Wednesday, February 28, 2024

browser wars

I usually keep two web browsers open on my desktop: Firefox, which is my regular browser, and Opera, which I use for a few things Firefox doesn't work on. For instance, if a vendor sends me a ticket as an e-mail attachment, Firefox will not display the QR code. I get an empty box. Neither will Opera display it, actually, but if I print it in Opera it comes out OK, which it doesn't in Firefox.

Some websites which didn't display well in Firefox now work better than they used to. One of them is Disney+, and this is fortunate because yesterday, Opera decided it no longer wanted to play videos, from any source. (The sound is still OK.) This happened directly in between one Disney video and another. Online advice for dealing with this problem included closing and reopening the browser, and clearing the cache. I don't know why I keep following advice to solve problems by clearing the cache, because it never works, nor did it this time.

Occasional websites, like Delta Airlines or Kaiser's video appointment service, won't function in either Firefox or Opera, so I have to drag out Google Chrome, which I otherwise avoid.

A non-web item that stopped working recently was our old reliable DVD player, useful for when we've already bought the DVD and don't want to pay additional money for streaming. As with Opera, the problem appeared directly between two files from the same source, in this case on the same DVD, and it took the same form: sound, but no picture. At first I thought the problem was with the monitor, then the disc, but testing proved that not so, and when the player made grinding sounds instead of loading another disc, I knew the end was upon us.

Suspecting that DVD players aren't major items in stores any more, I looked up the model number of ours on Amazon and found it's still in production and not too expensive. So I ordered another one, figuring I could swap it out without having to deal with any rigamarole regarding settings. I placed the new DVD on top of the old one, moved all the cords to the equivalent plugs, and pulled the old one out. Lo, it worked.

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