Browsing for Browsers

I waste a lot of time trying to undo things computers do to me, such as change settings that aren’t supposed to change. For example, I prefer browsers to open with Google or even a blank page, but suddenly, for some unfathomable reason, Edge decided to forget my preference and instead open with the Microsoft page. I don’t mind Edge, but I do not like Bing, and even though I use Microsoft products, I don’t like the name jammed down my throat to gag me. Which is why I want Google as the opening page.

I spent what seemed like hours searching for the instructions on resetting Google as my homepage (though it probably wasn’t more than half an hour). As it turns out, the setting is still the same, with Google set as the default opening page. Edge has simply decided to ignore it.

You’d think, then, that I would switch to Chrome to get the opening page I want, but I always seemed to have problems with Chrome, though it could have been my old computer that had problems with it and this one would like it okay.

Although many people over the years have recommended Firefox, I never was that fond of it. I do use it as an alternative browser, though, so I can keep two different sets of sites going at once. For example, on one browser, this blog is kept logged in, and on another browser, a different blog is kept logged in. (That’s the blog I have to use to reblog this blog so I can post a link on Facebook so my friends there can keep current with me. Confusing, right?)

With previous browsers, a new tab would open to my default opening page, but Microsoft removed that option, so now it takes me an extra step to get to the Google page on subsequent tabs. I imagine I’ll get used to doing the same thing when I open the browser. It’s not as if an extra click is that onerous, it’s that computers are supposed to be increasingly easy to use without having to make those extra clicks.

I could go with a completely different browser — I’ve heard that Opera is good — but like Edge, it uses the Chromium page-rendering engine. (From what I can gather, the only holdout is Firefox.) So why bother with any browser other than Chrome?

In my case, it’s laziness. Edge came with my computer, and so that’s what I’ve been using, though, as you can see, I’m rethinking that particular option and browsing for browsers.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Website Rebuilding

With as amazing as the computers and the internet are, sometimes things just don’t go as planned. I checked my website (patbertram.com) today to make sure it was still online. I am using a retired website builder as well as a defunct template, and occasionally the people who supply my domain will downgrade the site to a different server, which often causes problems.

The site was still up, but I found a black x at the top of my homepage. I have no idea what had been there originally, so I simply removed the x and hoped for the best. Then I checked out my book page and noticed that several of my book covers had also disappeared.

No problem. I just needed to add them back. Well, I added one photo, but when I tried to resize it to fit in the original slot, I kept getting strange messages. First, it said that flash player is outdated; click here to update. When I clicked, I got another message that said flash player was blocked, but to click to allow flash player one time. So I clicked. Then I got other messages saying, at various times: this page is opened in two windows, we couldn’t save your work, couldn’t update, error, try again, call technical support.

I figured there was some sort of glitch, so I closed out the browser and restarted my computer. Same thing.

After a couple of more tries, I finally gave in and called technical support. His suggestion was to clear my cache, which I did, then I tried again to resize the photo. Still all the same problems and messages.

His next suggestion was to try a different browser. So I downloaded Firefox but had to abort the download because I hadn’t unchecked the boxes that allowed a whole bunch of stuff I don’t want to be downloaded at the same time. When I tried to download again, I couldn’t find where the download had been stored. Sheesh.

Finally, got Firefox downloaded, and tried fixing my website again. This time, when I got the message saying that I needed to update flash player, it updated. But then all the same messages started reappearing, and the photo still didn’t resize.

By this time, the poor tech fellow was as frustrated as I was, but he came up with a different suggestion: to resize the photo and then upload the resized photo. I did that, but since I couldn’t remember what size I needed, I made the photo too big. To my delight, this time the resizing mechanism worked.

The only thing either of us could figure out was that the original photos had somehow become corrupted, because replacing the rest of the photos and resizing them went quickly.

Still, what should have been a five-minute fix ended up being a three-hour chore.

Luckily, I don’t often have to deal with my website. The last time I did a major overhaul was when Grief: The Inside Story — A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One was published. The next time I will have to do anything major is when my new book is published, hopefully sometime this year.

I paused here to double check to make sure I put the books covers with the correct blurb, and noticed that Grief: The Inside Story is not on the page with all the rest of my books. There is always something, isn’t there? Well, adding the book will just have to wait for another time.

The website is there mostly for convenience, anyway. This blog functions as a website, and is much more interesting, besides. At least, normally it is.

As if that weren’t enough, I hid the favorites tool bar on my browser so I could get a bigger image of the website to post here, and then couldn’t find the tool bar again to unhide it.

I think I’m done for the day.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.