Firefox 4 – First Impressions

No, it hasn’t yet been released. But thanks to Engadget, I was able to download Firefox 4 a day before its official release date. To begin with, I was quite excited for this release as Firefox had been, unfortunately, lagging behind Chrome and Opera in terms of speed in the recent times. I was looking forward to Firefox 4 for a speed boost – both surfing speed and UI loading speed. It was time for Firefox to hit back again in the highly intense browser market.

The installer download was around 12 MB, and the installation/upgrade process was essentially the same as before. I upgraded from my latest FF 3.6.15 installation without hassles. But as expected, more than half of my installed add-ons were incompatible with FF 4, and thus were auto-disabled by FF. No issues, I’ll update those add-ons as soon as new compatible versions are released.

So FF finally loaded, and “what the hell?” A major revamp of the UI. But nothing bad here. The changes were for the good. The new interface is much more Chrome-like than Firefox-like, and I liked it. The status bar has gone; the open/close tab animations are fluid; the page loading icon has changed (for the first time ever?); the go, stop and reload buttons are now one unified button; the search box has been preserved; there is this “Tab Groups” feature (quite like Quick Tabs in Internet Explorer), and probably much more which I haven’t yet explored. All-in-all, the new Firefox 4 is the best of two worlds (Chrome + Firefox), and shows how Chrome should have been. And yes, the page loading speeds were evidently better than 3.6.x. Go download it now if you cannot resist to see the changes yourself.

Firefox 4 gets a thumbs up from me. Go, rule the world again! 🙂

Install Shockwave in Linux using Wine


Adobe Shockwave is an advanced platform for 3D applications on the Internet, and online games benefit the most out of it. But unfortunately, Adobe never released a version of Shockwave for the Linux platform.

If you are a Linux user, worry not. Using Wine, you can easily play for favorite games made using Shockwave. Wine is a software that allows running Windows applications on Linux. Wine is an open-source, free software, and is now available as a stable 1.0 version.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Install the latest version of Wine.
  2. Install the latest version of Shockwave for Windows using Wine. To do that, open command-line (Konsole/Terminal) and cd to the folder where Shockwave’s installer has been stored. Next, issue the command: wine Shockwave_Installer_Slim.exe. This will install Shockwave as it does in Windows.
  3. Next, install the latest version of Mozilla Firefox for Windows using Wine, in the similar way as above.
  4. After it’s installation, open Firefox, go to the desired URL containing your favorite Shockwave application, and viola! The Shockwave application is ready to be used.

The screenshot in the beginning of this post shows Miniclip’s Table Tennis game being played in Google Chrome installed in Linux using Wine.

[ To installed Google Chrome using Wine on Linux, refer to this excellent tutorial ]

Google Chrome – My Views and Review

Google is everywhere these days. Most of their products, or “innovations” as many people like to call them, usually get very successful. Like GMail, Orkut, Google Docs, and many more. Some time back, they decided that we, the people, need an all new browser that would redefine our browsing experience. So, here we have yet another browser. And the name is Chrome, Google Chrome.

Just a day before the launch of Chrome, a blog entry was made on the Official Google Blog on 1st September notifying the readers about the launch date of a beta of Chrome. That was when I came to know about it. So, I eagerly waited for the next day to arrive. Although I had my exam the day following the lauch date, I still preferred to wake up at night and be one of the first ones to download it.

My first attempt on downloading was when I went to the official Chrome site for it. From there, I got a 470KB executable which would download the actual Chrome browser from the Internet. As my modem has a tendency to disconnect very frequently, I made 3 unsuccessful attempts of downloading Chrome through that 470KB file. On some googling, I got a direct link to the actual Chrome installer which was around  7MB in size.

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