Monday, August 09, 2004

Browse faster AND cheaper?

Sure, why not? Here are my suggestions:
1. STOP USING INTERNET EXPLORER! (With apologies to Microsoft!)
I have a love-hate relationship with Microsoft! They've filched some of the best ideas from others and have done a lot of marketing shenanigans, but without Microsoft, the world would not have been what it is today. All the same, they are entirely guilty of not improving their browser, once they won over Netscape. And considering that 70% of the world uses it, they should be more responsible.

My favourite is Opera as I've mentioned before. I can integrate my browsing, mail, RSS feeds, notepad, and whatever else I can think of in one place. Plus Opera's speed is unmatched. One of the best feature is to not download any images and only download the text. This itself makes the browsing way, way faster. Additionally, Opera caches the images downloaded once (think about the Yahoo logo) and reuses them instead of downloading it again. Additionally, when you do download images, they are downloaded first as grainy pictures and then the resolution slowly increases. Unlike Internet Explorer, which downloads them in a curtain fashion. So you can see an image and them stop downloading as soon as you know it's irrelevant. Additionally, you get one click control to unnecessary plugins like all those stupid advertisements. So browsing is not just faster, it's also more peaceful!!


As a tutorial, you can read '30 days to becoming an Opera lover'

The other browser option is of course, Mozilla Firefox.

Lastly, if you absolutely HAVE TO use Internet Explorer, get the best Internet explorer shell there is, (that is, it still uses Internet Explorer behind the scenes). It's called Maxthon (earlier MyIE2). It has many of the controls I mention above.

2. Broadband is overhyped!
Also, why would anyone want to pay for something 24 hours a day, when you use it only for a few hours?? Well, I agree it's fast, (and yours truly is guilty too!) but then there's a lot of other technologies out there which is not getting as much publicity or attention as required.

- Internet Accelerators
This is a method by which the Internet Service Provider (ISP), caches frequently visited websites, both at your PC as well at their servers. They also make the photographs of lower resolution so that they download faster.
This is one thing that would really help slow connections, in India or anywhere else.

Also, currently, there's not enough broadband content available. At the most you can watch some internet TV or videos, which are really irrelevant. After all, if we pay for electricity and water by the amount that's used, it doesn't make sense to use cable any differently.

- Bittorrent
This software, (I've mentioned this earlier also), is basically a Peer to Peer (P2P) file sharing software, like Kazaa or the erstwhile Napster. The only difference being that instead of connecting to one person who has the file that you need, it breaks it up and gets whatever piece is available from whoever. And as soon as you get a piece it immediately shares it with everyone else. The best bittorrent client is Azureus.

A good tutorial for Bittorrent is here

And here's one earth shattering idea - why not use the same concept of bittorrent not only to files but also to websites?? Why do you need to download the Hotmail or Yahoo login page, when your neighbour has just done it a few hours ago? Wouldn't it be great if the standard pages like Rediff, Google, eBay, Times of India pages could be shared among everyone online, rather than come from a central server every time?

I'm sure this is going to happen soon, let's see which of the ISP companies this idea strikes first!


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