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Posts Tagged ‘internet explorer’

Find your best performing browser with Peacekeeper

All the browsers claim that they’re the fastest and offer the best Internet browsing experience. However, the performance of the browsers will vary depending upon your system. Therefore, you can test which browser gives the best performance on your system using Futuremark Peacekeeper. The site puts the browsers through a rigorous test which pushes them to the limits of their capability to do such things as: render websites fast, handle multimedia, and cope with data.

Results from the browser tests performed on my laptop

Results from the browser tests performed on my laptop

Peacekeeper is rather a joy to watch; whilst it’s taxing your browser by testing its capabilities, you receive a rather dashing show of colour, text, data, and at one point a beautiful video. These are designed to test your browser’s capability to handle the demands of the modern web. Leaving the browser alone whilst the test runs is your best bet, since using other websites whilst the test runs may slow down the test slightly and therefore cause an inaccurate result. Before you run the scan you have the choice of doing it with a system scan, or without. I chose without, since this saves installing a Java plugin. The scan runs fine and is just as accurate without the system scan, since it only serves to provide Futuremark with more data for their overall statistics.

You may be wondering what the point in all this is. Other than a rather pretty display of content, it’s actually very useful in terms of finding out which browser will perform fastest for you. Since the tests conducted by websites and magazines generally only test on their computers, their results may not be as useful to you. However, being able to test multiple browsers on your PC could prove very helpful in choosing which browser you’re going to use on a regular basis.

The test takes about five minutes to complete, and after doing so you’re presented with a screen which shows you on a graph the overall rating of the browser. You can click on the bar to see a breakdown of the scores to see how well the browser did in each area. Below that graph is a list of the top scores on the top processors. This is probably not of much use other than to make you drool over the expensive processors. You can also click the ‘Benchmark another browser’ button which gives you a URL to copy and paste into another browser. This then compares the results of all the browsers you’ve tested on a graph, allowing you to see a comparison of each browser you’ve tested.

I was surprised to see that Firefox was lagging a long way behind Chrome and Safari. However, this may be partly due to the fact that I use it most often and have quite a few addons installed. However, the overall statistics show that Firefox is markedly slower than Safari and Chrome. Whilst the tests tell you about speed and performance, you should also take into account the other features of the browser which the test doesn’t take into account – such as customisation.

You can run the test from http://service.futuremark.com/peacekeeper. Give it a go and see what results you get.

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Annotate with Diigo

I’ve stumbled across a smashing tiny application which allows you to add notes to webpages. This becomes very useful if doing research for homework, coursework, papers, or other such jazz. It could be used if you simply want to add notes when you find useful stuff.

Diigo adds notes and highlights to webpages - either for research or discussion with others

Diigo adds notes and highlights to webpages - either for research or discussion with others

Diigo allows you to add these notes in the form of post-its to webpages. You can either download and install the Diigo Toolbar which is a fully-featured toolbar addon for your browser; or you can simply add the Diigolet link to your bookmarks or bookmarks toolbar for easy, quick access without installing anything. With either of these options, you can add annotations to anywhere on a webpage. You can also highlight and annotate specific areas or words. You can either make these annotations public – anyone with Diigolet or Diigo toolbar running – can see them and add to them, or private – only you can see them.

You can also add this to multiple computers, allowing you to see your annotations after you  sign with your Diioglet account. It’s also compatible with just about every browser, so you won’t need to fear not being able to see your notes when using someone else’s PC. This would allow you to add notes at home, and then see them at school or work as you continue the research you were doing.

Whilst the fully-fledged toolbar adds extra functions, oddly, it seems to slow down the simple process of adding notes quickly. Rather than simply clicking the button, you must go through a small drop-down list on the toolbar in order to highlight text and add sticky notes. However, the toolbar does allow you to add things to online bookmarks, share things with others, and provides functionality similar to Internet Explorer 8’s new accelerators when highlighting text. Despite this, I would suggest that most users would be better off with the Diigolet bookmarklet, since it provides the basic functionality, but sans the hassle which the toolbar brings with it.

I’d highly suggest signing up at www.diigo.com and adding either the bookmarklet (bookmarks button for quick access) or, if you’re feeling adventurous, going for the whole shebang and getting the Diigo Toolbar. Give it a go and see what you think.

Windows Mobile 6.5: new interface, old browser

February 28, 2009 1 comment

It’s been seven years since its first release, Microsoft nudges its users to upgrade, developers shove users to upgrade, yet it’s still going to be included in the latest offerings from Windows Mobile.

The Microsoft Windows Mobile platform has been allowed to lie dormant for quite some time, being vastly overshadowed by Apple’s iPhone offering. However, Microsoft is now trying to claw back this lost platform with the release of Windows Mobile 6.5. It sports a more modern and approachable interface, but with largely the same codebase as version 6.  Internet Explorer is also being upgraded in their mobile platform. Don’t get too excited.

Smartphones are increasingly used for their ability to connect to networks as well as the 3G world-wide services. A modern browser is needed to get the best out of the modern Web. However, the scourge of web-developers everywhere, Internet Explorer 6, is being put into the Windows Mobile update. First released in 2001, the browser is now hugely out of date, resulting in it being unable to handle modern websites and web technologies well, causing many hours of tweaking and fiddling for web developers to try to get their site working well on it. The announcement was made in late 2008, but the new browser will not be rolled out until version 6.5 of Windows Mobile is released. If Windows Mobile takes off, developers may find the browser that they love to hate sticking around even longer. With an update to the browser not expected until version 7 of Windows Mobile, we may just see this outdated browser sticking around for even longer.