Whew. This is turning out to be a bit of a long way around things, but back to the browser issue. To summarize: MicroSoft dominates the browser "market" by giving away an inferior product and attempts to take control of the internet with value added extensions that only work with their platform and browser (ideas completely contrary to the interet). But, enough of us (this includes me) think it's ok. After all, IE really does everything I need.
THEN... Enter things like pop-up adds. And all of a sudden, browsing the internet is painful. In researching what to do about it, I stumble across the fact that there still are other browsers out there. And, hey, they have some neat features: pop-up blocking (selective by site), in-line add blocking, tabbed browsing, AND they are fast. Hmmm. This sounds to good to pass up, so I start using some of these. Then I run into the issues from MS's polution of the internet.
I come across a number of poorly developed sites, that require either IE or Windows to function properly. Now, what iritates me about this, is I have found some good software products (i.e. browsers better than Internet Explorer), but I can't use them because of what MS did to the internet. Then I start looking around at other product areas. Like email programs (Outlook / Outlook Express) or word processors (Word). And you know what. People have very little choice these days about what products to use. AND, if you do go digging for some of these products, you will find that they have some desirable features. In fact, some of these products have done a better job of innovating (in ways that really help me out) with very little (or in some cases 0) funding.
What is this all leading to... I think I'll pick it up tomorrow.
Take care. There is a God and He loves you.