Help with question about web page access

From: Gordon JC Pearce <>
Date: Tue Aug 17 09:55:37 2004

Jerome H. Fine said:
>>Gordon JC Pearce wrote:
>> Windows 98 is now six years old, and is really just a facelifted version
>> of Windows 95 - very nearly 10 years old. Win 98 is no longer supported
>> by Microsoft, so good luck patching for any vulnerabilities. You could
>> try using Windows 2000 - pretty much anything better than a PII-350 will
>> run it, if you've got enough memory (anything less than 256M is a waste
>> of
>> time). As far as the browser is concerned, I thoroughly recommend
>> switching to Mozilla Firefox. Netscape 4.78 is possibly the most broken
>> web browser known to exist.
> Jerome Fine replies:
> First, Microsoft still supports Windows 98 SE, although I must
> admit that every time I accept patches, it crashes my system.

OK, fair enough, I thought it was EOL quite some time ago.

> Second, the ONLY reason I stay with Windows 98 SE is because
> Ersatz-11 runs correctly for me ONLY under Windows 98 SE.
> I use MACRO-11 99% of the time to write programs and I
> MUST have 132 character lines when I use the editor under RT-11.
> None of the other Window OSs that I tested would support
> 132 character lines, although Ersatz-11 does mostly run under
> those other OSs, just not quite as complete. Actually, I will
> probably upgrade to a Pentium 4 by the end of this year, just
> in time to obtain a motherboard that can handle a separate
> AGP adapter with ATI firmware that supports 132 character
> lines with Ersatz-11. The 750 MHz Pentium III is now just
> 2 1/2 years old, so I would have preferred to use it for at least
> 4 or 5 more years.

I'm currently editing stuff in a 150-odd column window, using PuTTY on
Windows 2000 into my NetBSD machine at home. Now, I will freely admit I
know nothing at all about Windows, and I haven't played with Ersatz-11,
but I'm sure there are other emulations of the PDP-11 that will let you do
what you want.

> As for Netscape, I have saved all my e-mails and news groups
> posts. Shifting to IE would be almost a disaster.

Did I even *mention* IE? The last version of IE I ever used was IE 3.odd
which is far, far worse than Netscape 4.78.

> And since one bank still allows Netscape 4.78, I would
> presume that the other bank would not really have a problem
> continuing to support Netscape 4.78 if they chose to do so.
> But since it is highly probable that, as a large organization, the
> bank is infected with the same mentality as Microsoft, the bank
> just does not care. It is not as if they are being asked to support
> a new interface, just to continue to support the old one which until
> the end of July was the case!

As I said before, Netscape 4.78 is a really, really bad version of
Netscape. Why don't you upgrade to even a newer version? What's this
aversion to software less than five years old?

>> Without wishing to seem disrespectful or unpleasant, you are basically
>> complaining that your 1957 Morris Minor can't keep up with modern
>> motorway
>> traffic.
> Actually, I would be quite happy to use a Morris Minor
> if the spare parts were available. I don't drive on highway
> often enough to matter!

Heh. I do, so I drive a late-80s Citroen CX which keeps up with motorway
traffic but is only a little more complicated than a Moggy Minor. I'll
put my hands up to that...

> I still find Netscape 4.78 more than competitive with IE on the
> few times I need to use my wife's computer.
>> > Because I ALWAYS run Netscape with cookies turned OFF,
>> > except when I am required to have cookies enabled to access the
>> > 2 web pages that I normally use, I often encountered the error
>> > page which listed Netscape 4.x as one of the required browsers.
>> Why? I've never understood this obsession with cookies. I mean, *why*?
>> So an advert banner site knows that the same computer visited it twice.
>> Big wow. Do you stop answering the doorbell in case it's a door-to-door
>> salesman? Well, you might, but it would break more things than it would
>> fix.
>>From my point of view, except for the 2 bank sites I use
> because I am helping my son, I refuse to use any other
> sites where cookies are required. And more to the point,
> I set Netscape to notify me when the doorbell is being
> run even then. I just feel it is a good idea to know if the
> doorbell is being rung and then to answer it myself rather
> than allowing open door access, even to a web site that
> is likely more reputable than most. For all other sites,
> I just NEVER even listen when they ring the doorbell.
> Actually, can you explain what advantage cookies provide?
> Is there something about cookies which they do which can't
> be done without cookies?????????????

Session tracking. It's really, really hard to provide session tracking
without using cookies. Sure, you can get away with using forms with a
hidden field, or using a big fugly md5sum in the URL, but for the most
part, you just send a cookie. That's what they were invented for.

In case you can't see why you'd want session tracking, ask yourself how
else you'd accept a user logging into a website, visiting pages tied
specifically to them, and logging out? Single-pixel gifs? That's even
nastier than cookies!

In any case, modern browsers like Mozilla Firefox allow you to specify
which sites you want to allow cookies from and which sites to block
cookies from. There is quite fine-grained control over this. I suggest
you download it and have a look.

Received on Tue Aug 17 2004 - 09:55:37 BST

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