Friday, January 15, 2010

How to Fix a Broken Browser.

Finally, something to fix. My nearly 8 year old computer went on the fritz a week ago. It's an IBM Thinkpad T30 and was state of the art way back when. The problem was IE8, or known more affectionately as Internet Explorer 8. My words for this browser were not fit for print, though keeping such words to myself. The problem was the browser became corrupted, probably before I could get decent virus protection and finally shut down. The result was that it ran slow and finally did not run at all; effectively rendering this machine useless.

I tried several times through command prompt, or cmd in the run box of the start menu. It meant downloading the browser (Firefox) through DOS or Disk Operating Systems. What it was was an excercise in futility. I resigned myself to using the desktop, also an older machine but relegated to my wife's use for her social happenings. Taking away social happenings from my wife is not one of the most brilliant things to do. Need I say more.

Windows Media Player is a browser in and of itself, I remembered. Though I seldom use it, it does have the capability to surf the internet under the premise of looking for Lady Gaga or Ka$ha downloads. It was time for a more benign pursuit in making my old machine usable again.

In the upper right hand corner of the window for the media player is a drop down list labeled Windows Media Guide. There will a box marked Search. Click that and enter the words Firefox, IE8 or the name of any browser you feel like. I prefer Firefox because it's a lot faster and has a built-in spell check for sites like Facebook, Blogger, or even Blackboard. This is something IE has yet to do in any of its incarnations and is much slower.

Click on the advertisement for Firefox and though it will take a few minutes, it should download. If not, reload the page and try again. Follow the instructions on the dialogue boxes that pop up and click off any warnings if you want to download the program. Once you get Firefox going, it will take a few minutes to gather your info and homepage to work properly. Once it is up and running. X out of it, run your virus protection and then check for updates to your operating system. This is very important if the computer has been disabled for an extended amount of time.

Again, I would recommend Firefox for all browsing needs that don't specifically contraindicate it. It just works better than Safari or Internet Explorer; the latter suffering from application hangs all too frequently. Maranatha!

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