The Explorer: New BT2K Beta Posted! - InformationWeek
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Fred Langa
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The Explorer: New BT2K Beta Posted!

Once again, many, many thanks for all the great BT2K feedback! Hundreds of you have sent in outstanding suggestions on everything from how the navigation buttons should be grouped to solving the "why don't people use the Help files?" question I posed several weeks ago in my newsletter ( It's wonderful having so many fresh eyes look at BT2K: Your comments and suggestions are helping a lot! Please keep them coming!

I've been keeping track of the bug reports and the server logs, and it appears that BT does its job properly in over 95% of cases. Some small percentage of users experience basic e-mail errors (e-mail is misrouted or lost, often due to a non-BT problem such as a mistyped e-mail address, or an e-mail failure in the general internet or at the user's ISP). Another group of problems occurs with random, undefined problems such as a dropped packet or other error in transferring collected test data from a user's PC back to the server for processing, especially when the server is extremely busy as it's been lately.

And yes, there's also a residuum of bugs in my code, but neither too many nor too bad. I'm fixing them as fast as I can. 8-)

Just to be clear: More than 5% of users report bugs, but in many cases they're still of the "my browser failed to complete a test (or crashed, or hung or whatever) variety, so therefore BT2K is buggy (or broke my browser or crashed my system ...)."

BT2K is totally noninvasive--it doesn't even try to alter anything on your system or in your browser settings. It just thoroughly exercises what's already there. But by poking into the nooks and crannies of a browser setup, BT may uncover or activate problems you had--many, many browsers have one or more problems--but were unaware of. BT isn't causing the problem, but it may bring the problem to light. That's it's job! If your browser has a problem running BT2K, that doesn't necessarily mean it's a BT2K problem. Odds are, it's a problem on your end.

But I guess that's still not clear from the descriptions in the BT lead-in pages. I have some more rewriting to do!

And that leads to this week's topic: the new beta of BT2K posted at

I've incorporated fixes for many of the top-priority problems that cropped up in the previous versions, and altered the way some of the tests work. I'd love to get your feedback on this version, as we move towards a final, shipping version of BT2K. Please check out the tests at the link above, and then post your comments, questions, bug-reports and observations here, or send them to me at Thanks for your help!

FYI: The BT2K full beta is at

The BT2K demo (think of it as "BT2K Lite") is still available at

And the tried-and-true manual version of BrowserTune (BT98) awaits you at

To discuss this column with other readers, please visit Fred Langa's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about Fred Langa, please visit his page on the Listening Post.

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