Not bad, IE8!

August 10, 2009 at 1:19 pm (Internet surfing) (, , , )

I am not a big fan of Microsoft. For one, their products cost a lot, and secondly, everyone still uses their products! I never like the feeling that my choices of Internet services are limited or that I’m following the majority of American consumers. I think it’s my innate need to be unique–just like everyone else. :-P

For those of you who read my article about IE8, I have a confession to make. I wrote that without ever using it. But now I am. And I love it! I will tell you why, and this time, it’s from experience!

1. Web slices really are the bomb! Not many websites are compatible with this thing, but I think the more we get the hang of it, the more we’ll start seeing them available. A green webslice button shows up  in your command bar (top right, next to the home button) when it is available.

Basically, a web slice is for seeing a mini page of a site you look at frequently–right from your favorites toolbar. The example they use on the Microsoft website is bidding on an ebay item. You can add a slice for an individual item, not just that webpage, and the slice becomes bold when new information is available. I would test it if I had money to buy something! *tear* 

I use a web slice for my yahoo mail. I can just click on it and see what messages I have in my inbox, regardless of what website I’m on! I really wonder why no one came up with this sooner! I haven’t seen it become bold, so I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong, or what. I still like it!

2. Accelerators are a major time-saver! Whenever you highlight anything a webpage, you’ll see a little blue accelerator button. It gives you a pile of options. These are the ones I use the most:

  • Highlight any address and open a Google or Bing maps page on a new tab with this location mapped. No more copy/paste, new window, clicking and typing! I actually thought of this idea before! Read my mind! :-D
  • Highlight any word or phrase and run a google or wiki search in one click. AMAZING! I use this all the time!
  • Right click on any website and share it with digg, reddit, stumbleupon, and Delicious. Sometimes you can do it right from the current page, or you it will quick link to the website in a new tab. Either way, it’s a wonderful time saver.

I would suggest browsing through all the accelerators and adding all of them that interest you. You may be surprised how many they have and how often you’ll use them. Plus, both web slices and accelerators either open new tabs or don’t require you to leave the page you’re on, so you don’t have to lose what you’re working on just to look something up.

3. One sweet search box! You can set up default search engines, like Google, Bing, Wiki, Amazon, etc., choose any of them at a given time for a quick and easy search.

4. Three words:  previous session recovery. Ever accidentally closed all tabs and realized you still wanted them? Now all you have to do is open IE again, click Tools, and then click Reopen Last Browsing Session. Works like a charm. I’m saved!

There’s other features that I haven’t covered (or figured out how to use). I would suggest reading over more features on the Microsoft website or watching the videos so you can get the most out of IE8.

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Changing it up… :-P

August 4, 2009 at 12:44 pm (Internet surfing) ()

Hey readers,

Whether you have been reading my articles or ran across this blog some other way, things are going to look a smidge different. This is going to be a more personalized outlet. I’ll share my ideas and opinions, cool things I find, and some comment on current events and debates. I hope you’ll be interested and leave me comments and feedback. I will continue writing professional articles about Internet services and the like on my company blog, that is very soon coming. Check back here as often as you can, and I hope you we can get some interesting discussions going! Feel free to criticize, support, whatever!

On another note, I finally figured out how to make polls.  :-D Since I have recently been talking about the latest browsers, tell me what you think! I’ve already voted, and I’ll tell you more about why I like IE8 next week.

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Internet Explorer 8: Worth an Upgrade?

July 14, 2009 at 3:07 pm (Internet surfing) (, , , , , , , , )

Internet Explorer is known for its majority claim on the Internet browser market share and it’s close ties to the Windows operating system. Microsoft continue to flourish and says their new browser is worthwhile and better than ever! Here are a few ways IE8 exceeds it’s previous version.

One unique feature of IE8 is the accelerators. These tools save further browsing time by turning popular searches into a simple right-click function. For example, you can highlight an address, right click on it, and choose the “Bing Maps” feature (similar to Google Maps, or Mapquest). Another smaller window slides out with a small map showing the location of that address and a link to get to directions. This saves you the time you would spend opening a new window and copy/pasting the address on a mapping website.

You can see search results on popular sites such as Google, Dictionary.com, and Wikipedia. First, highlight a keyword(s) on the web site you are viewing, like “Tiramisu” for example, and right click. Choose the accelerator of your choice to see a mini page with Tiramisu search results on Google, or the dictionary or Wikipedia entry at a glance (Tiramisu is, by the way, a delectable Italian dessert!). There are a variety of accelerators available that may interest you, some using Microsoft sites like Bing and MSN, and others using popular sites, including YouTube and Facebook.

Web slices are another new IE8 feature that is available for select webpages (indicated by the green web slice icon at the top of the page). Web slices allows you to see a small “slice” of the pages you want to check regularly, without searching for or loading the webpage.

For example, if you are bidding on an Ebay item, you can add a slice for that particular item (instead of the whole webpage) to your new favorites bar at the top of the page. When the slice has new information, like another person bidding on your item, the slice title become bold. You can click on the slice to see a mini page with your item, increase the bid, or read the new information, etc. Other slices available show news, stocks, weather, sports, etc. The new favorites bar displays your slices along the top of the screen similar to tabs for easy access.

IE8 has some feature with which you may be familiar. Similar to Google Chrome, IE8 has “tab isolation” that prevents the whole browser window from crashing if one tab malfunctioning and “In-private browsing” that allows you to surf without saving history and files to your computer. Like Firefox, if your browser window closes unexpectedly, you can restore all your tabs to the previous session. Like the Google toolbar feature, you can restore recently closed tabs into the same window if you accidentally close a tab.

Internet Explorer 8 also is equipped with newer technology that promises more security and speed. To read more about the security features, check out microsoft.com/windows/internet-explorer. Whether it is really faster than other browsers is up for debate, depending on how testing is done and what pages are tested. The best way to know if it works better is to try it out for yourself. Based on your Internet services connection speed and surfing habits, you may be able to load pages faster with Internet Explorer 8. Keep in mind that it is good practice to back up your files and create a restore point before you install IE8. If you do decide to download IE8, check out browserforthebetter.com if you want your download to help feed the hungry.

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