Mozilla and stuff -- 12/09/03

I've been using Mozilla as my main browser for quite some time now.

The first widespread graphical browser -- Mosaic -- was released around ten years ago. That browser was the result of an NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing Applications) software project. A young man named Marc Andreessen, who had been a leader on that project, got together with an entrepreneur named Jim Clark, founder of Silicon Graphics, to form a new software company which they eventually called Netscape Communications. They recruited many of the people who had worked on Mosaic and in December of 1994 introduced Netscape 1.0.

Netscape pushed browser development, frequently going beyond the standards by introducing "extensions" and leaving it to the standards body to play catch-up. At first Microsoft downplayed the importance of browsers, bringing out IE 1.0 in August of the next year, a "me too" product that lagged behind Netscape. Netscape owned the browser market, having an overwhelming market share. But then Microsoft began to pay attention to Netscape's bragging that their browser would eventually be more important than the operating system. Once Microsoft woke up, they poured resources into catching up with and then passing Netscape. Now Microsoft has an overwhelming share of the browser market.

Netscape and Internet Explorer are both based on the framework of Mosaic. Opera has a different origin. It began as an internal project at Telenor, the Norwegian telephone company. In 1995 Telenor allowed its engineers who had created the code to continued development in a new company, Opera Software. I installed Opera 6.01 on my laptop sometime last year just to have a third option to compare with IE and Netscape. I understand that Opera 7.0 was released at the beginning of this year, but I've become so accustomed to Mozilla that I've never bothered to download the newest Opera.

Mozilla began as an open-source version of Netscape -- I believe the final version of Netscape was very similar to the first release of Mozilla. (The original version of Netscape back in '94 had been code named Mozilla, so the open-source project was named in its honor.) I downloaded Mozilla a year or so ago -- Mozilla 1.2 I believe it was. Since then I've upgraded to Mozilla 1.3. When I got a new desktop machine at home I downloaded Mozilla 1.4. Mozilla has become my browser-of-choice. I keep the IE on my laptop updated because I have specific job-related need for that browser, but for just about everything else I use Mozilla.

Just before Thanksgiving, I was having an email discussion with Bonnie about popup ads. (If you are using IE right now on this page you probably had Geocities ads popping up onto your screen.) I explained that it is very easy to block popups with Mozilla. I mentioned that there was a new version of Mozilla available -- Mozilla 1.5 -- and decided that it was about time that I updated. So, a few days later, I downloaded Mozilla 1.5 and have been using it since then. It works just fine. One of the delightful features of Mozilla is how easy it makes it to block popups.

Here's how easy it is to block popups in Mozilla -- no need to install any additional softwae
  • Click on Edit on the toolbar at the top of the screen -- this will give you a dropdown menu
  • Click on Preferences on that dropdown menu -- this will give you a Preferences screen
  • Click on the plus sign (+)in front of Privacy & Security in the category column at the left of that screen
  • Click on Popup Windows (in that list under Privacy & Security)
  • Click in the box (place a check mark) in front of "Block unrequested popup windows"
  • Click OK
There is just one website where I've had a problem with Mozilla -- Stefani Tadio's website does not display properly using Mozilla (nor in any other browser I've tried except for Internet Explorer -- her site looks fine in IE) -- this is the only site I visit regularly that gives Mozilla difficulty and I can't figure it out. Her other site -- Pine Tree Designs (Stefani creates and sells hand-crafted greeting cards) -- displays fine in Mozilla.

So there was this plastic container filled with jars of spices and someone put the container on a stool in front of a window in our kitchen... and then someone else tossed a sweatshirt on top of the container... so naturally that's where a cat would decide to sit, right? And to get there Tiger had to jump up onto a matching stool on the left side of that table thing (the stool where he usually sits to look out the window into the back yard) and then walk across that table thing (it's actually a wine rack), and edge his way past the large plant. This is the kind of route that makes sense if you are a furry little feline (or even a fat feline).

There's a white board on the wall in our kitchen. It's a handy place to write down messages, reminders, shopping lists, queries, complaints, phone numbers, etc.

It also becomes a place to draw cartoons, etc. Jill is especially fond of posting little drawings and Tiger is frequently the star of her cartoons. (That's a cup of coffee drawn in the upper left corner of the picture; coffee ranks in a strong second place in Jill's white board cartooning.)

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