Oakville Tech Support Blog

Items from the Tech world that are of note, or interesting, or a good deal.

Send your thoughts to comments@oakvilletechsupport.ca

Chrome Shines

posted May 22, 2012, 2:10 PM by Kyle Thompson   [ updated May 22, 2012, 3:04 PM ]

You may or may not remember a few years back, not so much at it's birth, but rather as the Internet hit 
puberty, the evolution of the modern web browser.  

After a few years of work as part of their university studies, a group of students created Mosaic, a rudimentary but functional program to help computer users look at the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of web pages out on the world wide web.

One of these students, Marc Andreessen, decided to go out on this own and build a business around the technology he helped create... Netscape was born, and within 5 years was purchased by AOL for $4 Billion dollars.  

Of course, to use the Netscape Navigator, it had to be purchased by consumers, and as the only web browser solution on the market, it generated considerable revenue.

Unfortunately for Netscape, Microsoft felt that a 'browser' was key component to it's Windows Operating 
System, so much so that they decided to include it for free in Windows 95 and all versions since.  Netscape, and governments around the world, charged that Microsoft was using its overwhelming strength in one market (Windows was the #1 Operating System), to help it take over a market in which it was barely alive (the web browser market).

The fight and charges were eventually settled, but it was too late for Netscape.  Because it was free, and already included on every new computer, Internet Explorer (Microsoft's web browser) rapidly grew to become world's dominant, most used web browser for over 12 years.

Finally this last week, according to statcounter.com, Internet Explorer lost its 1st place ranking.  The challenger and new web browser champion is Google's Chrome browser.

This upset is significant because it means that, despite already having Microsoft's Internet Explorer for free on their Windows computer, users have decided they would rather take the time to download, install, and learn how to use Chrome, than continue to use IE.

So whats different this time?  Why are people willing to change browsers now, and they weren't before?  Is Chrome THAT much better?  Is Internet Explorer THAT much worse?  It looks like it just comes down to cost.  Netscape's business model had to charge for Navigator, where as Google does not charge for Chrome.  Users moved to the free Internet Explorer to save on cost, but it appears when cost is removed from the equation, they are willing to move for functionality.

I have been a happy user of Google Chrome for at least a couple of years now, and do appreaciate its speed and simplistic user interface.

If you are interested in downloading Chrome, click here.

Should I Stay, or Should I go, on May 3rd

posted Apr 16, 2012, 7:48 PM by Kyle Thompson   [ updated Apr 16, 2012, 7:48 PM ]

Ask any of my friends or colleagues, and they'll be the first to tell you I'm a Blackberry guy, and proud to be one.  I love how well it handles email, has a keyboard that provides tactile feedback, and syncs seamlessly with my platform of choice: Google.  And of course, it doesn't hurt that they are Canadian.

Unfortunately RIM seems to have made some major strategic errors in the past few years that have prevented it from remaining on the cutting edge.  With 20/20 hindsight, its clear the rumors of internal process paralysis killing creativity and ingenuity were accurate, and unfortunately warnings went unheeded.  RIM has fallen behind.

For a die-hard aficionado, therein lies the rub... should I stay, or should I go.

If I go, there are basically two options: Apple or Android.  

For me, Apple isn't the right way to go.  I don't own an iPod, iTouch, iPhone, iMac, MacBook, AppleTV, or anything else they make.  I don't even have an iTunes account.  I don't dislike Apple - I just never jumped on their bandwagon.  If I did use Apple, the decision would probably already have been made.

So that leaves me with Android, not a mobile phone company, but rather a smartphone operating system developed by Google, and provided free to phone manufacturers.  Contrary to the perception of most North Americans, Gartner reports more Android smartphones are sold worldwide than all other types of smartphones (including iPhones) combined!

The leader in the Android smartphone space is Samsung.  They have enjoyed huge success with their Galaxy S and Galaxy S II smartphones, and on May 3rd in London England they will officially announce the Samsung Galaxy S III.

Although it may not get much press in North America, this is huge - its the next generation of the world's most popular phone.  And if the rumors are true, the specifications are somewhere between fantastic and unbelievable.  The screen is better. The camera is better. The speed is better.  The Operating System is better.  In fact, latest reports say more than 10 MILLION Galaxy S III smartphones have been already pre-ordered.

I truly do love my Blackberry.  But I really like the sounds of this phone.  I have no idea what I'm going to do.

GoDaddy Deal

posted Mar 30, 2012, 7:21 AM by Kyle Thompson   [ updated Mar 30, 2012, 7:25 AM ]

This is a a great deal if you are looking to register a domain...

GoDaddy ALWAYS has some sort of a sale going on, but often there is a minimum purchase, or the discount is not very much.

Currently they are offering 32% off with no minimum... that's the best deal I've ever seen from them.  

(PS No, I don't get a kickback or any benefit from posting this - its just a really good deal!)

GoDaddy 32% off.  No Minimum.


posted Mar 30, 2012, 7:12 AM by Kyle Thompson   [ updated Mar 30, 2012, 8:39 AM ]

Hi All

Welcome to the Oakville Tech Support Blog.

I don't intend on posting items very often here, but I will post little tidbits that I truly feel are of note, or interesting, or a good deal.

Let me know what you think at comments@oakvilletechsupport.ca


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