Why I Have and Use 4 Different Browsers

My relationship with web browsers has not been a monogamous one. It used to be with Opera and then Firefox but now I have 4 with me and each serves their purpose. The best part about these browsers is that they are all cross-platform and thus is available on Windows, OS X and Linux (and probably BSD and many other platforms too). I use both Chrome and Chromium for daily surfing with Firefox and Opera for special functions. Each browser has their own pros and cons and below I explain why I use each browser.

chromium logo chrome logo

I started migrating to Chrome after the Pwn2own results came out with Chrome being unscathed. For those who don’t trust Google there is always Chromium on which Chrome is based on. Chrome/Chromium are light weight and fast browsers and I love the ability to install add-ons without restarting the browser. Sometimes I segregate general surfing and more private surfing (i.e. requiring user login) into separate browsers just as an added precaution (paranoia). Private surfing will be more for trusted sites thus will less vulnerable to cross-site scripting or other attacks from the browser used for general surfing. However I do find stability is an issue sometimes with tabs randomly locking up and not loading (however the great thing about Chrome is that you can kill an individual tab without the entire browser crashing). Some times I click a link and Chrome seems to just hang there and not load the page. If I try the link in Firefox, it’s fine
+ Security, Light Weight, ability to install add-ons/extensions without browser restart
Stability and robustness sometimes an issue

firefox logo

Firefox is still with be because I find it the most stable but more importantly for the Video DownloadHelper extension. Download embedded Flash videos from YouTube, Vimeo and many more video sites or just embedded videos without having to visit a secondary page. I cannot stress how easy it is to use Video DownloadHelper to get videos off the Internet: it’s great for downloading videos for watching later. This is especially if you have a slower Internet connection as it downloads in the background as opposed to loading in a tab that you can accidentally close or even worse yet, have the video fully loaded only to accidentally click on a link and the video starts loading from 0 when you return (especially annoying with embedded YouTube videos)
+ Stable. Robust. Great add-on/extensions support
Add-on/extension installation requires a browser restart. Slow to start up

opera logo

I have been an Opera user and fan since version 3.21 and when it was still a Shareware application. Though it hasn’t made much impact on desktop browser, it has had a huge impact on mobile browser with Opera Mini. Opera is used when I want to surf on a slower Internet connection or where it’s not very reliable and the reason is Opera Turbo. Basically Opera Turbo is the technology behind Opera Mini but for the desktop: it sends pages to Opera’s servers for compression and optimization. This is great if you’re trying to save money if you pay for the amount of data you download (e.g. on 3G connections). Opera has lots of features built right into the browser and thus means you don’t need to install extra add-ons/extensions like you need in Chrome/Chromium and Firefox. I love the feature to toggle style sheets, image loading and Javascript (among other things) easily at the click of a button. Whenever there is a site that seems to render weirdly on other browsers, I usually load it up in Opera and disable styles so I can read the content. If I want to save precious bits, I turn Opera Turbo on, and disable loading images. Opera even has an e-mail client and webserver (can be used to share files, stream music and even host temporary sites) built into the browser.
+ Opera Turbo & lots of features out of the box (ability to toggle style sheets, Javascript, images)
Not widely supported as other 2 browsers and has rendering quirks (may not render/show webpages as nicely as other browsers). Slow to start up


Johnny Long’s Hackers for Charity Update at Shmoocon 2011

Hear what Johnny Long and hackersforcharity.org have been up to thus far. Just had to share this as it is just so inspiring of what he’s been up to and this journey with Hackers for Charity

Related information about Johnny and the how you can get involved with Hackers for Charity:

Ted Williams: The Homeless Man with the Golden Voice

I first read a tweet about this but it only passed me by and I didn’t click the link to the story. Surprisingly I was draw in by a total non-obvious but related tweet that stated “Digg is dead. Long live Reddit! http://bit.ly/fH6pB2” by @codinghorror(Jeff Atwood) and boy, am I sure glad I got pulled into the story this way. Watch the video below:

When I read the story by @ambermac, I tear was brought to my eye by the kind hearts over at Reddit with people wanting to contribute to the cause by getting Ted Williams a phone or clothes and some even gave job offers. From around 320,000 views when I first saw it, it is currently at 4,024,790 views 9 hours later, this is truly a heart warming story of a guy who is down on life and is just trying to get a second chance, and we (the people of the Internet) are sincerely trying to help him out in whatever way we can.

For me, today the 5th of January 2011 will be known as Ted Williams day.

Mozilla Service Week is upon us

In the last post I mentioned about Mozilla Service Week which officially starts today here in Brunei. Current schedule as follows:

Monday: Blue Eden (Map) 2pm onwards
Tuesday: CoffeZone at Gadong Properties (Map) 9am onwards

As you can see I have only 2 places confirmed and am waiting for confirmation from the other places I asked. If I don’t get formal approval or confirmation I may just go ahead anyway and hope not to be chased out from their premises =P If you know a good place to go to / are offering a place let me know. The only requirements are power and an Internet connection =)

So once again if you’ve got any technology or computer problems/questions come on over. Free tech support at your service =)

Note: Services offered are free of charge. Hardware and (paid) software upgrades will not be given. Formatting will be offered if you bring your legitimate install CDs/DVDs and license keys / if there is a legitimate restoration partition on your drive.

Local Brunei Content

I’m always on the look out for what content Bruneians or people in Brunei are producing. From Adam Groves’ episodic The Jo & Jul Show to David Cheok’s Cinematography and the many photos of the many other Brunei bloggers.

Recently I discovered  Akinari Production (thanks to @oxba). Comedic performances with good music to set up the scenes. Nicely done. Below is one of their episodes/shows entitled “Don’t mess with Hafiz”. Enjoy!

I Love Kuala Belait

Raymond Crooke‘s song performance “I Love Kuala Belait”:

I saw this quite a long time back and I thought I posted it up but must have been the case of the tweets of Twitter (<shameless_plug>@TheWheat</shameless_plug>) that I tweeted and didn’t blog about. He was a part of a group called the Belaiters when he was here in Brunei and now it seems he’s trying to 1001 songs in 1001 days. Wow that’s commitment. The 1001 songs in 1001 days reminds me of Jonathan Coulton‘s Thing a Week project that led to his geek stardom and now he plays gigs across the US. And for all the JoCo fans out there don’t forget to get a copy of BEST. CONCERT. EVER. which was performed and recorded in front of a live audience in San Francisco, CA at The Great American Music Hall.

B$30+ Spectacles/Eyeglasses

After wearing my pair of specs for about 5 I decided it was time for me to get a new pair. So where do I go to find them? To the world wide web of course! I read somewhere that you could get a great deal on glasses if you buy them online and true enough I found Zenni Optical which offered frames + lens starting at US$8.00. The only thing you needed was your prescription. The shopping experience couldn’t be simpler:

  1. Pick a set of frames
  2. Customize your glasses with
    • Colour
    • Anti-Reflection Coating
    • Lens Tint
    • Clip On Sunshades
    • Lens Type
    • Prescription
  3. Add to cart
  4. Checkout!

They will ship it from different locations depending on where you are and so for me, they shipped from Hong Kong and it came within 2 weeks!

Price Breakdown
Prescription: B$5.00
Frames + Lens: US$8.00
Clip-on Sunshade: US$3.95
Shipping cost: US$9.00
Total: ~B$37.50


Milestone Dates
Purchased: 11th March
Left Hong Kong: 19th March
Arrived in Brunei post office: 25th March

My $30+ glasses complete with case, cloth and clip-on shades. Sweet!

My B$30 Glasses

I had the glasses checked with an optician and the glasses’ prescription is indeed correct and my only complaint is that my head is too big so the end pieces are slightly pressing against the sides of my head and I’ve had that with one of my older pairs of glasses. In face these frames have are wider than my old ones, just that the old frames end pieces were designed to curve out and in vs the straight of these from Zenni Optical. So if you have a big head you may want to take note (the pair I got is listed here and has a frame with of 137mm). But all in all I highly recommend Zenni Optical and will definitely shop there in the future!

Speaking of Bad Terms of Service

While doing some shopping online I came across the following clause in the terms of service from an online store. I would tell you where I got it from but after reading it you’ll know why


Links to the Website without the express written permission of 1GCB are strictly prohibited. To request permission to link to the Website, please send an email to cs@shopping.com.bn. 1GCB may in its discretion cancel and revoke any permission it may give to link to the Website at any time and without any notice or liability.

The framing, mirroring, scraping or data-mining of the Website or any of its content in any form and by any means is strictly prohibited. You may not use any collaborative browsing or display technologies in connection with your use of the Website or to post comments, communications, or any other data of any kind to or on the Website with the intention that such postings may be viewed by other users of the Website.

Brownie points for a clause against data-mining and scraping, though.