Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Netbook Review: The Fat Lady Sings Opera

I have been a rabid fanboy since v. 3.

I now have gotten Opera on the that I discussed here. Here’s how I did it (hint: it worked the same as if I were on regular or desktop):

I went to the Opera website.

I verified that the “Download Opera” dialog, which loaded automatically, identified the correct distribution and version ( 8.04). (I suspect that the “Download” dialogue opened because the website knew I was viewing it with a different browser.)

I clicked to download. The default download option (“Save,” “Run,” and so on) was to open into the package installer (in the Linux world, program downloads are called “packages”). I accepted the default.

Ubuntu downloaded and installed the program, placing it on the correct location on the correct submenu.

I used the Opera Menu–>File–>Import and Export item to import my RSS feeds, bookmarks, and email contacts from my primary laptop into the netbook Opera install. (One of the many things I like about Opera is that I have the five internet things I use most often–RSS feeds, email, text newsgroups, IRC, and the World Wide Web–in one convenient interface in one program, rather than scattered among several separate programs).

Now it looks like this (depending on your browser, click or right-click to see a larger image):

Opera on a Netbook

(In the picture, the mail panel, which shows email, RSS feeds, and newsgroups, is opened to the left.)

Appendix: Why I’m Such an Opera Fanboy

I first learned about Opera when I was working on my boating website nine or ten years ago and was hanging around in alt.html. Experienced HTML developers kept saying, “Use Opera.”

So I did. It’s small, fast, and versatile. It’s also standards compliant. If a site runs in Opera, it will run in just about any standards compliant browser. If a site does not work in Opera, the odds are 10-1 that that site is not standards compliant. It is also highly configurable. You can configure things that, in most browsers, aren’t even things.

Back in those olden days, Opera came in an ad-supported version and a registered version (registration was about $15 US). The ads appeared in the header area of the browser, up there on the right, and did not impinge in any way on the browser window, but I registered the program, I liked it so much.

It also outranks every other browser in the eye-candy department. There are hundreds of skins and dozens of widgets available for it, and I am a sucker for eye candy.

The other side of this coin is that I absolutely loathe the Evolution email client. This is not to criticize its functionality; it works great. I just don’t like it. I think it’s just too much like Microsoft Outlook for me.

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