Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Camino Royale

Ah, the power of Jason Kottke. No wonder the guy is paid handsomely (enough to be able to employ a writer for his blog!) as he certainly knows which buttons to press in an understated New York City kind of way.

I was recently perusing his 'home of fine hyper-text products' and happened to see an ad for Camino displayed. Ad placement on his site is a fine example of the power of understatement in our saturation age. He uses The Deck to run a cycle of single small ads halfway down the page. Now, compare that to the commercial jumble - not just here, but on many other blogs - and the old adage that less is more was never so true.

I've been a Firefox user for some time now, for no good reason (above Safari) other than brand desire, I suppose. Following a click-through (and another few cents in Jason's bin) I read that Camino is a more Mac friendly browser and is supposedly extremely fast at loading pages. I decided to give it a try, and downloaded and installed it as my default browser last night. Here are my initial thoughts:

  1. As was promised, it is fast. You may have guessed that I am far from a professional when it comes to my technology requirements. No Photoshop needs for me. The nano-seconds of difference in operating speeds of faster RAM don't register, and I really (really) wouldn't mind if I was using a Radeon HD2400 XT (TM) instead of an HD2600 Pro (TM) for my graphics. It's always struck me as similar to the kind of nerdy obsession of people who talk about the importance of quality 'hi-fi' systems in preference to the actual musical content played on them. One guy I knew actually said that he didn't have any musical preferences at all, caring only about the sound quality. But, having said that, I did notice a perceptible difference in page loading times. Certain sites will be a problem no matter what (I'm looking at you Zooomr) but the trend was generally quicker.
2.    It sure is purty. A lot of effort has gone into making the UI feel like the Mac environment, and even radio buttons within sites have been given that Aqua tint. This in itself is rather pathetically pleasing, a bit like the little extra touches you get from Marks & Spencer. You feel somehow guilty afterwards because you were taken in by unnecessary frippery, but at the time, you're convinced that it's worth it.
I Love Camino!

  • Tabbed browsing (which I do find useful) works well, but the bookmarks bar and the tabs are very close together, meaning you have to be pretty careful with your cursor. Last night, I accidentally interrupted a large-ish upload of pics because I clicked into a bookmark instead of an adjacent tab. I know that I could have taken the time to check out the keyboard shortcuts, but generally I find these take a while to bed in on any application, and sometimes, whatever, you're gonna reach for that mouse. So, a small thumbs down there.

    1. That's about it on first impressions. I like it, and will continue to use it for the foreseeable, trying out some features and posting updates on anything (good or bad) that I come across.

      But for now, in an Advent Calendar style, I will unveil this post's example of egregious opulence:

      A $1,000,000 mobile phone which was exhibited at the 2006 Millionaire Fair in Moscow. I think I'm going to be sick.

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