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Davy Crockett



Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 3:53 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Many years ago (1994?) I ran Windows 3.1 on an AST 286 clone with 4MB. This was a 10MHz system with "zero wait state" memory on an AST expansion card that ran at bus speed (wasn't a standard ISA card). Win ran in "standard mode" but I was able to load up Winsock and Mosaic. Very slow, lots of swapping to the hard disk, but it ran and as long as you didn't try to load more than one thing at a time it was bearable once Windows finished loading (this took about five minutes!). I had an SVGA card in there and got it running at 800x600x24bit.

So, I'm looking at my 8MHz 5170 and wondering if I can get it on the internet with a graphical web browser. I have 8MB of memory on a couple of Above Boards that I can install. If I can find the device driver I *think* that DOS/Windows can use this as expanded memory. Somebody please correct me if I am wrong.

*If* I can find a 386 accelerator card, can I run Windows 95 or 98 on this system? I think that even if so I would be limited to old versions of IE5 and Netscape that wouldn't load most site properly.

My other thought is to, with a 386 accelerator, try to install Ubuntu with a minimal GUI and run Firefox. The only limitation I see with this is that I won't be able to use more than 16MB of memory which probably means that the GUI won't run.

Thoughts?
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Anonymous Coward



Joined: 20 Nov 2004
Posts: 589
Location: Shandong, China

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:20 am Reply with quoteBack to top

You should have kept that AST clone. A 12MHz 286 with 0WS memory is a pretty ideal 286 system. I think you'll find your 8MHz 1WS 5170 to be quite a bit slower. I'm still not sure exactly why it took so long for Windows 3.1 to load on your AST. It doesn't load slowly on any of my 286 systems. I think perhaps you didn't have your hard disk configured properly. If you have IDE with smartdrv and 32-bit disk access enabled, or a SCSI disk with DMA it should be pretty quick.

You should be able to get IE5 going on your 286 under 3.1 provided you have enough memory. I'm not sure if a 386 upgrade is required or not. Either way it'll be slow because of your slow memory. You'll want to configure your Above Boards as Extended memory, as Windows really has no idea what to do with expanded memory.

I'm pretty sure with a 386 or 486 upgrade you should be able to load windows 95. Windows 98 might install, but I think it would be pretty rough. The minimum recommended requirements for 98 is a DX/2-66 with 16mb of RAM. Windows 95 barely cuts the mustard on a 486DX-33 with 8mb of RAM. Really there's no way you're going to get a graphical web browser running too quickly on this kind of system. Arachne under DOS is probably your best bet.
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T-R-A



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 579
Location: Western NC

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:36 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Also had a old Olivetti 286 (backplane-design system) running Win3.1 in Standard mode, and it did seem snappier than a 386DX-25 in 386 Enhanced Mode, but if you're wanting a graphical browser on a 286, I'd suggest something less "painful" than upgrades and as A-C said, stick with Arachne 1.70. If you're desperate for a GUI with a browser, I'd suggest finding a later copy of Geoworks (i.e. New Deal Office 3.2 or better) which had the "Skipper" browser built in. It's still available (sort of) here (though support on a 286 may no longer be the case):

http://www.breadbox.com/
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386er



Joined: 27 Jan 2007
Posts: 274
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 6:23 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

ive ran dos with arachne, windows 3.1 with ie5, windows 95 w/ie4, window 98 with ie 5.5 on a 386 with 16mb ram. arachne was fastest. use that, if u try to use windows9x, u'll be waiting for about 30 min on a 16mhz 386sx and about 5 on a 33mhz dx for it to load most webages, depends partly on harddrive too....cause it use it alot for swapping stuff around. arachne and ie5x work good with modern webpages although there is no java or flash...
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ryan



Joined: 19 Apr 2006
Posts: 261
Location: WisConSin

PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:25 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

You should have kept that copy of winsock and Mozaic, I have never been able to locate the versions of them that work on a 286 with windows. One of my friends had these on his 5mb CGA screened compaq 286 lappy. He was able to run Works 3.0 on his 286 also which is supposed to be a 386 program, we never could figure out what was going on later (this was years ago and he got rid of it by the time it confused us), I know he didn't have an overdrive in there. The only thing we could figure was that the chipset must have had some effect on what would work on it or the version of the software.

Davy Crockett wrote:
Many years ago (1994?) I ran Windows 3.1 on an AST 286 clone with 4MB. This was a 10MHz system with "zero wait state" memory on an AST expansion card that ran at bus speed (wasn't a standard ISA card). Win ran in "standard mode" but I was able to load up Winsock and Mosaic. Very slow, lots of swapping to the hard disk, but it ran and as long as you didn't try to load more than one thing at a time it was bearable once Windows finished loading (this took about five minutes!). I had an SVGA card in there and got it running at 800x600x24bit.

So, I'm looking at my 8MHz 5170 and wondering if I can get it on the internet with a graphical web browser. I have 8MB of memory on a couple of Above Boards that I can install. If I can find the device driver I *think* that DOS/Windows can use this as expanded memory. Somebody please correct me if I am wrong.

*If* I can find a 386 accelerator card, can I run Windows 95 or 98 on this system? I think that even if so I would be limited to old versions of IE5 and Netscape that wouldn't load most site properly.

My other thought is to, with a 386 accelerator, try to install Ubuntu with a minimal GUI and run Firefox. The only limitation I see with this is that I won't be able to use more than 16MB of memory which probably means that the GUI won't run.

Thoughts?
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