Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Tips for surfing with M$IE

You don't have to put up with popups*, animations, etc. when you're on the web. Go to Tools - Internet Options - Security - Internet, make sure it's at least on Medium, click on "Custom Level", then Disable both "RunActiveX Controls and Plug-ins" and "Script ActiveX Controls marked safe for Scripting", OK, Apply. Then if you're a true luddite (with low connection speed/patience/desireforvisualstimulation), click on Advanced tab, and in the Multimedia section uncheck "Show pictures". Speeds up your surfing considerably, and if you need to see an image, right click on it and select "Show Picture".

You'll still be able to use 90% of websites just fine, & if you run across an ill-behaved one you can re-set your Security back to Medium and re-check "show pictures" and be back where you started.

The other thing you can do is put a shortcut to your Cookies folder on the desktop (find said folder, in Win98 it's at C:\Windows\Cookies, rightclick on it and drag it to desktop, select "create shortcut here"), and periodically open it up and delete all the cookies from sites you don't care about. In theory this will help to protect your privacy.

Note to any online advertiser who may someday run across this page - instead of fancy flash animations that we don't want to see, you'll do better with textads:
Being forced to express a message in a few words concentrates the advertiser's mind, and probably leads to more communicative ads that are better focused on explaining how users will benefit from the product or service.
The text-only format more clearly exposes content-free messages as useless,...and thus might save advertisers from the bad instincts they honed on old media.

...[Web users] are utterly selfish and live in the moment. Giving users exactly what they want, right now, is the road to Web success, and having to write small boxes of text encourages advertisers to travel it.

*actually you'll still get the popup window, but it'll be empty

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