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2006 November 10 - If you want to stay on the "cutting edge" of internet browsing, it may be time to upgrade your browser or try a new one. If you are using windows then you have Internet Explorer installed as your default browser. You can and should try other browsers. The best in a lot of peoples opinions is Firefox, from the wonderful people at Mozilla, which has just been updated to version 2.0. Click here to get it (it's free). As I'm writing this I have just been busy updating Firefox myself. I must mention that the update went off without a hitch. Since I updated Firefox I thought I should also update Internet Explorer, which also has gone up a version level to 7.0. Click here to get it. Unfortunately, during that update something went wrong and I was forced to restart the computer so while waiting for the other computer to restart I decided to write this missive. After the restart, I discovered a shortcut on my desktop and clicked on it. I was directed to Microsoft's website to an article on trouble shooting this particular problem. Hmmm, seems to me that I'm not the only person to have had trouble installing this update. As the saga continues, it's now 2006 November 12, and I thought, well maybe there's an update for Winxp that I missed. So I tooled on over to Windows update, where I looked for updates by clicking the "custom" button (actually, after things settled down at windows update, Internet Explorer 7 was listed as a priority update). To make a long story short, after "updating" I couldn't get on the internet. Quickly, I went to Start>all programs>accessories>system tools>system restore and noticed an entry for four minutes before the alleged "update". I went through the process involved( click this, click that) and restored my computer to it's pristine state before the "update". Okay, now where was I. Oh yeah, trying to upgrade Windows Internet Explorer from version 6 to version 7. Now I want to make clear one thing. I'm not an anti Microsoft Nazi. I'm using FrontPage to write this. However, certain things should be, well pain free. If going from one version number to another of the same software from the same company is this difficult for someone who has almost 20 years experience using computers, then imagine a novice user trying to do the same. By the way, since we're on the subject, here's a link to another "alternate" browser, Opera (it's free). Somehow I think that this may also constitute a pain free install, seeing how I've never had a problem with it. Actually just now there is recent news on this front. My daughter, age 16, was able to install Firefox 2.0 successfully within 2 minutes on her computer and is still waiting after 30 minutes to finish installing Internet Explorer 7.0. As an aside, she got bored and decided to mess around with Itunes in the meantime and I don't blame her one bit. Later on I discover the update was successful. A different computer, with different software installed (although the same operating system) does make the difference.
November 22, 2006 - The saga continues. Recently a browser called "Deepnet Explorer" has captured my limited attention. If you want to try it click here. It seems to be an alternate browser based on Internet Explorer (actually, not true. It uses half of what I.I is made of and adds to this so it's more like a hybrid). I looked it up and downloaded it using the opera browser with no discernable problems. In fact, the download was quick and the install was the same. At the end of the install, you get the usual " Deepnet Explorer is currently not the default web browser. Would you like to make it the default web browser?". Like at the end of the first date, the guy goes " John is not the default boyfriend. Would you like to make John the default boyfriend?" I mean, who are these people? I only just met this browser. Who say's " it's the one"? Needless to say I unchecked the "always check to see whether it's the default browser" checkbox. Talk about insecurity. I'll let you know if your the "default" browser buddy! Actually, I don't mean to make fun. This is a good browser that deserves more attention. I'm quite happy with the install (painless) and it does every thing it's supposed to do. It's definitely "dateable". Mysteriously, and only after I installed deepnet explorer and decided to try I.E. 7 again from the windows update site was I successful. Was it worth it? I don't know know. I just want to do what I want to do when I want to do it. It doesn't matter to me one bit whose browser I'm using as long as it works for me not against me. When that happens, I start looking for an alternative.
2006 November 29 - I thought this story was over, but no it continues. While applying the vaunted Internet Explorer 7 update to a third computer (this one a semi important one as it's my wife's and she uses it for school online and the internet can't be down) I broke the internet. What I should say is I.E. 7 broke it. After the install which was reported as successful, I rebooted as instructed. After it restarted, there was a message about a "registry recovery". It too said it was successful. Then I clicked on the Internet Explorer icon and nothing. Well there was something but you can't blink while it's happening. The screen flashes for an instant and then.... nothing. No window, no internet, nothing.
2006 December 12 - This ended up being a non - event for me but not for anybody else not prepared for this type of occurrence. What I ended up doing was installing Firefox 2 and continuing on as if nothing happened ( after a harrowing attempt to make sure that all the sited my wife needed to go to worked with Firefox. Occasionally, some sites won't work with Firefox but they are usually designed to work with I.E only. A good example here would be windows update, which when you think about it, should work with any browser, anytime). I can sort this out at my leisure but someone else in the same circumstance may not be able to. I had access to other computers and a network which provided me with the resources needed to make things better in a short period of time. I don't think anybody should be as carefree as I was. Number one, I would create a system restore point before you begin trying this upgrade (a lot of programs create them automatically, but I want my own, thank you). Number two, I would have a copy of an alternate browser on hand, just in case. Number three, I would cross my fingers, as after a recent web search it was revealed to me that I was not alone by any measure as to my suffering this particular "upgrade".
2007 January 20 - I know I'm dragging this out but there is a conclusion to this story. As late as it is I finally got around to trying to rectify the problem that occurred on my third install of Internet Explorer 7. To recap, it never installed properly and the result was a browser that did not work and accompanying error messages. The way that I used to fix this particular problem was simple provided that I still had a way to access the web. I went to Microsoft's website and downloaded the full install for I.E 7 and then proceeded to install it over the old install without attempting to remove it. This was successful and provided me with what I wanted, an end to this prolonged story and the choice of more than one browser. Mission accomplished.
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