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Alternatives to Microsoft Internet Explorer

radiorahim
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Joined: Jun 17 2002

For those of you still using Microsoft Internet Explorer as your web browser, there are many alternative web browsers available that in general are more secure, often have a better user interface and offer many cool features not available in Internet Explorer.  

Also, you're not continuing to perpetuate IMHO the worst corporate monopoly in the information technology sector.

Installing a new web browser is not hard...in any operating system.   It involves a few mouse clicks.   It's actually harder to deal with some of the features on babble than it is to install a new browser! ;)

So...here they are:

Mozilla Firefox - From the Mozilla Foundation, the "main" alternative to Internet Explorer..."free as in freedom", licensed under the GNU GPL/LGPL and MPL...available for Windows, MacOSX and GNU/Linux operating systems.

Firefox is just incredibly cool...there are hundreds of community built add-ons and extensions for it.

Opera  - From Opera Software in Norway...which I've heard is unionized.  Opera isn't "free as in freedom", it's proprietary.   Opera is available for the Windows, MacOSX, GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, QNX, OS/2 and BeOS operating systems.

I don't normally care much for proprietary software, but I have a bit of a weak spot for Opera.  One of the coolest features about Opera is that it has a built-in bittorrent client!  Also a built-in e-mail programme.

Sea Monkey - From the "Sea Monkey Project".   Sea Monkey is essentially the old "Mozilla" web suite.   The Mozilla Foundation stopped working on it and a new project group picked it up.  One of the cool things you can do with "free as in freedom" software.

Sea Monkey is available for Windows, MacOSX and GNU/Linux.   Since it shares alot of it's codebase with Firefox, some of the Firefox add-ons and extensions will work with it.

One of the cool things about Sea Monkey, is that it has a very simple built-in WYSIYWG webpage creation tool.   It also has a built-in e-mail programme and IRC chat programme.

K-Meleon - is put out by a small group of community software developers and is "free as in freedom" software licensed under the GNU GPL.   It also shares alot of its codebase with Firefox.   My understanding is that the folks behind it thought that Firefox was getting a little bit too "bloated" and wanted to put out something a little more "stripped down" and therefore faster...and it is pretty fast.

K-Meleon is only available for Windows.

Flock - Flock bills itself as "the social browser".  My understanding is that it's also "free as in freedom" software.  It's largely built on the Firefox codebase.   What's different is the user interface.   It's designed to help integrate various social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, photosharing sites like Flickr, video from Youtube along with web based e-mail services and RSS feeds.    Flock is available for Windows, MacOSX and GNU/Linux.

Google Chrome - As the name implies, from Google.   "Under the hood", parts of Google Chrome are licensed under a free software BSD license...but that license allows you to turn free software into proprietary software and so Google has some proprietary stuff running on top of it...so not as "free as in freedom" as Firefox, Sea Monkey and K-Meleon.

Right now Google Chrome is only available for Windows, but versions for MacOSX and GNU/Linux are in development.    It kind of makes sense because Google is working on their GNU/Linux-based "Chrome" operating system for netbooks.

Because Google Chrome only runs on Windows right now, I don't have much experience with it.   Perhaps someone else can comment on their experiences.

Apple Safari - From Apple.   Safari is basically proprietary and the default browser on MacOSX. But it's also available for Windows.

Because in my home environment I'm a GNU/Linux user, I can't say I have much experience with Safari...other than using other folks Macs...or other folks Windows machines.

And as a GNU/Linux user I can also use Konqueror which integrates into the KDE desktop environment for GNU/Linux and Unix.   It might some day get ported over to Windows.

There's also Epiphany, Galeon, Kazehakase, and if I want something really "stripped down" and lightning fast, there's "Dillo"

There are also some "alternative" Mac browsers around that I haven't mentioned.

So, do a little experimenting and why not try something new?   You're not going to "break" your computer.   In fact the only web browser that does "break" computers is Internet Explorer.

 

 


Comments

radiorahim
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Joined: Jun 17 2002

Oops...silly me...messed up the links...I'll be back on later and post them...in the meantime.


Unionist
Online
Joined: Dec 11 2005

[double post]

 


Unionist
Online
Joined: Dec 11 2005

And don't forget arora.

 


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

I had some idea that there are more browsers than just the main ones. I'd never heard of arora or Flock or some of those other ones before though. Cool.


Brian White
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Joined: Jan 26 2005

I used to use opera all the time.  It is very quick. And it introduced mouse jestures, which is the basis for all the finger movements on iphones  and other phones.  But it has issues with flash movies on my ubuntu.  And now yahoo mail has locked it out. I sometimes think that the usa companys want the internet to themselves. Yahoo just did a deal with microsoft and a couple of weeks later, yahoo mail only works properly on windows using explorer or firefox. Yahoo groups still works with opera. Yahoo "classic"  email is still available  but not on opera.  So the plot is fairly clear.  KILL OPERA.

I think opera is available on cellphones so that is probably part of the reason they want to kill it so bad.

I installed flock on my girlfriends mums win98 system. Nothing else is valid on it anymore and it still works!

I use seamonkey composer  to do basic html pages because it is the only thing left with the guts of the old netscape composer on it.  and it is so easy to use compared to more modern stuff.


nussy
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Joined: Feb 9 2005

I find Google Chrome the fastest and easiest to use. My alternative Browser is Firefox. 


triciamarie
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Joined: Jul 28 2006

Someone here recommended Google Chrome and I tried it for a while but it crashes. IE is stable at least.


nussy
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Joined: Feb 9 2005

It never crashed for me.....

 


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

triciamarie wrote:
Someone here recommended Google Chrome and I tried it for a while but it crashes. IE is stable at least.

You must be running IE7? IE8 with just one addon crashes really well for me, without even trying very much to make it crash. I'm thinkin' on keepin' my cycle helmet handy for next time.

 

 

 


triciamarie
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Joined: Jul 28 2006

Doeesn't IE have automatic updates? I think I have that enabled so presumably it's the latest version (however without that honking massive MS Net or whatever it's called... or is that in Office).

Chrome crashed for me about ten times. I kept using it out of sheer laziness but now make the extra effort to drag my cursor all the way back across the desktop to grab IE. The exception is for podcasts which seem to load more reliably in Chrome.

Used Mozilla for a while too but just couldn't get happy with the interface. Maybe I should try that again instead.


radiorahim
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Joined: Jun 17 2002



Sorry about my opening post...but here are the links to the browsers I mentioned.

Firefox

Opera

Sea Monkey

K-Meleon

Flock

Google Chrome

Apple Safari

Konqueror

Epiphany

Galeon

Kazehakase

Dillo

 

One of the critical flaws in Microsoft Internet Explorer is that it is "built-in" to Microsoft's Windows operating system. You can't "get rid of it" even if you want to. So, if some malware mucks up Internet Explorer, it has the ability to muck up your operating system as well.

I personally find that the user interface sucks big time.

But aside from these kinds of issues, the biggest problem with it is "political". It's a tool for what's known as "vendor lock-in".

Certain things on certain websites won't "work" without Internet Explorer, and that in turn "forces" you to use a computer that also has the Microsoft Windows computer operating system on it. That in turn helps to perpetuate Microsoft's market stranglehold on desktop computing.

That's especially true in the business world. 

For instance my workplace runs a Windows Server.   If I want to take remote control over my desktop computer I can't do that unless I am running Internet Explorer with certain proprietary Microsoft ActiveX components installed.

I can't for the life of me see how that represents any kind of progressive agenda for computing.

 

 


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Google Chrome Frame for IE Enable open web technologies in clunky old Internet Explorer v. 6, 7 & 8

Google Wave for IE coming soon! (whatever that is)


radiorahim
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Joined: Jun 17 2002

There are alot of web things that Internet Explorer doesn't do very well like working with sites that use Javascript.

It's technologically way behind the other browsers.    Many folks are still using IE6...say folks who are still using "pre-XP" versions of Windows or folks who haven't upgraded IE on their XP boxes from IE6.   IE6 is now over eight years old!

So from what I read, this new thingee from Google is sort of like a new "skin" for IE that allows you to do many of the new funky things that other web browsers can do.

 


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

I've been running four browsers in the past month, including IE8. And I must say it's quite clunky compared to FF, Opera and Chrome. The only real experience other than plain old surfing I've had with IE is to run this javascript for babble, and sometimes IE and its IEPro add-on just stops cold. I don't think I'd want to run anymore than one add-on with IE. They should assign some of the glitches to crazy Steve Ballmer himself.


No Yards
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Joined: Jun 1 2003

Fidel wrote:

Google Chrome Frame for IE Enable open web technologies in clunky old Internet Explorer v. 6, 7 & 8

Google Wave for IE coming soon! (whatever that is)

 

It's a hard thing to explain ... here's alink to an 80 minute google video that explains the capabilities of Google Wave http://wave.google.com/help/wave/about.html#video (note: if you watch the video, be patient ... the presentation is pretty corny to start, and at first the product doesn't look to be anything special, but later on they go into the advanced functions and concepts on how the product might be used, and it starts to look pretty interesting.)

 

The concept is that today we have all these colaboration tools: email, forums, facebook, blogs, twitter, videos, maps, interactive web pages, translation services, etc. Google Wave is what Google considers EMail might look like if it were developed today (ie, designed to provide all those mentioned services, and more, in one "EMail" service.)

I've just received my invitation and signed up ... still in pre-release state, so not everything they talk about works ... and unless there is a group of people you know, and have a topic to talk about, it's pretty lame, but eventually, if it catches on, it should be pretty cool .. maybe even eventually a "game changer".

 

Oh, and it's all opensource as well, so maybe some day you will see a political board such as this one set up their own Wave server, keeping the concept of a community that a forum provides while still providing the global reach of EMail all in one environment.

 


Polunatic2
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Joined: Mar 12 2006

I've been using Chrome since it came out and I'm quite happy with the results. It has crashed only once or twice. Sometimes I have more than 20 tabs open. If my computer is dormant for a while, some of the pages take a few seconds to "wake up". I used to use Firefox as my default browser until I installed Chrome. I like being able to close groups, have my passwords stored and then there's the "incognito browsing" which supposedly doesn't leave any traces. I also like the bookmarking function. The only thing I haven't found in Chrome is the "Stop" button. 

I only use IE for my Outlook webmail because it works better than Chrome or Firefox which don't display all the folders. 


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Polunatic2 wrote:
The only thing I haven't found in Chrome is the "Stop" button.

Aha, I think I found it! At the very right-hand end of the url locator window at top of the browser, the go to arrow that points to the right turns into an "x" briefly until the page is loaded, then abracadabras itself back into the arrow. Is this the web equivalent of throwing away the rear view mirror from your car's windshield? Hopefully someday we won't even need the x-stop button our connections will be that fast and browsers keeping up with what should be super-fast internet access speeds. And God bless us every one.


siamdave
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Joined: Sep 2 2005

I'd prefer Firefox to IE, just on a general dislike of what MS represents, but it has two main problems for me - first, I listen to the CBC (Corporate Broadcasting Canada) every day, and when Firefox is open, it interrupts the signal every few seconds, just like a loose wire on a radio or something, very irritating - if I run the CBC on IE, and keep FF closed, I have no problems. So it seems something in FF is doing the interrupting - I have no idea what - any ideas about chasing this down would be welcome! Just as irritatingly, when I open FF in the morning, it does not go and get fresh pages for all the tabs, it gets something from a stored version on the computer or something, and I have to manually press the 'refresh' button to get the latest version of all the news pages. Again, any suggestions welcome - right now I have no browser I am really happy with (other issues with Opera, and SeaMondy, K-Melon are mozilla based, and have the same tendency to 'loose wire' my CBC radio)


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

siamdave wrote:

I'd prefer Firefox to IE, just on a general dislike of what MS represents, but it has two main problems for me - first, I listen to the CBC (Corporate Broadcasting Canada) every day, and when Firefox is open, it interrupts the signal every few seconds, just like a loose wire on a radio or something, very irritating - if I run the CBC on IE, and keep FF closed, I have no problems...

My FF rolls video from CBC.ca without any chop-chop smooth as a baby's bottom.

In your firefox url window, blank it out and type this:

about:cache  

...and press enter. What does it say FF memory and disk cache in use and max allowed are? It should be something like 50 Mb for max disk cache. Memory cache for my FF browser is set at 23.5 Mb and show 10kb used and 10kb not being used. 

Beyond that I have no idea. Could be stuff running in the background and hogging resources. Prolly the feds checkin out your puter.(Just kidding) Or something.


radiorahim
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Joined: Jun 17 2002

You might want to try the "direct" URL's here instead of using the cutesy flash player.   CBC Radio streams in Windows Media Player format...although that doesn't mean you have to use Windows Media Player (not a good idea...because it likes to "phone home") There are plenty of other players available...like the free software VLC Media Player...which plays more audio and video formats "out of the box" than any other media player I can think of.

Or you can try the CBC "ogg vorbis" streams (Toronto only) here

 

.


siamdave
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Joined: Sep 2 2005

 - thanks for the suggestions - not sure what checking the cache has to do with the FF going to the cache instead of the original each day, but I do use CCleaner every day, and the caches are supposed to be emptied (but FF is getting them old pages somewhere! - just one of life's computer mysteries.) Oddly enough, the radio has been working fine since I complained - I've noticed this in my life before. About some things, anyway.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

The moderator of this forum, LoudNoise, has some good advice for speeding up FF. (post#13).


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Chrome Speed Crushed By New Opera Browser

 

That's Opera v10.5 alpha. I still have Opera 10.10, and I noticed it's pretty snappy, as in undalay arriba speedy.


G. Muffin
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Joined: Sep 28 2008

Radiorahim, your work impresses me and I'm willing to take your advice, should you wish to share.

I have a 2004ish Toshiba laptop.  It's a little heavier than other laptops but it seems sturdier.  Also, I don't use it as a laptop so I don't carry it anywhere.

It used to be a fantastic machine and then a family member talked me into getting Open Office by saying it could read and write MS Word documents.  That turned out not to be true.  Also, MS didn't get along with its peers and things got weird.  I eventually removed all the software and reloaded a bootleg version of MS Word 2003.  So far, so good, right?

I used to live in a remote community where we had dial-up internet connections.  Mr. Toshiba really liked dial-up, less threatening, I guess.  Anyway, now I live in Victoria and very much want my computer to work well.  It has developed various problems such as refusing to play DVDs under some kind of "work to rule" bullshit.  It takes forever to warm up.  It takes another forever to have Internet Explorer pop up.  At least twice every day I get the Blue Screen Of Death.  I think Bill Gates should be publicly flogged.

I have documents and pictures on the 'puter that I want on a memory stick.  Once they're safely removed, I want Mac OS installed. Can this be done?  My father has Mac OS X and it rocks! However, I can't stand being at my parents' house so that 'puter effectively doesn't exist as a possibility for me.  My erstwhile husband kept the super duper computer we inherited when my sister died (3 years ago).  I've got pictures and documents on that computer that I wish to have on my Toshiba.  Also, this must be done without any kind of contact between us because his position (as sworn to in an affidavit) is that I'm a Ticking Time Bomb just waiting to explode.  Yeah, I know, he's an idiot.

I want my computer to have a colon cleanse to get rid of all kinds of crap it's got that I'm not using but is slowing it down.  

Where do you live, Radiorahim?  I'd like to hire you to fix this otherwise good computer for me.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Answer Line: Why Is My Speedy PC Slowing Down?

 

It's a pretty good article talking about why PC's tend to slow down and what you can do about it. I've never used RegClean, and which they provide a link to for free download, but it does have a five cow rating from Tucows.com So if you have a PC that was fast just a few years ago and now is not, then you should read this article. And especially if you've installed newer software programs on a PC that's a couple of years old or so. If so, then you have PC-software issues you need to sort out and you alone. Someone could re-configure your PC, and you might then wonder what happened to this and that and the other thing that you just can't live without and was removed from your harddrive by the PC mechanic, who has no idea what your preferences are, only that stuff should be removed to maximize your PC's performance. And it may be something as simple as cleaning some spyware hiding out on your hard drive. Or something. It's always something.


radiorahim
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Joined: Jun 17 2002

Fidel wrote:

Answer Line: Why Is My Speedy PC Slowing Down?

 

It's a pretty good article talking about why PC's tend to slow down and what you can do about it.

 

You mean...PC's that run the Microsoft Windows operating system...PC's with GNU/Linux or Unix operating systems tend not to slow down with age.Wink


radiorahim
Offline
Joined: Jun 17 2002

G. Muffin wrote:

Radiorahim, your work impresses me and I'm willing to take your advice, should you wish to share.

I have a 2004ish Toshiba laptop.  It's a little heavier than other laptops but it seems sturdier.  Also, I don't use it as a laptop so I don't carry it anywhere.

It used to be a fantastic machine and then a family member talked me into getting Open Office by saying it could read and write MS Word documents.  That turned out not to be true.  Also, MS didn't get along with its peers and things got weird.  I eventually removed all the software and reloaded a bootleg version of MS Word 2003.  So far, so good, right?

I used to live in a remote community where we had dial-up internet connections.  Mr. Toshiba really liked dial-up, less threatening, I guess.  Anyway, now I live in Victoria and very much want my computer to work well.  It has developed various problems such as refusing to play DVDs under some kind of "work to rule" bullshit.  It takes forever to warm up.  It takes another forever to have Internet Explorer pop up.  At least twice every day I get the Blue Screen Of Death.  I think Bill Gates should be publicly flogged.

I have documents and pictures on the 'puter that I want on a memory stick.  Once they're safely removed, I want Mac OS installed. Can this be done?  My father has Mac OS X and it rocks! However, I can't stand being at my parents' house so that 'puter effectively doesn't exist as a possibility for me.  My erstwhile husband kept the super duper computer we inherited when my sister died (3 years ago).  I've got pictures and documents on that computer that I wish to have on my Toshiba.  Also, this must be done without any kind of contact between us because his position (as sworn to in an affidavit) is that I'm a Ticking Time Bomb just waiting to explode.  Yeah, I know, he's an idiot.

I want my computer to have a colon cleanse to get rid of all kinds of crap it's got that I'm not using but is slowing it down.  

Where do you live, Radiorahim?  I'd like to hire you to fix this otherwise good computer for me.

G. Muffin...you throw alot out there.

Let me try to help if I can.

Open Office does indeed read and write MS Word documents, but if you want to save in that format, you have to tell Open Office to do that.  By "default", Open Office Writer saves documents in the "Open Document Text" (odt) format.

The open document text format is a truly open fully documented file format that any software vendor is free to use.   That's why Open Office Writer, and many other word processing programmes like Abiword, KWord, IBM Lotus Symphony etc. make use of it by default.

Microsoft's ".doc" format is totally owned by Microsoft, the documentation on how it works is only available to Microsoft and only Microsoft Word can deal with this format 100% of the time.   Other word processing programmes don't have access to Microsoft's secret recipe and although they can get it right say 90% of the time...it can never be 100% of the time.

So it's really best for us all to try to gradually phase out the use of Microsoft document formats and use open formats instead.   But it's going to take some time and education.

You mention that you are using a "bootlegged" version of Microsoft Office.    I personally don't like the idea of using software that makes it illegal for me to share it.   Whoever shared their copy of Microsoft Office with you, broke the law.

If I have a copy of Microsoft Office and you ask me to make a copy for you I can do one of two things.

I can a)  Follow the terms of the license agreement I have made with Microsoft and not share it with you  OR

b)  Break the terms of the license agreement I have made with Microsoft and share it with you.

In the first scenario I keep my agreement with Microsoft but alienate a friend.   In the second scenario I keep my friend but do something illegal.

I'd rather not place myself in that particular ethical dilemna.   I'd rather use "free" (as in freedom) software. That way I'm free to share the software with whoever I like and I never have to worry about doing something illegal.   I value this freedom over any technical issue.   So I do my very best to avoid the use of proprietary freedom-denying software.

I am not sure what problem you are having with playing DVD's on your computer.  It might have something to do with proprietary codecs or you not having the "right" software installed on your machine.

You can not "legally" install MacOSX on a PC.    Apple Computer's license for Mac OSX forbids you from installing it's operating system on any computer other than a Mac computer.    Pretty incredible eh?    The license tells you what kind of computer you can install the software on!

Those who think that Apple is more friendly to computer users than Microsoft can think again!   They're just as evil...if for different reasons.

So, my advice would be to get someone local to you to help you make a shift over to using a free (as in freedom) operating system like GNU/Linux.   You might want to try googling "Linux User Group" in your area and then e-mail them to get some help.

 

 


Fidel
Offline
Joined: Apr 29 2004

I worked about ten years with Solaris running on Sun machines in various configurations in the workplace. We had some crazy networks setup. In the main lab at one place(it's a Sears store now) there were Sun servers serving mostly Mac workstations running a Windows alike OS on top of Unix and talking with Sun machines. My supervisor then loved Mac machines and Windows OS for some reason. He's a good  guy but an oddball though when it comes to work stuff. We always outnumbered him when it came to talking about those things. For me it didn't matter. Whatever they threw at us I knew I had to adapt. I think I spent more time logged into my Mac through a Sparc machine somewhere else in the building than I did while working at my desk, which I avoided a lot.


Diogenes
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Joined: Apr 1 2009

Paid a visit to the CPC website recently (purely for research purposes). LOL. It really should be called Stevie and the Regressives, modeled after the Gladys Knight and the Pips business model.

Every page has a link to the "I get high" video, just in case you had missed it. Every page also has a picture of Stephen Harper.

I had to use Microsoft Internet Exploder Ver.8 to get the drop down menus to work properly. Tried FF, Safari, Google and Opera, all to the same effect. The drop drop menus are hit and miss. Good job boys. Time to recalibrate. Time to read up on JQuery or maybe basic javascript. This is maybe another reason why parliament needed to be prorogued.

But this is the best. Have a look under the Leaders drop down menu.

Stephen Harper already has a succession plan in place!

Stevie and the regressives

 


radiorahim
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Joined: Jun 17 2002

Large segments of Ontario's "MPAC" (Municipal Property Assessment Corporation) website will not work with anything other than Internet Explorer under Windows.  In particular the "My Property" site software that allows you to compare your property with others in your neighbourhood doesn't work.

Quote:
AboutMyProperty™ is best viewed on Windows XP or Windows Vista using Internet Explorer 6 or Internet Explorer 7. MPAC cannot guarantee that AboutMyProperty™ will look or function correctly while using other browsers. If you are experiencing a technical problem with AboutMyProperty™, please use the Windows Update to ensure that all critical and relevant updates have been applied to your system. If you are still experiencing problems after updating your system, please call us at 1 866 296-MPAC (6722) or click here to contact us through our on-line form to learn more about how you can receive the same information that is available through AboutMyProperty™ - free of charge. Please include your roll number.

 

If I'm on a Mac or a GNU/Linux machine, I'm going to fix my problem by running Windows Update????   

Failing that, I can fill in a form or call them up and sit on hold forever

I wrote to my member of the legislature about this about a year ago and they thankfully followed up with my complaint...but MPAC still is a Microsoft only shop!


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