Microsoft Internet Explorer Seems More Broken than Ever

IE LogoI know that I rant about the uselessness of Internet Explorer and the virtues of Firefox. That has not changed but it would seem that Internet Explorer is more broken now than it ever has been.

You might be wondering why I have said that. Since my discovery of Firefox I have not used Internet Explorer, for anything. I mean nothing, if a site does not let me view their content in Firefox; I don't bother. Or if I really have to I use the IETab extension for Firefox. So lately I have had cause to test a webpage using Internet Explorer and a few other things, much to my disgust. What I have noticed is that there are so many images, icons, logos, pictures and other elements that just will not load in Internet explorer, they display the box with the red X in the top. The big one being the cool new player we have on the podcast homepage fails to load! When the majority of people surfing the web are doing it in IE that's a big deal!

Is this because the Microsoft boys are concentrating on the up and coming release of Internet Explorer 7 and neglecting this version. Or perhaps it is the fact that the sites that I frequent are sites that "geeks" use and therefore the sites are optimised for Firefox. I just have no clue really. I will say that when I was writing the Global Geek Podcast Homepage, it was much easier to code it for Firefox than Internet Explorer, by a long shot. We are currently doing a rebuild of the site and that continues to be the case. Suffice to say that the site will be optimised for Firefox, yes you will be able to load it in IE but it will not be as pretty.
Having said all that the things that refuse to load in IE are not critical to the site but eh, it is a browser; it is supposed to do it! This is however what we have com to expect from this browser.

So to this just adds to reasons not to use IE, along with the fact that Firefox is a superior browser, both for functionality and form. In addition to the fact that it is highly customisable and is more secure.

Be smart, make the switch.

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Skype 2.5 Installed: I am Over my Hissy Fit

Skype2.5Well I was a "tad" peeved off that this release of Skype did not include a record function and I had decided that I wasn't downloading it until I got over that. But after some encouragement from Sebastian I decided to install it.

I was pleasantly surprised at what I found. The "new" Skype is not all that new, rather more functional. The install is all the same and that had no problems. The first really noticeable thing was that the audio quality is better and there is greater emphasis on that with the inclusion of a "quality monitor". Not sure how that works as I do not have that many issues related to audio quality because I have a pretty quick connection. The problems that do occur are usually related to lag or resources pressure on the other person or person's local machine. And that I am afraid is unavoidable.

I said that I did not think I would use the SMS function. But I have actually found myself using it a lot. Like today I have come online, I got a message that someone wanted to talk to me, they are online but not answering. So I have SMS'ed him and now he knows I am here: he is yet to turn up though. But I think that it is cool that I can do that. The reason that I hate SMS is the fact that it is a pain in the butt when I am used to a keyboard. Having the ability to SMS from Skype actually makes SMS more accessible to me. By the way any reply that is sent to an SMS that I send from Skype goes to my personal mobile, the recipient is none the wiser about where the SMS was sent from. Seamless; an in usual Skype fashion; "It just works".

By the way the cost of an SMS in Australia via Skype is 0.12 AUD and to send an SMS to the UK is 0.13 AUD. I was told today by a colleague that the cost to the UK is normally 0.35 AUD. Definatly a saving there.

I am yet to try the mass call function which can apparently support up to 100 people. I am also yet to investigate Skypecasts, not sure what that's all about but I think it has something to do with this new feature. The thing that bothers me a bit is the fact that when you want to join a Skypecast it says that it says Skype is making a SkypeOut call. Apparently, at this point in time they are not charging you for this service as reported by Andy Bramson. Andy also reports as to the origin of the SkypeOut call, interesting stuff. But I suppose that means they will have that option in the future, we will see what happens. Skypecasts are, as far as I can tell are community chats and conferencing. The scope of this is massive. Imaging a Podcast with 20 others listening, contributing and live! Awesome. Aparently there is a "virtual" microphone that can be handed out by the moderator. I am going to have to explore this as it looks exciting.

Topping up your Skype credit is much easier with 2.5. Which as I have said before is in the interest of Skype. That said it is much easier and it is secure.

There are some other minor additions like the fact that the modern ring-tone has changed yet again to something yet more nauseating! But they have included the "classic" ring-tone that we all love. That is my take on Skype 2.5.
Maybe in the final release they will just drop a record button in there…

Slow Progress & A Steep Learning Curve

Another day and my brain is yet again straining. I am tackling the whole domain thing, how to use them and how to manage them. Which if you are like me is not an easy concept. So for me this whole exercise is quite slow, but I am learning heaps along the way.

So I’ve got these two Domains now what; I say to myself. So after a bit of digging and a phone call to my brother (a real geek), I think I have most of what I want to do sorted out into what I have to do to make it work. I have one domain that I want to use as the domain for the website where the podcast is being hosted. The other domain I want to be able to “point” to the one that I chose. For those asking why; the second domain has a slight variation to it, I want to catch those people putting in that slight variation into their browser. This equates simply to: if a person puts X into their browser then they end up at Y (Y = the podcast homepage). They won’t see what happened but they will be where they intended to go. Plus I don’t want anyone stealing the domain by just making a small change.

Then I go to Libsyn and click on the Sign up page to have a look. It is then I discover that there are name servers to assign a domain if I own one to use on the site. It is here that the phone call to James comes in. Currently my domains are “parked”, I own them but they are not being used for anything. So what I have discovered is that I need to “activate” the domain, and I do this by assigning it name servers, or is that assign it to name servers? So anyways, I see on my administration for my doamins that I can do this. So thats the last job that I have to do tonight. That will take about four to six hours for the .com domains (which mine are) to become active. I am not sure what happens behind it all but this means that when people visit the podcast page they will see the domain as a URL in the address bar. Very cool.

So then the other thing that I need to do is set up domain forwarding for that other domain that I own; this is the X & Y thing. The administration screen for my domains calls it forwarding but apparently for the more geek of you that’s not actually correct, but as I said I am new to all this. That in itself seems a simple process, I can change it back or modify it if I find something isn’t working, which is good. But according to James domains are serious mojo and you can really stuff things up if it isn’t done correctly, so I am checking and double checking everything before I do it. It still scares the hell out of me though.

So the state of The Roosters brain is somewhat mashed up, but I think I am understanding a little bit more as I go on. I hope that this might help anyone else that is trying to get their head around domains and how to use them… Oh crap I was going to talk about web 2.0, oh well time for that and I really want to talk about it – stay tuned.

Lastly, for any errors I apologize in advance, I am not a geek rather just trying my best. So if the terminology is wrong or something is not quite right let me know.

Thanks to Rob Irwin who was the first person that was not family to post a comment, you made my day to think that someone else was reading my blog!