ooh, shiny

This afternoon I finally relented and installed the Google Chrome browser. An article I read via Slashdot showed a bar graph denoting the relative speeds of the most popular browsers.

Chrome is indeed responsive and installed without a hitch, even importing my FireFox bookmarks flawlessly. The various FireFox extensions I have come to rely upon are unavailable for Chrome - AdBlock Plus would be nice - but even with the ads being displayed, Chrome is much faster than FireFox. I believe that I shall set Chrome as my default browser for a while.

The Safari browser showed significantly higher speed on the above-noted chart, but since it is an Apple product I have been reluctant to install it. Chrome has a small drive footprint but I have a strong suspicion that Safari is much larger. I have less than 4GB free on an 18GB drive, so I avoid large-footprint programs when possible; I have found small Open Source or freeware replacements for many of the so-called "essential" tools.

Some examples of my free "essentials":

7-zip, a file compression/decompression tool that supports most compression methods and, best of all has the .7z compression algorithm - which results in a smaller archive than the .zip algorithm.

CCleaner, faster and more thorough than Windows' "Disk Cleanup" tool.

HijackThis, which scans for dangerous programs and allows you to easily edit items that start automatically when the system starts.

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, one of the best malware removal tools I have ever used.

SumatraPDF, a small and fast PDF file viewer.

WinAmp, which will play most media files: audio, video, still photos and live radio broadcasts. I do not use Windows Media Player and rarely use RealPlayer.

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