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Old 05-21-2005, 09:34 PM   #1
AmigaMance
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Default SilverSurfer: Should i buy it?

Hi.
First of all, i use the serial port of my A1200 only for internet access. I have a 56k modem, i usually connect at 44kbps max and i'm not planning to upgrade my connection.
Silversurfer is not expensive, i have found it in most of the Amiga shops for 30 euros.
So, my question is: Will i get any increase in my downloading speed? Even a small one? It will be mainly for text files or for compressed binaries as well? (like JPGs for example, so graphic-rich websites will load a bit faster) I don't mind about text much, because it is fairly fast already.
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Old 05-21-2005, 11:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: SliverSurfer: Should i buy it?

Wast of money, dont get it. I would get a PC and test your line first
to see if you get any better speeds. I bet you dont. 44k isnt that bad
for a modem these days.
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Old 05-22-2005, 03:18 AM   #3
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Default Re: SliverSurfer: Should i buy it?

You could also use the extra serial port for a serial mouse.
This way you can buy yourself a brand new mouse almost at every corner.
And these are with much higher resolutions then the amigaones.
Works 100% (with newmouse aminet) only not for the bootmenu that is.
Even the scrollwheel works with Aweb(not with Ibrowse).
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Old 05-22-2005, 05:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: SliverSurfer: Should i buy it?

All serial cards for the Amiga are only of small use when you only need it to connect a modem to. Downloadspeed isn`t likely to increase. It just leaves more processortime left to a.e. decode jpegs. So pages with lots of bigger images might be displayed a little bit faster and the Amiga is a little bit snappier over all during pagedecoding but that`s it. When I still used an 56k modem I barely noticed any difference between internal serial port and HypercomZ3. But then again I had an 060 in it, with slower processors there might be a more significant impact.

To sum it up:
Good reasons to get any serial card:
- you need more then one serial port
- you want to do some sernet type networking

Bad/weak reasons to get a serial card:
- you want to connect a modem to it insted of the internal serial port.
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Old 05-22-2005, 05:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: SliverSurfer: Should i buy it?

I know that I live in an underdevelopped country which is not a great start to compare things, but our older phonelines can not take a higher speed than 38K, no matter if you have a 56K or 115K modem ... don´t know how good or bad the quality of the phonelines is in your area but do keep that in mind :-o
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Old 05-22-2005, 05:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: SliverSurfer: Should i buy it?

Hum,
Well i was quite pleased with my port junior (it uses the same chip, i think).
It sped up my connection and freed up the CPU.

Quite painless to install, and it works invisibly in the background. Anyway, I’ve had no problems with it...

Quick and clean.
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Old 05-22-2005, 06:05 AM   #7
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Default Re: SliverSurfer: Should i buy it?

True, it will take off processorload. Remember that Miami also uses processorload to be online and on an A1230/50/50 this is at least 30% when using a normal modem on the serial port ...
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Old 05-22-2005, 06:52 AM   #8
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Default Re: SliverSurfer: Should i buy it?

I got SilverSurfer for A600 and had problems. I bought it from Software Hut where it was listed as "for A1200 and A600" but said nothing that another part, not included, was needed to make it work on A600. When I emailed Software Hut they told me they didn't have this part, that I should go ask Individual Computers, the manufacturer.

I can't recall Individuals' reply when I emailed, I didn't get the part at that time, but I did happen to go to an Amiga convention where Individual was present and I was able to get the part from a vendor they (well, he, Jens) were supplying there.

Later on we carefully installed everything at a user group meeting, but when I tried to use the SilverSurfer and associated driver I just got crashes. Various troubleshooting did not help, I just never got it working.

Maybe you'll be able to on A1200 though.
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Old 05-22-2005, 07:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: SliverSurfer: Should i buy it?

Velcro_SP : sorry to hear that it didn´t work ...
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Old 05-22-2005, 09:33 AM   #10
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Default Re: SilverSurfer: Should i buy it?

Thanks for the feedback guys.
I see. It frees your CPU from the serial I/O process but it gives you almost no downloading speed increase.
The option of adding a PC mouse to the silversurfer sounds tempting though, because my Amiga mouse is going to die soon and it's almost impossible to find one in my area. But i think it would be better to buy a PC mouse adaptor like cocolino. (?)
(Topic corrected)
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Old 05-22-2005, 11:03 AM   #11
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Default Re: SilverSurfer: Should i buy it?

I'd still put the modem on the silversurfer though. Like others have said, the lower CPU overhead means more CPU cycles for web browsing etc. So although the transfer rate won't be any quicker, pages might display sooner.

40-odd kbs dialup isn't bad, I've seen a lot worse on modern PCs. There could be many things stopping you getting the theoretical maximimum.. noise on the phone line, phone extension cables run near noisy equipment, crappy modem rack at the ISP etc.

I wouldn't bother with a serial port mouse, but go for an adapter that goes in the usual mouse/joy port, they don't need drivers for basic operation (AFAIK, drivers are only needed for scrollwheels and extra buttons) so they'll work with games that don't use the OS.
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Old 05-22-2005, 12:20 PM   #12
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Default Re: SilverSurfer: Should i buy it?

I don't want to discount what others have said but a fast serial port is a hardware upgrade and will make using a modem more enjoyable, even on old phonelines. I use a GVP IO Extender and it makes a great difference from the standard amiga serial port. I think the Silversurfer uses a similar chip to the GVP and has buffering ability iirc, meaning it can store small bits of data while the processor offloads what it can when it can. Thus the cpu is not constantly tied down to the native serial port. This is not unlike the system upgrade afforded by scsi dma vs. polled ide. Of course, a 68060 can make even the old ECS chips run pretty nippy.
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