Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Safari or (Fire) fox-hunting

Today I've actually spent more than my daily quota of saved energy on trawling techie websites and dithering over whether to "tek no gorm" as we delight to say in Barnsley, of a monster threat. This morning's news reveals that Microsoft has issued an uncharacteristically altruistic warning to users of its browser "Internet Explorer" (it would have been news a few years ago to me that there WAS any browser but IE) that they should dump its cumbersome leaky flagship for any one of its rivals.

Security alert! Hackers have the potential to hijack and render bot my PC and laptop by cat-burgling through the unprotected back passages of IE. Thanks, Bill Gates, you make me feel all warm and snuggly. The surf is up.

So, after scratching my head for a frankly overlong time, wondering how the tattycorum I could get online to search out said alternative cyber-surfboard with the odd bell and whistle, without setting out in Internet Explorer, the light dawned. I recalled being badgered over past weeks to download the latest version of Apple's "Safari" every time I went on iTunes to download the latest episode of the Archers or podcast from TMBG. There it was, glistening reassuringly among my "All Programs" - Safari!

I spent another gut-plumbing few minutes weighing up the pros and cons, then took the plunge. What could I lose but my sanity and access to all my files, family history, photo memories and links to websites best left unrevisited?

So I clicked lugubriously on the  compass icon and said goodbye to a decade or more of the blue "e" with its drunken golden halo and swam out into the unknown. Gone phishing? I certainly hoped so.

Within a couple of hours of fiddling with settings, customising here and there and having to reintroduce myself to favourite websites in my fetching new "Safari" suit, I began to realise that a change is as good as a rest. I may well still test out Firefox in the future, which has such a glowing reputation. But for now, I'm loving the speed at which pages, even large photos load, with that intuitive blue progress bar that Safari has watermarked along the web address box. I was thrilled to see the new browser had happily taken on board my old IE bookmarks, and even whisks me instantly from anywhere to my blog with its unwieldy "seemed like a good idea at the time" title.

I began the day tired and I'm pretty wiped out now, but when I'm laid on that burning mat in the middle of the night, limbs feeling swollen and sore from not being able to pace myself through the day, picture me grinning like a fool at the joy of discovering what a rut I was in before Microsoft pointed to the open cage and clapped its hands to make me fly away.

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