A couple of weeks ago, I was really surprised when I told my sister to download GAIM and install it, and she didn’t know how. I think I felt a little like my older brother did when I, 13 years old and wanting to play a game on his Sega Saturn, asked him how to take a CD out of its case. On my defense, the CD felt flimsy and was securely lodged in there. Growing up on casette tapes all my life, how was I to know you press the center to pop the disk out?
And so, it’s this idea that the next generation will naturally know more than you do about computers, as if the knowledge is genetically hard wired into youngsters minds, even when there’s been a lack of exposure to said technology. And myself, like my brother before me 10 years back, just happen to be major technofiles with all the latest gadgets… I mean, I just got Synergy to work on my two laptops!!! I guess I’ll save that for another post…
So, I felt a bit like my sister when I decided to install IE7 yesterday. I figured it’d be similar to downloading any other program, or at least similar to downloading the uber-awesome Firefox, but boy, was I in for a shocker. I grabbed my laptop and headed to the crapper, because I thought it couldn’t possibly take very long to download… and that was the last anyone has heard from me.
So, I head to Microsoft’s web site, downloaded the installer, which was about 14 meg, if I recall. And right here, I’m expecting to do only two things in the installer. 1) Accept some crazy long-winded legalese, and 2) Tell it where to download to.
It asks for neither.
Instead it goes through validating my copy of XP SP2 (which is genuine, WOO HOO!) and asking me if I want to install more programs. Ummm…. okay, sure.
Then, it spends almost 10 minutes downloading additional content, updating said content, and finally installing. And guess what?!?!? NO PROGRESS BAR!!! That’s right. I thought it might take 1, maybe 2 minutes, enough time for the foul feeling of downloading Microsoft products to leave me with my fecal. But there I am, counting away the time, thinking how silly I really am and finally getting off the toilet.
Oh, and the best part: It overrode IE6 without asking. Now, this is good for most people, but for a person who does ANY website design, not being able to test a site out on a browser that whether I like it or not 95% of the population uses is like a divorce on Christmas day. You just. don’t. do. it.
So, aside from that, it’s pretty, has a bunch of security fixes, deals with tabs a little differently than Firefox, and will be pretty awesome once it’s shoved down everyone’s throats in the next couple of months.
But, if you care about being able to surf the net freely without your computer crashing, go with Firefox. They know how to write installers.