Blast from the past: Netscape 6

While digging throgh the archives, I found a review I wrote of Netscape 6 back in 2000. I rememeber it being printed in the letter pages of .net magazine. By the way,I was 15 when I wrote this..

I started off by downloading the installer, and after about 1 hour, it crashed and failed to resume. So I waited for it to appear on the .net cover disc, and to my excitement, on the 22nd of December 2000 I received issue 80 of .net and installed Netscape 6.

First impressions were OK, at least the installer had worked. The only thing I use communicator for really is to browse newsgroups, and so the first thing I tried was to connect the password protected server I use. Now NS4 didn’t remember my password every session, that was livable, NS6 however can’t even remember it within 1 session, every time I changed group or composed a message I was asked to re-enter my password. Maybe fiddling around in the settings could solve this, but at the speed which NS6 functions, looking around the settings dialogue is a chore. Browsing the web in NS6 was slow and many sites didn’t appear correctly, and please Netscape, for the last time – I DON’T want to join Netcenter!!

So overall, I’m completely unhappy with Netscape 6, it may look nice, but it’s slow and bug-ridden.

Compare it to Internet Explorer and there’s no competition. Internet Explorer works, it works fast, and doesn’t have (as many) annoying bugs. People mock Microsoft for the occasional bug and security hitch, but don’t seem to act the same way with companies like Netscape release a program like this. Netscape is a tacky,  poor quality, below standard web browser suit,  even if it was bundled with Windows sixty times over, I would never use it. Internet Explore works, and I’ll be sticking with my current set of applications: IE5 for web browsing, Eudora for email and Netscape 4 for newsgroups.

That review seems so dated now. “What’s Eudora?” I hear you saying. How times have changed. Now it is IE that is dog-slow and most likely to render your site incorrectly. Microsoft really need to up their game. IE8 might be opening up a new process for each tab, but that’s no excuse for it taking 2 seconds. Chrome manages to do the same and not keep the user waiting. Just as they have done with Windows 7, they need to listen to users. The success of Firefox I believe is not because of its speed or ease of use, they are average, but because if its extentions. It’s a lot more difficult to built an extenion for IE than it is for Firefox.

Announcing Podcast Tool

I download a lot of podcasts. I use iTunes to manage them on my “junk PC” (the one I install the rubbish, but necessary software like Real Player and iTunes, for syncing iPods etc).

However on my laptop I don’t want to be installing iTunes, and a quick search on Google left me thinking there weren’t many lightweight solutions out there for just subscribing to podcasts. Sure a general RSS reader would keep me up to date, but it wouldn’t download the files.
I decided to write my own bit of software, which I’ve aptly named “Podcast Tool”. It basically lets you subscribe to, and download podcasts, remembering which podcasts you’ve listened to. I’m putting it up here for anyone to test and give feedback.

Podcast Tool Main Screen

If you too download a lot of podcasts, then please give it a test.