Ubiquitous. Pronunciation: \yŁ-bi-kw_-t_s\
adjective: existing or being everywhere at the same time : constantly encountered : widespread.
If ever there was something worthy of being considered ubiquitous, I would have to say that Internet Explorer certainly fits that description. You'll find a copy of internet Explorer in one form or another on just about every personal computer out there and you may even find a copy on a Mac.
Ask many users what that "blue e" is on their desktop and more often than not you'll hear something like, "Oh, that's my Internet," or, "that's the Internet." While a slightly more seasoned computer user might reply with "that's Internet Explorer, my web browser."
Ok, so the guy who said it was his web browser is right but what does it matter? What's the benefit of knowing the difference, I mean is it worth the time to even sort out?
For that I would have to say yeah, I think it's worth the time to understanding the difference. You see, Internet Explorer really isn't the Internet any more than your living room window is "the outside." You could say you look through Internet Explorer and see out into the internet similarly to the way you look through the window to see the outside.
Or, you could think of Internet Explorer as kind of like "TV" for the internets - only in Internet Explorer you go to different web sites instead of different channels.
So, if Internet Explorer is just a tool that lets you see the internet then it would stand to reason that there are other programs that will let you do the same thing. And yes, there are other programs that do the same thing, lots of them.
There are actually a bunch of different web browsers out there with Internet Explorer holding the top spot and a program named Mozilla Firefox in the number two slot.
Ask someone what that Mozilla Firefox icon is and you may hear something like "Oh, that's my other Internet, it's not the same as the other one."
And in a way that's right, Firefox isn't the same as Internet Explorer like a Magnavox TV isn't the same as a Sanyo. But the internet that you look at with Firefox is the same internet that you look at with Internet Explorer.
But (I know some of you are thinking) why then, if Firefox and Internet Explorer both are looking out at the same Internet, do I see something totally different when I launch Firefox than I do when I launch Internet Explorer?
The answer to that is simply that the "start page" or "home page" for each program is probably set to different websites. That means you'll see different pages on start up. I know that can cause a ton of confusion so I always try to make sure both Firefox and Internet Explorer have their start pages set the same.
Changing the start page is similar in both programs and only requires a few steps. In Internet Explorer click the Tools pull down menu and then click Internet Options. A smaller page should open with the General Tab selected. The address you see in the Home Page... field is the web page that is automatically called up when you launch Internet Explorer. This page can be set to any page you want just by typing the web address in this field. Make a note of the address that is in there and (or highlight the address and hit CTRL+C if you want to get fancy) then open Mozilla Firefox.
Firefox has similar controls so look for the Tools Pull down menu and then click Options. Click the "Main" button and that should show you the start page that Firefox is set to use. Erase what's in the home page field and type in the address that you made a note of in Internet Explorer (or, press CTRL+V if you are trying the fancy method) and then click the OK Button.
There, now you set both Internet Explorer and Firefox to the same start page, now regardless of whether you click Explorer or Firefox, you will get "the same Internet."
Sean McCarthy fixes computers. He can be reached at (888) 752-9049 or help@ComputeThisOnline.com (no hyphens).