With the boom of netbook (Google It) (Wikipedia), Microsoft (Google it) (Wikipedia) has no choice but to make an OS that don’t eat resources for breakfast like what Windows Vista (Google it) (Wikipedia) is doing. While Windows 7 (Google it) (Wikipedia) did improves on resources usage, most of us will continue to install the latest super jumbo application just to do some simple stuff, making the effort of Microsoft with Windows 7 goes into drain. The objective of this series of articles is to introduce free software that use little resources but still able to do the stuff that we want to do using more mainstream or paid software, and also to let you know some useful yet easy to execute tweaks for Windows and some software for a fast and smooth computing experience. Some of us will replace Windows Vista or Windows 7 with the old but resource light Windows XP (Google It) (Wikipedia) on their netbook, and some still using Windows XP in their old computer. This series of articles will cater to both Windows XP and Windows 7 users. If you are still using Windows Vista, please do yourself a favor, upgrade to Windows 7. An article is belong to this series of articles if the title starts with “Optimizing netbooks and old computers to run faster, for free”

Web Browser

Undeniably, the second most important piece of software in our computer is the web browser. Most of us used to Internet Explorer (Google It) (Wikipedia) because it comes with Windows. Some of us who are more computer-savvy use Mozilla FireFox (Google It) (Wikipedia). FireFox was once a smooth and fast browser but over the years, the latest version v3.6.3 become so bloated and leaking memory that by just opening a single tab with main Facebook page in the “Most Recent” view left for 5 hours resulting it to occupying 620MB of my precious RAM. It’s no surprise that everyone is switching back to Internet Explorer or some other web browser such as Google Chrome (Google It) (Wikipedia). A company from Sweden, Opera Software (Google It) (Wikipedia) which is well-known for their web browser Opera Mini (Google It) (Wikipedia) and Opera Mobile (Google It) (Wikipedia) for mobile devices and also the web browser for Nintendo Wii (Google It) (Wikipedia) and Nintendo DS (Google It) (Wikipedia), do have a web browser for Windows too. It’s very fast and use very less resource compared to other web browser.

18 tabs with only 50MB of RAM usage (Click on the image to view full image.)

It’s highly recommended to try, if you want to try it but is hindered by the installation troublesome-ness, you can download the portable version at Opera@USB. Just unzip the file that you downloaded to a location you prefer (even on your thumbdrive!), then open the file opera.exe. If you like it, you can right click on the opera.exe file, then click “Create Shortcut”. You can then rename the shortcut and move to Desktop.

My renamed Opera browser icon.

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