I used Netscape before Netscape was cool.

Hell, I used Netscape long after Netscape was cool…

…but I’ve finally broken down and decided to give in to Micro$oft. I’ve been a loyal user of the original Internet browser since 1994 when it was the only one available. I think I even have a copy of Netscape Navigator 1.0 on a floppy somewhere! Nevertheless, the company lost so much when it was purchased by AOL that they just don’t seem to put the effort into making their product worthwhile anymore. I’ve been using Netscape Communicator religiously for the last several years, despite numerous improvements on the Internet Explorer front, but now that I’ve entered the age of mobile computing I simply can’t use obsolete software anymore…

Netscape decided to change the format in which it saves its mail between versions, meaning that the version I can run on my desktop with Windows 98 is completely different than the version I’m using on my Windows XP-equipped laptop. They didn’t bother to offer an option with their export feature to prepare your mail for a different version of Netscape, so I would need to export my mail from Netscape to Microsoft’s Outlook Express, THEN from OE back into Netscape! …OR I can just start using Outlook Express altogether – it hurts to admit, but the juggernaut has won again. 🙁

Unfortunately, the suckage continued as I was required to re-enter by hand both of my address books – 162 entries in all. These guys certainly don’t make it easy to switch from one brand to another, but I’m done now and there’s definitely no turning back! Goodbye Netscape, it was fun while it lasted… (it between the frequent lock-ups and crashes, that is)

In other news, a discussion came up about the various off-shoots currently dabbling in the soda pop industry and I thought that it deserved a bit of merit (read – something that the non-geeks in the audience can follow!). Apparently selling 4.3 billion cases of its products per year just isn’t good enough for Coca-Cola, as the company is struggling to compete with its rivals as the new flavors pour from Product Development just as fast as they can crank them out!

I’d seen all of the ads in the past, but I’m typically very picky when it comes to my carbonated beverages so months slipped by without any notice at all. However, after hearing a rave review of the all-new Pepsi Blue, I decided that it was worth a try. In fact, I gave each of these new drinks a try over the last weekend and here’s what I thought:

  • Mountain Dew Code Red — Ok, this one has been out for a while, but there wasn’t anything to compare it to back then. Plain and simple, this one is cherry Mountain Dew – great for those of you who actually like Mountain Dew, but I grew out of that phase back in high school…
  •  Vanilla Coke — I honestly didn’t think that I would care for it, but it wasn’t that bad. Kinda reminds me of slightly flat pop, which isn’t normally a good thing, but compared to regular Coke, I guess I’d choose the new one.
  •  Pepsi Blue — An easy win for Pepsi, these guys hit the nail right on the head! It’s berry-flavored, and that’s as much information as they’ll give you, but it’s a nice balance between fruit punch and carbonation…and my choice in this evaluation. 🙂
  •  Dr. Pepper Red Fusion — If Pepsi Blue was at the top of my list, then Red Fusion is cleanly holding down the other end of the scale as the worst of the litter. Unfortunately, I somehow ended up trying this one out first and it almost led me to hold off on the remainder of the evaluations altogether – maybe the $.50 price sticker should’ve been a clue! The proportions are way off, there are just too many damn berries in this bottle and if nothing else, I hope this review will convince at least one person NOT to try this beverage… I’m a Dr. Pepper fan by blood, but somebody really screwed up on this one.

By the end of this crazy charade, I’d dropped a hair under five bucks for a total of 80 ozs of drinkables, of which I was actually able to consume only a little over half of. I did notice during this fiasco that not a single company had chosen to embrace the flavors of grape, mango or even the banana…hmmmm, Banana Coke! Come on, people – we’re getting a bit tired of the same old berries – let’s spice it up a bit… 😮

All and all it was an interesting experiment, although maybe next time I’ll evaluate beer or possibly even mixed drinks! Labatt, MGD and Corona, I’m thinking in your general direction this time… 8?

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