Preparing for 100,000 Page Views per Month

Once every year or so, I get obsessed with making improvements to my site. Last year it was modernizing and customizing my WordPress theme. This time, it’s:

  • Better hosting (more reliable, much faster)
  • SSL (greater security, even faster)

Continue reading “Preparing for 100,000 Page Views per Month”

Acer c720 Chromebook Review: Netbook Dream Becomes Reality

This review is both less and more than a typical review. It is less because there’s little analysis of hardware components or comparison with other leading Chromebooks. It is more because I explore the key question:

What makes for a good netbook?

I’ve thought a lot about netbooks over the years and have experienced various expressions of the concept with an EEE PC, an iPad, and most recently an Acer c720 Chromebook. In this post, I draw on this experience to lay out criteria for a good netbook. I then explain why the EEE PC did not satisfy these criteria, while the Acer c720 satisfies these criteria quite well.

In short: with the Acer c720 Chromebook, we finally have a good netbook.

Continue reading “Acer c720 Chromebook Review: Netbook Dream Becomes Reality”

Best Browsers 2015: Which Browser is Best for You?

My 2009, 2010, and 2011 browser comparison posts were so popular that by early 2012 they drove nearly all the traffic to this site. Several times in 2012 I began to write my fourth annual browser comparison. I did not finish. Why?

Partly, it’s because I had other projects that seemed like a better use of my time. Mostly, it’s because there wasn’t all that much to write about. Moves to a 6-week release cycle for Chrome and Firefox led to frequent incremental changes but not much change in the grand scheme of things.

Perhaps a French phrase sums it up best: plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. The 5 major browsers have become more alike than ever. They all display tabbed pages and run web apps quickly and competently. But there are still subtle reasons you may prefer one over another.

It’s time for another comparison.

Continue reading “Best Browsers 2015: Which Browser is Best for You?”

Best Browsers 2011: Which Is the Best Browser for You?

In early 2011, there have been major changes to four out of the five browsers that dominate the browser market: Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Internet Explorer. So it’s a great time for my third annual browser comparison, along with recommendations.

NOTE: In 2015 I posted a more current comparison of the latest browser versions, Best Browsers . . .

In last year’s browser comparison post, I noted that:

“Google’s Chrome browser was designed from the ground up to be good at running web applications, with an underlying architecture that is faster, more secure, and more stable than the competition. Chrome succeeded. The competition responded. Users have benefited.”

I also thought that Chrome deserved the “best browser” award at that time. However, the competition has since greatly improved. Though I again rank the browsers 1 through 5, the gap between #1 and #5 is narrow, as the current versions are all very good. Each browser is best for a different set of users.

Continue reading “Best Browsers 2011: Which Is the Best Browser for You?”

Will Chrome be the Best Browser in 2011? Probably Not . . .

What I care most about in a browser or any other computer tool is being able to focus on work without distraction. After all, that is what FilterJoe is all about.

In my best browsers post, Chrome 5 earned my “best browser 2010” award, thanks to speed, security, and an uncluttered interface. Since then, Chrome has released 3 more versions, with Chrome 8 released on December 2, 2010.

Is Chrome three versions’ worth of better? Or is it worse? Will Chrome be the best browser in 2011? Continue reading “Will Chrome be the Best Browser in 2011? Probably Not . . .”

Memory Hog Chrome Gets Slower and Slower: A Workaround

Chrome is a very fast browser when it starts. But Chrome is a memory hog. After several hours of consuming ever more memory, Chrome gets slower and slower. Here is both an explanation and a workaround. Continue reading “Memory Hog Chrome Gets Slower and Slower: A Workaround”

Best Browsers 2010 . . . Five Browser Comparison

Last year I wrote about the five most popular browsers, and how keeping your browser up to date helps speed, security, reliability, and compatibility (here). My order of preference in 2009 was Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer (IE), Chrome, and Safari.

NOTE: In 2015 I posted a more current comparison of the latest browser versions, Best Browsers . . .

In 2010, the same five browsers continue to dominate the market, but my order of preference has changed. Why?

Continue reading “Best Browsers 2010 . . . Five Browser Comparison”

Need Tech Help? Google it!

Modern hardware, software, and web services are loaded with useful and customizable features, but figuring out how to use them is usually time consuming. Traditionally, people learn new features or resolve tech issues by following some combination of these time-consuming steps:

  1. Tinker.
  2. Read help files or manual.
  3. Call the most knowledgeable person or relative you know.
  4. Call Tech Support, if available. Wait on hold a long time then talk to someone who may or may not be able to help you.
  5. E-mail Tech Support. Hope that the reply comes soon and actually resolves your issue.


Thankfully, there’s a much faster, more reliable way:  Google it.

Google for help first, and you can save yourself tens of hours per year. In this post, I provide specific examples and helpful tips on how to quickly get tech help using Google.

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The Desktop or the Cloud?

A growing number of people are migrating much of their computing work from the desktop to the cloud, including myself. Why? What exactly is the cloud? What’s it like to work in the cloud? What are the pros and cons of the cloud? Who should consider (or not) migrating much of their work to the cloud?

Software resides on a server . . . in the cloud
Software on a server . . . in the cloud

This post is an attempt to answer these questions from a balanced perspective.

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Best Upgrade? The Browser . . . Five Browsers Compared

The best upgrade you’ll ever make? It’s not a new computer. It’s not an operating system upgrade. It’s a browser.

NOTE: In 2015 I posted a more current comparison of the latest browser versions, Best Browsers . . .

Most individuals access the web using the browser initially bundled with their computer, and typically don’t update it. Accessing the information superhighway with an outdated browser is like driving today’s roads with a Model T—slow, unsafe, unreliable, and in many places not usable at all.

How Old is Your Browser?

In this post, I explain why it’s so important to use the latest version of Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Safari—speed, security, reliability, and compatibility. I describe each of these browsers, to help you decide which is best for you. And I lay the groundwork for the next post on cloud computing.

Continue reading “Best Upgrade? The Browser . . . Five Browsers Compared”