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Mozilla Starting Off The Year With a Bug

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Well, once again I was proven correct about computers and software but I wish just once I'd be wrong. I hadn't done anything spectacularly stupid for several months so broke my cardinal rule developed in 4 decades of computer work - NEVER, NEVER, NEVER upgrade unless forced to do so.

After two weeks of reminders warning me I had to upgrade my copy of Firefox I finally gave in and, what else?, it promptly crashed.

I left it to marinate overnight and looked in Task Manager to find there finally was a Firefox process running so I ignored the standard warning about not stopping a process, closed it, clicked on a Firefox icon again and it began to boot up, only to inform me that yet another update was required from just 12 hours earlier.

This time I had to give my email address (so I of course gave a dead drop spam bucket location) and agreed to accept their junk mail.

Then I had to do it all over again because the next screen was just a repeat of the previous one demanding an email address.

Now Firefox works and I'm back online to wish everyone a merry Christmas if that is your religion.

Upgrades are ALWAYS a way to discover new and exciting bugs.

I was always referred to as the Power Curmudgeon at Government Computer News (I wrote the Power User column for a couple decades), and I was proud of that epithet but since the ONLY computer which ever did exactly what I told it to do was an IBM 1401 which I programmed in machine language in 1963, is it any wonder I was able to write about computer problems for decades with enough material every new day in this decade to write a dozen more columns if GCN hadn't disappeared and having worn out my welcome at CNET.

So, I still run XP Pro - it works fine, why would I want to explore new bugs in later Windows versions? As for IE, I've always felt only a fool would use the Microsoft browser unless forced to by some IT department trying to insure job security - which, of course, is the main reason for most software upgrades.

Why would any sensible person choose to run a clumsy browser with more security holes in it than the Pentagon's firewall?

So while Firefox is slowly succumbing to the bit rot which eventually pervades all established software, it is still head and shoulders above any browser from Redmond, even with its occasional dandruff.

I love computers, and I love seeing new software versions released, not that I would ever use any of them until months of real world testing show up some of the security holes and other time wasting "features."

So, why do I love them? Simple, if it weren't for software updates I'd have run out of things to write about the time IBM added a hard drive to the PC.

John McCormick is a reporter, /science/medical columnist and finance and social commentator, with 17,000+ bylined stories. Contact John through NewsBlaze.

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