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Opera Anyone ?




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firefoxLooks like I am not the only one suffering from browse fatigue. Excel guru Dick Kusleika recently made the shift from Firefox to Chrome and he wasn’t very impressed. I myself have been fiddling around with various browsers lately. Right before my earlier computer gave up the ghost and I shifted on to the new one, I had been hell bent on squeezing out the last remaining ounce of performance from it. With 256 MB of some very unreliable RAM and a modest AMD Duron processor, even simple tasks like browsing were a challenge at times. So one day when Internet Explorer crashed right after I had written a part of a particular post, I decided to give Firefox a try. Firefox ran well … atleast for the first few days and then its RAM hogging tendencies started to show up. While I was thankful for the spell checker and stability, if I were running Firefox, it was the only application my processor would let me run without going molasses.

Enter Chrome. A slightly different look and feel but I was willing to live with it if it delivered the goods. However Chrome again, just like Firefox, bloated after a few weeks of usage. Clearing the temporary files folder did not help and the time to start-up was driving me crazy. Internet Explorer for all its drawbacks, comes up really fast (that it takes eons to render a website after showing up is a different story altogether !! ).

So I googled for ‘fastest browser’ and Opera was listed in the first few results. operaNow by this time I was willing to give anything a try, even Opera. An 11 MB executable and a 2 minute install later, I had a smile on my face. Opera is fast and has remained so even after a few months of usage. Of all four IE, Opera, FF and Chrome, Opera is by far the fastest to render a website. It is faster starting up than Firefox and Chrome but slightly slower than IE. It has tabbed browsing, resizable tabs, tabs previewing, speed dialing, download counter, password storage, expandable panels, spell checker, inbuilt search engine box and pretty much all that I would need for blogging and surfing. And I am sure there are a ton of other features that I am not even aware of since I go by just fine using only ones listed above.

My own ‘in-depth’ research has let me to believe that I fall in the tiny 1.57% portion of web surfers who use Opera. But then this number in reality could very well be lower since a lot of those visits may just be my own :-) It could, in all likelihood, perhaps be even lower since this is an Excel blog and Linux users would be under-represented. Either ways, I will continue to stick with Opera although IE remains a useful 2nd in line.

I am just wondering if there are others who’ve used Opera? What’s your experience been like?

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Excel Formula, Excel Chart, Excel Macro, Excel VBA, Pivot Table Excel, Excel Dashboard

What Do You Think ?


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  1. Peter Bretscher wrote:

    Like Opera too. Particular that it synchronizes bookmarks of my distinct pc’s. Use it 90% of time. 5% Firefox, 5% Internet Explorer (mostly for printing).

  2. JP wrote:

    Eh, it’s alright. Just another browser. There was nothing that particularly struck me that would cause me to switch from FF.

  3. Daniel Ferry wrote:

    Ajay-

    I’m interested in what version of Chrome you had difficulty with?

    I run Chrome 4 and love it. I’ve never experienced any of the problems you outline with it. I do a lot of Javascript development and for me Chrome is the ticket.

    Here’s an interesting site where you can test the Javascript speed of whatever browser you are using and compare against the aggregate:

    http://jsbenchmark.celtickane.com/Results.aspx

    On average, Chrome 4 is 1.1 times faster than Safari 4. Not much, but interesting, since they are both based on WebKit.

    It looks like Chrome 5 (in beta) is the quickest browser ever, by far!

    Chrome has the ability to render things that no other browser can. Some extremely interesting demos of this are at:

    http://www.chromeexperiments.com/

    Any Javascript developer would have to say, whoa.

    Regards,

    Daniel Ferry
    excelhero.com/blog

  4. Ajay wrote:

    @Peter – Mine’s more like 70% Opera and 30% IE.

    @JP – Take a few gigs of RAM out of the system and thou shalt see :-)

    @Daniel – I got lost trying to get a hang of what’s on the various axis. But when I ran the test it said, “Faster than 32% of all computers that ran this test”. I mean I just got this machine and its still the fastest AMD has got … and it looks like its is already old enough to be thumped by 68% of pc’s out there !!! And Opera being 2.6 times slower than Chrome, it doesn’t quite feel that way to me :-) I removed Chrome but I guess it must’ve been either 4 or 5 (the one released about 6 months back).

  5. Serkan Sipahi wrote:

    I’ve been using Opera more than 3 years… I like its speed and speed dialing. But “recover last session” feature is my favourite…
    Once I’ve tried Firefox, but did not like its user interface. And IE still a disaster…

  6. Sandrina wrote:

    I have 4 browsers installed on my PC. Occasionally I use Opera, because of Links section and mouse gestures.
    Opera 10.50 Beta is even more fast.
    Chrome is a good and fast browser too.
    Recently I had problems with my Firefox, it got very slow, I guessed that the reason might be a collection of more than 20 add-ons (some of which don’t work anymore). After I uninstalled it completely and
    reinstalled it again but without a single add-on, everything works smoothly. Firefox can be fast too.

  7. Ajay wrote:

    @Serkan – Speed dialing is a favorite of mine too !!! I wish Chrome had the same too. I am not sure if it’s there and I can’t find it.

    @Sandrina – I haven’t tried 10.5. The mouse gestures actually are more of a irritant for me since I have no idea of how to make them work !! Any pointers?

  8. Phil wrote:

    Hi….

    I have the same problems with FF. It sometimes takes up to 1GB of my RAM which makes everything very slow. So I decided to switch to Opera which I knew from previous downloads.

    It’s nice, handy and fast BUT I have some problems with it, especially when it comes to JavaScript effects on my website as well as usage of editors in my blogs backend. So my approach is, using Opera for all surfing things, using FF for all content creation things.

  9. Sandrina wrote:

    @Ajay Mouse gestures are pretty much convenient but it takes a lot of time to practice them.

  10. Greg wrote:

    Been using Opera for > 13 years – got hooked on tabbed browsing, and have watched the other browsers add similar features. I like the custom search options, integrated RSS reader, and still find it faster than the rest. I do have to use FF or IE occasionally, but only as a last resort.

  11. AdamV wrote:

    Used FF for a long time and it is still my primary browser. Tried Opera (over a year ago now) and it was certainly no better and for some reason really irritated me (but I forget why now).
    Using IE8 more often than I used to, finding the difference from FF much smaller these days, except for add-ons I already know (and can’t be bothered to find equivalents for).
    Speed is not everything – some browsers are much better at detecting and preventing drive-by malware than others. IE8 stands out here. Opera and Chrome do badly from what I’ve read.

    I think the EU “browser choice” thing is a farce and should not have been imposed. Consumers and businesses who know enough to care will dowload and use their browser of choice. People who don’t know or don’t care should not be bothered by a window asking them to change something they already thought they had. Back in the day, giving away a free browser (or any other “application” was generous, now it is anticompetitive. Whodathunkit?

  12. BrianR wrote:

    Hi. I’m a long time user of Opera (could it be 15 years? – so long that I actually paid real money for it on more than one occasion).

    What do I like about it?
    – Above all, its security. Any code that Opera runs has either been written or included (e.g. SQLite) by them. No issues about unknown/conflicting/out-dated add-ons. Opera takes security as seriously as I’d want it to (e.g. no ActiveX) and the few security lapses are rapidly fixed. [Of course, part of its enviable record is due to the fact that it's too small to attract the attention of serious hackers - is that a problem?!]
    – Built-in functionality. Normally, I’m a huge tweaker (I’d put my QAT up against anyone’s!) so Opera should be a problem for me. However, Opera’s out-of-the-box functionality is so powerful and innovative that I really don’t miss having to source and maintain add-ons.
    – Opera is fast. Sometimes, it’s the fastest, other times not – but it’s always acceptable.
    – A leader in standards implementation.
    – Multi-platform. (But I’m Windows at heart, so let the Linux, Mac and mobile community talk about that.)
    – It’s personal – its forums have active employee-involvement.
    – Did I mention Opera’s security?

  13. figsch wrote:

    has used Opera when Firefox was Titan, but shifted to Chrome when it was brought to light.
    i’ve only shifted back to Opera recently because it’s a nifty download/torrent manager. :) i have Opera on both Linux and Windows platforms.

    by the way, this comment is done via Chrome. :)

  14. SGS wrote:

    Apart from the browsers listed, I would also recomend that you give Flock (v2.X not v3.X) a shot. Its a fork of FF and can be slower than FF but the advantage is that it really does Social Networking well. Try Facebook with Flock and you it makes FB sing. The my world tab which can aggregate all your RSS feeds etc is excellent. Since Flock is built off FF, it can also use FF addons which is immensely useful.

    Unfortunately there is a new beta edition of Flock which is based on Chromium (essentially Chrome) and I do not recommend it at all since it lacks everyone of the features mentioned above and is Chrome with a skin.

    If you are up for it, try Spacetime as well, which is a 3D browser (came out before everything became 3D.) It makes searching better since you can group search windows together.

    I’ve tried Opera and in the end I did uninstall it. That said, I like that it led the way in terms of addons and other features that are now standard.

    There are other browsers but I think that’s enough from me.

  15. Alan wrote:

    Opera is my #2 browser. It’d be #1 if only the Yahoo toolbar was available for it. It’s a fine program.

  16. NetBUG wrote:

    I use Opera since its 3.61 version.
    Damn, it was shareware by that time!

    Well, here, in Russia, Opera takes nearly 15% of the browser market while IE has much less.
    I can’t stand why do you like it? Maybe IE could be a choice in case you use only a single tab, but it’s insecure, slow and unusable with many tabs!

    The worst things in Opera is memory leaking when using it for long (some days without restart). To be honest, it’s a problem for any browser.
    The second problem is its standards. Opera complies with W3C standards but fails on some Google services, like GNotebook.

  17. G wrote:

    Opera is the Tesla of browsers: they come up with good ideas which later other browsers implement but with better marketing.

  18. Kilbryf wrote:

    Can anybody help me with Excel 2000 (yeah, I KNOW) and Opera Email? I’m sick of Outlook Express but it seems M$ doesn’t want Excel to play with anybody buy M$ products.
    I want to be able to send my spreadsheet directly from Excel (like I could with OE) but it doesn’t like Opera.

    ANY *intelligent* ideas?

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