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Opera Revisted
By Thiravudh Khoman

Update Notes: 21-Feb-2003

Boy, was this update a long time in the making (like 3 years!). I actually stopped using Opera on my Windows box for quite a while and used Internet Explorer exclusively - until about a year ago when I got back on board with Opera v6.x. At this time, I'm still using v6.05, not having gone to v7.x yet, but it's become my #1 browser again (with IE on standby to handle pages that Opera doesn't handle very well).

However, I finally gave Opera for Linux a try. I tried both the v6.11 and the v7.00 beta running under Red Hat Linux v8.0. Installation was pretty easy once I figured out that I needed to update a Motif library that Opera uses (i.e. openmotif21-2.1.30-6.i386.rpm), plus where to find it. Not surprisingly, it operates pretty much like the Windows version, although I must admit that I wasn't terribly enthused about the ugly fonts (X fonts, I presume). Until I can figure out how to fix this, I'm going to stick with Mozilla when I'm using Linux (not that I'm terribly fond of Mozilla either).

Update Notes: 01-Apr-2000

I received an email from David Fox today, the contents being as follows:

"In case you haven't checked recently, Opera v4.0, Beta 1 is now available, but only from the Norwegian web site. It came out about a week ago. This is the version that incorporates full e-mail."

"My experience may perhaps help you:

  • It doesn't seem to like being installed when v3.62 is also installed. All sorts of odd things happen. I've installed/uninstalled it five times. Sometimes there will be no Bookmarks list, sometimes it will take it from v3.62. Sometimes the Desktop shortcut will have the v3.62 icon, other times it will have its own icon. Sometimes there will be no Help file, just a banner heralding Opera 4.0 Elektra, other times it will load the v3.62 help file.
  • Using the Preferences menu, I found it useful to set the buttons to text rather than to images - that way I can readily see what everything is and where it is.
  • The Hotlist menu to the left of the screen can now be toggled to show e-mail folders or the address book. In the e-mail document window, when you click on To: or Cc:, it brings up the address book for you to select the recipient.
  • Your comment on December 29, 1999 about the problem with SSL encryption is known by Opera. They recommend creating a small text file, with anything you like in it, and then naming the file NS.EXE and placing it in the Opera directory. That will fool the security apps into thinking that Netscape exists.
  • There doesn't appear to be any automatic line wrap so the lines are as long as you care to type.
  • There doesn't seem to be any way to edit a queued message in the Outbox. In Netscape you simply highlight the message, click Message, click Edit Message as New, then make changes to the message and re-queue it, but that doesn't seem possible with Opera.
  • If you open a local document and then print it, there are over- printing problems at the top right corner and bottom left corner of the page.

I have reported a), e) and f) to Opera. Hope that is of some help - sent in appreciation for your making me aware of the existence of Opera.

P.S. This was prepared using Opera v4.0 but the programme wouldn't send it so I have had to revert to Netscape. Initially it appeared in the Outbox, along with a couple of other messages that I wanted to send, but after clicking the Send button nothing happened. Then the messages disappeared from the Outbox but the log to the left still showed 3 unsent messages. It's the Beta 1 version so I guess these problems are to be expected. Fortunately all 3 messages were in a text file in the Mail directory so it was easy enough to copy them into Netscape. This has also been reported to Opera.

David Fox

Thanks, Dave! Opera users, please keep in mind that this is still a beta, beta #1 in fact. Let's give our Norwegian friends time to iron out the kinks.

Update Notes: 26-Jan-2000

The original review was based on Opera v3.60. I upgraded to v3.61 not long after I wrote the article, but found it to be somewhat buggy, causing occasional crashes (perhaps due to my already buggy Windows 98). I eventually returned to using v3.60 while awaing the next update. As of today, v3.62 beta 6 is out and I've found it to be much less of a problem. Meanwhile, Post Database's Geoff Long recently installed v3.61 and has reported no problems.

As a general rule, I recommend keeping the previous version of any software you use handy - just in case.

Copyright © 1998-2000, Thiravudh Khoman