Firefox 1.5 RC2 Musings

Firefox 1.5 RC1 browser updateI must saw I’m quite impressed by the overall quality encapsulated in Firefox 1.5 RC2. For a change I didn’t have to download the entire 5+ MB package (on Windows). What I did get instead was an in-browser alert via a pop-up dialog that a new version was available. And would I like to upgrade. What a question. Of course! An upgrade can (mostly anyways) always be an improvement of the existing build. The pop-up dialog box also offers a Details link. Clicking doesn’t open a new instance (window) of Firefox and open the Firefox Releases page. However as Firefox 1.5 RC2 is just an interim bug-fix release that resolves some security issues and enhances the built-in software update feature.

Not so long ago I promised to review the iGetter download manager. This nag-ware (its free but displays a nag screen until you pay and register the software) is available in separate versions for the Mac and Windows. The interface is very MacOS with liquid buttons. Feature-wise iGetter is very rich. And can resume broken downloads even with sites that don’t support auto-resume. And like GetRight it supports accelerated (segmented) downloading so you can get more parts of a file in a shorted interval. The software supports HTTP, HTTPS (secure), FTP, and FTP over SSL. And integrates with, a MacOS file downloads site. The integrated Site Explorer allows you to open web sites. However, it isn’t a true site browser. And the Windows version can’t access FTP sites. Overall the software was a bit of a disappointment especially when you consider the number of Windows download managers.

TrueDownloader segmented download in progressAnd then there TrueDownloader (once known as DownloadPlus). Another free for Windows download manager. This one is very simple. But is quite powerful. If a bit too aggressive about monitoring the Windows Clipboard. It can intercept not only the usual download file types, but also any other downloadable content added to the Clipboard. TrueDownloader supports accelerated (segmented) downloading along with file pause/resume. It supports for HTTP and FTP protocols, and can traverse proxy servers. I found its ability to preview Zip files quite useful. And if you think it needs some features added, go ahead and update this open source application. TrueDownloader integrates into IE directly. And can capture all download links. Or be triggered using keyboard combinations. There’s a separate add-in extension for Mozilla/Firefox.

Let’s take a break from software to look at a few web sites. DonationCoder promises to offer a different kind of review. I lucked into the site while following a link about the Best Archive Tool. It looks at the many mainstream file archiving (compression) utilities. And concluded that while newer formats like ACE and 7zip have their advantages. They are essentially proprietary. As there’s support to open their archives. But you need to download and install a specific software to compress files in that format. The review also emphasizes that problems with the 7zip format are actually caused by the LZMA algorithm used for compression. I have found that on all Pentium-powered computers, except the dual-core Pentium 4 HT, compressing a large set of files causes the CPU utilization to rise to 100% and remain there. Even as the computer slows to a dead crawl.

Readers of this blog may have noticed a randomized group of headlines at the bottom of the site’s left-hand navigation bar. These come from Digg, a new approach to technology news using non-hierarchical editorial control. An interesting concept where users submit stories. Whose position is defined by their popularity.

I have a special interest in military aircraft. Classic war birds like Supermarine Spitfire whose grace in flight 60 years after it first flew is breathtaking. I recall during the final Concorde flight into Edinburgh, a Spitfire entertained the crowd. Unfortunately there are no images of the Spitfire at that link.

But there are lots at the Warbirds of India web site. That is the first and only web site on the Internet dedicated to the vintage aircraft of the Indian Sub-Continent. If you don’t find it here, chances are you won’t find it anywhere else!

And as a military history buff specializing in the aircraft and weapons used by the Indian armed forces covering two World Wars. And several sub-continent conflicts. Do checkout the Bharat-Rakshak sub-site on the Indian Air Force (IAF) sub-site. It’s here you’ll find an entire article dedicated to the IAF Spitfires that flew in the IAF. Regrettably, India has just two survivors that can be viewed at the IAF Museum, Palam, New Delhi. The rest were sold by auction and snapped up by war bird enthusiasts in the United Kingdom!

But that’s not the only story of interest. Learn how the IAF salvaged supposedly scrapped B-24 Liberator bombers in the late 1940s and flew them into the early-1970s. Or the story of the Vultee Vengeance dive-bomber. One of which was incidentally crewed by an uncle of mine who went on to join Air India as its first Chief Pilot.

And with that until next time, Stay Safe!

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