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February 09, 2005

Popping Culture Spleen Vent: A message to those of you who hype the Mozilla Firefox.

Relevant background information: I am, and have been for some time, an eggheaded theology student. I can argue about a dozen takes on the nature of the Trinity, but I don't savvy computer. So my mind works within certain parameters. You are now ready to begin.

Our Story:

For weeks, many of my blogger pals have been selling me on Firefox. It's free, they say. It's clean and faster than Internet Explorer. Then the pop-up crisis occurs and they say "IE causes most of that stuff, switch to Firefox." Even my preaching professor says this.

So I load all the McAfee stuff and the Ad-Aware and the Spybot and I kill a lot of spyware. I download Firefox. It automatically carries my bookmarks from IE, and does the same for my wife. Sweet.

I play with it for about 45 minutes. No real problem there. The only pop-ups are triggered by Internet Explorer. Firefox is indeed easier to use and seems faster.

All is well.

Any guesses what happens next?

Well, my logical mind says the only thing to do now that Firefox is running like a dream is eliminate the last source of spyware: Internet Explorer. So I go to add/remove programs on the control panel and proceed to utterly destroy my computer.

Internet Explorer, and I guess I was supposed to know this by magic, is a PART of the Windows operating system. You can't delete it and have Windows run. In about 15 minutes, my computer wouldn't even boot up past the opening window. Not in safe mode, not in any mode. It was broke!

So a guy from church came and got my computer. He's gonna try to reload Windows without destroying all my files, which include sermons and papers for school (yes, it's my fault for not backing them up on disk). It was that or buy a new version of Windows (no, I don't have the disks for it) with cancer drug money. (Not exactly true, I'd probably use electric bill money instead)

I'm on the laptop now, which fortunately we bought for my use at school. I am even going to download Firefox, but sagely NOT try and delete IE.

My point? Eh, next time you sell the very worthy Firefox, pretend that not everyone out there knows as much as you know. Some of us are actually quite ignorant. I, personally, carry with me an extravagent and inventive ignorance.

Posted by Dan at February 9, 2005 12:28 PM

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I must say, now that the relevant Football season is over, and Seinfeld is only in reruns, Popping Culture and the College Basketball season are my most interesting sources of entertainment. PC definitely stand a chance in upending Seinfeld as my favorite show about nothing, and definitely beats the Amazing Race as my favorite Reality TV show.

Thanks Big Dan, you entertain me! But, sorry you're having all these computer problems. That really blows!

Posted by: Doug at February 9, 2005 01:06 PM

I sent you an email with my phone number. You officially have reached the computer user level known as "knows enough to be dangerous". Your situation does not sound unrecoverable though. Your friend should be able to reinstall without incident. Next time I recommend Firefox I'll be sure to mention leaving IE around.

Posted by: Ralph at February 9, 2005 02:34 PM

Well heck, Dan. I didn't chime in--you know how I hate to be pedantic--but had I, rest assured it would hev been just to berate you for using Windows in the first place. Next investment should be a Mac. No popups, no IE, no viruses.


Posted by: folkbum at February 9, 2005 02:42 PM

Weren't you the guy complaining about how you had to send your Mac back to Apple about 10 times to get it repaired and it still didn't work. What did you do? Buy a new one?

Posted by: Ralph at February 9, 2005 03:25 PM

No, Ralph, I sent my iBook to get a motherbord replacement (it took just three days from drop-off at the Apple Store to pick up at DSL shipping place!) but while it was at the depot they wiped the hard drive for no reason. It works like a dream now, but I lost about two years of work product because--like Dan--I didn't back up even though I knew better. Human error on two fronts lost me my data.

But I can still say I've never had a virus, never seen I popup I didn't ask for, and never had any spyware/ trojan horses/ nastyware infest my machine. I can count on one hand the number of times I've had to restart (outside of the day the motherboard went) in two years. This puppy will probably last me another three years, and you can't beat that with a stick--or a Gateway.

Posted by: folkbum at February 9, 2005 03:37 PM

Hey Ralph:
Sounds like Dan is in need of one of your famous lectures about "backups"... heh heh

And guys complain? Funny enough.. I thought only women did that sort of thing! ;)

Posted by: Cam at February 9, 2005 03:46 PM


I got to this part of your post --

Well, my logical mind says the only thing to do now that Firefox is running like a dream is eliminate the last source of spyware: Internet Explorer.
...and I was like "D'oh!" and I guess I was so loud that people poked their heads into my office to see if I was all right.

Oh man, I am so sorry. I hate when that happens.

Posted by: Ara at February 9, 2005 04:22 PM

Don't feel bad.

I did something stupid to my computer around Christmas last year, too. I had just downloaded a bunch of neat fonts and as I was checking out all the other fonts I have, I started thinking, "Hmmm, why not get rid of the ones I'm not using?"

Yeah, I know better now.

So I deleted a bunch of the fonts I figured were only taking up space since I certainly never used them in Word or anything.

Piece of advice: Don't mess around with your fonts. And for heaven's sake, don't delete Martel.

Turns out you need most of those stupid fonts for everything to run properly on your computer.

Another one of those things they never tell you when you buy a computer. But hey, I am nothing if not a trial&error kind of girl. After a few hours of panicked Googling for help, I fixed the problem without having to make that embarrassing call to the tech-y who helps out my family with these sort of things.

Posted by: Cobby at February 9, 2005 04:53 PM

Hey Ara? Just used you as an example in a post over at the garage. Hope you don't mind! LOL!!!

And yes Dan! I linked it back to here....

Posted by: Cam at February 9, 2005 05:07 PM

Just kidding there. You Apple guys sure are boastful. hehe. For a closed and proprietary achitecture, I can't say enough good things about them. Can you buy a piece of iron that hooks up to that thing that isn't sold by Apple or are those plans still in the oven? If you're going to bash Microsoft, at least tout Linux. I heard you can buy Lindows (Linux based windowing OS) at WalMart these days.

Reminds me to backup. It has been a while. Wonder where this new version of Outlook stores my email?

Posted by: Ralph at February 9, 2005 05:15 PM

Well, the guy working on my computer fixes small business computers for a living, so I expect all shall be well.

Once this snafu is corrected, I'll be able to get back to shaking babies.

Posted by: Dan at February 9, 2005 05:23 PM

CAVEAT FROM PREACHING PROFESSOR... Yikes, Dan-- I've never read anything that cautions one not to remove IE when installing Firefox. The fact I DIDN'T do it, myself, was merely dumb luck, not being even as swift as you, probably, in the computer department. Well, now we know-- but sorry the learning had to come out of YOUR hide! (By the way, I've found there are a couple of things that are worth still using IE for-- such as working with the school's email server from off-site, which is more flexible with IE.)

Posted by: Gail at February 10, 2005 09:01 AM

Nice try, professor (if that IS your real name), but I see now that this was your plan all along, no doubt from the first day I registered at CRCDS!

I'm on to you now!

Posted by: Dan at February 10, 2005 09:09 AM


Loudness looms large in me legend.

Posted by: Ara at February 10, 2005 11:50 AM

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