Internet Explorer 4

Posted: 28/07/10

Trouble With The Neighbours

One of my neighbours, a rather nice old gent wandered over at the weekend and brought his laptop with him. He was complaining that it was "running a bit slow". He told me proudly he was "on dialup", which of course goes a long, long way to explaining the speed deficiencies.

Anyway, I had a look and found, surprisingly, that it was update to date with patches, and actually not that bad - once all those annoying little background processes were turned off. Things like the java quick starter, iPod service (he doesn't have an iPod, or indeed much of an idea what an iPod actually is), the Internet explorer feed updater, and lord knows how many other annoyances.

The killer application, however, was AVG. This swelled the "System" process to over 100MB, and with barely 500 to play with (8MB lost to memory shared with the graphics chip set), there was not a lot to play with. I used Sysinternals' Process Explorer to view all the gory details. A memory upgrade was recommended at a later date.

I got it moving at a reasonable (i.e. painful, but not agonising) speed, but a greater shock was in store. Upon returning it, he asked me to look at his desktop, which was apparently running Windows 98. It too was on dialup, but refused to open the home page. Various script errors kept popping up which confused him. It became apparent that even IE6 had escaped this machine. It was running IE4. I explained as tactfully as I could that the only good use for this PC was to prop the door open. There are worse browsers than IE6, but you have to try hard to find them.