Netsurf 3.4 for Classic Amigas

Well, one of the very best browsers you can get for the Classic Amigas is NetSurf.

The good developer(s) over at AmiSoft have been slowly updating this great browser and have gotten us to version 3.4. The AGA-only version was released back in March of 2015, and there is a new version that does not require the cumbersome ixemul library file that was released near the end of June 2015.

I decided to test these and see how they compared to the ixemul-dependent 3.2 I’d been using. This is a quick glance test, not comprehensive.

I also noticed that there was a No-TTF version, so this indicates that the browser was using native Fonts.

The first thing I noticed was the RAM usage. Using my WinUAE OS3.9 environment, I saw differences in the RAM usage of each version:

No Browser Loaded 903,195,400 bytes Memory Used:
NetSurf 3.2 (ixemul) 885,319,312 Used: 17,876,088
NetSurf 3.4 (ttf, no ixemul) 892,322,336 Used: 10,873,064
NetSurf 3.4 (nottf, no ixemul) 892,851,760 Used: 10,343,640

The AGA-only version didn’t seem to render anything. It opened a custom screen, full-sized, probably 640×480 resolution and no matter the URL, it ended with the status bar at the bottom left saying CSSBase, so I have left out any testing of that browser. I’m guessing it was either my WinUAE environment or something else. Maybe a later version will work better.

Next step was startup testing. No real numbers here, just that the ixemul version of 3.2 loaded a bit slower than the newer 3.4 no-ixemul and no-ttf versions. It wasn’t tremendous but definitely noticeable.

I did notice that when testing with the mobile version of twitter, when logging in, the 3.2 ixemul version seemed to come back faster.

I did notice that all versions seemed to peg cpu usage at 100% sometimes when processing URLs.

I was happily surprised to follow on link on twitter that opened a page on steampowered.com for a game and it loaded fairly quickly and the animated gif started playing right off, full speed, no slow build up of the animation frames.

Here are some clips of the windows for each version. Click each to get a full-window view:


3.2 Ixemul version (Google main and news pages)




3.4 No Ixemul version (same pages)



3.4 No Ixemul, no TTF version (same pages)

All in all, the ability to use this without ixemul and even ttf libraries if you don’t mind the Topaz fonts everywhere, makes this a great update for the lower-end Amigas that lack RAM and a faster startup.

More amazing Amiga projects

    HDMI output for all Amigas

The creativity of some of the Amiga users astounds me. Let’s take a look at this one. Remember the old A520 composite adapter that you would fit to the RGB 23 pin port and get a composite video output? Here’s a picture:

Well, someone has made a replacement board for the inside that outputs to 720p HDMI. Here’s a video of it in action:

Happily, it appears that this will be a production product. Go to their website –> here <–

Also on that page, you'll see a product called the Decelerator 4030. It's an attempt to make a low-end cpu card for 4000 (and probably 3000) Amigas. Once they learn how to do that, more high-end ones may appear.

Kipper2K and Ian Steadman are both veteran amiga hardware project gurus and have been working together on an expansion card for cd32 owners to add new ports and features. I believe I mentioned this a while ago.

It seems that the keyboard adapter portion is nearly working as of August 1st, 2015, so good news for CD32 owners. One day, hopefully, it will be completed. The CD32 (along with the CDTV) have the least number of expansions compared to other models.

    Wireless joystick adapter for all Amigas

I thought I’d already posted about this but it’s cool, so I’ll post it here. A small, Arduino-based project to use newer wireless joysticks with the Amiga. Video of it in action here:

    Amiga 3000 Zip to SIMM adapter

Years ago, I had an Amifast board for my Amiga 3000 that allowed 16MB SIMMS on the motherboard in place of the ZIP chips.

Someone has gone and made something similar and is selling it on Amibay –> here <–

Amiga users and enthusiasts are amazing!

Interesting new things in Amiga-land

So, some really cool things have been popping up lately over in Amiga-land:


WinUAE version 3.2.0 will be adding some VERY cool new options:

  • Emulation of PCI Bridge devices (DCE G-Rex, DKB Wildfire, Prometheus, and Mediator 1200 and 4000
  • + Emulation of SB128 audio cards
  • + Emulation of 53C815 SCSI controller
  • + Emulation of Realtek 8029 (NE2000) networking cards
  • + Emulation of Voodoo3 video card, including support for Warp3D emulation (as soon as they figure out how to extract Voodoo3 code from MAME)
  • PC BridgeBoards (probably all the way up to 386 at least, maybe the goldengate 486 if we are fortunate
  • Genlock output support
  • Support for the Commodore A2410 (see CyberGraphX4 support image –> here <–
  • There has also been other talk of eventual Video Toaster board support (but probably not this version

    Commodore’s Android phone

    Commodore will be releasing their own Android Phone called the PET with classic beige case coloring. It should have built-in emulators for the retro experience.

    Replacement A1200 cases

    New A1200 cases coming soon, in multiple colors. See this link –> here <–

    Amiga Walker clone (RaspberryPI2)

    Well, it will be a Raspberry PI 2 box with a version of AROS on it, but it looks interesting. I hope they one day have a mini-itx version at least.

    Using a classic Amiga mouse with modern USB systems

    Someone has posted pictures of his project to adapt an Amiga Tank mouse to be used anywhere –> here <–

  • A new “classic”, MorphOS and the next NextGen from A-Eon

    So, I haven’t posted much lately due to being busy but also not seeing much that I wanted to comment upon.

    First off, the MorphOS team has already uploaded a new build (v3.9) less than 2 months after 3.8. I like this type of release schedule! While v3.8 added support for the SAM460 boards, among other things, v3.9 is mostly a bug-fix update. Always free to try, and high quality. There isn’t much not to like with MorphOS!

    A-Eon has announced that the x3500, a lower-cost alternative to the x5000 (but probably still more expensive than anything from ACube) will not hit the market due to the cpu part being very close to price to the one in the x5000. Makes sense. Acube 460cr for the low cost (relatively) nextgen Amiga and the x5000 for the high end, high price-tag group.

    Jens Schoenfeld, numero uno at Individual Computers, has announced a cool project called Amiga Reloaded. This will be custom motherboard using real AGA chips, but not include an onboard CPU. However, it will have an accelerator port for use with his company’s more recent A1231 and newer accelerators. He also said he’d try to get Phase5 accelerators to work too but no promises. Optional flicker fixer, USB host and other modernizing features make it cool.

    So, you buy this motherboard, with accessories, then mount in an a500 case (a1200 case *may* work… no promises there either).

    Now, that is cool! Just the main board is supposed to be under 200 Euros (not counting accessories).

    More User-created hardware projects

    The ingenuity of the Amiga userbase is amazing! Here are a few new hardware projects I’ve spotted online recently.

    USB harddrive for any Amiga using the printer port. The project creator included driver and instruction for building it using the Arduino hardware he used in this post: –? here <–

    Here's another image of it in action:

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    Many Projects on this page: –> here <–. On it, he has an ECS Scandoubler homebrew project:

    As well as as Amiga 500 sidecar RAM and CF IDE controller card:

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    I’ve mentioned them before, but here’s a link to someone building and selling plipbox’s in the USA. A plipbox is a parallel port -> ethernet adapter. With the latest softawre from the original creator’s website(–> here <–), burst mode can achieve good download speeds.

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    Majasta has returned to the Amiga scene, promoting the version 2 of his successful Vampire board, seen here:

    It will initially be like a 68020 upgrade until the apollo phoenix core is ported to it, then it will be faster than a 68060.

    Speaking of the Vampire board, Kipper2k was helping construct version 1 of the board before and his website has other custom projects, including RAM and CF card adapters for the 500 and 2000, an HDMI adapter for the AGA Indivision card and also other great projects.

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    Anyone who has tried to towerize an Amiga 1200 knows that the hardest part is finding a case that has a custom backplate to fit all the a1200 ports. Well, someone is making custom backplates for standard sized PC towers –> here <–. Pictures here:

    It seems like there is no end to Amiga creativity!

    Some interesting news in Next-Gen Amiga-land

    MorphOS on x5000 – again
    So, after my last post about the rumors of MorphOS on x5000, it appears that it wasn’t an April fool’s joke after all. Here are a couple more pictures:

    Also, porting MorphOS to 64bit Intel/AMD is currently underway, as described by famed MorphOS developer Mark “bigfoot” Olsen:


    When MorphOS gets ported to AMD64, we will not be supporting Macs. AMD64 Macs have all the wrong hardware for that to make any sense. When such a time does come, expect us to support one desktop motherboard (with one family of CPUs and GPUs) and one laptop. We’ll of course make sure it’s hardware that’s actually available one way or another.

    Does this mean PowerPC development will stop? I would think it would sunset at some point, but I don’t think they’d immediately cut off PowerPC users, unless they have resource/staffing problems. I’m all for the switch to either x64 or ARM as either have a roadmap for the foreseeable future and in the case of x64 (and eventually ARM) will provide a huge amount of horsepower for apps.

    Hyperion Entertainment breaks the silence

    Hyperion Entertainment finally broke the silence on their website. The relevant parts indicates that they are NOT bankrupt and that development is ongoing:

    Contrary to some news items posted on certain websites, Hyperion Entertainment CVBA is not in a state of bankruptcy. Due to an unfortunate set of cirucmstances, the company was temporally listed as “bankrupt” despite the fact that the conditions for bankruptcy were never met and that in the eyes of the law, the company was never bankrupt.

    Development of AmigaOS 4 (which recently culminated in the release of AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition) is and has been ongoing albeit that some resources had to be directed away to support the upcoming hardware of A-EON Technology.

    The company is in the process of reorganizing itself by opening up its shareholdership and appointing a new executive director. More details on that will follow when all legal formalities are behind us.

    However, they did ask that everyone update from older 4.1 to Final Edition as they’d said previously that they didn’t have the resources to update former version, AND Final Edition, AND finish 4.2.

    Glad to hear they are still around!

    MorphOS on the new A-Eon x5000?

    Things have been quiet in MorphOS-land for a while now. I’m speaking in terms of new OS releases. The current release (as of this writing), is MorphOS3.7, which is a fantastic OS. I run it on a G4 PowerBook.

    There has only been a single platform that would allow for both Amiga OS 4.x and MorphOS to run side-by-side, and that is the Pegasos II system. At the time of MorphOS 2.3 (around 2009), someone did some benchmarks and found that MorphOS really ran a lot faster than the OS4.1 of that time (not sure which update would have been around then). You can read it here (in French):

    A while ago, I pondered about the power of the X5000 that A-Eon was building for OS 4.2. One of the comparisons was the 5040 CPU that a future update to the X5000 would have compared to the fastest G5 from IBM (which is the currently fastest machine supported by MorphOS). The 5040 in the x5000 would outrun the G5, but I think only if more than a single core was supported.

    Both the OS4 team and the MorphOS developers have talked about multi-cpu support (SMP), but neither has demonstrated anything.

    I think the battle between the two OS’s will heat up when the x5000 is released as we have seen a leaked rumor about MorphOS support for the x5000 coming.

    Is this fake or not?