Full circle to Chrome

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I AM VERY ideological, and I give moral, sometimes even financial, support to the good folks who share my sharp view of things.

An organization that does not share my sharp view, to state it mildly, is Google, which is a cauldron of leftist and PC — redundancy, I know — nonsense, and they wear their views right out in the open, shamelessly.

To this end, I try to steer my tiny corner of cyberspace away from Google to the extent it is possible to do so, which sometimes it is not.

Alas, Google owns YouTube, which I love.

I do not use Google Search, and I do not say or write “Google something.” I say “internet search,” and I use one of the many fine alternatives.

Years ago, when Google debuted Gmail, I was one of the first to sign on, and Gmail was my primary email for a long time. Google did not appear so blatantly leftist in those days, and perhaps I was a tad calmer too. That was before the Western World turned into the sorry thing it is today.

About three years ago, wanting to dump Gmail, I went on an email safari, and found Fastmail, an excellent, inexpensive, paid service from Australia.

At the same time, I was using Google’s Chrome browser, but a year or so later I dumped it too, for ideological reasons, and I’ve tested and used a number of alternatives like Opera, Maxthon, Vivaldi, Brave, Sea Monkey and Pale Moon.

I also used Firefox for a long time in the distant past before switching to Chrome. Buggy Firefox has gone downhill if you didn’t know.

The best of the above-mentioned lot is Opera, which consistently gets high marks from people who know about such stuff. I used Opera until recently. It has a few things I dislike, mostly its Bookmark design.

On a lark a few days ago, I downloaded Chrome to take a look. Damn, but it’s good! So I’m back. I’ve gone full circle. Sometimes comfort trumps ideology.

In any event, a good number of the other browsers appear to be built on a Chrome foundation, so why not go to the source?

But I still don’t use Gmail, but if you send something to my Gmail address, it will be forwarded to Fastmail.

Don’t be a stranger.

35 thoughts on “Full circle to Chrome

  1. You are too tech-y for me, Zapata. I have no desire nor the time to surf around for something that isn’t too left nor too right; I just want it to work for me and Google does just that. But, on a whim I will try out the Chrome, as I keep getting irritating popup offers from them so I will satisfy their need to win me over and give it a go. I’ll let you know my thoughts later on.

    1. Leisa: Pop-ups! You can avoid that, of course. I never see pop-ups unless it’s something I’ve elected to see. Chrome will automatically block pop-ups in their Settings menu. Opera does the same. Other browsers too, I imagine. And I virtually never see ads due to ad-blockers. I recommend Adguard. There’s a reasonable one-time fee, and it can be overly zealous, but you can calm it down via its interface settings. And there are lots of free ad-blockers that work as browser extensions. Adguard has one.

      1. And thank you for being watchful of spelling/grammar errors. I’m taking a writing course soon. Hoping to learn my errors before my finger taps post.

        1. Leisa: I edit comments a lot, but I never change what’s said, just spelling, grammar, etc. For that reason, I have the prettiest comment section on the internet. One must uphold standards of excellence.

  2. Funny you bring up browsers. Yesterday I wasted over three hours trying to get the new version of Firefox which automatically upgraded in my computer overnight. Gone were my toolbars, gone were my frequently used buttons like the download symbol. The only way I could maneuver around was to go to the menu, use the dropdown, then do multiple functions where before it was one button. After three or four hours, I finally got to the point sort of close to what I had before.

    I tried not to update, but then some of the other program functionalities run like peanut butter. They keep upgrading, but I don’t want upgrading. I just want the program that I finally mastered, but then they yank the rug out again. It takes too much time to keep up with all the upgrades, same goes for the IPhone. If you don’t upgrade, which reduces battery life and slows the phone down, your applications will not work unless you have the latest update or worse yet having to buy a new model which they make you do every three or four years. That is one of the reasons I switched to the Android phone, trying to get away from Apple. Damn, it use to be so simple with AOL, Netscape and CompuServe.

    I’ll look at Chrome again, and see if it is simple enough for me to use.

    1. Tancho: In a word: Chrome. Firefox started out great years ago, but dem days are long gone for the reasons you mention and others. Dump it. As much as I hate to admit it, there is a reason that Google is the Big Kahuna. They do it right.

      AOL is still a going concern. I have an AOL email address that I use for certain things. It works fine. Never messed with Compuserve. As for Netscape, I actually know a woman who still uses Netscape. Incredible. It has gone unsupported now for many years. Anyone who still uses Netscape is out there on a far limb.

  3. I’ve followed a similar path as you. After using Firefox faithfully for years, I finally got tired of it choking on Adobe Flash, so I (very reluctantly) switched to Chrome. Yes, it works fabulously, though I can’t help but worry that it’s spying on me. From time to time I do consider going back to Firefox, but I have yet to actually do so.

    As for email, I’ve lately been toying with the idea of switching to ProtonMail, which is an encrypted email service set up in Switzerland under Swiss privacy laws. No data snooping there.

    I’ve used Yahoo mail for more than 20 years, and I’ve probably been tracked way more than I’d like. But inertia has its own power.

    Good luck sleeping with the enemy.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where we vacillate between thinking we’re too privacy focused to thinking it doesn’t really matter.

    1. Kim: It doesn’t really matter unless you are engaged in criminal activity, and I assume you are not. People get too up in arms over this privacy thing, in my opinion. As I have tested my browsers, I have also tested many email services. I’ve done it for practical matters, but mainly I just like playing around and seeing how things work. I played with a Proton email account for a while. Did not work for me because it does not include a calendar, which is essential to my life. Proton is also boring to look at, but it apparently does what it says in the secrecy department.

      It just occurred to me this very moment that an email provider for me does not require a calendar anymore. I have switched to an independent calendar from keepandshare.com. It’s mostly for business use, but individual accounts are welcomed and FREE! It’s very well designed. I use KeepAndShare for recurring events and Fastmail’s calendar for one-time events.

      Just before trying out Chrome again, I downloaded Firefox to see how it was. It jammed up almost immediately. I uninstalled it.

      1. I use my iPhone for my calendar. I suspect you have a smartphone which would do the same. But there’s no good reason to have a calendar that’s operated by a web company. All they are doing is snooping in your personal stuff.

        While I’m not going to admit to being 😉 involved in criminal activities, I don’t want my email easily readable by anyone else. But that said, I have been thinking/threatening for some while now to switch to ProtonMail, but haven’t yet done so. So I guess I’m not as bothered as I imagine myself to be. The biggest bother is getting people to start using the new account, which would likely be near-impossible. So then I’d have to check two accounts, which seems like a nuisance.

        As for Firefox, I’m sorry to hear the results of your recent test. I had been considering reviving it, but I guess I’ll just have to continue supporting The Beast.

        Saludos,

        KG

        1. Kim: The firm that runs my calendar can peak at it all they want. I just don’t care. If they get their rocks off at seeing when I need a car tuneup or when I have a dentist appointment or when I must water the yard, power to ’em.

          The chances of any company arbitrarily reading your email is too small to be measurable. Not worth fretting over. There are billions of emails floating in cyberspace at any given moment. As for your switching to Proton, it’s too bad you’re using Yahoo. Gmail and quite a few of the other biggies easily let you forward email to other email services. It’s possible to do that with Yahoo too, but it’s a real bear figuring out how to do it. I did it, but now I don’t recall how. Email to my Yahoo goes straight to Fastmail, and Yahoo sticks their version in the trash file. You can also have it saved in Yahoo’s Inbox. And Fastmail lets me reply to email with a return address that’s the same as the one it was directed to in the first place. People who write to my still-active Gmail address don’t even know it’s forwarded to Fastmail. Great service. Yahoo does none of that stuff.

          Point is that you don’t have to check two emails if you get Proton. Well, that is if your old email was something other than Yahoo. Also, Yahoo is prone to being hacked. Best avoided. Get off your duff, young man.

  4. I’ve used Chrome for a few years now. I started out with Yahoo, which because when I moved to Mexico I needed a generic type email address as opposed to the one dedicated to my internet provider. Yahoo has so many ads on it that it took forever to load, so I switched to Chrome. It does what I expect from it, mainly as a platform for bookmarks. As for privacy, the only thing I worry about is financial transactions, and I have never had a problem there.

    The only computer addon I have an argument with is McAfee, which while testing their product, infected my computer twice. The made a financial settlement and offered me free product use for two years, which I politely declined, and switched to another virus scanner.

    Now that most of my computer stuff is on an android tablet, where I combine my email accounts, I rarely see Yahoo.

    1. Kris: One of us is confused. Chrome is a browser. Yahoo is not. You’re mixing apples and bananas. Do you mean Gmail where you wrote Chrome? Gmail works pretty well if you don’t have ideological issues with the company. My Fastmail is far better though. Plus, they keep quiet about politics, which is something all companies should do, no matter what the CEO thinks.

      I don’t understand people who still use an email connected to a specific internet provider. That’s so yesterday. Yahoo, of all the biggies, seems to have much more problems with hacking than the others. I have a Yahoo account for just one reason: To see a couple of Yahoo forums the Gringos use in my area. Were it not for that, I would have dumped Yahoo years ago.

      Funny story about McAfee. Not for you, of course. You tested them, and they rotted your computer?! I’ve used Bitdefender for years now. Works like a charm, and you can get it cheap if you pay attention.

      Just recently bought a new Samsung tablet that my wife uses. They are useless for writing blogs, especially for someone who can type 100 words per minute with a real keyboard, i.e. me.

      1. I may be wrong, but Yahoo has a search function, which may be connected to Internet Explorer, the worst browser on the face of the earth, but may be surpassed by the one connected to Windows 10, which came on the Dell computer I bought last year, or maybe that’s just where I accessed it. In any case, I don’t transmit any top secret information by email. Mostly now, I just get commercial stuff.

        I switched to Webroot a couple of years ago, which covers both of my computers, and three Samsung tablets. For social networking and correspondence, they are all that is needed. Of interest, a computer shop geek I know does a thriving business backdating new computers to operate on Windows Vista, apparently because of software incompatibility issues.

        The younger generation seems to have just gone to either Smartphones or IPhones for most everything. I don’t have a cell phone and couldn’t bring myself to paying $1000 for one, so I guess I’ll be left in the dust.

        1. Kris: The browser that comes with Windows 10 is Edge. My wife briefly had a laptop late last year till we sold it because she never used it. It had Edge. I did not like it at all. We are of one mind.

          Webroot is supposed to be very sweet. I almost switched to it a few months ago when Bitdefender was up for renewal, but I found a real good deal on Bitdefender, so I stuck with it. Got another three years now. I never have used Windows Vista. I’ve been using Windows 8.1 for almost five years, and I shudder at the thought of having to buy another PC because it will have Edge without a doubt. Would likely push me toward Apple if the dang things were not so expensive.

          The younger generation! Pah! What do they know?

          1. I just installed Chrome, set it as my default, and avoid all the rest. Strangely, when I renewed Webroot, they wanted $80. With thirty seconds of searching, I found a new subscription for $30. Some college student with a reseller license making a little money on the side. We chatted a bit and I renewed for two years. A previous check with Webroot told me that they were in the software business, and allowed resellers to set their own pricing.

            The Windows 10 is OK if you ignore it. I understand revising and upgrading the system for function and speed, but totally destroying the user interface just so that everybody knows it’s different is like putting square wheels on a car.

            I started using computers back in the Apple IIe days, and took Basic programming in order to write menus to start programs. That seems easier than figuring out how to turn off a computer with Windows 10. What was wrong with the Start button?

            1. Kris: Yes, pricing of antivirus programs can vary wildly with the same program. The normal price for Bitdefender’s top program is about $75 a year. However, I recently found it being sold for $60 for three years, and I bought it. You are right about just ignoring Windows 10, I imagine. I will get used to it when I have to buy it. As for the start button, you can add one. Download a program called Classic Shell. Bet it works. Check this, and then send me a check in the mail.

            2. When I was forced to update to Windows 10, it was painful. It took me months to figure out how to navigate, replace what I had lost from Windows 8 and, as you said, learn how to turn the thing on and off. Every time an update came in I cringed as that meant the awful experience of “change.” A few weeks ago I deleted all my browser history. What went with it was all my passwords and past places I visited frequently with the stroke of a finger. After the dust settled I realized what I had done wrong. I had left the check mark on to delete all passwords and cookies. I wished I were one who feels excitement about new techy gadgets, updates, new programs and availability of different programs to try out. But I ain’t.

              1. Leisa: Except if you bought a new computer that had Windows 10 installed, I cannot imagine how you were “forced to update to Windows 10.” Inquiring minds wanna know, please. As for your accidentally zapping your cookies, fret not, they will replace themselves gradually as you revisit the web pages in question. As for your accidentally zapping passwords, that cannot happen if you use an independent password manager. You were using one that’s built into a browser. There are lots of good free ones. I use a simple one named Bitwarden.

                1. Inquiring minds: I had a feeling the sentence would trip some readers up about “being forced.” As a Christmas gift from my generous son, I was gifted an entire new computer system. Of course Windows 10 was part of this. I soon realized that Windows 10 was totally not what I had thought it would be. Things moved about, things missing, new things. It was a challenge and not a fun one. Shortly later, Windows began distributing free downloads of 10 to replace the beloved and extremely easy-to-use Windows 8. I inquired if it was possible to ditch the 10 for the 8. It wasn’t. So I am envious of your 8, Felipe, but over the years, I’ve adapted to the 10. I believe one can get used to darn near anything, but this one was a stumble for me.

                2. Leisa: So you were forced into Windows 10 by your son. Sounds like you’ve had it for quite a while. Must have got one of the very first ones. Lucky you. I’ll hold off until my current PC commits suicide in some way. In the meantime, I send sympathy.

  5. Several years ago I got tired of holding a 10-pound laptop on my lap, so decided to try a two-pound Chromebook. Fell in love with it. Fast. Simple. I still use a DOS version of Quicken because it is simple and quick, and does all I want and little extra. Enjoy your comments.

    1. Phil: I do not own or like laptops for a number of reasons. No. 1 is the flat keyboard. No. 2 is that I am online too much as it is. If I have something to tote out of the house, I likely would be doing more. What comes after that? I become one of those zombies walking the sidewalks with their noses stuck in a smartphone? Gadzooks! I have a smartphone, but I never use it for anything outside of the house but calls and text messages. At home, I check my bank balance. That’s it. Even if I liked laptops, I wouldn’t get a Chromebook because it costs too much, and I am down on Apple due to iTunes frying my music library about a decade ago. I hold grudges.

  6. I will be the one to tell you this, señor: Your paranoid Gringo neighbor is correct. They are watching you. They will have their way with you. You are toast, sir.

  7. I guess I am one of the few who just doesn’t care about who is watching me. They aren’t going to see or get anything from this old woman. I have had the same email address since the late ’90s. I think I have had maybe two viruses during all the years I’ve had a computer. I use Chrome and have tried a few others, but I like to keep things very simple and Chrome and Google do that for me. I am the least Techie person I know, don’t even use a cell phone. All this leaves me more time to enjoy who and what is around me.

      1. I have one, but I forget to charge it and also put money in it … don’t have a plan of any sorts. Maybe when my life becomes settled I will do something about my lack of availability and communication. The dogs will greet the ominous one.

  8. I’ve used Google non-stop for 12+ years without problems. I use AdBlock when I visit YouTube which is quite often. I have both Windows 10 and Windows 7. I only use Windows 7. I dislike Windows 10.

    If you use Google or Facebook your privacy doesn’t exist. Everything you write or say is up in the Cloud, even when you’re on your cell phone and every text message you send with a GPS location.

    Paranoia is futile. Animal Farm and 1984 were prophetic and they were written before we were born.

  9. I went the Chromebook/Chromebox route a while back too (Chromebox solves your keyboard and monitor problems). For an unsophisticated person, there are big advantages–cost, simplicity, Google handles security and storage, 15 second boot up, doesn’t use up the battery heating your lap. Disadvantages–gotta be online, music is only of the streaming variety (mostly), and your printer has to be cloud-ready.

    What I find ironic about this is that a Chromebook/Chromebox is basically just going back to the concept of a terminal connected to a mainframe, kinda like a VT100 hooked up to an IBM 360 for the 21st century, if you’re old enough to remember what those things are.

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