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One of the reasons I'd switched to Opera over Mozilla/Firebird/Firefox was because it remained consistently responsive. A page would be freaking out dog slow doing heaven knows what... in firefox, the browser would be frozen, in Opera, I could continue interfacing and issuing gestures and keyboard commands. Even on my old Fujitsu P1120 - a dog slow 800MHz Transmeta Crusoe beast with 223 MB ram - Opera, while not visually responsive, was at least queuing my operations, and would respond as fast as it was able. There didnt seem to be any event queue in firefox; if the browser was freaking out, keyboard commands &c would be outright dropped.

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