Well, I bit-the-bullet and installed 5.5 on another machine that was freshly installed with win 98se. After crashing several times during the download, I was finally able to get it started. After insisting numerous times that I make a new internet connection (then complaining that the connection already existed) I got it to connect with the net.
I can not believe how much slower this thing is than 5.01. You click a link and count to 2 before it does anything. Some handy stuff is gone, while other stuff (like the unremovable languages in the tray, and inability to view source with a decent editor), are in your way.
Honestly, I've heard some pretty tough stories of ie 5.5 taken down entire systems with it. whew...
Final analysis? Formated the hard drive, installed 95sr2/Opera, and called it quits.
I also noticed a very disconcerting pattern in 5.5 of beginning to render every page very early (that could be good) but then jerking the layout into several different positions as the page fills out (that's awful). It happens on every page, so it's not related to the HTML.
I really don't get it -- why the user experience is so often disregarded in basic areas. Usability studies are not THAT new a discipline.
I was using a friend's machine -- think I'll stay with 5.0 for a while, unless some "features" surface that require me to check my pages in 5.5.
Anyone ever tried ROM [members.xoom.com]? I'd like to, but I don't have a machine that isn't in use and I don't trust it on a fully operational 98se. I did the 98 lite thing a year ago and that was ok...
I gave ROM a try last weekend, and you know what? It worked awesome. After it removed IE from 98se, I went back and installed ie 5 and it rocks. I can't believe how much faster it is than stock 98 once you get rid of all the embedded stuff.
Speaking of browers (yep, you know it, love it, here it comes - lol), This weeks featured program on Tucows? You guessed it Opera [tucows.marshallnet.com].