I have had an Internet presence for nearly sixteen years; in Internet time that is more than a century, right? In the course of that period I have had several favorite browsers: WebTV (1997-99), Internet Explorer (1998-2004), Firefox (2004-08), Google Chrome (2008-10), Opera (six months in 2010), and Google Chrome again (2010-13). I also have Avant and Safari installed on my laptop, though I have never used them much. Now I have switched back to Opera.
What happened is that a week ago, a gentleman picked up one of my LegalShield business cards and said he definitely needed our services. However, we couldn’t get all the information we needed to sign him up when we met in person. By the time I got the rest of the info, it was the weekend, so we decided to sign him up online, instead of with a paper application. This was the first time I had tried an online application, since LegalShield Associates got new business websites last April. Each time I filled out two pages of electronic forms and hit the “submit” button, I got an error message. I did this four times, using my then-favorite browser, Chrome. Then on a hunch, I tried filling out the forms using Opera, and that went through on the first try.
I know, Opera is not the most popular browser around; some of you probably aren’t familiar with it. According to Wikipedia, about 2 percent of the folks in cyberspace use Opera, and the only country where it has more than 50 percent of the users is Belarus. Yes, the same Belarus where a fisherman was recently killed by a beaver; the former White Russian republic is starting to look like the strangest country in eastern Europe. Still, even when another browser was my favorite, I kept Opera handy, because these days, it is the only browser which handles MHT files properly.
The most unusual part of the story came when I called LegalShield to tell them about my online experience, and verify that they got the application. They said that because Chrome consumes too many system resources, their websites are designed to work with every browser except Chrome. I wish I had known that sooner.
I spent Sunday afternoon switching the default browser on my laptop from Chrome to Opera, synchronizing the bookmarks, and downloading Opera onto my tablet. Still, leaving Chrome seems like the end of an era. I have always liked Google software, and a year or two ago, I persuaded Leive to switch browsers, from Internet Explorer to Chrome. In fact, the Google software was one reason why I picked a Google tablet last January; because I was already familiar with the programs, it was easy to learn how to use the tablet. And last week Leive and I were amused, when we saw the Google Earth truck drive through our part of Lexington. But I am planning to sign up a lot more people as LegalShield Members and Associates, so Chrome will have to go. Oh well, let’s see if my second period with Opera as my default browser lasts longer than the first.