Opera 5.0 Offers Classic Mac OS Browser Alternative — Opera Software earlier this month released the final version of Opera 5.0, their Web browser for System 7.5.3 through Mac OS 9.2 (the Mac OS X version remains in beta testing). Opera boasts fast page rendering, easy keyboard navigation, flexible searching from within the browser interface, page zooming, and a host of tweaky configuration options. It’s not perfect – history list entries are easily lost if the Mac crashes, and there’s no ideal way to deal with the too-small text on many Web sites (see "Why Windows Web Pages Have Tiny Text" in TidBITS-467). In our testing so far, though, Opera appears to provide highly credible competition for Internet Explorer 5.1 and Netscape 6, so if you’re unhappy with either of those browsers, Opera deserves a close look. It’s free to use in banner mode (I haven’t seen this yet, since you get a 30-day grace period, but I presume it displays an advertising banner in the interface, much like Eudora does in Sponsored mode); if you wish to support Opera directly, it costs $40 new, or $20 for students and senior citizens, and bulk discounts are available if you want to buy more than nine copies. Opera 5.0 requires a PowerPC-based Mac running System 7.5.3 or later, and it’s a mere 2 MB download. [ACE]
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