Though the Macintosh version of Internet Explorer isn’t the danger that its Windows counterpart is (it’s a separate code base and it’s not part of the operating system, with all the vulnerabilities that entails), it isn’t being actively developed and is increasingly out of date. Using it isn’t computationally suicidal (as using Internet Explorer on Windows is), but it’s hardly ideal. Fortunately, OS X includes Safari, which is a much better browser, but unfortunately, not every Web site works properly with Safari. There are fewer and fewer sites that don’t, but it still happens.

For those Web sites that don’t work with Safari, I use Mozilla‘s Camino, of which a new version has just been released. There are other excellent alternative browsers available for OS X, including Opera and Mozilla’s Firefox. The choice between Opera and the Mozilla browsers is a matter of personal taste, but of the Mozilla browsers, Camino, which is OS X only, integrates into OS X more seamlessly than Firefox–almost as seamlessly as Safari, in fact. So if you’re using a Mac, you may find Camino a handy tool to have installed.

6 Replies to “Camino”

  1. Thanks for the browser wisdom. Hate to say it–as one Mac user to another–but my next computer may not be a Mac, at all. Too many compatibility hassles. Not just browsers–but other kinds of software I’d like to run that turn out not even to be made for Mac. I feel at times like an orphan child.

  2. What sorts of software can’t you find for the Mac? And are using OS 9 (for which I’d imagine software is very difficult to find) or OS X?

    It’s actually been years since there was a piece of software (excluding games) that I wanted but couldn’t find for a Mac. In fact, I’ve started to run into the reverse: software that I use on my Mac at home and would like to have for my PC at work may not be available. I know that that corporate software is often written for PCs only, but that shouldn’t be an issue here. And as Apple’s market share continues to grow, Mac software availability is only going to get better.

    Though switching to a PC may address your software availability problems, it will expose you to all sorts of other problems that, as a Mac user, you might not even imagine could exist, including security issues, poor design and usability, and instability (unless you’re currently using OS 9, in which case you’re probably quite familiar with computer instability).

  3. After posting that comment, I remembered that your connection to the Internet is of the tenuous dial-up sort. I often forget the implications of that. Virtually all of the software I use either came with OS X or was downloaded (including things like SubEthaEdit, Transmit, and Moneydance). But downloading software is far less practical over a dial-up connection, leaving you more likely limited to software that can purchased in stores. There are few consumer experiences more depressing than the Mac portion of the software shelves. Even Apple’s own stores have a pretty limited software selection.

    Still, I’m curious. What sorts of software are you unable to find for the Mac?

  4. Well, since you ask, I took an independent-study book indexing course in 2003. In online discussions, it rapidly became clear that the leading indexing tool was a software called SKY Indexing, for which PC users could download a free demo. (I just checked, and SKY still doesn’t make a Mac-flavor tool!) The other indexing tools–those that seem to be losing ground to SKY among professional indexers–are Macrex and CINDEX. They’re decent tools. I myself completed course assignments on a CINDEX demo, which comes in a Mac flavor. It worked out OK. But, if I were to start indexing for money, to get myself on a par with most other professionals, I’d need to get a PC, to be able to run SKY.

    Within the past few months I have installed OS X, and started using it for some of my applications (I still toggle back and forth between 9.2 and X desktops). The X interface is so different from 9.2, I just hated it and wouldn’t go near it for a long time. I’m slowly making my peace with it. I like 9.2 for certain things (like blogging on Radio). It’s familiar, it worked fine for me, and the only reason I’ve gone to X at all was to take advantage of software upgrades I could get no other way. With regards to OS X, I’ve got a foot in the water, a foot out. Maybe I’ll move my life entirely to X one of these days and wonder why I put it off for so long.

    Yes, you are probably right that I would not encounter fewer hassles, overall, in a PC environment, than I do in Mac-land. It may be best to stick to what I know.

  5. Flock is also a fun MacOS browser to play with.

    And if PC (windows) software compatibility is vexing, there is a good chance that the upcoming Intel-based Macs will run Windows software seamlessly. Stay tuned for a January release.

  6. Good point about the upcoming Intel-based Macs. They should start arriving in the first part of next year, and all Macs should have made the transition by the end of 2007.

    Specialized applications is probably a better term than corporate software (which I used above). If you’re using your computer for a specific task, rather than as a more general consumer appliance, then your purchase decision should be driven by application availability. If you want want to use your computer primarily to play games, for instance, or to run business software, then you’ll probably want a PC rather than a Mac (especially if that Mac is running OS 9, which Apple stopped supporting some time ago).

    As much as I prefer OS X to Windows, in my experience, a recent version of Windows is probably a better computing environment than OS 9 (assuming you manage security very carefully). However, if you’re finding the transition from OS 9 to OS X difficult, you’ll likely find a transition to Windows far more so.

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