This morning I got sick fed-up with Internet Explorer's annoying habit of doing stuff I didn't ask it to. There were also times when it didn't do stuff I explicitly asked it to, but mainly it's the feeling that I'm not in control of my computer that hacked me off in the end.
You would hope that Microsoft never have a crack developing software for Life Support systems or Nuclear Power Stations. Sometimes you just want a machine to do what it's told to and not get ideas above its station.
So, as of this morning, the Stan Clan's three computers are all Firefox'ed up. There's no simple way to uninstall Internal Explorer, but you can take it off the Start Menu, and set Firefox to be the default browser, and this is what we've done.
And the difference is amazing. No unexpected actions from the browser, more reliable pop-up control, fewer hard-to-find settings (never did work out to get Java working properly on IE).
And also the ease with which the browser can be customised - I have a high-tech masculine skin on my laptop's browser (RedShift v2), Stanetta is experimenting with the "Simpson's Movie" skin where all the icons are donuts on her laptop, and in honour of Mrs. Stan, we are having a mad Hawaiian rainbow theme on the main PC upstairs ("The Computer in the Sky").
All of this, plus the ability to set multiple "Home" pages and probably a whole host of cool stuff I haven't worked out yet.
There's also something pleasing about not using a Microsoft product, in much the same way as it's pleasing to not buy your groceries from Tesco and to get your coffee from a local independent and not from Starbucks.
And how much did all this cost me ? Well, exactly the same "Nothing" that Internet Explorer cost me. It just took ten minutes to make the changes (and then as long as you feel like clowning around with the new features).
I don't know why I've stuck with IE so long. Sheer blooming laziness I'm sure. I hope there's nothing else in my life that I'm persevering with for that reason - although not everything in life is as simple as changing web browsers.