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I have been getting more and more fed up with Firefox, or more correctly its extensions. My main issue is the rate at which it gobbles up cpu & memory, so I decided a few weeks ago to find an alternative. I am still going to use FF, mainly because I cannot work without the Live Headers, Web Developer, Open QA & standards compliance checking tools. But for my general browsing I wanted something I could have running all the time without fear of grinding my machine into submission. The main issue I have with FF extensions is that I use a laptop that never really gets time to be rebooted, so it lives in hibernation for the few hours a week when I am not developing. FF extensions don't cope with hibernation well, the naive programmers who write many of these things have not thought that the clock can shift dramatically while the app is still running.

I use a number of different browsers generally, on a number of different OS, but my target environment was a Windows XP laptop, I that meant leaving out Linux & Mac based options. So I set my criteria at must be easy on the eye, supported by most websites, secure and lightweight. I started my search with Opera which is most certainly lightweight, good on security, average visually but unfortunately it is not supported by many sites I use. Then I reluctantly tried IE7 again, which has proven to be more secure than expected, I found it worked well and was surprisingly lightweight for a MS app. But after a couple of years of using FF IE rendering is ugly, large and garish, and that was enough to discourage me.

Then I remembered flock, a FF derivative with the social extensions built in. Running this with one extension 'Adbock Plus' gives me a stable environment with all the benefits of FF without the need for risky extensions. So far it works.

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