Coevolving Innovations

… in Business Organizations and Information Technologies

When I’m doing web development work (actually mostly editing Cascading Style Sheets), I can’t avoid that browsers render markup differently. Yes, there are standards, but there’s the market reality. Thus, although I edit using Firefox (my regular browser), I really need to check with Internet Explorer.

So, how much of the browser world does my work cover? According to statistics for December 2006 from TheCounter, here’s the top 8 browsers in use (from their list of 18).

1. MSIE 6.x filled barempty bar 19691823 (70%)
2. MSIE 7.x filled barempty bar 3491913 (12%)
3. FireFox filled barempty bar 3070730 (11%)
4. Safari filled barempty bar 830311 (3%)
5. MSIE 5.x filled barempty bar 367278 (1%)
6. Unknown filled barempty bar 254895 (1%)
7. Opera x.x filled barempty bar 163697 (1%)
8. Netscape 7.x empty bar 98265 (0%)

Gee, I’m going to have start checking with IE7, because I’m still at IE6! In addition, I didn’t realize that Firefox users are still so much in the minority!

The nagging challenge that I’ve had for some years, however, is Safari. That’s the standard browser on the Mac OS X. In the systems science community, there has always been a few notable Mac users. (There’s a motivator to a webmaster when the president of the society reports browser problems!)

I got a used Power Mac G3 — maybe three years ago — at a lawn sale at the neighbour two north from us. It’s become Diana’s computer, now with a huge 19-inch screen. As an older Mac, however, it runs Mac OS 9, which doesn’t support newfangled browsers. It does run Netscape 7, which would tend to explain the 8th place position on the ranking above.1

Thus, I’ve been watching for a bargain on an OS/X Mac for some time. I’ve had a filtered feed on the Toronto Craigslist computer category … and an opportunity came up.

I’m now the proud owner of a Powerbook G3 (a Lombard 333), with a Motorola 802.11g card. It’s installed with OS X Update 10.3.9 and looks practically new. The previous owner said that the battery died about a year ago — it works fine when plugged in — but I know that a replacement battery is about $150 (or $80 on eBay).

Right now, the computer is up in Noah and Ryan’s bedroom. We do live, however, in a house where the number of computers now outnumbers the number of occupants. I don’t expect the computer to get a huge amount of use, but it’s nice to have.

One irony is that looking inside, it has an IBM-labelled disk drive, as well as the IBM-manufactured PowerPC. It has more IBM components than the current PC you can buy with an IBM logo on it.

Oh yeah. It cost me $200CAD.

1 Correcting myself: My memory was that Power Mac G3 couldn’t be updated to OS X. Looking at the description at LowEndMac, it turns out that an upgrade is technically possible. I think that I concluded some time ago that upgrading wouldn’t be worth it, because the cost of the operating system would be near the price we paid for the hardware in the first place. That was $200, too, a few years back.

January 1st, 2007

Posted In: technologies

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