IE Remover Separates Browser From Windows

By Michele Masterson - Associate Editor

[December 16, 1998] Microsoft Corp. said it couldn't be done and has spent untold millions trying to convince the government that its Internet Explorer browser and Windows 98 operating system cannot be separated.

Now a Hyattsville, Md. biology researcher has refuted the software giant's claims and has come up with 98 Lite, a custom installer that can provide a clean installation of Windows98, sans IE.

It all began when Shane Brooks became frustrated using a Pentium 133 Notebook with a 14.4 modem and 32 megabytes of memory, what the University of Maryland biology research assistant called "a real dog."

"I cannot afford to buy a faster computer of my own, so I'll do *anything* to squeeze the last drop of system performance from this notebook," Brooks notes on his Web site.

Brooks said that after he upgraded to Windows98 he noted its IE Explorer was "slower to load, slower to use once loaded and consumed more memory which caused more swapping."

Brooks said he asked himself, "Why is all this stuff that I never use or don't even have the hardware to support installed on my computer without me having the choice to delete it, or better yet--not to install it in the first place?"

Brooks reloaded Windows 95 but longed for the upgrades Windows98 provided and went back to the drawing board.

Uncovering an alternative shell called LiteStep, Brooks found it gave him a powerful shell replacement, consumed less memory and provided "a neat interface."

Further experimenting led Brooks to come up with Lite98, which removes three Internet Explorer-related files. 98Lite is used in lieu of the IE in Windows 98 and comes with a pared-down, faster Explorer shell used in Windows95.

"Essentially you get Windows98 Explorer with more resources and a considerably faster interface," Brooks said.

The 98Lite shell does not include: IE 4.0, the advanced shell IE features such as active desktop, quick toolbar, internet connection wizard, Windows Update, Welcome information, and online service providers.

Users may also exlude active movie, system info and Windows bitmaps.

Brooks said he is at work on a future release of 98Lite that will support standard win98 users, will allow users to remove IE and allow the removal or addition of standard components.

The cost for all this?

"98Lite is "DonationWare," Brooks states. He advises devotees to contribute money towards buying him a computer he can call his own. Preferably with Netscape.


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