holy batshit, batman, that browser is UGLY!

So, I’ve been suckered into giving XP a second try, because all of my favorite software is now only available in XP versions. Cakewalk Sonar, all the newest development languages (Microcrotch, that is), hell, even some games are doing it, too. Notably, only Adobe seems to not care about what operating system it runs on, but that may change in the future.

And I’ve even buckled down and PAID for the damn thing, because I wanted to see if it was really worth it (that’s actually bullshit: it was included in the last whitebox PC I bought…). So not only am I installing a legit copy, I thought it was time to get out on the edge of what is supposed to be peak XP performance. I hammered on the Windows Update site until it wouldn’t give me any more updates (then I took a ghost), and then updated all the drivers and took another pass through Windows Update (then I took another ghost). Now I’m going thru the methodical install of all the heavy-use apps, grinding through Windows Update (and ghosting between each one).

One of the prizes I got in all this was an update to Internet Explorer, namely IE7 (“The Ugly Sister”).

Now, to be sure, IE6 was what finally chased me away from Microsoft browsers. In the past, I had brief flirtations with other browsers: I used Netscape for a while, and had a short affair with Opera, but a series of MS development jobs kept me firmly entrenched in IE. (I was even, to some respects, a bit of a Microsoft apologist (mostly I just like being contrarian, and defending Microsoft was certainly an unpopular position).)

I no longer recall what the original impetus for it was–maybe I’d gotten into another one of those pleasant states where IE was so borked it wouldn’t function at all–but at one point, I’d installed Firefox, got hooked on tabbed browsing, and never looked back.

One of the things I liked so much about Firefox was how good pages looked in it–IE was so very, very ugly in comparison.

And now, just to see what it looked like in IE7, here back in XP land, I decided to look at my humble little blog.


My blog looks like SHIT in IE! WTF, Over?!?!? The “previous entries…” links stomp all over the post title. And the font looks like kidscribble. The search box, even though it has a hard-coded size, now mysteriously wraps in its column.

Now I know why Mush changes her WordPress theme so often.

One more bitch about IE7: it’s approach to tabbed browsing suxors completely, because it lacks one simple switch: there is no way to force a link to open in a new tab, except through the context menu (or the equally annoying ctrl-click): it’s not that I find either approach to be onerous. I just dislike being unable to set my default activity–MS has been getting away with this kind of shoddy crap for years.

And I think I’ve finally had enough.

I’ve been lusting after the MacBook Pro: the Intel core, and the re-architected OS, plus my desire to get out of the Microsoft support business (as in, I currently detest how much time I spend on “managing the box” rather than using the damn thing), have all added up to a Mac fetish.

Alas, I can not afford one of those fuckers, so I will be seeking some other path. Bob Thompson has all but eliminated Microsoft from his day to day (and very deep and technical) life. I will have to investigate applications: I’m really addicted to Photoshop, and I love the power of recording and mixing music in Sonar–the LAMP/OSS camp should have some analogs, no?

Well, I will research. I want Microsoft out of my house. How long will it take me?