9 Coolest Opera Widgets!

9 Coolest Opera Widgets!

Opera Widgets

In my quest to get to know Opera a little bit better—even if I have used it way before Mozilla became popular—I’ve snooped around the most delightful Opera Widgets I could find.

The great thing about Opera Widgets is that they load right after downloading them (unlike Firefox where an add-on or a theme will only take effect upon restart). Also, because they are widgets and not browser extensions, they are free-floating and can interact with things other than your web browser. Example: a ruler widget can measure other objects on your screen and not just websites. Third and probably most appealing of all is that they’ve got an awesome community. Opera’s got a slew of competitions that encourage widgetmakers to do their very best.

The down side is that they only work with the browser running (disappointed? get Yahoo! Widgets, successor to the legendary Konfabulator and Windows equivalent to OS X Dashboard Widgets). But with widgets this cool and a browser this slick (memory leak-free and fast), what’s keeping you from using Opera?

Disclaimer: I’ve skipped the usual stuff you’d expect to be widgetized (even if these binary clocks tickled my brains a bit). The widgets below caught my eye since they’re brilliant creations. They’re mostly geeky, too.

9 Coolest Opera Widgets

  1. Functions 3D

    Functions 3D Widget

    Enter an equation and have it rendered in 3D.

    Verdict: It takes a while to graph 3D equations on paper. This would’ve been awesome for the Math 54/55.

    See Also: Functions 2D

  2. enigma

    Enigma Widget

    Create secret messages with this replica of the Enigma cipher machine.

    Verdict: I agree; this one should decode messages too. But it’s a great start for anybody remotely interested in cryptography.

    See Also: Encryptor, ROT13 EBG 13

  3. Torus/Circular Tetris

    Torus Widget

    Name says it all. 3D tetris on a circular base.

    Verdict: Takes a while to get used to. But Tetris is Tetris. It’s addicting.

    See Also: Other Tetris widgets

  4. Towers of Hanoi

    Towers of Hanoi Widget

    The classic (mathematical) puzzle, widgetized. The goal is to move all discs, one at a time, on the first peg to the third peg such that they are arranged by increasing size, downwards. No disk may be placed over a smaller one.

    Verdict: Again, this takes me back. Use a recursive algorithm to solve it in the soonest time possible. It should be more configurable, though, to 64 disks!

  5. Spirograph

    Spirograph Widget

    Set a few parameters and watch your spirograph take shape. You can even save the image generated.

    Verdict: Who doesn’t love a perfectly-drawn spirograph?

  6. Screen Ruler

    Screen Ruler Widget

    Draw a line (segment) and get the coordinates and the distance between the two endpoints.

    Verdict: I know rulers are commonplace, but this one deserves a mention because most rules only lie horizontally when measuring. This one’s more like a tape measure.

    See Also: Ruler

  7. Scientific Calculator

    Scientific Calculator Widget

    A realistic, two-line scientific calculator.

    Verdict: Calculators are pretty common as widgets too, but a sci-cal that actually looks like one—on a computer screen—deserves a mention.

    See Also: Other calculator widgets

  8. Mandelbrot II

    Mandelbrot II Widget

    Modify some parameters and examine the areas of the Mandelbrot and Julia sets.

    Verdict: Takes a while to render completely, but heck, this is a fractal application we’re talking about. It’s bound to be slow!

  9. Artist’s Sketchbook

    Artist's Sketchbook Widget

    Draw, paint, and add photos—and save ’em when you’re done.

    Verdict: Hands-down the best widget ever. It’s the reason I got a little more curious about Opera Widgets. Winner of the 2006 My Opera Widget Competition. (Ironically, the prize was a MacBook Pro!)

    See Also: Art Pixel

BONUS!

WiiMote: Does absolutely nothing except look like the Nintendo WiiMote.

Verdict: Hahaha!

See Also: Nintendo Wii Countdown (useless as well!)

So, anything I missed? Go try Opera today, even at least for these widgets.

18 replies

  1. wow. great list! :D thanks for compiling them. this makes me want to use opera again…i’ve just juggled between firefox and flock lately.

    the fractal app and the sketchbook look like they *rock*. i’d like to see that WiiMote with some functionality! haha :P

    Reply to this

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  3. off topic:

    Congratulations for being a finalist for the Philippine Blog Awards 2007 under the Technology Category.

    I’m part of the organizing team for the Awards Night and making the rounds to gather the contact info and establish direct communication with the finalists. This will give us an avenue to give instructions and other details.

    May we ask for the following please?

    Real Name:
    Email address
    Mobile Number
    City and Country where you are based

    Once this is settled, we’ll know where to communicate the Awards Night details with.

    We hope to hear from you soon.

    All the best to you and your blog.

    Reply to this

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  5. Excuse me but how is this “cool”? I find it lame. If I want to use Enigma or Towers of Hanoi or whatever other toy I download a program for that. Same even for something such as BitTorrent (Opera’s BitTorrent client is archaic compared to uTorrent or Azureus). But, what one kinda _has_ to implement in the browser is for example something such as ad-blocker or javascript/flash blocker (ie. noscript equiv) and that I have not found for Opera yet (I recently switched from Firefox to Opera). It seems Opera users do not care much for such as it is hard to find this on the Opera website. I’ve not succeeded yet. I thought “widgets” would be something similar to “extensions”. Even if that is true, I cannot find the correct widgets. How about caring (more) for usability and security instead of “coolness”? And for those who say: “then use Firefox”: no, that is not a solution since I want to use Opera and have this functionality (or something similar) on Opera and as I said I am surprised Opera users apparently don’t care about this.

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  6. i agree with most of your points, orakel, esp. with the ad-blocker — that would be a great addition to opera.

    however, with regard to the use of the word “cool”, i’m pretty sure Sophia used it to connote “fun” rather than ‘practical usefulness’, or whatever a more serious adjective would apply. i know this as both of us have just occasionally used opera (occassionally might even be an exaggeration), and this post was merely her foray (i believe) into looking for ‘delightful’ things — things that might actually convince people to at least give opera a try (i.e. install it hehe). as you might know, many people do not like serious stuff being shoved down their throats in a preachy manner. ;)

    but then, i might be totally wrong here. anyway, how about doing Flock next, Ia-chan? ;)

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  7. These sound like the least useful widgets, which seems to be the norm in Opera’s camp. Does someone know any Scribefire equivalent on Opera — something that allows me to post to my blog easily from within Opera?

    Reply to this

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