I don’t know about you, but right now, I’m having a blast using the web. Even more than I used to have. The reason:
Mozilla has started releasing x64 builds of Firefox. And I’m having a lot of fun using it, but probably not for the reasons you’d imagine.
First off, the x64 builds are not really any faster yet than the standard x32 builds, due to some optimizations not working on x64 yet. And even then, the speed difference would probably be negligible. X64 is no magic bullet that suddenly makes an application twice as fast.
So why am I having so much fun? Because my plugin list is EMPTY. ZIP. NADA. For the last two months or so I’ve been surfing on pure Firefox goodness. There simply are no plugins for Firefox x64 builds available yet. I’ve been using Flashblock before, but even with Flashblock, the Flash plugin still gets loaded… it’s just removed immediately afterwards.
Now, I like watching a YouTube video every once in a while as much as the next guy and I’m glad that I still have x32 builds available for when YouTube has no WebM available (hint: create a link to your x32 firefox.exe and an empty directory somewhere on your HDD, then modify the link to read “firefox.exe -no-remote -profile c:\my\directory”, so you can start it without having to close your normal Firefox first) , but separating video browsing from my main browsing experience has increased the quality of my browsing experience tremendously, to the point where it outweighs the inconvenience of launching another Firefox instance by a wide margin.
(Yes, I could have disabled Flash before, but just like the rest of the world I never imagined that it would have such an impact on my browsing experience).
You can find current Firefox x64 trunk builds at ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/nightly/latest-mozilla-central/ , labeled win64-x86_64