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Figured out the minimum system requirements for Links (I think)

creepingnet

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So as anyone who knows me knows, I'm a huge advocate for the Links web browser (links.twibright.org) - which is a dual-mode browser for multiple platforms, including DOS, and it works with TLS 1.2 and 1.3 or so it seems.

So of course rebuilding the Compaq this became a standard plan but I had to use Arachne 1.99 instead (which is fine but I'm figuring out the TLS hack for it). The Compaq would puke up with a Frame EIPS and a pile of codes including an error about a lack of a co-processor upon attempting to run it regardless of mode.

So it seems the minimum system requirements for Links might very well be a 386 or 486 SX with math co-processor installed (I'm guessing they are using FPU for encryption/TLS possibly). I tried it on the Tandy, won't even try to run there. Have not tried my 286 but I'm a bit skeptic as well. This goes for both the dual-mode full version and the "lite" version.

Either way, time to snag an FPU for the Compaq and test this out. There's no official minimum requirements on their website (they probably don't know theres some lunatic out in the desert putting this on ancient 486 and 386 machines as his browser of choice) - but It'll be interesting to see where this goes once I get FPU support up and going. Kind of wanted it anyway - Sim City.
 

creepingnet

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I thought old versions of links would run on even older equipment back in the 90’s at least, but whatever was being used in 1996 couldn’t be Lynx , hmm Bobcat maybe


Actually LINKS and LYNX are two separate browsers - I know, it's kind of confusing because both run on DOS, both are capable of surfing in 80x25 column text mode, and both use wattcp. They also both are open source and have ports for other O/S than just DOS, so I can totally get how confusing it is.

Links is downloaded from links.twibright.com and is a browser created in...I believe, Russia. The entire browser is downloaded as a self-contained EXE and it's up to version 2.23 IIRC the last time I checked. There are actually 2 EXE's released every time they update - one that's "lite" and only does text mode, and the other is the full blown exe links.exe. When run it auto-generates a preferences directory. It's also capable of TLS 1.2 and I think now 1.3 and can handle most modern websites fairly well, though it tends to simplify the rendering a bit for vintage PCs. It also can download multiple downloads at the same time and runs pretty fast even on a 486 DX with some performance penalties on script-heavy sites. It also can run in graphics mode by using the command-line switch -g mode 640x480x32 (for 640x480 at 32-bit color depth) or similar when using the full executable.

Lynx, by contrast is usually downloaded as a zip file, and extracts out into several folder trees, and often requires configuration of multiple text files to run. I'm not so sure if it has TLS 1.2 or 1.3 these days or even if it's still in development. Bobcat was a miniature version of such aimed at 8088 and 80286 based PC's. I have that on my 286 and it was working up until a year or so ago.
 

creepingnet

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Ah, this just takes me back to my days running ELinks on a Nintendo DS with DSLinux...
I had Opera on cartridge on mine. I worked at Nintendo of America in Redmond at the time, bought a rebuilt blue DS from the company store with credits and got the DS browser for it. Put in a Flash Cart. used to download games that were not availible (Dragon Warrior mostly) and play them on it on my lunch break.
 
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