I’m testing out using Opera instead of Chrome as my browser of choice, as recommended by Ernie Smith. So far so good. He notes that Opera is “basically Chrome (same engine) minus the battery drain”. My experience to date bears that out, though it’s in the early stages yet.
The first thing I noticed is that memory usage for Opera is way less than for Chrome. That’s a big deal for me because I’m often noticing that this MacBook Air is in the red zone for memory with Chrome. With Opera that’s not the case so far - memory has been green since starting. This should also translate into less SSD disk activity for swapping, and better battery life.
The default configuration includes a lot of interesting features, including an ad blocker and a VPN. Both of those are interesting, but not a complete replacement for the tools I’m looking for.
The ad blocker is speedy, but it doesn’t block the comments on MLive, which is a pity - Ghostery did that well. Fortunately, Ghostery is supported on Opera, so I can have two ad blockers running at once to get the desired result. Opera counts the number of ads blocked. I don’t know if Ghostery’s blocked ads are double-counted.
The VPN is set up to work with a public VPN endpoint, but I can’t configure it to use my private endpoint. There are a number of other VPN plugins (plugsin?) available, each connecting to their own set of endpoints. I’d like a general-purpose VPN tool that allows me to run my own endpoint, but I haven’t found one yet.
I didn’t import all of my bookmarks and cookies and passwords, which is a attempt to stay away from Facebook. Ask me how much time I spend (or waste) on Facebook! There must be a better use of your time than that. Quit Facebook and make your life better.