The file downloaded from the web an image disc containing Explorer 5 and Outlook 5.0.2 for mail management, installation, as usual for Microsoft programs, is done by dragging the folder containing the software to the HD and installation the actual components only occur on the first launch, forcing us to restart the machine once it has been executed. The browser is very light in operation, occupying about 8 Mb of ram with a couple of open windows and showing no signs of slowing down in the refresh of the two windows, the top-level look, the linear and clean user interface (8 buttons in the upper toolbar) offering the complex an impression of functionality and clarity. Definitely fast navigation, even on complex and slow sites, the construction of the quick page: most dynamic sites (including ours) are usually loaded in a single solution and not presented until its completion, vice versa with this version of explorer , the structure of the site is immediately shown and only afterwards are gifs and dynamic contents loaded. Curious the behavior with pages full of images, the first to be loaded are those at the bottom of the page, while the images positioned higher are loaded only at the end. The download manager is as good as usual, while some more tests were needed for the correct display of the characters at the right size: at the end the correct settings on my laptop were Font Size 12, Resolution 72 dpi, Times Proportional Font, Monospaced Font Monaco . The transition from other software to the Microsoft package is very convenient, the bookmarks are imported without difficulty by Netscape browsers, while for Outlook 5 users the transition to 5.0.2 takes place in an instant, the package is launched and it automatically draws the resources of the previous one, with an operation not noticeable by the user. The transition from Claris eMailer, where the Address Book contacts are correctly viewed, is more difficult, while the import of old messages inexplicably stops exceeding the approximately 150 imported mails. Finally, some curiosity about the Explorer, which perhaps will not make us decide to change browsers but make navigation more pleasant and speaks volumes about the care taken in creating the browser:
– By selecting text and dragging it, the translucent selection, essentially what happens with the finder icons in the latest version of the system.
– A command-click on the title of each window will allow us to see the structure of the site with all the sub-directories traveled to reach the page displayed (here too a functionality similar to that of the finder).
– The button above the explorer bar on the left will allow us to temporarily collapse the upper toolbars with the buttons, the address and the favorites, leaving only the four navigation buttons and much more space for the vertical display of the site.
– The explorer bar on the left is enriched with a momentary archiving feature of pages with many links, in order to have the page in question always in view while navigating the various links in the main window.
– A control-click on the toolbar will allow us to further customize our Explorer, in the color of the icons (with the classic Apple color combinations, as well as a couple of specific options for laptops), in adding or removing elements from the toolbar itself or even in the display of icons, text or both.
In conclusion Explorer 5, at a first contact, seems completely immune to bugs, it is much faster and more efficient than the other browsers, it seems to interpret HTML code much better than its predecessors even if not very clean and offers navigation options and decidedly interesting personalization: it would be an excellent choice even if it had a not beautiful look, with the indispensable interface in Aqua Style.