Walt Mossberg

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IE8′s Compatibility Button

Here are a few questions I’ve received recently from people like you, and my answers. I have edited and restated the questions a bit, for readability.


I downloaded Internet Explorer 8, but, unlike the old version, it isn’t presenting my bank’s Web page properly. Should I uninstall it and go back to the old version?

Not necessarily. There’s a compatibility button in IE8 you can click that may help render the bank’s page properly. It appears in the top toolbar, just to the right of the address field, when the browser detects that you are on a page that requires it. The button looks like a torn piece of paper.

This button is needed because older editions of Internet Explorer used some nonstandard, proprietary techniques for rendering Web pages. Some Web sites were designed with these techniques in mind, and only worked properly in IE, as opposed to other browsers. Ironically, with the new IE8, Microsoft is moving away from these proprietary technologies. So the compatibility button makes the new version of IE work like the older ones when it encounters a page that expects this.

Do I need a regular wired home phone line to get high-speed Internet service?

No. You can buy high-speed, or broadband, service from a cable company, which supplies the service over the same wire that brings in your cable TV signal, instead of a phone line. You can also obtain broadband service from some satellite services, or from a wireless phone company.

I have a one-year-old 24″ Apple iMac. I would like to burn my movies to Blu-ray discs to play on my Blu-ray player. Do I need an external Blu-ray burner/drive?

Yes. The drive inside your iMac can burn only CDs or DVDs, not Blu-ray discs. But there are external Blu-ray drives available for Macs.

  • You can find Mossberg’s Mailbox, and my other columns, online free of charge at the All Things Digital Web site, http://walt.allthingsd.com.

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