iCab: Readers Views
Feb 25, 1999
From Stephen Ickes (25 Feb 1999)
I noticed that none of your reviews mentioned a 68k version of iCab. So I asked the developers when that would be available. Their answer (ref email below) is next week.
This is good news for those of us still using 68k machines. Right now Netscape 2.02 is about the only choice for a "modern" browser (although I've never tried CyberDog) that isn't overly slow on these older but still useful machines.
Subject: Re: iCab 68k?
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 99 15:29:42 +0100
>Wann ist die Version 68k vorhanden?
A 68K version will be available soon
(probably next week).
(While it was evident from the offical iCab website that a 68K version was in the pipeline, I thought not to mention it till it was ready for release. Well, now we all know for sure, thanks to Alexander and Steve.)
From Jim Andrews (25 Feb 1999)
As a professional journalist for over 40 years, and who broke into computing on a Univac 1004 in the mid 1960s, the advent of the Linux OS now followed by the iCab browser is like a breath of fresh air to this tired old maven.
I presently use two macs and one pee cee for my work and keep office spreadsheet chores on a Trash 80 4p, 1984 vintage, driving 3 printers, thank you very much. I think this melange of machinery qualifies me to observe that the whole cyberworld is not headed for perdition in a handbasket.
I have been a staunch advocate for a single OS to be used as a STANDARD on everything smaller than a mainframe. I know this is about as likely to happen as for Microsoft to ship a new bug free program, but I can dream can't I?
My compliments to your editorial staff for your continued presentation of events and happenings that are of wide and very diverse interests to your readers.
Regards, Jim Andrews.
(Ed: Thank you Jim for the wonderful compliment. It means a lot coming from a professional journalist like yourself.)
From Liam Gray (22 Feb 1999)
I downloaded iCab Saturday night and so far it's just great! There seems to be a definite speed increase in loading pages and especially in diplaying a page already stored in cache. The bugs I've found so far are a problem displaying HTML that differs from the norm even a LITTLE bit, and that it does not highlight the text in the URL window when selected. I was able to import my bookmarks from Communicator 4.5 with no problem, and the support of themes within OS 8.5 is great!!! I'm currently running the "Drawing Board" theme (shhhh!! Don't tell...) and it looks just great. I'm also writing this message in iCab, and it seems good, although it doesn't appear to textwrap at the end of the window. Just so ya know my system is a Beige G3 233 clocked to 266 with 96 megs of ram. I can't wait for an official release, and if they just incorporate email I'll give Communicator the boot!
From Ken Mingis (22 Feb 1999)
I have a quick question about iCab that maybe you can help me figure out. First, I agree with you. It is a sweet little browser, with a few caveats. However, I'm having one little annoying problem that I can't solve. I regularly read the New York Times on the web. when I try to read stories using iCab, I can't. Clicking on a link to a specific story brings up a blank page with ASCII as the title. Any thoughts? (If I spoke German, I'd write the iCab folks.) Maybe my system's just misconfigured somehow. But I doubt it. Cheers, Ken Mingis.
(Ed: Anyone have a similar problem? Let me know.)
From Corey Reid (22 Feb 1999)
iCab does indeed reflect the currently chosen Theme in OS 8.5. I have run it under Drawing Board and the result is quite appealing.
Fast and sleek. Gotta love it.
From Porsupah (23 Feb 1999)
Just one tiny nitpick with the iCab (p)review: it *is* indeed possible to have the contextual menu appear by keeping the button pressed. You need to turn the option on, however - it's the top part of the preferences, bottom option. (And note that you can even specify the time period after which the menu will appear!)
A very good, intelligent review, nonetheless. And I agree with the sentiments: it's a *very* fast critter indeed, and as configurable as anyone could possibly want, down to the name of the browser that it'll send to servers. I'm *very* impressed, the rendering glitches notwithstanding.
What with iCab now, Opera sometime later in the year, and Mozilla in the wings - does this mean M$ might actually be compelled to write.. compact, elegant code?
I have hopes for iCab. Certainly, the MacOS market's not *as* large as Windoze, but they could nonetheless make quite an impact upon the browser scene. One would hope the newspapers and other "mainstream" media sources will notice their work before too long.
In that spirit: I noticed a message on the EvangeList last night, from someone wanting to use 2,500 iMacs for kiosk browser purposes. Unfortunately, neither of the Big Boys offer that kind of intentionally limited functionality. I suggested that iCab might be willing to twiddle their wares for his purposes, especially for such a sizeable order. It's another of those cases where an M$ solution is out there, but the person would *prefer* to use something Mac - and I'd have to agree, the iMac does make an awfully nice kiosk solution - no need for an extra cabinet, after all!
From Dave Sopchak (23 Feb 1999)
Read your review of iCab, and I can tell you it read my Netscape bookmarks fine, and there is an option to time delay click in the window to popup menus rather than control click.
It does have drag and drop support for urls (and all text) in an open window, which Netscape 4.0.8 doesn't have, that's for sure...
Pretty awesome preview release! It's already my default browser.
From George Mcclelland (23 Feb 1999)
Tried, played with and was impressed with its size. Didn't always load all the articles on MacSurfer and so I went back to IE. I did like the smaller type of the favorites or whatever they call it and the history as IE's list is big and clunky.
Wannabee, a very small browser that only loads text is really fast but for high-speed, mind-blowing loads of text and graphics there is the one and only Linux. http://pluto.njcc.com/~dtp/wb2/wannabe.html
From Eolake (23 Feb 1999)
Nice article on iCab.
You wrote: (Personally, I hope none of you would do that because websites like this one depend solely on banner ad impressions to keep running. Believe me when I say that the revenue from banner ads is peanuts.)
This seems self-contradictory to me. Shouldn't you be more worried of losing banner revenue if it was big?
Further, aren't people who are so irritated over banner ads that they will go to lengths to turn them off, rather unlikely to click on them anyway?
From Greg Valyer (23 Feb 1999)
iCab seems to be a great little browser. However, I don't know if iCab has what it takes right now to take a big chunk of the browser market. What I feel iCab needs is something that makes it stand out in a crowd... and that I feel would be Skins support. Imagine customizing your browser like you do MacAmp... now that would be revolutionary.
From Chris Meiering (24 Feb 1999)
I just read your article on iCab and was wondering if you have any specs to back up your statements addressing the speed of iCab. Although I have not done any formal benchmarking, on my 7200/90 as well as on a G3/300, iCab seems undeniably slower than Comm4.5. The page layout clearly displays faster, but images load excruciatingly slow. Both of my test machines are on a LAN, connected via a T3 to the net. I tried fiddling with the number of connections to no avail. If you have any benchmarks, please display them on your site, I and many others would be interested in seeing them.
(Ed: Sorry, no specs — not yet anyway. I'm just telling it like it is. One thing's for sure though — iCab doesn't discriminate against slower memory-challenged Macs.)
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