To College Division Homepage Writing Online: A Student's Guide to the Internet and World Wide Web
CROSSLINKS: Chapter 4—The Browser: Your Doorway to the WWW

Chapter 4 of Writing Online provides an overview of the browser—explaining how it works and offering tips and advice on how to optomize its use for research purposes. The Crosslinks here offer supplemental instruction for Mac users, links to alternative browsers, and ideas for writing activities on the human-computer interface.


| Macintosh Help | Alternative Browsers | Writing Activities | Crosslinks by Chapter |
Macintosh Help 

| Macintosh Help | Alternative Browsers | Writing Activities | Crosslinks by Chapter |
Alternative Browsers 
  • Alternative Browsers Review is an article from PC Direct Online, another Ziff-Davis Publication. This article gives an overview of Opera, Neo-Planet, and other alternatives to the big two. Unfortunately, it doesn't offer links to the browser's home pages. I've provided those below. Unlike Netscape or Explorer, however, most of these are not free. 
  • Opera 3.61 for Windows is one of the best alternative browsers. It uses less memory than Netscape or Explorer, and if you design web pages to be viewable in Opera, then you can be assured that they'll work equally well in Netscape or Explorer. 
  • Surf Monkey is a windows-based browser for kids that offers extra security features using Surfwatch filtering software. SurfMonkey requires that you have Explorer installed on your system first. I know this book is for a college audience, but because so many of us in college have kids in our lives, I thought I'd mention it. For a good overview, see this review from The Internet Eye Magazine, a graphics magazine. 
  • NeoPlanet, like SurfMonkey, is Windows and Explorer dependent. It puts its own shell (interface) over Explorer's engine. In a sense it's not so much an alternative to Explorer as a way to soup it up a bit. 
  • Trollio Browser from Smokezone is a fast, simple, low-memory browser for windows. If you want a more full-featured browser, see their Phoenix Millenium package, which includes a browser, FTP tools, and other features.   
  • Browsers for Older Macs provides tips and links to older browsers for those using black and white screened Macs like the old SE. Recommendations include MacLynx, Mosaic, and Netscape 2.0. 
  • iCab is a free web browser alternative for Macs. However, it doesn't support java scripts and plug-ins (software addons that give browsers more utility) yet, which a lot of pages now rely on. Still, it does a good job with basic web pages. 
  • OmniWeb is a fairly powerful web browser alternative; however, it requires that you have Mac OS X (operating system version 10). 

| Macintosh Help | Alternative Browsers | Writing Activities | Crosslinks by Chapter |
Writing Activities 
  • The Anti-Mac Interface, by Don Gentner and Jakob Nielsen, imagines a human/computer interface that gets beyond our current dependence on windows, icons, menus, and pointing (WIMP, as they term it). Read this essay and then imagine a computer you could run without a mouse. For further reading, also see Nicholas Negroponte's Being Digital.  
  • Campaign for a Non–Browser Specific WWW is an effort to urge web-page designers and authors to create pages that are viewable in any browser, moving pages away from relying on a particular version of Netscape or Internet Explorer. Read this page and explore the site. Do you agree with the premise? As you travel the WWW, keep track of pages that don't work in your browser or that are hard to read. Is this an important issue in keeping the WWW open and independent of a particular software, or do you think the issue is blown out of proportion? 

| Macintosh Help | Alternative Browsers | Writing Activities | Crosslinks by Chapter |

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