Praise for Opera, Low Cost iBook Mobo Replacement, IrDA and IRtalk, WaMCom Recommended, and More
- Opera Better than Ever
- Glitch in Opera?
- Opera 'Way Ahead of the Pack'
- Inexpensive iBook Logic Board Replacement
- Booting an Old Power Mac from CD
- IrDA and IRtalk
- WaMCom a Good Alternative to Netscape 7.0.2
- New 1.8" 160 GB Toshiba Drive Won't Fit MacBook Air
- PowerPC Support and Snow Leopard
Great Opera 9.5 review! I translate another of your favourites - iCab - to Norwegian, so I should be objective when I say that I think that Opera 9.5 is really really slick. The user interface is better than before. Less confusing . . . and finally it is possible to set up a logical Tab behaviour in the preferences. (Before, I never knew which Tab I would land inside once I closed the current one - however, you may have become used to that? Now one can set up a logical/Firefox/Safari alike behaviour in the prefs. There are still some glitches there, though.)
Yeah, and I like its email program also. And its all-in-one thingyness. It has many "hidden" features. But they are hidden in very elegant ways. Once you open them/enable them, they become a full part of the app - and not merely something extra which you have to do something extra in order to use.
Thanks. Glad you like the review. I'm already getting used to the new interface, and I'm pretty happy with it, although I never found the old one particularly confusing.
Yes, the tab behavior is improved (iCab had tab configuration nailed nicely years ago).
I've experimented a bit with Opera's email module but never used it for serious work. If they don't get Odysseus working with reasonable dispatch I may give it more consideration as an alternative to Eudora. I like it better than Thunderbird or OS X Mail.
I read your article about the latest release of Opera, and it was so convincing that I decided to try it, especially since I have issues with the performance of Firefox and Safari. I really like Opera so far, but there is one small thing about it that bothers me, and I don't know how to change it, and I was hoping you could help. When entering an address in the address field, or clicking on a favorite in the personal bar, the page will not start loading right away. I have to hit enter again in the address bar or click on the favorite again in order for the webpage to load. Is there anyway to change this so I the page will load the first time? I sought help through the Opera chat rooms and was told that this is a common problem on the Mac, but I couldn't get any info about how to fix it, or if it was possible to fix it. I've also browsed the knowledge base and tutorials, but there is nothing about this issue.
I'm sure you're quite busy and have plenty of other emails to read, but your help and/or advice would be really appreciated. Thanks!
Glad you like Opera. It takes a bit of getting used to when you're coming from other browsers, but it grows on you as you become more accustomed to the way it works.
Unfortunately, I'm not able to be much help with you address double-pump issue. The only thing I can think of to try is experimenting with the redraw configuration in the Advanced > Browsing panel of the Preferences. I'm not surer whether that would help or not.
Perhaps someone in the mailbag audience will be able to address this.
Opera has been way ahead of the pack since at least version 7 and my favorite browser by far. The focus on security over compatibility was and is still unmatched.
I usually have Firefox and Safari open and running on my machine along with Opera.
If a site isn't working and isn't asking for credit card info, I use a more "compatible" browser.
If I am entering credit card info, I use Opera period. It has flagged some of Apple's own https sites that tried to embed external URLs into a secure page, a big time security faux pas that the other two browsers merrily accepted at the time.
And Opera has revealed more than once that the "Hacker Safe - verified daily" is marketing more than substance. That is the one time I have had my credit card info pilfered, when I decided to trust "Hacker Safe - verified" instead of Opera while ordering an air filter and some spark plugs online to ship to my home in Missouri.
Opera flagged the site, the page had the Hacker Safe logo prominently displayed, I entered my number, and three days later a tool wholesaler in Arizona was calling to see if I really had ordered three hammer drills to be shipped to Miami!
Opera startup in 9.5 is remarkably faster, but stability has suffered in this latest incarnation for me.
Twice in the last week, Opera has taken my MacBook Pro up over 75% CPU, this with just 8 tabs open in one window. When I save the session and shut down Opera, I notice mdfind momentarily jump to the top of the CPU utilization, so probably something Spotlight is doing with some Opera files.
The Opera 9.5 interface is growing on me, I saw a setting somewhere to switch it from Mac to Opera styles. I set it to the Opera style.
I really don't mind being in the upper 2% of browser aficionados. Somebody at Google must have liked the way Opera's email works, since their Gmail works basically the same way with searches and filtering and such.
Keep up your great work. Don't expect anyone who hasn't tried it to "get" Opera. Compatibility is apparently 98% of the battle for capturing the mindset of everyday users.
Thanks for your comments.
I haven't encountered any serious stability issues yet - no crashes or CPU hogging. The spinning beachball of death appeared for about 15-20 seconds last evening, but the browser regained its composure and life went on.
Your notes on security are interesting.
I too usually have Firefox (or iCab) and Safari open and running on my machine along with Opera, but I use Opera more than the other three combined.
From David Keith Evans, Sr.:
Regarding 'compleat' - I believe that there is famous old book called The Compleat Angler, and ever since it was published, comprehensive guides have adopted that spelling as a hat tip. So the title of you articles is not only appropriate and accurate, it is intelligent.
Grace and peace,
Yes indeed. That would be The Compleat Angler by Izaak Walton (1593-1683), which was first published in 1653 and has many subsequent printings.
However, I was introduced to the "compleat" spelling usage on the pages of Road & Track magazine under the editorship of the late John R. Bond, owner and R&T from 1949 to 1972. Mr. Bond's objective was to produce a magazine for literate car nuts, patterned loosely on The New Yorker's motif.
Regarding Matthew's logic board problem (iBook G4 Keeps Putting Itself to Sleep) and the economics of repair: I recently had the same dilemma with my daughter's iBook G3 800. I opted for the repair. I found a business through the Apple Discussion Boards, DT&T Computer Services in California. They did a quick, professional job of replacing the logic board for $200, 6 month warranty included. The 'Book is as good as new. Since I had recently replaced the battery, it was worth it to repair the unit.
If you would care to pass this info along to Matthew, it might help him with his decision to replace or repair.
Keep up the good work on LEM!
That's an excellent price for a logic board repair. Thanks for the tip and link!
I've forwarded your note to Matthew.
From Roy Wiseman following up on Mac OS and Linux for Power Macintosh ONE/225:
That's fantastic, Charles, thanks for all the help! I reckon I'll pretty much do what you suggest as a first step, as I think you know lots about these older systems and I know nothing :o) So, as you suggested, I think I will get a Mac OS 8.6 CD or set of floppies.
I'm curious about something on these old Mac's though. If I turn it on, I think it's expecting a boot floppy from the grey screen with the Mac icon in the middle. Is there some key combo that I have to press to get it to boot from CD if I have a distro on CD like Mac OS 8.6 or a Debian installation or whatever ? Assuming this is a 225 MHz system, what kind of Intel equivalent is that ? Is it equivalent to a 200 MHz Pentium, or is it more powerful than that ?
To boot from a CD, just insert the disk and hold down the "C" key when you boot up. I've found that on some machines you have to hit the power button first, then insert the disk (while holding the "C" key down). Others will just happily boot from a CD in the drive if they don't find a bootable system on the hard drive.
It's been a long time since I booted from a floppy, but as I recall, any floppy in a Mac's drive gets boot priority automatically.
I noticed in the article above you didn't know of a way to help Elliot w/ the recycled PB 1400 get his files off via the IR from the PowerBook to his iMac, since the 1400 uses the old IRtalk (Apple only "standard") and the iMac uses IrDA. Unless I'm greatly mistaken, he should be able to open his IR control panel on the iMac & tell it to use IRtalk instead of IrDA; I seem to recall stumbling across this option lately when rehabbing a dead WallStreet to put it up on eBay. Completely "oh, that was nice of Apple" at the time, w/ no expectation of ever needing to use it, but maybe now it will help out another LEM'er... :-)
Thanks for the tip. I've forwarded it to Eliot.
There is certainly a lot I don't know about using IR interfaces. We used to do it between two WallStreets in this house, but that pretty much sums up my IR experience.
My love for outdated computers extends to the Palm Vx, which I regrettably never got to experiment with the IR synching w/ a computer [at the time I had it, I had not laptop w/ IR, only a desktop. Now I've got the laptop, but the Vx died! lol],
Keep up the good work on LEM!
From Elliot in response to Bruce's email:
Thanks for the tip there! Unfortunately, my iMac literally just died. I picked up a Compact Flash adapter for it and use my digital camera to transfer files now, so in the end it still works.
Thanks for your Mailbag Ramblings,
Thanks for the comment.
I've found Netscape 7.x to be stable and pretty much trouble-free on our old WallStreet, but it seems to be cranky on some setups.
The WaMCom version of Mozilla is definitely a good alternative.
From Toby Glyn:
Current MacBook Air requires 5mm height PATA hard drives, and both the 160 and the 80 GB version of the new Toshiba are 8mm high SATA.
"Editor's note: It will be interesting to see if the single-platter 80 GB unit will fit in the MacBook Air. The twin-platter drive will almost certainly not, alas. cm"
Thanks for clearing up that point.
I am very happy that Snow Tiger will support PPC. ;-)
PS: Odysseus has not impressed me so far ....
You might want to keep the champagne corked for a while yet. It's looking less and less likely that Snow Leopard will support PPC. All we know for sure at this point is that the developer release seeded this week does not support PowerPC. For more on that subject see Snow Leopard PPC Bye Bye and More on Applelinks.
I was pretty happy with the Odysseus preview for it's intended purpose, which was to give an indication of what's to come. I'm looking forward to the next beta release.
Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, and he is a news editor and columnist at Applelinks.com. If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.
Recent articles by Charles W. Moore
- Apple's Great Hebrew Support, AirPort Express Silently Upgraded, Pismo G4, and More, Charles Moore's Mailbag, 2012.12.03. Also a WindowShade replacement approved by Apple, upgrding a 15" MacBook Pro, and three 13" MacBooks.
- Is There a Cure for a Smelly Mac?, Miscellaneous Ramblings, 2012.07.30. For those suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, gases let of by a new computer can be no end of trouble.
- Optimizing PowerBook G4 Performance, TenFourFox May Run Faster with NoScript, and More, Charles Moore's Mailbag, 2012.07.18. Also pros and cons of Linux on G3 PowerBooks and iPhoto 11 no longer updating in Snow Leopard.
- More in the Miscellaneous Ramblings index.
Links for the Day
- Mac of the Day: PowerBook 165c, introduced 1993.02.10. The first color PowerBook had an attractive screen, slow graphics.
- May 25 in LEM history: 99: OS X and the econoMac - iMac iMpact - 00: Is a Mac better than a PC? - 01: 1993: PowerBook vs. ThinkPad - Old files on a new Mac - 05: Mac minis in classroom a big hit - Of mice and keyboards - 06: The best 'Book for my needs - 07: More RAM vs. matched RAM - Running OS X from flash memory
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