Tag Archives: functionality

It Is Amazing That Amazon Does Not Offer A Side-by-Side Product Comparison Feature.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and study. An Amazon provided, un-customizable, pre-determined product range, comparison chart.

Don’t all of you yell at me at once claiming that Amazon does. What they do have, on JUST some products, are comparison charts like that shown above. They are NOT customizable. You can’t, as far as I can see, ADD your chosen products to compare.

Yes, I fully appreciate (as an ex-programmer and a still active Web designer) that given Amazon’s bold, flowing, full-page product layouts it would be difficult to incorporate an easy-to-use compare feature. But I am SURE that Amazon has the expertise inhouse to come up with a workable solution.

Yes, I know that there are a couple of 3rd party options BUT the last thing I want is another company having access to all of my shopping habits and searches. No thank you. 

Funnily enough, despite all the shopping I do on Amazon, I had not really missed this ‘compare’ functionality till recently. Part of it being that I just open multiple Amazon tabs, across my two monitors, when I want to look at two products side-by-side. Obviously that works well BUT it is limited to two products. Ironically I started to miss this feature when trying to compare cameras. And that is what is strange. I use at least 3 very good camera resources, DPreview and Snapsort in the main, that provide very capable side-by-side comparison features. In this case, i.e., my most recent quest, the thing I wanted to compare most was PRICES. The DPreview etc. comparisons are not good at price comparison because they quote the cheapest price seen on the Web without too many caveats (e.g., that it might be an International version camera). And to make it even more ironic I was looking at two cameras from the same manufacturer, Fuji, the old X-E2 and the soon to be available (Feb. 16) X-E2s. There is a crazy anomaly here. The newer camera, which has a FEW new options (not going to be available on the old X-E2 DESPITE the February 4 Firmware refresh), from everything I see is going to be $100 CHEAPER. That doesn’t make sense. Somebody has to start discounting the older X-E2. That is what I was hoping to see. 

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by Anura Guruge

Two Things I Like About Google Chrome 25 Over FireFox 18.


Anura Guruge

A Few Pertinent Posts:
  +++++ do a SEARCH (>>>>) on ‘FireFox’ for others’ >>>>>
1. Switching from FireFox to Chrome  — Mar. 23, 2013.
2. FireFox 18.0.1: ‘Clear History’ hang — Jan. 30, 2013.
3. FireFox 16.0.1 to 18.0.1: — Jan. 27, 2013.

I have now being using Chrome Version 25.0.1364.172 m full-time as my default Web browser for 2 days.

I am getting used to it. 

There are two features that I found that I think are dynamite:

1/ As long as you permit it to logon to you Google account (and why not given that I am logged on anyway for Google Search, Google News and Analytics) Chrome automatically synchronizes your Bookmark Toolbar anytime you invoke Chrome on another machine — provided, of course, that you are logged onto the same account. For me this is a lifesaver since I keep a backup machine. With FireFox I had to manually synchronize the Bookmark Toolbar. I found out today that I can even access the Bookmark Toolbar on our Google Nexus 7 pads. Remember, I am not talking about Google Bookmarks. Of course you expect that to be available across machines. I am here talking about the Bookmark Toolbar. I like that feature.

2/ This actually has to do with WordPress and is kind of ‘cute’. When creating a post, such as this, I use the standard WordPress editor. This editor has a title trench up at the top where you enter the desired title for the post. With FireFox there was NO SPELL CHECKING of that title line! Honest. I had got into the habit, when I remembered, of copying the title and then pasting it into Twitter to see if there were any spelling errors! Yesterday when I was typing in a title the squiggly red lines appeared in the title bar. I nearly fell off my chair. I had always assumed that this was a WordPress anomaly. Never thought it would be browser related. Just shows ya.

A few other things I have noticed. No question, Chrome consistently gets lower download and upload speeds on speedtest.net. We are not talking in the 1% to 3% range. But it is consistent. Maybe it is the rendering engine. Google must know about this.

After complimenting on its spelling prowess with WordPress titles, I have to now say that Chrome’s spelling dictionary is not as good as that used by FireFox! Again something that Google could asily fix.

One last thought. Did Avast, with their invasive Release 8, which promotes Chrome, set out to sabotage FireFox. I did a quick search. FireFox users with Avast 8 are noticing erratic performance. I had noticed this too which is what promoted me to switch to Chrome. So if this was a dastardly conspiracy between Google and Avast, it worked.

I had one inexplicable quirk last night. My whole PC blinked twice, momentarily, last night, i.e., both my monitors went black and just came back up again! Related to Chrome or is it Avast?

Switching Browsers From FireFox 18 to Google Chrome 25?


Anura Guruge

A Few Pertinent Posts:
  +++++ do a SEARCH (>>>>) on ‘FireFox’ for others’ >>>>>
1. FireFox 18.0.1: ‘Clear History’ hang — Jan. 30, 2013.
2. FireFox 16.0.1 to 18.0.1: — Jan. 27, 2013.

Exploiting the Bookmark Toolbar with 'edited' icons to get the access I want. Click to ENLARGE.

Exploiting the Bookmark Toolbar with ‘edited’ icons to get the access I want. Click to ENLARGE.

3 excellent Extensions give me all the Wikipedia and Delicious functionality I need. I have a Delicious icon on the Bookmark toolbar to access the site. Click to ENLARGE.

3 excellent Extensions give me all the Wikipedia and Delicious functionality I need. I have a Delicious icon on the Bookmark toolbar to access the site. Click to ENLARGE.

It was a week ago that Avast, without asking me, let alone giving me a choice, installed Chrome on this my main work PC. As I did say at the time I did kind of think that this may have been providential since I had been mulling the idea of migrating, wholesale to Chrome. I just hadn’t got around to downloading Chrome. Avast did it for me and over the last week I have been playing with it off and on.

Tonight I used it for two hours as my only browser — in place of FireFox! Since I always have two instances of FireFox, one on each of my 2 monitors, I did the same with Chrome. Per speedtest.net, Chrome, contrary to all what folks claim, including speedtest.net, is not as fast as FireFox 18.0.1. But the difference is marginal. Only I would notice such things.

FireFox of late had been driving me to distraction. That I had to jump through hoops to have a Google Toolbar with it was becoming a pain.

Ironically over the last 24 hours I had finally worked out that I can quite easily get by without a Google Toolbar! Wow. Talk about overcoming an addiction. I was just so used to it. Didn’t want change.

I used the Google Toolbar for just a few selected functions, albeit all very important to me, i.e., doing Google searches, invoking Google news, accessing Google maps and getting Google to translate Web pages for me. The translate functions is built into Chrome and is just a right click away.

What I discovered was that I can exploit the Bookmark Toolbar, with icons and edited site descriptions, to serve as a surrogate for the old Toolbar. So I just put icons for Google search, News and Maps. Plus, with Chrome I can do searches straight from the address bar.

I also need instant access to Wikipedia. In FireFox my 2nd search trench was set to Wikipedia. I found that I can get the same functionality and more with two extensions to Chrome. Ditto Delicious bookmarks.

So far so good.

Lets face it, FireFox vs. Chrome with David vs. Goliath, except this Goliath is unlikely to be slain.

I am totally resigned that I am a slave to Google. So why not go with the tide. The general consensus is that Chrome is a marginally better, i.e., more solid, browser.

FireFox seems to just be lurching from one crisis to another. I am sure Google is doing what it can to make FireFox look bad.

So it would appear that I and FireFox may be parting company, though I doubt whether I will ever remove it completely from my PC. It is, to me, the known devil.

I am amazed that I am actually saying what I just said. I was such a huge, devotee of FireFox. I started using FireFox in 2003. I would try to convince all that I met to move to it from IE. The whole house used FireFox till recently. Then I told Devanee to start using Chrome. She has been using Chrome for about 3 months — alongside FF. She claims not to have any problems. Obviously on the Google Nexus 7 pads the kids use, the default browser is Chrome.

So stay tuned.

Me saying that I am ditching FF is as major a change of heart as me saying that Hillary Clinton will be President from 2017 to 2025. We are talking full 180° about turns.

P.S.: The final kicker was my call to Microsoft support on Friday to find out why I could not verify my confirmation e-mail on MS Account. When the very nice and helpful lady, who told me she really did work for MSFT, told me she uses Chrome on her home computer — I knew it was a sign. An omen.