Friday, November 25, 2011

I am sorry Fire Fox, but I did try.

So I re-installed my computer over a week ago. I had been running
Ubuntu for a month and then thanks to the frustrations with Ubuntu
11.10 I went to Mint Linux (yeah, I used Linux full time for a month
and became a distribution snob in that amount of time.) The install
of Mint 12 went well and I really liked the layout and features (too
bad I really liked Ubuntu 11.04 more but I guess there is no going
back there).

Mint 12 claims support comes from, in part, the use of "Go Duck Go" ( ) as the search engine. I figured that while I
was trying Mint 12 that I would go all the way and avoid Google Chrome
and It was very hard to break the habit. I almost fell
off the wagon several times the first day. After a few days I started
to work things out and enjoy the Google-free experience.

I don't like the idea that my web searches provide me results that are
based upon my geographic location and how often I visit specific
sites. Google tunes itself to provide results that are slanted toward
what it determines is your tastes. If you visit Fox news often and
perform a search, the results might be more along conservative lines.
If you visit Mother Jones and Huffington Post then the search results
might be more liberal. I consider myself very independent politically
and I don't like Google acting as a proxy to censor and spin the
world's news by various political groups. Sometimes I want to know
what Glenn Beck has to say and other times I want to know what John
Stewart has to say. I don't need Google deciding if I am 49% liberal
that day.

So, Go Duck Go is good, it is like google circa 2006 or so. You
search and you can guess that a similar search performed by another
person will yield similar results. So I used Go Duck Go a lot. The
problem is that I have become a Google power user.

I love to search from the browser bar. Firefox has mixed results with
that. I search images and videos and Go Duck Go has mixed results
with that. When I start up my browser and it just sits there waiting
for me to type the URL for where I want to go, I hate it. I have
become used to the Google "Most Visited Places" page. I just was
uncomfortable in FireFox, like a pair of pants or a sweater that were
just too tight in the wrong places. Today I gave it up and went back
to Chrome.

I want FireFox to be a success. I don't think Google dominance over
the web and phones is any better than a Microsoft Dominance (or Apple
dominance). I wanted to say that I switched back from Google to
FireFox just like I left Windows, but while I could leave Windows and
not look back (I love Gimp, Libre Office, Blender and have already
ditched NetFlix) -- I could not leave Google.

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