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02/07/2005 Archived Entry: "Firefox/Thunderbird followup"

Firefox/Thunderbird followup... a reader wrote me to report of the problems he's had with Firefox:

It moves so slowly that it reminds me of AOL on dialup 7 years ago. Also, it frequently (more than 1/2 the time) 'can not find' the webpages I have been visiting for years. It usually will 'find' them when I hit 'refresh'.

I don't know if that's the Linux, Mac, or Windows version. All I can say is, there's a reason "YMMV" (Your Mileage May Vary) became an acronym. Try both Opera and Firefox, and use the one that works best for you.

There were a few hiccups during our conversion. Wendy discovered that Firefox uninstalls Java support on Linux, by removing a symbolic link from the .mozilla/plugins directory; that link has to be reinstalled by hand. Again, not a task for the Linux newbie.

And when Thunderbird imported my Mozilla Mail, it lost a lot of the message labels (and scrambled some others). Since I use colored labels to tag messages "To Do", "File", etc., this was a problem. Fortunately Thunderbird makes new mailboxes*, so I was able to open the old Mozilla mailboxes and manually re-label the messages in Thunderbird. Quite a nuisance, and inexplicable to me, since as far as I know they use the same mailbox format.

Much as I like both programs, until they get the installation issues straightened out, I'll advise non-technical Linux users: either get technical help, or stay with the browser and email program that came with your Linux distribution.

So far, Opera has been no problem, but like I said, YMMV.


* Even if it hadn't, I did a full backup before installing the new software. Safety first!

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