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Great! - thanks a lot. I do not have the tabs bar showing (in order to maximize page view space) so the connection you pointed out just never occurred to me.
As for the second question - usually in Opera (I believe, anyway), to the left of the field where the URL is displayed or typed in (the address bar), is a row of small buttons, among them an indicator of the level of security of the current page and two toggle buttons: 1.) one where clicking on it enables one to cycle between show images / cached images only / no images, 2.) one where you can cycle between user mode and author mode.
With Opera 3 through 7 these buttons stayed visible while a page was loading, so if, e.g., a page was taking forever to load (I am on dial-up) I could turn images off or to cache-only in order to speed the download. Now, in Opera 8, the address bar - full of page-load stats during loading - expands and those buttons disappear. So to, e.g., stop new images from loading during a page load I have to use a keyboard shortcut or click on View/Images/whatever. I would like the old display behavior to return.
Again, any light anyone can throw on this will be appreciated.