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Old 10-24-2012, 03:59 PM   #1
anglosaxonusa
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Default Classic Amiga for Web Browsing

I've been running Amiga through emulation for ages and would like to return to hardware. I'd like to build up a 3.X-ClassicWB machine capable of running Netsurf. Would an A1200 with the recently released ACA 1232 fit the bill? If not, would one of the workstation models be better for this scenario?

I'd like to run a 500 or 1200 wedge if at all possible, but I will use one of the workstation models if that's what it will take to get a decent browsing experience. I'm fond of the old A500 chassis, but I assume it would could not be made powerful enough for something like netsurf even with an accelerator.

I have not been able to get Netsurf working through emulation without enabling Picasso so I assume any hardware solution will need to support this. Is this something that an accelerator will take care of?

Cost isn't really an option; I can afford a powerful accelerator provided it can be found.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: Classic Amiga for Web Browsing

Web browsing on an 030 really isn't fun unless you just visit text pages. It's nice for using IRC and such but not browsing.

You need RTG to get any enjoyment, the only option that will go inside the wedge case is the Blizzard PPC & BVision cards, I'm selling a set over at Amibay:

http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?t=36240

The BPPC was upgraded with the latest mask 060 and this card can run up to 72mhz* on 060 and runs at 330mhz for the PPC, with the PPC you can use WarpDT to load the images from PPC and this helps again to speed things up for the WWW.

Still wont beat a 50 PC though

*With the BVision Graphics Card attached you will be limited to 60-66mhz from the 060 side.

Even though I'm selling this I wouldn't recommend you buy for Internet usage, even this which is the highest spec you can fit inside a wedge case will leave you disappointed. You could run AWB on OS4.1 Classic with this kit, but even that is too slow to enjoy!
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: Classic Amiga for Web Browsing

Another idea for you would be to mount a MiniITX PC inside an A1200 or A500 case and use a Keyrah & emulation
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Classic Amiga for Web Browsing

What sort of web browsing?

An 030 is fine for basic forum stuff, visiting aminet, internet chat and whatnot.

Obviously, complex web sites will pretty much kill your machine
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Classic Amiga for Web Browsing

I thought Netsurf requires 64MB and RTG in any case? And it recommends an 060? I'd try iBrowse or Voyager, instead.

I have an A1200 with a 50MHz 030 (before that, a 40MHz 030.) iBrowse is balky, especially with Javascript, but it's fairly solidly in the "usable" category. Voyager is better, but less featureful. I haven't tried ALynx as I couldn't get it to work, but I imagine that would be a lot more usable.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Classic Amiga for Web Browsing

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Originally Posted by commodorejohn View Post
I thought Netsurf requires 64MB and RTG in any case? And it recommends an 060? I'd try iBrowse or Voyager, instead.

I have an A1200 with a 50MHz 030 (before that, a 40MHz 030.) iBrowse is balky, especially with Javascript, but it's fairly solidly in the "usable" category. Voyager is better, but less featureful. I haven't tried ALynx as I couldn't get it to work, but I imagine that would be a lot more usable.
yeah, netsurf is likely a nogo on an 030. Stick with Ibrowse or some of the others out there.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Classic Amiga for Web Browsing

It might be possible to get NetSurf running with native AGA, you'll still need a powerful machine to run it though.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: Classic Amiga for Web Browsing

Quote:
Originally Posted by runequester View Post
What sort of web browsing?
An 030 is fine for basic forum stuff, visiting aminet, internet chat and whatnot.
Mainly reddit, amiga.org, ycombinator, slashdot, aminet, gmail in html-mode, and hopefully my bank.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Classic Amiga for Web Browsing

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It might be possible to get NetSurf running with native AGA, you'll still need a powerful machine to run it though.
I see in your signature that you're running an A1200 @ 80Mhz. Do you browse from that machine? If so, how does the system behave with that power?
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: Classic Amiga for Web Browsing

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Originally Posted by fitzsteve View Post
Still wont beat a 50 PC though
Point taken. I'm still amazed that Amigas have held up as well as they have though. I'm sure there are a few on the forum still posting from an upgraded A500 or A1000 somewhere.

I plan to learn 68k assembly on the machine, so it will be used for more than just browsing, FYI.

Not to derail this thread, but, why haven't replacements for the A1200 *motherboard* been more popular historically? The original motherboard has a slow bus, correct? Why, then, haven't there been aftermarket replacement motherboards with broader busses, etc? It seems like the aftermarket vendors are focusing on one part of the system rather than the whole. Is it because of kickstart and other chips are hard to relocate to a new board? Many of the people frequenting the Minimig and Natami sites are owners of the classic machines, yet these vendors are targeting their products for new cases. Production of drop in upgrades for the older machines would seem to be more business savvy than producing new 68k hardware targeted for x86 cases. The price and scarcity of some of the more powerful accelerators on eBay and AmigaKit would seem to confirm that assumption, but I digress...
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:17 PM   #11
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Default Re: Classic Amiga for Web Browsing

Quote:
Originally Posted by anglosaxonusa View Post
Not to derail this thread, but, why haven't replacements for the A1200 *motherboard* been more popular historically? The original motherboard has a slow bus, correct? Why, then, haven't there been aftermarket replacement motherboards with broader busses, etc? It seems like the aftermarket vendors are focusing on one part of the system rather than the whole. Is it because of kickstart and other chips are hard to relocate to a new board?
It's because the entire chipset is designed around that bus, and if you wanted to change that, you'd basically have to implement an entire new computer. Which is what projects like the SAM boards and NatAmi have done - but for those who can't afford a SAM, or want to stick with their 1200, it's a lot more practical to just get upgrades for the parts of the system that can practically be upgraded.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:22 PM   #12
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Default Re: Classic Amiga for Web Browsing

Quote:
Originally Posted by anglosaxonusa View Post
I see in your signature that you're running an A1200 @ 80Mhz. Do you browse from that machine? If so, how does the system behave with that power?
I'll do a video for you when I get it up and running online.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:24 PM   #13
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Default Re: Classic Amiga for Web Browsing

OS 4.1 speed (browsing and most other things) is fine; I only notice "stuff" because of my ISP speed and with programs written for AmigaNG machines. Granted I am running OS 4.1 on a CSPPC at 200/50 and there is a difference between a BPPC and a CSPPC (603 vs 604).

As for browsing speed in OS 4, Ibrowse is quick; AWeb, OWB & NetSurf use more memory but are more "modern" in they way they handle current pages. In OS 3.x, none of the browsers -- to the best of my knowledge -- use the PPC for rendering, but Ibrowse and Voyager work well. An RTG helps not just with colors and resolution, but also with rendering speed.

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Old 10-24-2012, 09:44 PM   #14
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Default Re: Classic Amiga for Web Browsing

I found my old PPC/040 powered BVision A1200 absolutely unusable for browsing anything, tbh.

Spoiled by other modern platforms maybe, I guess. But more times than not I'd get pissed off at waiting for a page to load on it and just grab my phone, which brought the same page up immediately, displayed as intended.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:46 PM   #15
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Default Re: Classic Amiga for Web Browsing

yeah, but browsing the web on your phone isn't as cool

Besides, unless your amiga has USB, it's no use for getting aminet stuff to the miggy.
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:46 AM   #16
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Default Re: Classic Amiga for Web Browsing

Quote:
Originally Posted by anglosaxonusa View Post
I've been running Amiga through emulation for ages and would like to return to hardware.
That is a wise decision

Quote:
Originally Posted by anglosaxonusa View Post
I'm fond of the old A500 chassis, but I assume it would could not be made powerful enough for something like netsurf even with an accelerator.
That is correct

Quote:
Originally Posted by anglosaxonusa View Post
I have not been able to get Netsurf working through emulation without enabling Picasso so I assume any hardware solution will need to support this. Is this something that an accelerator will take care of?
Yes, but it still will be a very slow experience. Ive tried, on my a1200 + 060 + rtg, but I wouldnt call it usable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anglosaxonusa View Post
Cost isn't really an option; I can afford a powerful accelerator provided it can be found.
In that case, get the a1200 + ppc + 060 + bvision. It will fit the 'wedge' case, but its not recommended (heating and power issues). If you are concerned about that, take the a4000 + ppc + 060 + cvision route.

like I said, those setups will give you the fastest classic Amiga experience, but it still wont get you a modern, stable, fast webbrowser. Although Timberwolf comes closest. You know about Timberwolf, right?

So if that is still not what you're after, you might be better off with a cheaper solution: a1200 + 030/50 and just use Ibrowse. It is a fast, stable browser. But it doesnt support any of the modern web standards like CSS, Flash etc. Basically it will look like it's 1996 again. Not sure if that is a bad thing..
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:50 AM   #17
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Default Re: Classic Amiga for Web Browsing

You could use Remote Desktop on your miggy. Haven't tried it myself though...
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:42 AM   #18
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Default Re: Classic Amiga for Web Browsing

Current version of 68k Netsurf is crap It SDL port of Framebuffer version of Netsurf wich is meant to be debugging and no gui systems.

Originally Netsurf requires ARM6 and 16mb ram, wich quite near of 030
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:00 AM   #19
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Default Re: Classic Amiga for Web Browsing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duce View Post
I found my old PPC/040 powered BVision A1200 absolutely unusable for browsing anything, tbh.
Too bad. MorphOS1.4.5+MUI4+updated ambient+IBrowse would work nicely on that setup :-) you could even launch OWB for some webpages.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:17 AM   #20
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Default Re: Classic Amiga for Web Browsing

Quote:
Originally Posted by rvo_nl View Post
Yes, but it still will be a very slow experience. Ive tried, on my a1200 + 060 + rtg, but I wouldnt call it usable.
We're trying to do something about that.

As utri007 says, NetSurf should be usable on a 68030 with 16MB and AGA. That'll be the absolute minimum, it might need a bit more than that, but it should be doable. The current 68k version, however, is rubbish.

This is the Atari 68k version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obDYaWp0wPo
I'm not convinced that is actually an '030 but the uploader hasn't posted a counter-comment saying it isn't. If it is, there's no reason why an AmigaOS 3 version should be slower.
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