Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Techie Talk: I Like the Chrome, So Far

A few months ago, I started making use of Picasa, the Google photo-filing and -sharing program, to post my trove of family photos and invite relatives to view it.  While discussing with Sisterfilms whether this would necessitate said relatives' signing up with Google, she said, "That's OK. In a few years everything will be Google anyway."  Well, that day is a bit closer now, with the release yesterday of their new web browser, Chrome. I downloaded and installed it this morning, and so far, I like it. 

I've been using Mozilla Firefox as my default browser for a few years now, with occasional forays into Microsoft Internet Explorer for certain websites that don't seem to work with Firefox. By and large I've been happy with it, although I sometimes had trouble with certain video or audio things that didn't work.  I'll need to do some more exploring with Chrome to see if that sort of problem occurs. And, since it's still a beta-testing application, I am not yet making it my default browser.

One thing I like is that it's easy to read and easy to use, without much clutter on the screen. There is one search box into which you can type either a URL or a search term -- that will save me many daily mouse-clicks right there.  My Google Calendar, which had been displaying oddly in Firefox, looks nice and is easily readable in Chrome.  (I should note I've been playing around a bit with my screen resolution settings to make The Master Genealogist work better, and this has played some havoc with other sites and programs.  It would be nice if Microsoft or somebody would come up with a way to attach the best resolution to each program.)

For a listing of pros and cons, go here.  I am reserving judgment on the "Google will know everything about you" issue. For one thing, I think they already do. Yesterday Onkel Hankie Pants was perusing the St. Paul Pioneer Press website for news of the RNC protests in St. Paul, when he was surprised to see a coupon from our local (ME/NH only) supermarket!  Besides, I really have little or nothing to hide.  (Please, Mr. FBI Agent, I can explain why I looked at the YouTube video of the Italian Communist song Bandiera Rossa. It all started back in 1966 when The Boss learned the song from an Italian friend. It stuck in my head, popping up occasionally. Then I was reading one of Donna Leon's Venetian detective novels and someone said "Avanti!" which apparently means "Come in," as well as "Forward!" Well, of course I had to look up the song. Really! I'm a Democrat!)

Anyway, I will report further from time to time if it seems appropriate.

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