Fredledingue

Internet on W98 Today

29 posts in this topic

W98 users may face more and more annoyances while surfing the internet, especialy media-rich and news websites.

Let's define which are these annoyances, which one are specific to the w98 system and which ones are not w98 specific but bound to happen on old machines no matter which system is operating it (for that category it would be interresting to compare with XP or 7 on the same machine).

Then list solutions with or without KernelEx.

Annoyances

1/ Flash Player updates required, YouTube videos not playing for some reasons...

(I noticed that recently Yahoo! doesn't allow videos to be played on my system. It didn't even recognized that I had flash player installed...)

2/ Java update required

(potential threat)

3/ Javascript bloat: Extremely slow, not responding, crashing the browser, etc

(often seen on News website but also on this very forum)

This can also appear on other OS on machine with too few resources. It's difficult to compare a W98 running on a 1.5 Ghz processor with w7 on a dual-core 2x3.4 Ghz.

But Javascript can stumble on difficult things to do on w98.

4/ Javascript errors, unexpecpected reaction, failure to operate properly

(Got the case with RyanAir's website, Facebook)

5/ Incompatible CSS properties. This may hide or misplace content.

6/ Bad reaction to your UserAgent identification (the way the server on theother side see your browser).

This comes from mistakes done by web designers, with the script working on the server.

Many sites will send you a warning that your browser is outdated if you use IE or IE-based derivate. Curiousely they will never tell you that if you use a dead version of FireFox or even a pre-FireFox flavor.

That's still nothing.

But sometimes the website won't even display, as the server doesn't know what to do with such unexpected machine, or trying to help, will try to do something else with even more bloat.

(I suspect Google to freeze up for one or two minutes when it sees Maxthon 2 with IE6.1, whereas it doesn't on K-Meleon/FF)

Solution

1/ Not using IE anymore or Maxthon 2. Use Anything else instead (FF, K-Meleon, Opera) which is compatible with your system.

2/ Install KernelEx and try more updated versions of Flash and Java.

What do you think?

____________________________

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Opera 10.10, runs OK without need of KernelEx (but don't forget to disable auto-updates asap, on the first run).

It's the minimum one must have to get around the web.

Adding KernelEx, and then upgrading Flash and Java, still allows to have a decently up-to-date browsing experience.

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Opera will solve most of the Javascript issues, while bringing with it some bugs/annoyances of its own. Win some, lose some.

Google doesn't freeze up for me on IE6 SP1.

I now use 3 browsers daily: Firefox 2.0.0.20, Opera 10.10, and Internet Explorer 6 SP1, in that order. It does a satisfactory job of avoiding some of the mentioned annoyances. If a website has trouble with one browser, I rotate to another. Having been rotating long enough, firing up the appropriate browser before visiting a particular website has become second nature, such as Opera for this forum. Then there are websites that require a voodoo ritual. I will browse for videos on YouTube using Opera (the preview image is cutoff in the search results on Firefox), and watch the videos with Firefox (some videos can crash Opera). At one time, I've sampled other browsers to see if I can add anymore to the mix, but they're mostly just front-ends or forks of IE and Gecko, which doesn't offer any new benefits, and it would be diminishing returns to maintain 4+ browsers just to surf the web.

I would move to Firefox 3 with KernelEX, but I can't stand the problems with the images when scrolling. For Opera, Java support is gone starting with 10.63. There are drawbacks if I stick with the old, and drawbacks if I go with the new. The Web isn't going to wait for us. We'll all have to move up sometime.

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Just wanted to add some things about using K-Meleon that might be of interest to some. I am not here to beat the drums about K-Meleon, I did that before in another thread but maybe some people who are using K-Meleon as a browser, along with Opera 10.10 and FF might want to experiment or perhaps were not aware of these "modified" Flash Player plugins. I am talking about K-Meleon v1.5.4 but I also have the newer KM 1.6 working on Windows 98SE with KernelEx. I took the updated User Agent links from KM 1.6 and replaced the "older" User Agent links in KM 1.5.4 ... so that now gave me FF 3.5 instead of the old FF 2.0. I have no trouble getting into YouTube to watch a video or download a video. Over at the K-Meleon Extension Center there are three Flash Player plugins that have been "modified" to work with K-Meleon to save a downloaded video. Two of those "modified" Flash Player plugins are for Windows 9x ... I have been able to watch and save many YouTube videos using the plugin for Flash Player 9.0.289.0 (9x). I have never been able to use Flash Player 10.0.45.2 (9x) with K-Meleon 1.5.4 so I use the FP 9.0.289.0 version. I am able to use Flash Player 10.0.45.2 (9x) with K-Meleon 1.6 ... perhaps some will want to experiment with K-Meleon and these plugins. I will also (sadly) add, that I have not been to YouTube for over a month for any videos and maybe things have changed where these plugins don't work anymore but they probably still do. These plugins are under Browser Plugins. So I have two K-Meleon Browsers (KM 1.5.4 and KM 1.6 - only one can be open at a time) and Opera 10.10. Hope this might help ...

http://kmext.sourceforge.net/mplug.htm

Categories:

Privacy & Security enhanced privacy control

Feeds, Social & Blogging news & social-networking

Communication support for web services

Bookmarking & Archiving bookmark management & website archiving

Web Development web-developing & design

Network connection & protocol related

Enhancements advanced browser & site manipulation

Miscellaneous educational, entertainment, fun & games

Browser Plugins np plugins required by rich-content websites

K-Plugins special K-Meleon plugins

Flash Player Plugins:

Flash Player 10.3.181.34

flash plugin version 10. please note this is a patched release npswf32.dll which enables embedded videos to be saved in your temp folder instead of deleting them after a video has finished playing; those videos will have a *.tmp extension. copy them from your temp folder to another folder and rename the extension from tmp to flv or mp4. patched dll courtesy of andy robinson from ferretsoft. see the flash video saver extension on network page on how to locate and save those tmp files.

formats: swf

Flash Player 10.0.45.2 (9x)

last working flash10 for windows 9x, if that version doesn't work on your system; please use the flash9 version below. please note this is a patched release npswf32.dll which enables embedded videos to be saved in your temp folder instead of deleting them after a video has finished playing; those videos will have a *.tmp extension. copy them from your temp folder to another folder and rename the extension from tmp to flv or mp4. patched dll courtesy of andy robinson from ferretsoft. see the flash video saver extension on network page on how to locate and save those tmp files.

formats: swf

Flash Player 9.0.289.0 (9x)

flash9 for windows 9x. please note this is a patched release npswf32.dll which enables embedded videos to be saved in your temp folder instead of deleting them after a video has finished playing; those videos will have a *.tmp extension. copy them from your temp folder to another folder and rename the extension from tmp to flv or mp4. patched dll courtesy of andy robinson from ferretsoft. see the flash video saver extension on network page on how to locate and save those tmp files.

formats: swf

... Forgot to mention that I also still have IE6 but never really use it, just there in case I might need it. I added IE7 to the KM User Agent links ... want to try the IE8 User Agent link one of these days, really don't know how far these UA links can go and still work ... an experiment in progress I guess. The newer KM 1.6 had the Sea Monkey 2.0 user agent over the old Sea Monkey 1.0 user agent in KM 1.5.4 ... also if you are new to K-Meleon, you can quickly turn JavaScript on and off with F7 and Images on and off with F9. I'm still learning new things about K-Meleon at the KM forum.

Update: I was just at the KM forum and see that in just the last week or so someone (ndebord) has been able to patch a newer version of Flash Player. They were having problems in Jan but seems to have figured out the changes. However, I don't think it will work with Windows 98SE, maybe only XP and 2000 ... but I am not 100% sure at this point since it is so new and very little information seems to be available. Not everyone in that forum uses Windows 98SE anymore but they still seem to think about us 98 people and try to make things work, if they can.

NPSWF32_11.2.202.197 B5 Hex

Got it, datafiles used here earlier on.

NPSWF32_11,2,202,197_B5_Hex.7z

extract and rename to

NPSWF32.DLL

Look for it here:

http://www.datafilehost.com/download-f90cb480.html

...

Edited by duffy98
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Using SeaMonkey 2.0.14 most of the time, K-Meleon 1.7a2 on occasion. The present version of flash player, 11,1,102,62, is working properly here on both browsers. I seldom look at videos, especially YouTube, and usually have to bypass Proxomitrons web page filters before they'll play. Can't remember the last time I needed java for a website. It's not up to date.

Regarding:

Javascript bloat: Extremely slow, not responding, crashing the browser, etc

(often seen on News website but also on this very forum)

This can also appear on other OS on machine with too few resources. It's difficult to compare a W98 running on a 1.5 Ghz processor with w7 on a dual-core 2x3.4 Ghz.

But Javascript can stumble on difficult things to do on w98.

I see this once in a while when Proxomitron is bypassed. This turns up on both 98 and XP here. I'm not sure that this is related to OS version or available resources. A friend with XP-IE8 on a PC with 4GB ram gets those errors too.

For the most part, pages render well. I can't say they appear as they are intended, not with Proxomitron ripping out ads and other unwanted items. Some of the pages change big when I bypass Proxomitron. Most of the time, I don't allow a user agent to be sent and block the scripts that try to identify or fingerprint my system.

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some websites developer seems to hates IE6,

if they detect you're using IE then it will gives you MORE-BLOATED JavaScripts, and deliberately use the incompatible/broken .css version.

But, if i changes the User-Agent using proxomitron, the very same site will give light-weight javascripts and using their .css version that IE6 compatible, go figures.

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I stopped using Java script, Java, in addition to Flash when I used Windows 98 from 2000 - 2007. I used Windows 98 from 1998 - 2007.

At the time, Opera 8.5 was the best alternative to Internet Explorer 6 and Firefox.

Opera has changed so much after 9.1 it is more like Firefox these days which, I can't stand. I’m sure older Opera users will understand what I mean.

K-meleon may be the only thing left. You can try Palemoon. It is a Firefox alternative, which I use on Windows 2000. It may just work on Windows 98.

http://www.palemoon.org/

It may be best to use a current operating system for the Internet and Windows 98 for whatever needs you choose to use it. The majority of the hardcore Windows 98 members that were capable of creating remedies to dilemmas are not around anymore.

Edited by Atmosphere XG
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Thanks for all the answers everybody!

As I can read, some of you manage to keep a decent or semi-decent experience with interractive internet.

I'll try them one day.

Personaly I didn't have searched for solution that much because I'm not a fan of YouTube and such but sometimes I'm sad when it fails.

Note my TV provider gave me a device which on top of on-demand programs, allows you to watch YouTubes! After all what belongs to TV belongs to TV. YouToubes, contrary to downloadable formats (I mean intended to be downloaded) is not what I would define as internet content.

Everything that is streamlined is more akind to radio or tv than to internet.

I also disable javascript as often as possible but sometimes you need it.

Google Map doesn't want to work for me. Neither on Maxthon nor on K-Meleon. It doesn't show the requested map (it displays the US -LOL-)

This is the only thing I realy would like to have working on my PC.

Facebook still works moreless. But I'll bet money we will have troubles with it too pretty soon.

____________________________________

Edited by Fredledingue
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Opera 8.54 still spoofs the latest JS code on the newest sites if it is set to be recognized as Netscape. All the flash plugins work.

Or I can always pull out Opera 12 (BLOAT!).

Dave

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I never stopped using Opera 8.54 when it was no longer the latest browser. Since I only frequent message boards that use vbulletin in addition to visiting sites that do not rely heavily on Java script in order to work, there was no reason to make the newer versions of Opera my primary browser. Palemoon is there if I need to view a technical video on youtube or view a flash oriented website. I generally choose between Paelemoon and an Alpha version of Opera 10.

It is amazing how computing has moved from a learning experience to a flashy visual (eye candy) experience. If you had the opportunity to try Windows Developer, it is plain to see computing is not aimed for the computer geek anymore. I guess the warning was there when Microsoft discontinued Encarta.

Edited by Atmosphere XG
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some websites developer seems to hates IE6,

if they detect you're using IE then it will gives you MORE-BLOATED JavaScripts, and deliberately use the incompatible/broken .css version.

But, if i changes the User-Agent using proxomitron, the very same site will give light-weight javascripts and using their .css version that IE6 compatible, go figures.

-----------

Could you post some of these websites addresses so that I can try?

_________________________

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Difficulties on the internet didn't appeared because w9x is old, but because webmasters abandonned all good practice guidelines that makes the web universal and accessible to everyone. And they multiplie bad practices.

1/ Javascript generated content.

Some webpages won't show anything when javascript is turned off. The fact is that absent of Javascript meddling old browsers do just fine.

Recently they had in their mind that you should't see an e-mail address without Javascript.

As if robots and spammers were not able to use Javascript to see them. I guess this measure is already ineffective as we speak.

2/ Flash. This is the worse thing that happened to the internet.

Many websites starts with a nice flash intro. Ok, it's fine for the webmaster hubris and the glorification of the website owner. But people don't come to watch animations.

This is not a problem when it's possible to bypass it.

But some website will display "Get Flash plugin" and nothing else.

And there is nothing you can do to enter the website!

3/ Abuse of the "div" tag.

New css code, unsuported by old browsers, may cause some content to be hiden. This is rare thought unless they realy bloat up the webpage with dozen of "div" tags.

4/ Webmasters are addicted to complication.

It's very easy to make a nice looking website, but they always want to add tons of javascript (most of which was not coded by them), totaly useless, just for the sake of being there.

The most common is the Google map code, while a simple link to Google map with the keyword in it would do just fine.

______________

Edited by Fredledingue
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I used to use K-Meleon 1.7a2 for some time, after SlimBrowser (on top of IE6) started crashing MSHTML.DLL on more and more sites (this one included). However that thing has a serious bug which - on scrolling pages, with or without images - crashes the display driver, forcing me to reboot. Therefore, upon someone's mention here on this board, I installed and configured SeaMonkey 2.1a3 and a few add-ons. Later on, the person reverted to an earlier version of it (some 2.0) due to frequent crashes. Well, I do experience those crashes myself, because after all that tinkering, downloading, installing and configuring add-ons, I just didn't feel up to another challenge, seeing that many of them add-ons are not compatible with that particular alpha build; some of them - having auto-update on - even started to auto-disable themselves as the new versions were suddenly incompatible. That's a model of sloppy programming where there's no compatibility check before installing an add-on.

What I wanted to say is that this browser mostly crashes for two main reasons: JavaScript and lack of memory. Actually, the memory thing is more subtle than that, because even with enough free RAM (FreeRamXP Pro - a tool I've been using ever since the Win95 days - doesn't help here), it still crashes silently, which means it's all about something else like too many GDI objects, no room for handles, stack full or things like that which I have no idea how to pinpoint. Only a reboot fixes this issue. :(

As for JavaScript, I have an add-on that can disable/enable JavaScript, Java, Flash, SilverLight, CSS upon a single click (displays a few buttons in the statusbar), so those issues can be temporarily avoided. Together with other add-ons like Ghostify and NoScript, it's a quite pleasant experience, all in all - until resources get depleted, that is.

Personally I have no need for Flash, I never ever go near YouTube and I immediately discard any site that requires Flash for its main menu or other important functions. Flash is opaque technology, anything might hide inside, user has no control whatsoever over its content and actions, so to me it's a no-no.

I mourn the days when browsing was pure HTML, no link could fool you through redirecting or other modern tricks, there was not even the slightest idea of a video/audio captcha that'd drive one crazy, no stupid flashy ads flying, jumping or sneakily hiding transparent and so on. The Internet of the 21-st century makes me sick, literally and I try to interact with it as little as possible; I'm sorry, however, for the good people I get disconnected with. :(

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Personally I have no need for Flash, I never ever go near YouTube and I immediately discard any site that requires Flash for its main menu or other important functions. Flash is opaque technology, anything might hide inside, user has no control whatsoever over its content and actions, so to me it's a no-no.

I mourn the days when browsing was pure HTML, no link could fool you through redirecting or other modern tricks, there was not even the slightest idea of a video/audio captcha that'd drive one crazy, no stupid flashy ads flying, jumping or sneakily hiding transparent and so on. The Internet of the 21-st century makes me sick, literally and I try to interact with it as little as possible; I'm sorry, however, for the good people I get disconnected with. :(

With the amount of animation you do not want, you should try an old version of Opera. I've used Opera 8.5 for the exact reasons you listed above.

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What about Pale Moon (specifically the older version, built from FF 3.6 code base) ? Will that run on 98 SE using Kernel ex ?

If so, Is it worth going from FF 3.6.x to PM ? As in, will it be visibly faster/lighter than plain FF (Athlon XP, no SSE2).

Any return of experience will be greatly appreciated...

Edited by Czerno
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