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Posted Oct 7, 2003
At 19:29
Hi Donato, as promised something Appley - and it ain't Apple Pie!
I was born in 1963. I WAS there during the 60's, but don't remember much about it. On the other hand I do remember the 70s - for example the first pair of flared jeans (Wrangler) and proudly showing to my Dad how the bell bottoms entirely covered each of my feet. And what a pain they were on my Chopper - that's my bike, in case you think this isn't a family show - as the acres of fabric would swirl around and get jamed in chain. Still, my Chopper had a big knob, for changing gear dear, really!

My parents had a peculiar taste in music. There were definately some Deutsche Gramophonen labelled Beethoven records, two or even three James Last and his Orchestra compliations (it's a wonder I grew up as sane as I did!) and the totally bizarre Swingin' Safari. The psychological effect of this lingers today - when someone says Safari to me, it's not herds of wildebeast roaming the Serenghetti with the odd Hippo churning up the mud that springs to mind, but the front cover of this album (studio setting, girl in a Safari suit, plastic plants and a dead tiger) and of course the sound of its, hmmm, music.

And beige.

So, when Apple launched a browser I suffered a confused jumble of emotions. Hoorah! Another reason NOT to use a Microsoft product. The record. the music, the only decipherable words "When the lion sleeps tonight". And beige.

Is the Apple browser actually any good? Kind of a moot point now, seeing as how Bill has stopped browser production on the Mac platform, and that other browser Netscape really doesn't feature much any more. Well, Safari is fine. Not brillaint. but fine. I've lost track of where we are with version numbers, but the version I'm using is 1.0 (v85.5) - quite possibley a bit dated now. It's stable - as far as I recall it hasn't crashed. It feel tight, light, focussed, lean and mean, unlike the stodgy feel you get from Microsoft products. I like the Bookmark bar feature - this makes it very easy to go back to a bookmarked page and seem to me to be more straighforward than the Explorer "Favourites" method. A techie friend of mine go all excited about tabbed browsing, but I don't use this feature. Those that like it seem to like it.

The biggest pain is that this version of Safari doesn't work on all websites. Like this site, for example. Which is why I don't have a profile as when I clicked on the box to type on in, I couldn't click on the box to type one in. It's a bit like when the needle used to get stuck in a groove, you'd be flying along, impressing your friends with your big brother's copy of Made in Japan, when suddenly you're thrown into panic mode and have to nudge the stereo to get Ian pace drumming sensibley again. So I gave the Mac a nudge by firing up Explorer and am using that to write this review of Safari (Oh God, that bloody music!). Also the "Remember Password" feature seems to suffer from short term amnesia - perhaps it was written by a goldfish? Only didn't I read somewhere that they actually did have a memory? Hmm, can't remember...

When the lion sleeps toniiight. Oooo ooooo ooo oooo (this in a very high voice -I'm sure this record got onto Top of the Pops). I did set Safari to be my default browser, more bacause I thought I should support the cause then because I really wanted to, but often I revisit a site with Explorer. Kind of a shame, really, that Steve and Bill have agreed to differ over what's right for the Mac browser. I mean, it's fine have a super fast browser, but if all it does is get you to a dead end faster than a hungry Leopard zeroing in on a Big Mac and you then have to boot up a rival product to complete the job - there really isn't much point, is there?

And where does this leave the poor old user a year from now. Mac Explorer will fall further and further behind, will Safari be able to keep up? Only time will tell, in the mean time I'll be schizophrenic with the browsers.

Now where's my iPOD, I've got to listen to some Abba.
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