Google Chrome

May 25, 2009

We’re all used to Internet Explorer. A lot of us have started using Firefox. Why on earth do we need another Internet browser? What’s the big deal about Google Chrome?

When I first downloaded Chrome, I used it for a few hours and thought “What’s the big deal? It looks like all the other browsers out there.”

And that’s true, at first glance. But look  a little closer and you’ll notice a few differences. Then, if you open the hood and look at the guts of the browser, you’ll notice a lot of differences.

First Glance Features:

Home page defaults to your nine most visited pages
Say you get online every morning and immediately check the Tennessean, the weather, the day’s comics, CNN, and your email. Let’s say you visit those sites a lot during the day. Chrome will remember that and show you quick links to your most visited sites each time you open a new browser window.

No Title Bar – No Menu Bar
Chrome gives you tabs right at the top of the page. Next is the address bar. That’s it. Because why waste room that you could use to view the web page you’re looking at?

No search box in the upper right corner
While other browsers are making an integrated search box standard (like Firefox),  Google chose to eliminate that feature. Instead, they made the address bar function as both address bar and search box – they call it the Omnibar. If you type a web address, you’ll go to a web page. If you type keywords, you’ll get Google search results.


A lot of what’s special about Chrome is what you can’t see.
IE and FF are built of the original browser tech from the nineties – designed only for viewing HTML web pages. as new tech was introduced, these had to be added on later – the browser itself did not do any of the new tech. Google chrome is the first browser designed from the ground-up with today’s technology in mind

What’s special about Chrome is what you can’t see

IE and FF are built of the original browser technology from the nineties – back when browsers were just used to view HTML web pages. As new technology was introduced (like JavaScript and Flash – for all our blinking, video heavy pages), it had to be added on.

Google Chrome was built from scratch. It is the first browser designed from the ground-up with today’s technology in mind. Why is that important?

Chrome is fast
Chrome was built to handle complex Internet tasks, like uploading photos, online editing, and all the web applications we’ve covered on Staff in the Know. It was built with current Internet use in mind, so web applications work very fast.

Chrome runs each tab separately
If you’ve ever used Firefox on Internet Explorer 7, you have probably used tabs. And you’ve probably had one tab freeze up. With Firefox and IE, when one tab freezes, they all freeze. Chrome runs each tab as a separate process. So, if one tab freezes, it doesn’t affect the other tabs.

Chrome has Application Shortcuts
Web apps are programs that live on the Internet – they are not saved on your computer. Because apps live on the Internet, it can take a while to get to one: you have to open a browser and type a web address. Not difficult, but definitely more than one double-click. Chrome incorporates “Application Shortcuts” to make it easier to get to web applications.

Here’s how to create an Application Shortcut:

You can create a shortcut using IE or Firefox, but it is a far more involved process that is not readily available from within the browser itself. Plus, when you click on a normal desktop shortcut, it’s just a shortcut to the website – with the title bar and menu bar and address bar. Chrome’s Application Shortcuts only give you the program with none of the internet tools in the way.

Browsers of the Future

You may not be curious enough to use Chrome, but rest assured that the same browser technology will soon be copied by Firefox and Internet Explorer. The Internet has changed – you can do so much more than just view web pages. Look out for more advances coming soon to the browser of your choice.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

  1. Download and install Google Chrome.
  2. Upload a picture to Picnik using Internet Explorer. Then upload a picture to Picnik using Chrome. Can you see the difference?
  3. If you have any problems, ask for help in the comments.

Extra: Do you have a favorite browser?


Last week we had a refresher course on using NetLibrary with Windows Media Center. This week, we’re going to learn how to use a different software program to find and download NetLibrary audiobooks.

NetLibrary Media Center is free software that will allow you to browse, download and transfer NetLibrary audiobooks all in one program. Once you’ve downloaded the software, you do not have to visit again.

Here’s how it works:

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1. Download and install NetLibrary Media Center. If you are unable to complete this, please contact ITS.

2. Use NetLibrary Media Center to find an audiobook.

3. Download an audiobook. If you have an mp3 player, transfer the book to your player.

4. If you have any problems, ask for help in the comments.

Maybe you’ve successfully downloaded an audiobook from NetLibrary. Maybe using NetLibrary drives you mad. If it makes you feel any better, your friendly web-team members fall into both camps. Some days it is a breeze and other days you want to bang your head on the wall.

NetLibrary has made some changes recently, so this week is a refresher course on downloading audiobooks. Here’s the skinny:

NetLibrary offers WMA and MP3 audiobooks.

  • WMA means they cannot be played on an iPod.
  • MP3 books can be played on an iPod.

You will need software to use NetLibrary.

  • Windows Media Player
  • NetLibrary Media Center

You must register for an account with NetLibrary before you can check out a book.

NetLibrary how-to: step by step

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1. Download a NetLibrary audiobook.

2. If you have an mp3 player, transfer the book to your player.

3. If you have any problems, ask for help in the comments.

unemploymentrate3The Unemployment Office has been busier than usual. Now that this process is online, many library visitors are taking advantage of the library’s free public access computers to apply for and certify benefits. A few items to keep in mind about Tennessee’s online unemployment form:

Before Filing

  • Do not file the same week you were laid off. Wait until the Sunday following the week you last worked to file.
  • The form may time-out, so have all information (including employer names, addresses, and dates) handy before you start.
  • Read the latest dateline.pdf from the Labor website. It will answer current questions about Unemployment benefits.
  • Collect details on the past 18 months of work history. Dates of employment need not be exact, use the closest month and approximate date.
  • You can file if you live out of state. You will file in the state where work was performed – benefits are not determined by where you live.

Tips for Filing Online

  • Online form is linked from Public Computer start pages under ‘Find A Job’.
  • DO NOT use your browser’s back or refresh buttons.
  • Use the TAB key to move to next blank, use the space bar to toggle YES/NO buttons.
  • Avoid using any punctuation in the form blanks.
  • Do not fill in blanks without an asterisk. Do not add “n/a” or answer any question that does not apply to you.
  • Withhold the 10% tax with each check; this can always be altered later.

Job availability notices

Are you going to be “called back”?

Only answer YES if you have been given a specific date by your former employer. Otherwise, answer NO, even if you believe you will be called back soon.

Minimum starting wage?

Enter the absolute minimum hourly wage you can live on – this will make you visible to more employers, does not assign you that wage. Current minimum wage: $6.55 (May, 2009)

After You file…

Print the confirmation screen for your records. Keep any mail notices you receive. Register at a Tennessee Career Center within one month of applying.

We have experienced some connection difficulties using this form on public access computers, please report any interruptions.