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What's different? Switching to Opera isn't all that difficult. The biggest difference is the way Opera handles multiple windows. With IE or NN when you open a new window, it is another stand alone copy of the program. You get a new button on the task bar, a new window with toolbars and status lines. The benefit is you keep your toolbar safe and sane. Because Opera only opens windows within itself, you save mega resources. Opera will run fine on a older sub 200mhz, sub 32meg system without a problem. When you open a new window in Opera, it stays within Opera. On the screen shot, I have 3 open windows (red 1,2,3,4).
To the right of #6, notice the bar of buttons along the bottom. That is the Window bar or "surf bar" that shows how many pages you have loaded. Just like the Window task bar, you click on a button to refocus the window, and click on it again to minimize it. The Need For Speed Opera is billed as the Worlds Fastest Surfing Browser. That comes from not only page load speed, but from your page to page surf speed. The coolest trick Opera has to offer is shift control click. When you shift-control-click a link, the page opens up Under Neath the other windows and merrily loads away. Suppose you are looking at a search engine results page (serp):
With Shift-Control-Click, you can just rapid fire off those links that look interesting and allow them to load "in the background" while you continue to read in the foreground. warning: shift-control-click is highly addictive and should be approached with caution.
That's not hype, it's the truth. Everyone I know that has gotten hooked on The Big O, has done so because of Shift-Control-Click. The power of opening a window underneath can't be explained in so many words -- it has to be experienced for a few hours.
With Opera 5, speed of the raw page load is about 5% faster than IE, and about 30% faster than NN. Opera 3.62 is about 20% faster than IE and 50% faster than NN. Other Window Objects Next to the red #8 and green #5 in the first screen shot is a drop down form from 20% to 1000% where you can Zoom or Shrink the current window. Which is great for those hard to read pages. You can do the same with the + or - key on the numeric keypad.
Notice the couple of buttons on the window bar are in red font? Those are pages that have completed loading that you haven't viewed yet. Once you click to them, the color switches. Great for knowing which windows are done. You can configure the toolbar to the left of the green #9 if you are industrious, by editing the buttons.ini file. There are two default sets included, and there are a few dozen user contributed sets available. The 1-7 numbers are a addon tweak to the buttons.ini control file that will launch urls for me. Preferences The next big dramatic difference between Opera and other browsers is the never ending array of options one can control.
End of part one...Part two next week. :-) note: the above may include features or function not available in all versions of Opera. Differences do exist between Linux, Windows, Mac, BeOs, and Epoc ports. It may also include features not yet available to the public.