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Monday, January 09, 2006

 

OPERA 8.51 BROWSER: BRAVO! WHAT AN ENCORE!

The fat lady has definitely not sung for Opera, the browser alternative to Microsoft's IE (Internet Explorer) and the Avis of browsers, number two Firefox. I already liked Opera before, but the encore is even better. The latest free version of Opera I just got, version 8.51, is a snap to download and install, and runs (in my tests on my Win XP machine) faster than either IE or Firefox.

But that's not all. Like Firefox, Opera has tabbed browsing, a must-have nowadays -- but Opera also has other cool features built-in that work quite smoothly and, as far as I know, are not standard in IE or Firefox (although, to be fair, there are many extensions you can get for Firefox that extend its abilities in many cool ways).

My fave Opera coolies**: fast ZOOMING (hold CTRL and scroll down/up on your mousewheel to make a page look smaller or bigger -- not just the text, but everything on the page -- you can also zoom by clicking the glasses icon); one-click removal/reloading of images; storing of passwords and personal info so you don't need to repeatedly reenter your info on sites; and something I have never seen, a browser TRASHCAN (if you click out of a webpage and didnt mean to, or just want it back for whatever reason, click the trashcan and you can get it back in a new tab, along with the other pages "around" it - that is, the pages you browsed before/after it before it went in the trash). And get this: if you exit out of Opera, and relaunch later, it brings you back to all the pages you had open before; that is, when you re-open Opera, it automatically opens ALL of your tabbed webpages in the EXACT configuration they were in before you last closed the browser!

All in all, Opera is worth a look. Free to download, free to use. I can't sing its praises enough. Bravo! Now if I just had some flowers to throw on Opera's virtual stage... they truly deserve it.


(** Rosespeak for "cool things")



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