch sensitive data from an infected PC - has prompted early adopters to look for an alternate Web browser. Even in beta, Firefox's clean, intuitive interface, quick page-loading, and ability to elude intruders elicited a thunderous response. In the month following its official November launch, more than 10 million people downloaded Firefox, taking the first noticeable bite out of IE's market share since the browser wars of the mid-'90s.

Like most open source software, Firefox is forever a work in progress, the product of continual tweaking by thousands of programmers all over the world. But two people in particular are most responsible for the browser's success: Blake Ross, an angular, hyperkinetic 19-year-old Stanford sophomore with spiky black hair, and Ben Goodger, a stout, soft-spoken 24-year-old New Zealander. At age 14, Ross, logging on to his family's America Online account, started fixing bugs for the Mozilla Group, a cadre of programmers responsible for maintaining the source code of Netscape's browsers. Ross quickly became disenchanted with Netscape's feature creep and in 2002 brashly decided to splinter off and develop a pared-down, fast, easy-to-use browser. Goodger, who plays the David Filo or Larry Page to Ross' frontman, took the reins when Ross became a full-time college student in 2003. Goodger pulled the project's loose ends together and whipped the browser into shape for the release of Firefox 1.0 late last year.
<snip>

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.02/firefox.html
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 11:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. So Should I Make The Switch?
I always hated Explorer. Is it gonna cause me a lot of problems on my laptop/take a lot of time? Or is it pretty simple to do? What about transfering my bookmarks?
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Hand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. No problem...
Firefox installs in about two minutes, doesn't seem to conflict with anything, and will import bookmarks from any other browser. Get it today--no, get it YESTERDAY! You'll never go back.

:hi:
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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. O.K.! I'm going back to yesterday to get it...
so I will have it tomorrow! Thanks! :-)
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Emillereid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 02:02 AM
Response to Reply #4
39. Is there anyway one can get rid of explorer on a windows machine --
I am so tired of dealing with adware, spyware and viruses on my daughter's windows machine I could scream-- they all seem to use explorer to get on. BTW, I have a spyware program and symantec firewall -- and still they get through!@!!!
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #39
40. No - But Try This
You can't get rid of explorer without seriously destabilizing your system. In fact I don't even think you could do it, period.

Here's what you can do though. First get Firefox and install it, then delete all the shortcuts for Internet Explorer. That way you won't even be tempted to click on it.

Ok you still might get spyware popups that are there as legacys on your system. Some of them are REALLY tricky and will sit there hidden somewhere on your system just waiting. You need to get rid of them.

First get rid of any programs on your computer that might have bundled adware/spyware. Anything you use but never paid from a download is a good bet here. Any file sharing software such as Kazaa or Bearshare or Limewire etc. Get rid of them. They'll keep bringing in more as long as they're there.

Now do the spyware scans. I recomend using Adaware, then using Spybot search and destroy. Once those have both run and done their cleaning run Bazooka. This one I've found to be the best last resort program. It doesn't clean anything but it will explain to you how. Most likely after doing all the rest you might still have one or two spyware programs sitting around. It'll give you an explanation on how to manually remove the spyware. you'll have to touch the registry so go slow, and follow the instructions.

If you do all that, and keep your windows up to date on your security, and run an anti-virus program...you should be ok. Just no 'free' software that packages bad stuff, and no IE.

Still. Computers can get so infested (I saw one once with over 500 malware programs on it...it was practically unrunable) that in my opinion you're best to start from scratch. That is, back up all your important files on CD etc, and essentially reformat your hard drive and reinstall windows from scratch. It's easier than it sounds as long as you back stuff up first. If you are curious about that let me know and I'll explain to you how to do it.

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Emillereid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #40
43. Wow -- thanks so much for the great reply.
I have been fussing with my daughter's computer for several months now trying to clean it out. I first tried to re-format but I couldn't figure out how. I downloaded spybot and got Norton's -- they discovered 235 adware things and 27 viruses -- it had become completely unworkable. Even though I have spybot running its immunizing program and norton's firewall -- the adware things still manage to get in somehow. I've instructed everyone to use only netscape -- and that has the pop up blocker on. I've gone into the registry before to manually take out stuff. Because of all the problems on the machine my family doesn't want to use it -- they like my mac instead! There's not a whole lot on the computer that we want to keep that can't be reinstalled -- I wouldn't mind reformatting -- but I haven't figured out how. BTW, I have a feeling that Kazaa was the original problem.
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Ravenseye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. 10 bucks on kazaa
That program infests your computer worse than visiting a 10 dollar brothel in cambodia.

If you want to reformat here's my advice. It assumes you're using Windows XP, but if you are using an earlier version it's only slightly different.

1) First get everything off that computer you want to keep. If it remains on the computer it'll be gone for good. Export your emails if you use Outlook into a PST and save that. If you play games on the computer that uses save games you want to keep grab those. Grab your favorites folder if you want to keep your bookmarks etc. Go through it 2 or 3 times just to be sure you have everything.

2) Get your Windows XP disc out and make sure you have the liscence number for it (usually on the disc casing). Put it in your CD drive and then reboot your computer. When your computer first boots it goes to the bios screen. That's the black screen where it lists out your memory etc right before windows loads. Hit F8 when this screen comes up and it should load you into the BIOS. It'll look like an old DOS command screen. Go through it till you find the boot drive. The default is the hard drive. change this to be your CD-ROM. Save and Exit

3) You should now boot from the windows XP cd. Go through the options and one of them will be to reformat the drive and reinstall windows. Do that. Choose the full reformat and it'll completely remove all data from the hard drive, and thena fter thats done (can take awhile) it will reinstall windows.

Don't forget to have all your drivers for any sound cards etc at the ready. The process will take hours but it's nice to have a freshly scrubbed computer. AFter you install windows and it's running the first thing you should do is go to the windows update site and get each and every update and patch they offer.

Then it's just a matter of reinstalling software avoiding things like kazaa and using Firefox.

Hope that helps.

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Emillereid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. I'll try it on Monday -- I'll let you know. Thanks so much.
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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Easy
I am a computer dope and I switched easily. I think it saves your bookmarks, I can't remember. No problems at all since I switched, none and it is fast, easy to use and looks great. Do it you will not be sorry.
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NYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. Transferring bookmarks is simple.
In the toolbar, there is a place where you can say "import bookmarks". I did it for a friend about a week ago.

He switched to Firefox about a month ago, and loves it.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. I use Firefox for everything but a few dumb games
that don't play well on it, even with the appropriate plugins.

After you get used to finding all the same features that IE has in different places, you'll probably never go back to IE.

It's well worth the download.
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buzzard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #11
24. I use safari do you know if it is better?
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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #24
35. I use both
Firefox was all around 'better' on 10.2 than Safari. Safari seems to have improved in the areas it was deficient in 10.3. I used to have a lot of trouble with Safari gobbling memory and not giving it back. Now it seems much better behaved.

That being said, I find myself using Firefox most of the time, But use Safari for one or two troublesome java applets. Nothing wrong with Safari, though. I use the WebKit framework (Safari's guts) for embedding a browser in a couple of programs I've written.

Safari's rendering engine is based in large part on the Konqueror one in KDE on Linux, so they both have open source roots.

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BunnyPuncher Donating Member (17 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
23. I've only had one issue with firefox....
and that is that it does lurch to a halt opening .pdf files some times...

But I prefer the anticipated crash to the random and frequent crashes that caused me to bail on IE.

Overall.. I give it an A+ and run it both at home and the office.
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slor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #1
42. I did a few weeks ago, and all I can say...
is WHY THE HELL DID I WAIT SO LONG!!!!
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Hand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 11:20 PM
Response to Original message
2. Firefox definitely rules!
I've hated IE since it first appeared. Firefox os everything you want in a browser--fast, simple, loaded with features but not bloatware, and a hell of a lot more secure.

Open Source seems to have something going, after all. Geez, who'da thunk it?

:toast:
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NYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 11:20 PM
Response to Original message
3. Thanks. A friend of mine has DSO Exploit show up every time
he runs Spy Bot. He always tells it to delete, but even if he runs Spy Bot 20 minutes later, DSO Exploit is there again.

I've sent him this article, but it really doesn't say enough about DSO Exploit.

My friend was using Internet Explorer. I told him to switch to Mozilla over a year ago, but he was reluctant. About a month ago, he finally got Firefox. He loves it. Feels more secure. But, he is still stuck with DSO Exploit.
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satya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. If he's using Firefox now, the exploit can't do anything.
If he's comfortable editing his registry, he might be able to get rid of it:

link

(I haven't tried this myself, so I can't vouch for its accuracy or safety)
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NYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Thanks. As soon as I saw this thread, I sent him the article,
and I sent him instructions of how to remove DSO Exploit. However, if he can't follow the instructions exactly, he won't be able to do it. In other words, if the location is the slightest bit different, all bets are off.

However, he at least has Spy Bot & now Firefox, so I'll convince him that he's okay.

Thanks for the help.
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Outrider Donating Member (126 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 11:24 PM
Response to Original message
6. Tabs are great
The addition of tabbed browsing is a great improvement. I no longer have to have multiple browser windows open when I'm online. Also the ability to open all of the bookmarked sites in a folder in tabs is fun.
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Acryliccalico Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
9. Love it!
:kick:
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 11:41 PM
Response to Original message
10. I downloaded it from the site 2 weeks ago. Simple as ABC, and have not
Edited on Thu Jan-27-05 11:43 PM by BrklynLiberal
opened IE since. It automaticially copies everything for you from your IE settings, bookmarks, etc. Absolutely no problem whatsoever.
EDIT: Bonus. With IE, I never saw the animation of the smilies and the avatars. With FOXFIRE, suddenly the world became a much more interesting place.
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satya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 11:50 PM
Response to Original message
12. It's great. There are a lot of "extensions" for it too...
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Pikku Donating Member (292 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 09:22 PM
Response to Original message
15. Just wanted to add my belated praise for Firefox
In the last week, I've swiched over to firefox on both my personal computers and my work/student's computer. I'm trying to convince the school tech person to switch school-wide. (I've cleaned enough spyware/hijacks off the school computers to know we need this).

The installation/switch-over was SO EASY. The download was fast, even over dialup, and Firefox imports most, if not all, of your bookmarks, preferences, Passwords, etc.

The customization is simple, too. (I have a kitty-cat toolbar now.)

I've had NO crashes yet.

Spybot and Ad-Aware have found nothing on my computers since I switched.

The sites I visit all look fine. I haven't tried flash/PDF files yet, but I figure that if I can deal with IE's constant hassles, I can figure out those things.
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bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 10:02 PM
Response to Original message
16. Borrowing from the Net-based grassroots techniques of the recent politica
"Borrowing from the Net-based grassroots techniques of the recent political season..."

sorry... but they got that back-wards, it's just when most folks got to witness the POWER of opensource ;->

peace
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bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
17. "The Tech Pundits (Gartner) Say We (firefox) Can't Do It"
Edited on Tue Feb-15-05 10:08 PM by bpilgrim
Posted by asa on Wed, 02/09/2005 - 17:42 :: Spreading Firefox

SFX TeamGartner is reported as saying that we can't sustain this growth. You all are proving them wrong. No one thought we'd hit 1o million the first month and you all showed them. Those who discounted us said our downloads wouldn't translate into substantial market shares. 25% market share at popular tech sites and taking another percentage point away from IE every month since the release, proves them wrong.

You all are a new kind of force in marketing; you're a grassroots movement that's only going to get stronger as the numbers grow. The analysts, and the tech pundits, and marketing giants of old just don't see it yet. We're going to take advantage of that, and when we hear them discounting our efforts or claiming that it can't be sustained, we'll prove them wrong by rescuing one more person from the nightmares of using obsolete technology to navigate today's web. And that person continues the chain, as you all have, by spreading Firefox to friends and family, co-workers and colleagues, and on and on.

"Not inherently sustainable"? We'll see about that.

more...
http://firefox /

sounds like the tech pundits know as much as the social/political pundits :evilgrin:

psst... pass the word ;->

peace
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. Ha! Indeed. 'Pundit' has become a bad word because they are hired for
idealogy and not genuine merit in their field.
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Egalitarian Donating Member (379 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 11:46 PM
Response to Original message
18. I"ve been pleased since I switched.
I haven't used IE except when Outlook Express opens a link for me. I need to look into how to fix this quirk so I don't need to use it anymore. Tabs are great. Go egalitarians!
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Twillig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. if you've come this far , maybe you're willing to come a little further
and switch to Thunderbird for your email client.

http://www.mozilla.org/products/thunderbird /

I can't rememeber if I did anything or not, but Thunderbird always opens up links for me in Firefox. :beer:
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GreenGreenLimaBean Donating Member (395 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #20
37. thunderbird is a spammers worst nightmare
Edited on Wed Feb-16-05 08:47 PM by GreenGreenLimaBean
i have been using thunderbird for 2 weeks now and it is great. the best feature of it is that it suppresses loading of images on any/all emails you get. if you want the images to load, then 1 click loads them. What this does to spammers is that it leaves them not knowing if the email they sent you went to a real address or not. spammers know your email address is real when they get a request to upload the images in their spam to your address/domain. then they know they hit a real person, so they load up a gazillion more spam messages to your account.

my prediction is that Thunderbird will impact MS more than Firefox by plugging the holes spammers have in Outlook and OutlookExpress.
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hvn_nbr_2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #18
38. That's probably because IE is still set as your "default browser"
but I can't find the way to change that now. When Firefox first comes up, it asks if you want to make it your default browser. If you say "no" but don't check the "don't ask me this question again" box, it keeps asking again every time you start it. (Not every time you open a new window or tab, just every time you start it fresh.) After I used it awhile and decided to make it my default, I said "yes" to that question and now when I click a link in Outlook, it opens in Firefox. I presume Outlook Express works the same way, although assuming Microsoft does something consistently or sensibly is a big assumption.
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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-05 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #18
41. To make Firefox the defualt browser.
In Firefox click on Tools, then Options. Make sure that General options are selected on the left side column and then select Firefox should check to see if it is the default browser when starting.

Next make sure Internet Explorer as default is turned off by going to Tools, Internet Options and select the Programs tab. Make sure there is no check mark next to the option Internet Explorer should check that it is the default browser
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deacon2 Donating Member (396 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-05 11:55 PM
Response to Original message
19. Just switched - Firefox is the real deal
Easy - ridiculously easy - transition from much hated IE. Seems to add greater relevance, fast as can be and no priest required to perform exorcisms after surfing. A tremendous open source victory. I hope Bill Gates is stocking up the Imodium AD, he's really going to need it.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
21. I love mozilla/firefox - especially it's consistency across platforms. nt
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. i have thunderbird (its email) for 3 months now--it, too, works well (vs
Outlook Express which kept freezing up on me)
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
26. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. did you read the article?
it answers that question...

how many new features have you seen in IE in the past 4 years?

tabbed browsing and security alone are worth the switch.

peace
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. "I dont like tabbed browsing and have had no security problems." - lol
whatever

peace
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. "still prefer internet explorer" i didn't know IE ran un linux...
better get your story straight ;->

peace
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. ah... we are comparing FF to IE
hello...

peace
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-16-05 06:32 PM
Response to Original message
36. I just discovered Foxfires 'Find' feature
it's awesome for looking for words or phrases on a webpage.

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