So every once in a while I will get a random request for me to look at a piece of software, application or service. Most of the time I look quickly at the request and then glance at the proposal and move on…not having much interest in doing that type of review work…but recently as my time and energy are being summarily pulled in many different directions, I realized that maybe I should actually take a closer look at these request.
The lead developer on a project called BriskBard reached out to me and in the email said:
I developed BriskBard and I’m looking for help getting the word out
about it. I would appreciate any mention you can make, either on your
website or elsewhere.
Ok…not a major ask and I do tend to look over these types of requests and just because of time constraints don’t do much about them. But there was something interesting about this concept, one that I remember from back in the original Browser Battle Days of Netscape vs Internet Explorer and then in comes Opera asking for money to surf the web…I thought then mainly as I do now…WHAT???
But I decided to give this a good once over as when I looked through the many things that BriskBard is supposed to be able to do, I was a little intrigued as to what one would get for $29.95 that I don’t get from Chrome or Edge or Firefox for free.
So first and foremost, this is a Browser, built to surf the internet, look up information and generally let us get on with our days. Strangely the default homepage for it at install is http://www.msn.com Not Bing, Google, Duck Duck Go…heck if we are going to go this route…why not have it be Altavista.com or Yahoo.com. Opening the browser to this meant that I went back to http://www.msn.com for the first time in what seems like a decade, but hey…it is just a default homepage and switchig it over should not be too hard right…in fact…it connects into Internet Options and again I start to feel quite nostalgic.
Looking around under the hood and trying out a few websites, I noticed that it did seem to display HTML sites quite normally and without surprises, except for when I did what I have been able to do with nearly every browser I have used in the past 5 years…and that is search from the address bar…to my surprise…that does’t work and there is no “Search Bar” available.
Beyond a Browser though, BriskBard is meant to be an all in one Internet toolset..so lets look at what else comes pre-bundled under the hood:
- Email Client – IMAP or POP email (I no longer have access to an Exchange email but from the looks of it, it will not work for that
- News Groups – Ok…but why??? I haven’t been on a News Group in almost 5 years
- News Aggregator – collecting the plethora of RSS Feeds that I still try to follow is an interesting concept, but I get that in my Outlook and even in my Google Chrome
- Media Player – Ok…so the media player would not play MP4 files that I had just produced for YouTube and Facebook today but handled .AVI files like a champ
- File Transfer – (FTP) – I have been partial to the world of FileZilla for some time but I found it nice to right click on the menu bar and be able to access both SFTP and FTP accounts
- Instant Messenger – Ok not really a Chat Client that would be classified as ultra modern but again does take me back to my days as a new Internet User with IRC, FreeNode and DalNet login options but for this to be useful in 2016…a Slack Channel Connection and a few of the other newer productivity options would be a huge win
- Telnet – Another Why – Sure I could access my Remote Server and muck about but I can do that in Chrome too
- Whois – ok, as a researcher and former sales guy…I do know the value of using whois searches to find out about people and businesses…but a quick tab open in any other browser does the same thing
- Name Resolver – ok…so translating domains to IP Addresses is interesting…but I am just not sure about it all.
It is a fairly solid solution set, and loads of things are done right…but for me, looking at BriskBard as a competitor to Google Chrome (which powers my primary work space for 90% of my web functions on my Chromebook) I can not justify $43.52 CAD (29.95 EUR) when a Chromebook that is an actual computer no less can be purchased for under $200 CAD.
With that, as quickly as the solution was installed, it was uninstalled…but if you are Anti Google, Anti Microsoft or Anti Apple…this could be a solution…but just not at the price. We live in a world of .99 cent apps in the App Stores so unless a Web Browser is going to heat my seat, brush my teeth and fly me to the moon…I will stick with what I have for now.