From: Patrick Crispen
Subject: TOURBUS - 24 Oct 2006 - IE Version 7
Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the Orange Curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, a spontaneous, nationwide revolt against the Neo-Stalinist government of Hungary.
A few riders have wondered if I really do have orange curtains in my home. As much as I would like to pretend that my home was decorated by Howard Johnson [and am I the only one in the world who misses HoJo hot dogs?], the term "orange curtain" refers to
the border between Orange County, California and the rest of California, particularly Los Angeles County. It is a sometimes derogatory, sometimes light-hearted term, depending on context. Residents of Orange County are more conservative and suburban than their more-liberal big-city neighbors... Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_curtain
Of course, if you're like me and think real orange curtains are both hideous and [most likely] combustible, check out http://www.lileks.com/institute/interiors/
On with the show...
By now, everyone should know that Microsoft has finally released a completely new version of Internet Explorer. I say "finally" because the last version of Internet Explorer was released back in late August of 2001, a millennia ago in internet time.
The new version, now called "Windows Internet Explorer 7" [instead of "Microsoft Internet Explorer"] is available to Windows XP SP2 and Windows 2003 SP1 users for free at
What if you still use Windows 98, 98SE, or ME? Unfortunately, Microsoft stopped supporting those platforms back on July 11th [see http://tinyurl.com/ynztwp]. Internet Explorer 7 is only available to XP and 2003 users. Sorry about that.
If you choose not to download Internet Explorer 7, you should be aware that Microsoft intends to push Internet Explorer 7 through Windows Update in the next few days [although you will be given the option of not upgrading]. Long story short: You're getting Internet Explorer 7.
And that's not a bad thing. The new Internet Explorer 7 has so many new security features that you'd be silly not to upgrade from Internet Explorer 6, a.k.a. "the world's most dangerous web browser." In particular, IE 7 has a new "phishing" filter that warns you when you visit a site known for stealing personal information. IE 7's address bar also has a color coding system that turns the address bar red when you visit sites that have invalid or expired security certificates. IE 7 also borrows a page from Apple's Safari and Mozilla Firefox by offering you a way to delete your browser cache, history, cookies, saved form data, and passwords in one fell swoop. And, since I am a nice guy, here's how to do that in all three browsers:
In Safari: Safari > Reset Safari In Firefox: Tools > Clear Private Data In IE 7: Tools > Delete Browsing History
Besides offering the ability to delete browsing history, Internet Explorer 7 is also similar to Safari and Firefox in that it supports tabbed browsing. Tabbed browsing allows you to open multiple web pages in one window and then switch between those pages by clicking on little tabs at the top of the page. Trust me, you'll love it.
For a video on what's new and different in Internet Explorer 7, check out http://www.cnettv.com/9710-1_53-24159.html
The video was created by CNET senior editor Robert Vamosi who, from what I can gather from this video, doesn't breathe or use punctuation. If you don't mind listening to what is pretty much a fast, long, run- on sentence, this video will give you a good [albeit caffeine-induced] tour of IE 7.
Before you download and install Internet Explorer 7, I strongly recommend that you:
1. Read the IE 7 release notes at
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/support/default.mspx especially the Late-Breaking Notes and Issues [about halfway down the page]. This will let you know of any known problems or conflicts that may pop up once you install IE7. For example, assistive technology programs like JAWS 7 may not work with IE 7. So, if you use JAWS, when Windows Update asks you if you'd like to upgrade to IE 7, you'll probably want to choose "No."
2. Turn off your antivirus program. IE 7's installation program
-- the installer, not IE 7 itself -- may cause some conflicts with your antivirus program during installation. And that's usually a bad thing. Right-click on your antivirus program's icon in the task bar [down by the clock] and choose "close" or "disable." Then install IE 7.
After you've installed IE 7, double-check that your antivirus program is re-enabled [although don't be surprised if your antivirus program magically turns itself back on without you having to do anything. Antivirus programs are smart like that.]
Once you begin installing IE 7, walk away from your computer. The install will take a *LOT* longer than you would expect, your computer will restart TWICE, and on the third boot your computer will take a little longer to boot than normal while Microsoft finishes the installation of IE7. Even I got a little scared at how long it took IE 7 to install on my computer. But, patience is a virtue. Once the install is complete, your computer and browser should work like a charm.
And if it doesn't check out http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/support/default.mspx#ie7Support
Wait. There's more. Fast on the heels of Microsoft Explorer 7, rumor has it that there is a brand new version of Firefox that will be released later this week. Go to http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox and you should, after Tuesday, be able to download the final version of Firefox 2. [As of Monday, the site only offers Firefox 188.8.131.52 and Firefox 2 RC 3. Skip those. You're looking for Firefox 2.0, which should be available for download Tuesday-ish.]
Firefox 2 offers built-in phishing protection, search term suggestions, close buttons on each tab, the ability to resume a browsing session after a crash, inline spell checking [YAY!], and much more. For a complete list of what's new, check out http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/2.0/releasenotes/
So, it's browser updating time. Download and install both IE 7 and Firefox 2. Both new browsers incorporate new security features that will make your journey down the internet's series of tubes much safer, and you can't beat the price.
That's it for today. Have a safe and happy week, we'll talk again soon.