Death of a Fanboy

This isn’t some humorus happening in my life, so those looking for that should go find that time the bird attacked me.

First let’s define some terms. I’m going to refer to two major types of program users throughout but let’s define 4 just to be robust.

The Ignorant User
This refers to the users who don’t know almost anything if anything about the program they are using. They are the people who tend to use software because someone showed it to them or it’s the only one they have and/or know how to use.
The Apathetic User
These are the users who look for features and out of the box (otb) value. They have no problem dropping one program and using another because it is supposed to be better. They tend not to customize much and don’t want work or questions.
The Loyal User
These are the users who like to support their software. If they like it, they will say it. They tend to be willing to customize to a greater extent than the apathetic user, but they won’t change so much in the program that it is more or less the original program anymore. They will accept certain limitations and tend to be ok with waiting for a patch for some time. They have their limits though. If someone can logically convince them to try other software, they will trial this and see if it is indeed superior and switch if it is. They also will not wait forever for things to be fixed.
The Fanboy
These users (this can be male of female, but it is an old term that simply has not been updated. The term does not discriminate about age, sex, and all that politically correct crap) are basically obsessed with the software. They frequently will not only say it is the best, but they don’t listen to reason as to why it is not. They have no problem applying many add-ins and customizing for hours to get what they want. They also are known for bashing other products frequently without logical backing.

Now that I have defined the terms, I have a confession: I used to be a fanboy for three things: Google, Fire[something, the browser, currently fox], Games from Hideo Kojima. As of today, only the last holds true. There is good reason why i stopped being a fanboy. The first and foremost has held true for basically all time: i really don’t like being a fanboy. It tends to make you ignorant to the truth of the world. That didn’t stop be from being a fanboy though. It just made me not like it. But what stopped it? Reality setting in, as in the errors could not be ignored anymore.

1) Firefox: The entire firefox claim to fame is retake the web. This is a slogan against Internet Explorer from Microsoft. I am not a big Microsoft supporter, but I do have to give credit where credit is due. IE is a very extensive product that fell behind the times. From a security standpoint, IE used to have a much lower OTB value than Firefox was so keen to harp on. After the last service pack, it is much more secure. I admit the popup blocker is underwhelming and some features are still behind the times, but IE 7 is looking very good. Back to firefox though. If you look it up, this “more secure” browser isn’t quite as secure as you might think. not only are security patches frequent, they are also frequently very major. Firefox for linux (you know, that more secure operating system [which is truely is]) suffered from a security exploit that allowed for shell command execution through firefox for all versions up to 1.0.6. It was patched in 1.0.7. The bug was documented 15 days before this patch. Speaking of documenting bugs, this raises another interesting concern. the bugzilla for firefox ( is a great resource for ways to trick and break firefox. this was mentioned on the development blog of the IE team (in a comment one of the posts). The comment suggested just searching for SSL (tip: the first two s’s are for Secure Socket. that’s an important thing. it’s used for https connections and the like). it turns up some devistating results.

Opera is a veteran browser. It has much higher OTB value than Firefox (containing a better interface and many features only simulated through extensions) and now also is free. The only extension Opera does not successfully recreate is the adblock extension (neat trick: look up on google how to write your host file to block ad servers. it takes care of most of what you want in most applications). I find it to be a superior browser. It has more functionality and ease of use. Best thing is the people aren’t fanboy assholes (i’m blunt). The only other feature that would be nice would be something like the trusted zone in IE so you can disable javascript and flash in all other places and enable it for select sites on a site by site basis. Opera can kind of do this by turning it off in the preferences and changing the quick preferences, but this holds true for the tab not the site. I still suggest checking out opera.

2. Google: don’t get me wrong, I still love google very much. I just don’t blindly love everything from them anymore. the cause: the google sidebar. It seemed so nice at first. As I used it more, I got to see where this lacked a fundamental of programs: stability. It seemed to have memory management problems. It would hang at times and then just crash all the components of it simaltaniously. it was good for searching and indexing but it sucked for the rest.

GoogleTalk also released somewhat recently…and I was worried. I have talked about how the google messenger would put all other messengers to shame… but it seemed to be put to shame. It missed fundamental features that everyone took for granted from other messengers like group chats, sending files and much more. The only reason I liked it so much was the simple interface and the status messages to show what someone had said when the window was minimized. This i still hope for. In the meantime, if anyone wants a more functional voip chat program, skype is popular, but the gizmo project is the most feature rich currently. It does not support file transfers though. aim/msnm i believe support voice at least somewhat so they also would work.

Hopefully by reading this, you can see why you shouldn’t be a fanboy of anything really and particularly why these two situations are not really the best.

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