At Pubcon I was a lucky winner of a Nintendo DS Lite from the Opera booth. I have to admit, I didn’t even know what that was, but I have always loved the Opera browser and especially on my mobile device (Windows Mobile 5). The Opera Mobile browser automagically re-renders an html page to fit the device window, which makes it virtually impossible to tolerate Pocket IE which requires you to scroll all over the place to see a page. Honestly, as I told the Opera people, Opera Mobile beta came out at the time I got my XV6700 and I use dit before even using Pocket IE. When the beta expired, I was left depending on using my PDA phone for web and had to try IE and ….. well it was minutes at most before I was downloading the full version of Opera. There was no comparison in speed or ease of use.
Now I have this cool little white clamshell “game boy” and it runs Opera Mini. Fast, easy, and amazingly well integrated with the DS, this thing detects and signs in to hot spots like I wish my laptop computer could. In Vegas my Thinkpad was sent off for IBM service, leaving me with only the Nintendo. There’s this little ice cream shop inside the Wynn that has free wifi and dang if it wasn’t just seconds to get online and browsing. Awesome. Starbucks? Piece of cake. Secured wifi at home? Just as easy… no worries, found the MAC no problem, added it to the control list and it and worked the first time I put the key in.
The holidays are coming and I can recommend the Nintendo DS Lite as a perfect gift for your kids, provided you also buy the Opera Mini cartidge and are able to confiscate the DS Lite whenever necesary for bad behavior, inadequate school performance, sub-optimal attention to chores, or even less-than-completely-respectful-comments if you are desperate enough to get online. It just takes a “Hey. That’s your salad fork. Use your dinner fork like I taught you for the main course. That’s it. Give me that Nintendo back. You’ll get it back when you learn to mind your manners”, and that baby is all yours.