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!