More technical notes

At least some of you have noticed that this weblog has been struggling with spam comments lately. The default spam-handling plugins were losing the battle against the newest variety, and all the capable plugins seemed to be WordPress-only. Well, I finally found one called Akismet that came highly recommended, and in a Movable Type version. Since installing it I haven’t had a spam comment make it through.

Although I’m sympathetic to the reasons for using non-Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers, I’ve stuck with IE through the years for two reasons: (1) laziness, and (2) more than ninety percent of our bookstore customers access the website using IE. I had two other browsers installed on my computer (Firefox and Opera), and would use them occasionally, but the differences never induced me to switch.

In fact, some of the differences encouraged me to stick with IE; different browsers occasionally render the same HTML pages differently, and I wanted to know what 90% of our customers were seeing. For example, there has been a problem with the navigation sidebar on our website where IE and Opera would display it just fine, but Firefox would show it with wide spaces between the lines. It irritated me, but I could never justify taking the time to track it down to its source.

What did it take to overcome my inertia? A month or so ago some bug crept into the system that would cause IE to crash frequently. That was irritating enough that when Microsoft announced IE version 7, I quickly downloaded and installed it. Well, IE 7 looks nice, but every time I try to select a link from the history list (something I do frequently) the browser crashes. So I had to use Firefox and Opera simply to get some work done—and since they were just as comfy as IE once you got used to them, I just stuck with them rather than try to fix the IE problem.

I have no preference between Firefox and Opera, and right now it seems I’m usually using Firefox. Which encouraged me to fix the display problem with the navigation sidebar. Now the sidebar displays properly in Firefox and Opera—and does something wrong in IE. But not so wrong that I can justify taking the time to track down the source of the problem.


2 thoughts on “More technical notes

  1. My son downloaded Mozilla and loves it. I have used IE and still do because that is what I know and am comfortable with. =)

    By the way, I had a friend stop by yesterday and ask me if I had ever heard of Jerome Lang. Oh, I knew that name sounded so familiar, but I couldn’t place it. So, we looked it up on google and your site came up. Then it hit me where I knew that name from. My friend and her husband are moving in just down the hill from Jerome. I told her about your site and gave her the order form from my catalog so she can order Jerome’s book from you. It’s a small world. She said they will only be about 17 miles from you.

  2. Rick, I use Firefox also, and even though you’re loathe to make too many switches at once, I think you would like the Sage feedread which integrates with the browser and can check your weblogs on the left sidebar while you browse. That way you don’t have to go to a site to check the feeds.

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