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Software Review of:
Opera
Version 6.1 for Windows

 

From the July, 2002 issue of PC Alamode Magazine

Opera Software ASA claims it makes “the fastest Web browser in the world”, Opera, so that its users “have the best Internet experience possible”. In addition to visiting Web pages, you can use Opera to read e-mail, newsgroups and send instant messages.

You can download and use Opera free if you’re willing to deal with ads. You can purchase an ad-free version for $39.00 (students pay $20.00).

Opera is available for these operating systems: BeOS, Linux/Solaris, Mac, OS2, QNX, Symbian OS, and Windows. I downloaded Opera version 6.1 for Windows May 14, 2002. (On June 9, 2002, I found version 6.3 available for download.)

I’ve used Netscape Navigator, Netscape Communicator, and Internet Explorer.

Installing & Running the Program
After I downloaded the 11MB+ file, I didn’t have any problems installing the program. 
When I first started Opera, it had an ad banner at the top of the screen and many pop-up windows appeared. However, after exploring the Preferences dialog box I found a way to reduce them drastically.

Under Privacy, you can tell Opera how to handle cookies. You can let it accept all cookies, refuse all cookies, accept cookies from selected servers, or display all cookies. I chose the last option. Now, each time a new cookie arrives I can see where it comes from, accept or refuse it, accept or refuse all cookies from the server and/or the domain. By refusing all cookies from several servers and domains, I was able to eliminate almost all ad pop-up windows over a period of several days. While the banner ads still take up some valuable real estate, it’s a livable situation.

Unlike Netscape Communicator 4.76 or MS Internet Explorer 5.5, Opera allows more customization and lets you know what’s going on behind the scenes as you browse, if you choose. For instance, About Opera gives you not only the program name & version and who made it but also the paths for many files. (Some examples: Preferences: E:\OPERA\opera6.ini, Saved windows: E:\Opera\opera.win, and Bookmarks: E:\Opera\Opera6.adr)

Although I‘ve used Opera only a few weeks, I’ve found that it’s speedy and gets me to web sites when the other browsers can’t.

Opera comes pre-loaded with a lengthy, well-balanced list of bookmarks. The Help File is good but you’ll find some useful Windows tutorials at  Opera's web site . (I couldn’t find any tutorials for the other operating systems.)

I haven’t used Opera to read e-mail, newsgroups or send instant messages.

System Requirements 
Minimum configuration (without Java): Any system running Windows 95 (or higher), operating system, 9 MB of free disk space (maybe less if installing from CD), 9600 bps modem

Recommended configuration 
(without Java): Windows 95 or higher operating system, Pentium 166MHz processor, 32 MB of RAM, at least 65 MB of free disk space, 28800 bps modem or higher connection

Vital Statistics


Mailing address: 

Opera Software ASA
Postboks 2648 St. Hanshaugen
NO-0131 OSLO, NORWAY



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