Hello there, I am Alan Moss. Having run companies with sales of up to £50 million across most of Asia, I'm now back in the UK, looking for a new challenge.

Most of my use of my Toshiba laptop is for networking and job hunting but I like to have fun with my PC as well, using it as a multi-media machine for playing music and storing, viewing and manipulating family photos. Having had local IT problem-solvers as a big company employee for most of my career to date, I expect a trouble-free computing experience, even if my laptop is 4 years old and still running Windows 98 SE with just 128 MB RAM.

In the dark ages, I started with Netscape, and switched to IE sometime in 2001 since it did "seem" better: no tangible reason then. Recently, however, running Outlook Express, Word and two or three IE windows seemed to clog resources, especially if I also wanted to listen to music (on Winamp) while working. Perhaps as a result of this, I would find that the PC crashed almost on a daily basis, and this happened almost always while using IE. I was reluctant to admit the problem was IE since I didn't want to revert to Netscape. However the problem became worse when IE refused to open the BBC News Front Page, and a few other favourites. I sent error messages to Microsoft but they never got back to me with a solution.

And then in the space of a week, I read both warnings about IE security and, coincidentally, glowing write-ups of browsers that apparently consumed fewer system resources and worked as well as — or maybe better than — IE.

I read about Firefox in computing newsletters of both the New York Times and the Washington Post, so I switched. No real stumbling blocks here — Firefox makes it easy to import all my favorites, and I'm not aware of any problems so far.

The better use of system resources allows me to have more windows open, so not only are there fewer crashes, but I can multi-task more efficiently. While the whole page may not load any quicker, I have a distinct feeling that the text and links load faster, allowing me to surf more quickly. I have just discovered its ability to tab too — a really useful innovation. It also has the ability to add the extensions I want, such as the Google bar, and a big M logo on the toolbar to tell me if I have any new mails in my Gmail account.

I now use Firefox: it may have caused one crash in a few weeks — but that's a lot better than IE.