Tag Archives: internet

Google Chrome – the Good, Meh, Ugly, and This Means War

I just read all about Google Chrome, their new open-source browser, in the comic they put out. No download link at this time, but I’m sure it’s coming. My initial thoughts:

The Good

  • The JavaScript changes seems to make sense. The better garbage collector and speed improvements can’t hurt.
  • The free API to download lists of malware or phishing sites is pretty nice.

The Meh

  • UI changes. Making each tab its own browser entity and putting controls in each tab? That’s it? So what!
  • Some of the search enhancements are interesting, but I don’t think that anyone will care that much in the end.
  • Showing most popular pages…meh
  • Unclear on the plugin model. Will they have their own? Will they run ActiveX (they imply yes). How about Firefox plugin compatibility? All we need is yet another API for writing plugins.

The Ugly

  • A new process for each tab? Are you serious? I understand that it’s (maybe)the only way to completely isolate web pages from each other, but given how many pages some people have running, that means an extra 50 processes on the system. That’s a lot of resources. I know their idea was to consider each web page an application, and of course each desktop application is its own process, but I don’t think we actually treat most web pages like applications. We create new browser tabs and switch pages with wild abandon. Most web sites are NOT applications–they’re reference. They’re just books open to 50 pages at once. (Was process isolation really a problem that needed solving? I almost NEVER have runaway tabs in IE7)
  • Proprietary JavaScript hooks. Sure, it’s open source, but they’re still building things into their version of JavaScript that only work with their browser.

This Means War

  • First front: SilverLight. Gears seems to be a direct assault on the concept of .Net and SilverLight. The technology and scope are different now, but I think ultimately they’re going after the same target: having the rich-client experience in your browser on multiple OSes/browsers.
  • Second front: Firefox: the only people who are going to download Chrome or even understand what it is are the people who use Firefox. If Chrome succeeds, it will be at Firefox’s detriment. Thanks for playing.

Overall, I felt a big “meh” after reading the comic. While many of the ideas are interesting, overall, I don’t see a compelling reason to switch. I’ll try it out when it becomes available, and my opinions will probably change on some things, but Google is going to have to do a lot more to overthrow IE. Maybe their purpose really is to just throw ideas out there and see what sticks, what gets integrated into competing products, etc. We’ll just have to see what happens next. It’s going to be a fun couple of years!

(P.S. Also, please everyone, especially media, start mocking Chrome for it’s “p%%n mode” just liked you mocked IE.)


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

20 Things to do when the Internet goes down

Even if the Internet connection goes out, your computer does not become a dumb brick. There were days these last few days where I didn’t bother turning it on. Then I realized all the things I could still do.

(My home Internet connection finally came back this morning. I’m bit upset that they didn’t figure it out earlier. It turned out that the first technician grossly misdiagnosed the problem. He put in an order for a new drop to be put in. Turned out it was just a broken modem. Why didn’t they try that earlier? Worse, why didn’t I think of it earlier. To be honest, I did think of it, but didn’t push it. Now I just need to get my money back from Comcast.)

Without further ado, here’s my suggestions for what to do when the Internet goes out:

On the computer:

  1. Organize photos in Picasa – I have nearly 6,000 photos on my computer. Many of them need to be deleted, organized, tagged, labeled, e-mailed, etc. (Yes, e-mailed–I can queue them in Outlook until the connection comes back).
  2. Organize My Documents – I’ve let My Documents folder get very messy. Lots of files that don’t need to be there anymore. Others need to be filed, or re-filed.
  3. Organize e-mail – I’ve got hundreds of folders in Outlook. I’ve tried to keep my Inbox empty and put things into @Action, @Someday, or @WaitingFor folders before they find a permanent home, but sometimes it still gets out of hand.
  4. Organize and fill in information in Windows Media Player. I still have music tagged with the wrong genre…
  5. Program. I’ve got two major programming projects I’m working on. They don’t depend on the Internet. The Internet is NICE if you need to learn something, but there’s always plenty of stuff to do that doesn’t require it. Write unit tests, run code coverage, design graphics, do all the other stuff if you must.
  6. Write e-mails to family. Long ones. Your mom will thank you.
  7. Catch up on podcasts. I got through ten episodes of Ask a Ninja, and nearly all backlogged podcasts. Now I’ll have a flood when I sync tonight.
  8. Write blog entries. I use Windows Live Writer. I should have done more of this.
  9. Play a game.
  10. Better, write a game.
  11. Setup appointments and events in Outlook for the next year.
  12. Read some classic programming texts.
  13. General computer maintenance. Defrag your disk, delete temp files, delete old installation files you haven’t used in 5 years (yes, I have some of those…). Use DiskSlicer to find where your space is going.
  14. Do long-avoided projects. I have approximately 20 hours of audio I need to edit and split into tracks. I’ve been putting it off for a very long time.

Off the Computer:

  1. Practice the piano.
  2. Read books. I’ve just started Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. Very good, so far. Go buy it. If you’re a geek, you’ll like it. How can you not love a 2 page diversion into the mathematics of when a bike chain will interfere with a broken spoke and fall off? Other than the geekiness, it’s a good story.
  3. Learn to cook a new dish.
  4. Do crosswords.
  5. Exercise.
  6. Relax.

Or just go to the library and use the Internet. I only did this a few times, despite it being within walking distance from where I live.

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Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

No Internet at home

It is really hard not having Internet service at home. Really, really hard. It’s not that I spend every minute checking e-mail, but the lack of ability to check makes the desire that much stronger.

It went out Friday night, sometime after 9 PM. I called Saturday morning, they sent a tech on Sunday night. He determined that the signal was very weak, and that it was weak coming into the house, and that it was so old it had probably corroded to the point where it was useless (these houses are very old). So they have to run a new drop from the junction box into the  home, which they will do tomorrow…

It is making it hard to update BuyMeALego.com, my blog, and accomplish a lot of other personal communications. I can do a little at work, but it’s hard…


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

The hidden purpose behind private web browsers and history cleaners.

Does anybody else think that the real purpose behind the big movements in privacy, hiding web browsing habits, building anonymizers, and more… is really just a movement to allow everyone to view pornography without their SO’s finding out?

Come on, perhaps there really are people in a public library who need to look up an embarrassing medical question and don’t want the next user to spy on them and confront them about it, but let’s be honest–is that REALLY the motivation?

On a personal computer, what excuse is there really? To hide your browsing habits from your children? your spouse? What web sites are you visiting that your family shouldn’t know about? Maybe you should work on your honesty with them…

At work? I’ll cut a little slack here, but not much. You REALLY shouldn’t be browsing bad sites at work–that creates liability problems. On the other hand, maybe you have some dishonest coworkers who would stoop to spying on your habits…


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

Say no to Variable Pricing

ICANN is  hearing a proposal to charge variable prices for domain names. This has to stop before it starts. How are they going to determine a price? What’s the fair market price of something? Does it depend on how many whois queries there are? Someobody will just slam that, driving up the price. Is it arbitrary?

Look at Ken McCarthy’s blog for more info.


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

Mr. Hatch and the Internet

Phil Windley, commentator, author and IT industry expert (and also a former professor and supervisor of mine) has a wonderful little statement about Senator Hatch.

I try to avoid posting politics on this blog, but I have to mostly-agree with Dr. Windley. I’ve long been very wary of Senator Hatch’s dangerous and lopsided proposals. He seems very much ignorant of the technical aspects of these issues and I think that he, frankly, shouldn’t be allowed to touch anything having to with the Internet or computers.


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order: