After a brief foray back to the “Linux for old machines” scene, I have once again found myself running Windows 2000 on my old P2 ThinkPad. I’d been most recently running antiX Linux on it, but for a variety of vague reasons decided to go back to Win2K once again.
For me and the uses of this machine, it just works better.
One of the issues that I always run into on the older machines, regardless of OS, is browser related. Modern sites need a modern browser and modern browsers on those modern sites can really flog the old hardware. While I like Firefox 3, I just can’t ever be happy with it on a slow machine — it makes the machine feel even slower.
Good ol’ Internet Explorer 6 is super fast on this thing. But blech… not many “modern” sites will display properly with it (or at all) and it has some other “issues.” That’s not the answer. Firefox 2? Yep, that’s a contender but I always feel like I’m behind the times.
Fortunately, I may have finally found a solid option with a browser named K-Meleon. The project page sums it up best, so I’ll just quote it:
K-Meleon is an extremely fast, customizable, lightweight web browser based on the Gecko layout engine developed by Mozilla which is also used by Firefox. K-Meleon is free, open source software released under the GNU General Public License and is designed specifically for Microsoft Windows (Win32) operating systems.
I’ve only been using it for a few days and I have to agree that is indeed fast and lightweight. Even more importantly, I have yet to find any issues browsing my regular sites (or any site, so far).
K-Meleon is highly configurable — perhaps even to an overwhelming degree. To change settings, be sure to check options under both the Edit and the Tools Menu. For instance, I just found that I could set up mouse accelerators to emulate Firefox 2.0 under the Tools menu.
I’m still tracking down settings to help control when a new tab is opened vs. a new window — in this respect it isn’t at all like Firefox… then again, I also see that the latest beta release mentions that it’ll work better for people who want to open tabs, not windows. I gave the beta a quick shot, but must’ve borked something up as I was still showing the current version, not the beta version. Reckon I can wait for release.
Long story short, if you’re trying to run a browser on old hardware running Windows, definitely give this browser a look. It is fast, lean and quite compatible.
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