The Gig of Ham

One geek's contributions to the series of tubes

Dec 12, 2018 - 23 minute read - Comments - amiga retrocomputing sysadmin howto

Installing and using the GuruNet for the Amiga

Yep, another Amiga post. So, you have a real Amiga, and you want to get it on-line. There are several solutions, but for reasonable speed and price the plipbox has been it for a while. Now, we have the GuruNet which is a simplified version of the original plipbox (no soldering or assembly required). Today I’m going to talk about how to install it and the required software to get your Amiga online (this guide can also be used for other network cards).

Photo of the GuruNet

Disclaimer

Before we jump in too far, a disclaimer. I personally know Carlos from ElectronicsIsFun.com who makes the GuruNet. I also helped with testing of it. I have a couple of these devices, which he kindly provided me for no charge. This isn’t a review, it’s more a getting started guide. I use these on a couple of my Amiga systems and think they are great solutions to a common problem: getting network connected cheaply. This post is going to cover a lot of the findings I’ve made over the last several months so the community at large doesn’t have to suffer through all the work I already did. I’m also working with Carlos and Bo (we are all members of the Central Texas Commodore Users Group) on their upcoming GuruModem product and you can expect some content here about that as well.

Why GuruNet

With that out of the way, let’s talk about why GuruNet over the alternatives. The first is price and availability. The GuruNet is $77 dollars, and currently available. If you don’t already have a network solution, this is one of the cheapest.

For around $30 more you can get the excellent X-Surf 100, and if you have an Amiga 3000 or 4000 series system and you are going to use the network or USB often, I recommend getting the X-Surf. I have one in my A4000D and it’s wonderful, but on an A2000 series system it’s kind of a waste. Even with an accellerator board you are very limited by the Zorro2 bus to the same speeds or less than what you get from the GuruNet.

If you have an A500, there is the option of the X-Surf 500 and that may be a good solution for you as well if you already have an ACA500(plus) accelerator.

If you have an A600, or A1200 then you could use a PCMCIA network card. I have a 3c589 that I was using on my A1200, but the PCMCIA slot on the A1200 is notoriously buggy. I swapped out my 3c589 for a GuruNet and have found it to be a much more stable solution. No lockups when moving large amounts of data like I would have frequently with my 3c589 (I’ve moved over 12GB to my A1200 over the GuruNet without issue), but YMMV.

If you have a “big box Amiga” and already have a network card, there really isn’t much reason to replace that with the GuruNet.

So basically, if you need a network adapter that will work on a wide variety of systems and don’t already have a good solution the GuruNet may be a good fit for you.

The Hardware

The device is pretty simple, as you can see from the image above. It comes fully assembled and programmed. On the left is the Parallel port interface, and on the right are an RJ-45 10100 Ethernet jack and a MicroUSB connector for power. The hardware design is Open Source and the design files are available on ElectronicsIsFun.com if you would like them. The Manual there goes over how to program the device, and a brief summary of how to setup the software on your Amiga. This blog post is mostly go into the details of the software configuration.

The rest of the components are what you would expect, some level shifters, power control, ICSP header, and an Atmel microcontroller to run it. There is no software changes needed from the original plipbox distribution to use, this is just a cost reduced/simplified version of the same design (some of the original parts are much harder to find now in a through-hole format).

The device comes pre-programmed. You only need to provide power and plug it into your system. Power comes from the MictoUSB port. In all of my testing, we’ve never seen the current draw exceed 80mA so pretty much any USB power source will do. The data pins are not connected on the USB port, so you can even connect to a different computer or USB hub to get the power. It won’t appear as a USB device. That basically covers hardware installation. Let’s get into software.

Amiga Compatibility and Software Options

The plipbox site provides SANA-II drivers, which will work for any Amiga and any IP stack commonly available on the Amiga. We have tested:

  • EasyNet and EasyNet Pro
  • Roadshow
  • Miami and Miami Deluxe
  • AmiTCP

All work without issue. EasyNet, EasyNet Pro, and Roadshow are paid commercial offerings. Miami, Miami Deluxe, and AmiTCP 3.0 are all freely avialble.

As for Amiga compatibility, we have tested with several A2000 series system, an A3000, an A4000 Desktop, an A1200, and an A600. It should work with just about any Amiga that can support Workbench 2.0 or later, but most of my testing has been on Workbench 3.1 or 3.1.4 with a hard drive based installed. That said, there are some caveats:

Known hardware incompatibilities

First of, if you are using you Amiga as a Video Toaster it’s not recommended that you have the IP stack loaded or the GuruNet installed while using the Video Toaster. This is because the Video Toaster board also communicates over the parallel port (which is integrated into the internal video slot) with the Amiga. The parallel port isn’t a bus, so the two devices will cause a conflict. How will this manifest? If you are not actively using the Toaster it seems to be fine. I haven’t been brave enough to find out what happens if you have initialized the Toaster and try to run the switcher with the GuruNet installed. I don’t recommend running the network stack or having the GuruNet plugged into your system if you plan on using the Video Toaster switcher, and I recommend a power cycle of the system before trying to use the GuruNet after using the Video Toaster switcher application to be on the safe side.

The other major incompatibility we have found is Amiga 2000 Accellerator boards. This is a big deal, and we’re not sure what’s going on yet. We’ve experienced the issue with a Commodore A2630 card, and a GVP 030 acceletatore card in multiple machines. The device is detected, but traffic is not flowing to the network as expected. We’re still debugging the issue, and if we find a solution we’ll post about it in the GuruNet page.

Amiga Hardware Requirements

We have successfully installed and used the GuruNet on some pretty low end OCS machines. The important thing is to properly set your expectations. The GuruNet does a great job of moving files on the older machine, but don’t expect to be able to web surf effectively. Even on an OCS machine, the GuruNet is much faster than serial port based data transfers.

Any Amiga with a parallel port, and Workbench 2.0 should work. All of my testing has been on Workbench 3.1, 3.X, or 3.1.4 with a hard drive. This guide assumes you are doing an install on a system where you are booting off a Hard Drive based install. I don’t recommend using this on an Amiga that doesn’t have a Hard Drive, and this guide requires it.

Choosing a software stack

In this post, I’m going to cover 4 stacks to choose from. Let’s talk about their pros and cons, as well as their requirements:

  • EasyNet and EasyNet Pro
    • Commercially Available from AmigaKit (costs 8GBP and 16BGP as of publish date*
    • Requires Workbench 2.0 or later, and 1MB of RAM
    • Ships on CD-ROM (contents can be copied via other means)
    • Nice GUI based install and configuration
    • Based on AmiTCP for broad compatibility
    • Includes some basic command line tools like ftp and telnet
    • Simple GUI for connect/disconnect
    • DHCP support varies between versions
  • Roadshow
    • Commercially available from APC and TCP (Costs 25EUR as of publish date)
    • Requires Workbench 2.04 or later, and 2MB of RAM
    • Ships as Download with optional CD-ROM
    • Excellent documentation
    • Entirely CLI based configuration with a standard GUI based installed
    • Very quick to setup and automatically starts in the background by default
    • Based on AmiTCP
    • Includes command line tools like ftp and wget
    • Supports DHCP
  • Miami and Miami Deluxe (MiamiDX)
    • Author has made keys publically available via Keyring (it’s free!)
    • Miami requires Workbench 2.04 or later and recommends MUI 3.8 for the GUI toolkit
    • MiamiDX requires Workbench 2.04 or later, MUI 3.8, and a 68020 processor
    • Fully GUI based install and configuration
    • Somewhat large GUI for connect/disconnect
    • Supports DHCP
    • Miami specific command line tools (everything is prefixed with miami-)
  • AmiTCP
    • Version 3 is Freely available (later versions are forked into EasyNet and Roadshow)
    • Entirely command line based
    • Difficult to install manually
    • Includes command line tools like ftp
    • Has addon to support DHCP
    • Not covered in this guide, yet.

I’ve used all of the above except AmiTCP. They all have their pros and cons. Personally, I really like Roadshow. If you want a free option, grab Miami or MiamiDX based on your hardware.

Driver Installation

No matter what software you choose, you will need the driver installed. It’s best to install the driver first, so let’s do that.

You will need the driver from either the plipbox site, or I have repackaged it as an LHA archive with the correct file protections: plipbox-0.6.lha

Once you extract that archive into RAM:, you will see several files:

dev_test_RELEASE_000
dev_test_RELEASE_020
dev_test_RELEASE_040
plipbox.device_RELEASE_000
plipbox.device_RELEASE_020
plipbox.device_RELEASE_040
udp_test_RELEASE_000
udp_test_RELEASE_020
udp_test_RELEASE_040

(If you are extracting from the plipbox-0.6.zip file from the plipbox site, these files are in the amiga/bin subdirectory)

The filenames ending with 000 can run on any Amiga. Ending in 020 require an Amiga with a 68020 processor or better, and the files ending in 040 require an an Amiga with a 68040 processor or better. The 020 and 040 versions do offer better performance. For this example, I’m going to give the commands for the 020 versions (substitue as necessary).

Next, you will need to copy the device and test utilities. You can do so with the following commands from the CLI or from the Execute box in Workbench:

MAKEDIR DEVS:Networks
COPY RAM:plipbox.device_RELEASE_020 DEVS:Networks/plipbox.device
COPY RAM:dev_test_RELEASE_020 C:plipbox_dev_test CLONE
COPY RAM:udp_test_RELEASE_020 C:plipbox_udp_test CLONE

Now you should be able to run the plipbox_dev_test command. If it stops at Waiting for incoming packets... then everything is working and you can press Ctrl+C to quit. Otherwise, check that the GuruNet has power and it’s plugged in fully to the parallel port and the Ethernet cable is connected. The link light should be on even if the driver is not yet loaded.

That’s it. Not much to it. Now we can install the network stack to use the hardware.

Network Stack Installation

Below are the network stack installation procedures. Choose one and complete that section. Do not install multiple stacks on the same machine. I’m not going to go over disabling or un-installing, you are on your own for that. I’m also not assuming you have anything needed to install, but have a way to get files from the Internet to the machine.

If you need a way to get larger files from the Internet to your machine, may I suggest using a null modem serial cable and NComm. I have a blog post with the details on how to install and use that.

In order to take nice screenshots (and install multiple times without taking all week), I’ll be doing these installs on an emulated A1200 with 2MB of RAM and an 68020 processor. I’ve pre-downloaded the files needed and stored them in Shared:Downloads on these emulated machines. For broadest compatibility, I’m going to be installing the 68000 versions of all tools and drivers. Adjust as you see fit for your machine (if you have an 020, 030, or 040 there are significant performance improvements available).

Amiga Workbench

I also assume you have a drawer called Installers on your DH0: disk which we will extract the tools into for installation. It will be safe to delete this when done.

Amiga Workbench showing 'Installers' drawer

Remeber: You can only install one of these stacks. Here’s the list in case you forgot (which will jump you to the correct part of the page):

Installing Miami

Required files:

First, we’re going to extract the lha tool and install it in C: for easy use. Open your harddrive, go to the System folder, and open Shell:

Amiga Workbench a CLI shell

Next, specify the full path of the lha.run file you have downloaded and suffix DH0:Installers/ to the command line options. This will extract the archive to the RAM disk. If you get an error about the file not being executable, run protect Shared:Downloads/lha.run +se to and re-run the command shown:

Amiga Workbench extracting and copying lha

Then COPY RAM:lha_68k C:lha CLONE will copy the generic lha tool to your C: path:

Amiga Workbench extracting and copying lha

Next we need to extract the MUI 3.8 installer:

Amiga Workbench showing MUI extraction command

Many files will scroll past. When it’s done it will look like this:

Amiga Workbench showing completed MUI extraction

Now you can close the Shell, open the Installers folder on your HDD and then the MUI folder in there. Open the Install-MUI application:

Amiga Workbench showing MUI installer drawer

Choose the Intermediate mode (this is important) and press Proceed:

MUI installer launch

We want to install to for real and now log the actions, so press Proceed:

MUI installer options

Yep, we’re installing MUI so press Proceed:

MUI wants to install MUI

MUI will now show you the default location to install:

MUI default install location

If you have multiple hard drives or partitions, MUI defaults to the 2nd drive. This is probably not what you want, I always install MUI to the primary hard drive. So, press the Show Drives button:

Clicking show drives updates the list above

Then choose the drive labeled DH0: like so:

A minimally installed DH0 looks like this

Now you can press Proceed and many files will be copied. Eventually you will see a screen offering various image sets, just leave the defaults and press Proceed:

Available MUI image sets

Next you will be asked for language support. Choose what works for you and press Proceed:

MUI default language support

Next you will be asked if your want the demo programs. I typically press No but it’s up to you:

MUI demo programs request

Finally, the MUI install is complete. You can press Proceed and reboot your machine:

MUI done with install

Once your machine has restarted, re-open Shell. Now we are going to extract the Miami main archive:

Command to extract the Miami main archive

Followed by the Miami MUI Interface archive:

Command to extract the Miami MUI interface archive

Followed by the Miami 68000 Binary archive (you can replace this with the 020 version if you like):

Command to extract the Miami generic binary archive

Sadly the Miami installer does not include the Installer tool in the archive, so let’s use the one from MUI. Run the following command:

COPY DH0:Installers/MUI/Installer433 DH0:Installers/Miami32b_Install/Installer CLONE

Once that has completed you can close the shell and open the Installers drawer from your hard drive, then the Miami32b_Install Drawer, then run the Install_Miami tool:

Amiga Workbench showing 'Miami32b_Install' drawer

Start the installer tool by pressing Proceed: Miami Installer Initial Screen

The defaults installation location is fine (but it doesn’t make a folder so you may want to customize it), press Proceed:

Miami default installation path

Now be sure to select the correct version to match the binary package used above, and press Proceed:

Miami binary package chooser

You can choose any workbench icon you desire, but be sure to pick any option other than do not install new icons, and press Proceed:

Icons for Miami (do not install new icons does not install an icon at all)

We have only installed the MUI interface, so uncheck all others and press Proceed:

Miami widgets selector

We should only be able to use the MUI interface module, so press Proceed:

Miami UI selector

Files will now copy. Then you will be asked if wish to setup the Assign mapping, choose Yes:

Miami assignment notice

The installer will tell you it is modifying your s:user-startup script, press Proceed:

Miami confirming user-startup modification

And now the installation is finished, you can press Proceeed to see a summary:

Miami install summary

Finally press Proceed again to exit the tool:

Miami installation complete

At this point you will want to reboot again. Then re-open the Shell and run the following command to extract the registration files to the install location:

Using shell to install the Miami registration files

Once that is done, you can close the Shell and then there should be Miami icons in your hard drive:

Amiga Workbench showing Miami icons

Open the MiamiInit prgram to configure your network, and press Continue:

The first screen of MiamiInit

Choose the Ethernet cable/ADS option and press Continue, followed by the ---other--- option and press Continue. Then enter plipbox.device in the Device box and press Continue:

Adding the plipbox device to MiamiInit

At this point, you will be prompted for a lot of specific configuration for your network. I can’t give you good answers here but it should be able to figure it all out itself. On the last screen the bottom option i s to print a summary sheet, you probably want to uncheck that. Otherwise if you do not have a printer it will appear to freeze for a while before stating it cannot print the sheet.

That’s pretty much it. At this point Miami is installed and initially configured. You can now launch the main Miami application to connect to the network. You will get this main menu:

Miami main menu

From here you can import the settings from MiamiIinit. Once that is done, you can simply press the Online button and it should connect to the network. The settings can be tweaked using the menu to the left. The Interface panel has most of the settings needed if you need a static IP address changed.

That’s it for Miami, you can skip to to Using The Network section.

Installing MiamiDx

Required files:

First, we’re going to extract the lha tool and install it in C: for easy use. Open your harddrive, go to the System folder, and open Shell:

Amiga Workbench a CLI shell

Next, specify the full path of the lha.run file you have downloaded and suffix DH0:Installers/ to the command line options. This will extract the archive to the RAM disk. If you get an error about the file not being executable, run protect Shared:Downloads/lha.run +se to and re-run the command shown:

Amiga Workbench extracting and copying lha

Then COPY RAM:lha_68k C:lha CLONE will copy the generic lha tool to your C: path:

Amiga Workbench extracting and copying lha

Next we need to extract the MUI 3.8 installer:

Amiga Workbench showing MUI extraction command

Many files will scroll past. When it’s done it will look like this:

Amiga Workbench showing completed MUI extraction

Now you can close the Shell, open the Installers folder on your HDD and then the MUI folder in there. Open the Install-MUI application:

Amiga Workbench showing MUI installer drawer

Choose the Intermediate mode (this is important) and press Proceed:

MUI installer launch

We want to install to for real and now log the actions, so press Proceed:

MUI installer options

Yep, we’re installing MUI so press Proceed:

MUI wants to install MUI

MUI will now show you the default location to install:

MUI default install location

If you have multiple hard drives or partitions, MUI defaults to the 2nd drive. This is probably not what you want, I always install MUI to the primary hard drive. So, press the Show Drives button:

Clicking show drives updates the list above

Then choose the drive labeled DH0: like so:

A minimally installed DH0 looks like this

Now you can press Proceed and many files will be copied. Eventually you will see a screen offering various image sets, just leave the defaults and press Proceed:

Available MUI image sets

Next you will be asked for language support. Choose what works for you and press Proceed:

MUI default language support

Next you will be asked if your want the demo programs. I typically press No but it’s up to you:

MUI demo programs request

Finally, the MUI install is complete. You can press Proceed and reboot your machine:

MUI done with install

Once your machine has restarted, re-open Shell. Now we are going to extract the MiamiDx main archive:

Extracting the main MiamiDX Archive

Then we need to extract the MiamiDx MUI interface:

Extracting the main MiamiDX MUI

Sadly the MiamiDx installer does not include the Installer tool in the archive, so let’s use the one from MUI. Run the following command:

COPY DH0:Installers/MUI/Installer433 DH0:Installers/MiamiDx10_Install/Installer CLONE

Now you can close the shell, and open the Installers drawer on your hard drive and then the MiamiDx10_Install drawer to launch the Install_MiamiDx tool:

The MiamiDx Installer Icon

We want to install for real and not log, so press Proceed:

The usual installer questions

Choose where you want to install MiamiDx (the default is fine but it doesn’t create a folder so you may want to adjust it) and press Proceed:

Default MiamiDx install path

Choose any icon you like besides do not install new icons as there will be no icon that way, and press Proceed:

Pick an icon, but not the one that doesn't install any icons

We should only have MUI as an option, so press Proceed:

Making the only choice

Still only have MUI as an option for the GUI module, so press Proceed:

Choice is an illusion

It is your choice if you want the sanamni driver installed or not:

Sometimes you have crazy hardware, but not usually

Files will now copy. Next will be the Miami assignment screen, choose Yes:

Notification of Miami: assignment

We want your s:user-startup modified, so choose Proceed:

Notification of user-startup

We need to reboot before using MiamiDx, Press Proceed:

Embrace the wait

Now the install of MiamiDx is complete. Press Proceed to quit the tool:

MiamiDx installation is complete

Now you can reboot your Amiga. Then, Launch the Shell again to install the key files:

Installing the MiamiDx keys

You can close the shell, and find the MiamiDx icons in your hard drive:

The lovely standard MiamiDx icon

Let’s launch MiamiDx and configure your network settings:

Selecting the MiamiDx icon

This screen shows that the registration is installed correctly. Press OK:

Confirmation of MiamiDx registration

Select Hardware and press New and choose Ethernet:

Hardware selection

Give the name of GuruNet and the driver plipbox.device and press OK:

Driver information

Choose the Interfaces option on the left, press New and choose Ethernet, and press OK:

Creating a new Internet interface

Choose the GuruNet we just created and press OK:

Linking the Interface to the Hardware

Now you can configure your network settings. I typically just make IP, Netmask, and Gatway DHCP and check GUI Default. Your settings may vary for your local network, you can change them now. Then press OK:

Defining network IP information

Next go to Database and choose DNS Servers. Here you will need to add DNS servers for your use. If you don’t know your DNS servers 8.8.8.8 and 9.9.9.9 are safe choices:

Adding DNS servers

Now right click and choose Settings and Save as Default. At this point you should be configured and can press the Online button. You can now skip to the Using the Network section.

Installing EasyNet or EasyNet Pro

Requirements:

  • EasyNet or EasyNet Pro CD (or it’s contents copied to your system)

For this, the process is basically identical for the two products, but the icons vary. I have faith you can figure it out. Insert the EasyNet CD, or copy the contents to your Amiga. Run the ‘Install-EasyNet` tool:

Workbench with the EasyNet disc open

This guide will use the Novice install path, you can choose a different one if you wish. Press Proceed With Install:

Starting the EasyNet installer

The installer will tell you it’s going to install, press Proceed:

This installer is chatty

The installer wants you to install the network driver, which we have already done, so press Proceed:

So chatty

The installer wants you to know you should only have one stack installed, which we know, so press Proceed:

Blah blah blah

By default, EasyNet will install on your second drive if you have more than one, and I don’t recommend that. Press Show Drives:

Installing in a sub-optimal place by default

Choose the DH0 drive and press Proceed. At this point all the files will copy. Next you will be asked what kind of icon you want installed, press Proceed:

Choose your icon

The installer will want to modify your s:user-startup, which we want. Press Proceed:

Gee, I wonder what EasyNet is based on

The installer will want to install the SMB-Handler, press Proceed with Copy:

Everyone wants to talk to Windows

The installer will now want you to configure EasyNet. Press Proceed:

So demanding

The EasyNet configuration utility will begin, press CONTINUE:

Click through wrappers all the way down

Enter your registration details, press AGREE AND REGISTER:

Much EULA

Press the Proceed button to continue setup. Next up you will select the plipbox.device and press SAVE:

Pick the plipbox device we installed earlier

Now choose Proceed to finish the IP configuration. This is where you will need to input your network configuration information. Press Save when done:

IP Configuration (no DHCP here)

This should launch the EasyNet GUI which looks like this:

The EasyNet UI

That GUI can be found in the EasyNet folder for EasyNet Pro install, or the AmiTCP folder for an EasyNet install. Pressing the ONLINE button should connect you to the internet. Now you can skip to the Using the Network section.

Installing Roadshow

Required files:

First, we’re going to extract the lha tool and install it in C: for easy use. Open your harddrive, go to the System folder, and open Shell:

Amiga Workbench a CLI shell

Next, specify the full path of the lha.run file you have downloaded and suffix DH0:Installers/ to the command line options. This will extract the archive to the RAM disk. If you get an error about the file not being executable, run protect Shared:Downloads/lha.run +se to and re-run the command shown:

Amiga Workbench extracting and copying lha

Then COPY RAM:lha_68k C:lha CLONE will copy the generic lha tool to your C: path:

Amiga Workbench extracting and copying lha

Next we need to extract the Roadshow installer:

Amiga Workbench extracting Roadshow

Once that is done we can begin the installer tool. Close the shell, and open the Installers drawer and then the Roadshow drawer, and launch the Install_Roadshow tool:

Amiga Workbench showing the Roadshow installer

Choose Intermediate User and press Proceed With Install:

Installer tool startup for Roadshow

Install for real, no log, press Proceed:

More Installer boilerplate

You have a choice if you want an optimized version of various components, choose Yes or No:

Using an optimized version of Roadshow components or the generic ones

The default install path will be a second hard drive if available, I find this sub-optimal. Press Show Drives:

Default install location

Select the DH0 Disk, and press Proceed. Files will be coped. Then you will be told you need to reboot before using. Press Proceed:

Reboot notification

The installation is now complete, press Proceed:

Completed Roadshow installation

There is excellent documentation in PDF form in the archive, or in Amiga Guide form in the Roadshow drawer. I’m going to assume you want DHCP (which is the simplest config) and proceed from there. Anything else, you should consult the docs. Once you reboot, launch Shell again, we have a few commands to run:

COPY SYS:Storage/NetInterfaces/X-Surf-100 DEVS:NetInterfaces/plipbox
ed DEVS:NetInterfaces/plipbox

In here find the device= lines and change it to plipbox.device:

Press ESC followed by sa and enter, then ESC followed by q and enter to save and quit. Now you can run AddNetInterface plipbox and you should be up and running. Now you can skip to the Using the Network section.

Using the Network

OK, you have a working Network Stack. Now what? I primarily use the network interface to move files. I’ve tried a few clients, but have found that Directory Opus 5 works best. Some other tools I’ve tried are AmiFTP, which I found to be very slow and doesn’t handle anything other than single files (no directory traversal). I’ve also tried NcFTP which takes some work to get installed (needs the ixemul libraries) and while it is fast, the curses interface is broken (no prompt, just a blank line) and directory traversal only goes a single level deep. DOpus5 was fast and copied the entire tree of my WHDLoad games collection without issue.

If you installed EasyNet (Pro) or Roadshow, wget is available - which is great for grabbing files one at a time or scripts from the Shell. You can also get it from aminet if you wish.

You can web browse as well, to a point. All of the available browsers are slow or very out of date (but tend to work fine on Amiga specific sites like aminet). I tend to use AWeb as my go-to browser. It’s free (the one I linked is just the program, but works fine) and fast. I’ve used it on OCS machines and accellerated AGA machines without issue. iBrowse is also a descent choice, but it’s commercial and no longer for sale while they work on the next version (so if you have a license, good for you). For a more modern standards experience, there is NetSurf which is very cool but needs a very extreme machine. With my A1200 with an 030+68882 at 40MHz and 128MB of RAM, it’s barely usable (mostly because the graphics sub system in the Amiga is so slowed down by chip RAM) but it works. It’s much better on an 040 or 060 with lots of RAM.

However, here is where the caveats begin. If you are pulling files from or browsing the HTTP web, you’re fine. But as more and more of the web moves to TLS 1.2, using HTTPS on your Amiga isn’t so hot. There is a new version of AmiSSL that is supposed to work - but I have not been able to make it go yet. If anyone figures out how to make that go, please add a comment below!

You can use various email apps, and IRC clients, even some Twitter clients exist. Poke around aminet for more fun things to do. Or just download software and games free of the slow speeds of serial communications, or the even slower speeds of floppy disks on your Amiga.

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