The Opera Web Browser back to the top of the pile (Web Browser)

This post is a little different from the normal technical posts so for those of you that don’t care about my opinion its time to click next on your feed reader.

Everyone knows that Firefox 3 will be released next week but quietly Opera set free their latest release Opera 9.5. I have been using Opera for a while now both on Windows & Linux, its great on windows for those people who seem to be able to attract spyware. For some reason it was heaps better at keeping that shit off than Firefox 2 (i havn’t played much with Firefox3 on Windows).Opera even seemed to pass the spyware test for people with 14-16 year old boys that like to use some of the internet’s less reputable websites.

I have been running Firefox 3 for some time beginning on some early SVN builds all the way through & instantly the new address bar was a show stopper. Its (in my book) one of the biggest innovations in web browsing that ive seen for a long time.

However there are a few small things that have brought me back to the “dark” (to be read as ‘closed source’) side that is the Opera Web Browser.

Smooth Install on Linux or Windows

I realize that programs on linux are generaly supposed to be installed via the package manager but for some things that is often a bit too hard or unnessecary.

If you go to getfirefox.com you are automaticly detected as linux & they send you a tarball. For everyday users a tarball is something they dont understand or really need to, but the big firefox world record day is coming up & there are going to be a heap of end users going to get firefox that are will not understand what to do next. When you double click on the firefox file you just downloaded you open the archive manager its not clear what to do next.

Now if you go to opera.com there is a big download button that points me to the linux download page, this page detects that im on Ubuntu 8.04. It then sends be a .deb file that when double clicked will bring up an installer. Thats it, its installed.

The only system i have seen that is this good is the one at skype. Well done to both organisations.

Stability

I have had a range of problems with firefox 2 & 3 when combined with the flash plugin, i dont know who’s fault this is but the end of the story is that a huge percentage of the pages i view include flash objects & they are crashing often.

With Opera (using the same plugin) i have had not one crash yet.

Smart Address Bar

The address bar does everything that firefox does & more

Speed Dial

Setup your most common pages & they’re just a ctrl + # away

Integrated Stuff

There is a bunch of extra stuff it can do that others don’t (out of the box)

IRC client

Bit Torrent

Mail Client

Feed Reader

A Decent Status Bar

Opera 9.5 has this really fancy status bar, it actualy shows you whats going on, i like it.

Thas about all ive got, if your looking for a web browser to keep the 14 year old boys safe & something that can really be pushed by an advanced user then opera 9.5 is really worth a look.

NOTE: For anyone who has ever used the internet on their phone, Opera Mini is the best mobile browser ever, check it out too.

Sorry about that crappy screenshot, click on it & itll look better, I should learn to use wordpress properly.

Share your music to itunes (Edit:and Winamp) (Ubuntu)

Ive been forced to bulid a Windows XP machine to use as a desktop & i wanted a simple way to get my music across the network.

After Steves talk last month at the LUG meeting i thought ide fire up mt-daap & give it a quick whirl.

To Install

apt-get install mt-daap

Now go and open

/etc/mt-daapd.conf

You will be able to change a few things here. Its very clearly labeled, eg administrator password etc

Now just open a web browser to

http://127.0.0.1:3689

All the other configuration can be done here. Click start the media scan & thats all there is to it.

Open itunes & your off & running

EDIT: Throw away itunes & use this for Winamp

http://sourceforge.net/projects/mldaap

Disclaimer – The Winamp plugin still requires bonjour from apple so you still get that apple software update shit.