the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur (plonq) wrote,
the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur

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Burning Chrome

I downloaded Chrome last night and played around with it for awhile before I went to bed. It seemed to work reasonably well, and it even imported all of my Firefox settings (including stored passwords -- which makes me feel a bit less secure for some reason). Since it had all of my Firefox bookmarks, I decided to try it again this morning to read my comics. Usually in Firefox I select "open all in tabs" to open up all 30ish comic sites at once. FF3 handles that pretty well, but I was curious to see if Chrome had the same "open all" functionality, and if it would be as punchy as FF3 in handling that many tabs at once. It did, and it was.

My impressions of Chrome after a couple of hours of use:

+/- The interface is a bit homely, but minimal enough not to be bothersome. I'm sure there will be skins for it soon enough.

+ Chrome is fast. One site that will bring a browser to its knees is Digg. Expanding a thread with 300+ replies is enough to bring IE7 to its knees for awhile, and FF3 is better -- but not much. Last night I jumped into a thread with >1500 entries, and Chrome didn't miss a beat. The other two browsers aren't even in the same league with it for speed. It was just as punchy on every other site I tried.

[Edit: Apparently Cnet has done some speed tests, and the graph bears out my initial impressions. I wish they had included Opera in these tests.]

Chrome is a smidge faster...

- Chrome has the same problems rendering some of the same sites that FF3 had trouble rendering. In FF I can get around this with my "Open in IE tab" add-on.

+ So far all the familiar shortcut keys and mouse events from FF3 work the same on Chrome

- It is only available in a 32-bit version.

- Ads ads ads! I have been running browsers with basic ad-blocking features for so long that I hadn't realized just how ugly and crippled the web is without them. Web sites that I am used to seeing as clean and elegant suddenly looked like that TV from Idiocracy, where the actual content is just a little window the middle of a border of ugly, gaudy ads. Given how important on-line advertising is to Google's revenue stream, a cynical part of me wonders how easy it will be for one to incorporate any kind of blocker into their new browser...

I still need to test a few things before I make any final conclusions about the browser (such as trying its download manager, and seeing how well it integrates with some of my other applications), but so far I am sold once it gets a decent ad blocker.

At work...

One of the things that has always frustrated me about this company is how the departments invariably erect walls around themselves, and work at complete isolation in their little silos. A good example of that came to light when our HR department sent out a bulletin about an up-coming job fair that our company will be attending at the University of Manitoba. My co-worker contacted them and said, "I would like to come along to represent the company." Their response was a generic, "Thank you for your interest. We will keep you in mind in the event of an emergency."

I learned through another source that they rejected him because he does not work for the same department as the one that is doing the hiring. He works in the same office, at a desk ten steps away from that department, but not for the same department. The reason that he thinks that he would be a good person to represent the company includes (but is not limited to): He is a recent graduate from the university, is the former president of the group who is sponsoring the job fair, graduated with honours as valedictorian, maintains a professional demeanour while being eloquent and outgoing, is a visible minority, likes his work, and enjoys working for the company. In other words, in the opinion of everybody but HR he is the ideal spokesman.

The sad thing is that I can see his enthusiasm slowly being eroded as he learns how stupid and petty this company can be. He will be taking a leave of absence to do some exchange work overseas next year, and I would be lying if I said that I expect to see him back at the end of his leave.

At Home...

With atara starting back to classes this week I have been investigating shared cell phone plans. I shall sum up my findings (so far) in haiku:

our mobile service
it sucks and blows both at once
cell phones are a scam

Do any of my fellow Canuck friends have any advice for me on cell plans? I'm trying to find something that gives us unlimited talk/text messaging between plan members, but doesn't cost us $130 a month.
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