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Old 02-27-2020, 10:31 AM   #1
bigbeark
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Default Alternative Browsers for older machines

Firefox just seizes up when I try to play YouTube video on older machines.
I did a search and found a list of the following alternative lightweight browsers: UR Browser,
K-Meleon, Midori, Pale Moon and MaxThon 5.

I have visited all the websites. Midori and Pale Moon are available as binaries in Debian and Ubuntu flavours. Looks like the distro of choice for these is Xubuntu. You use Terminal commands to download the repositories. Has anyone tried this and what was the experience like? Is it likely one can stream HTML5 on 32-bit single core machines like Socket A or dual CPU Tualatin-based systems?

The first 2 and the 5th and the 5th browser are for Windows and will support Windows 98 and newer.

Look forward to your comments!

Last edited by bigbeark; 02-27-2020 at 10:32 AM..
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Old 02-27-2020, 12:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: Alternative Browsers for older machines

i dont think it will help youtube,
those bastards use a javascript player.
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Old 02-27-2020, 09:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Alternative Browsers for older machines

well the player is based in javascript but the video is based on HTML 5 support for naitive MP4 decoding. I believe for decent support you need hardware H.264 decoding. Intel Quick Sync (APU sandybridge > Pentium) and further supports this. Also requires windows 7 or higher.

AMD Radeon HD 2000 Series and higher support it. It's called AMD's Unified Video Decoder. I believe XP supports it, and it seems linux does too.

Nvidia seems to be first supported I believe on the geforce 700 series but I don't have a matrix of supported codecs except for the 100 and 200 series gpu's


All the way from a browser, through the OS and to the GPU has to be supported to take the strain off forcing CPU decoding of H.264, and dual P3's, even highest Athlon XP won't cut it.

perhaps turn the resolution down to 480?
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Old 02-27-2020, 10:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: Alternative Browsers for older machines

how old is the machine you're trying to accomplish this with?
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Old 02-27-2020, 11:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: Alternative Browsers for older machines

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbeark View Post
Has anyone tried this and what was the experience like? Is it likely one can stream HTML5 on 32-bit single core machines like Socket A or dual CPU Tualatin-based systems?
I gave up on single core 32 bit systems for watching youtube around 7 years ago. When I watched a 360p video on a socket 478, CPU was at 100% and multitasking was impossible.

Throughout the years, I bought low cost dual core systems for $10 CDN. I still watch youtube videos at 360p to save bandwidth and realistically, there isn't much on youtube worth watching at 480p or higher. With dual core, the CPU is around 15%.

In addition, I now download youtube videos using youtube-dl and watch the videos using vlc. If you use this method, you can use Firefox to get the youtube URL and then use youtube-dl to download the file.

youtube-dl can be added in Lubuntu/Xubuntu using

sudo apt install youtube-dl
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Old 02-28-2020, 12:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: Alternative Browsers for older machines

On my Firefox 52 ESR machines (XP and Vista) I disabled HTML5 video, installed Flashblock and YouTube Downloader Lite, that tames YouTube's side of things and lets you download and watch the videos in peace without the browser dying and/or having to wait for it to buffer etc. (the thing I hate most about YouTube is if you rewind something, you have to then wait for it to re-download everything from that point onwards even though it should have already been cached, wasting way too much bandwidth). This works well enough on both my Sempron 140 and E7400 Core 2 Duo (which both inexplicably have 32-bit versions of their operating systems). I wouldn't waste my time with a Pentium 4 on the internet these days, everything is just too bloated for the machine to have a hope.

It's funny though, only a few years ago (say 2016) I was still able to browse most websites (but obviously not YouTube) on my 486 with CPU time to spare! Then the web changed, got more secure, and killed off older browsers which couldn't handle the newer HTTPS modes (both Firefox 2.0.0.20 on 98SE and Firefox 12 on 2000/XP SP1) - the final straw was the transition to mobile-friendly (aka desktop-unfriendly) "reactive" modes which older browsers simply couldn't render - even Firefox 52 ESR fails to render a few things these days, or has the odd bug like putting text behind an image or hiding some of the text over the side of screen, always on the newer style sites of course.
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Old 02-28-2020, 12:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Alternative Browsers for older machines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
how old is the machine you're trying to accomplish this with?
Asus A7N8X, CUR-DLS,TR-DLS and CUVX4-DLS. To sum up, quite old and all 32-bit single core CPUs.
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Old 02-28-2020, 12:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Alternative Browsers for older machines

For XP, in the past, I have installed Mypal by Fedor2 and New Moon by roytam1. There does exist New Moon SSE for non-SSE2 CPUs.
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Old 02-28-2020, 12:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: Alternative Browsers for older machines

i have one of those,
that's top of the range - what cpu is it?
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Old 02-28-2020, 11:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: Alternative Browsers for older machines

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbeark View Post
Asus A7N8X, CUR-DLS,TR-DLS and CUVX4-DLS. To sum up, quite old and all 32-bit single core CPUs.
If you are determined to use these old motherboards, try to find it's fastest supported CPU. You can probably get them on ebay for $5 or less.
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Old 02-29-2020, 04:39 AM   #11
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Default Re: Alternative Browsers for older machines

i doubt you will find a 3.2GHz athlon for $5 but you never know.
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Old 02-29-2020, 05:41 PM   #12
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Default Re: Alternative Browsers for older machines

Quote:
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I gave up on single core 32 bit systems for watching youtube around 7 years ago. When I watched a 360p video on a socket 478, CPU was at 100% and multitasking was impossible.
My "main computer" (or at least what I consider) is still a Pentium 4 -based Prescott s487, running at 2.8 GHz. It's not impossible to run Youtube on it (I use Firefox 52 ESR Portable or 49 Portable), but it's quite sluggish indeed. 480p is the maximum I can do with fairly smooth rendering (no video acceleration, as I am using the onboard Intel i865 / "Extreme" Graphics 2 IGP.) 360p runs OK... but again, the page is sluggish at the beginning while the video loads. The Hyper-Threading on my P4 helps quite a bit, though. If you have a P4 with no HT, things will be even slower. I do not suggest to try YouTube on anything lower than a P4 with HT or single core Athlon 64. Actually, for a long time while Youtube still used Flash player, the P4 was faster than the AMD A64 chips. But with HTML5, it's the reverse now: an A64 3200+ will run YT smoother than a P4HT CPU (and an O.C.-ed 3200+ to 2.5 GHz will do even 720p on HTML5.) Regardless, the difference in "performance" between these CPUs for modern times are quite laughable. It's like comparing one species of snails to another species of snails.

And you also need a lot of RAM for modern browsers these days. I maxed out my main PC to 2 GB (of DDR), and now I can run YT comfortably for a few hours without running out of RAM (if I don't keep too many tabs open, of course.)

But with Pentium 3 and older...
- forget it, YT will just not run right. Only exception is if perhaps you have a dual CPU motherboard with 2x 1 GHz or higher P3's / Tualatins. Then it might be OK.

That said, one thing that can help an old PC like mine and yours is to get a video card that supports H.264 decoding.

For PCI bus (not PCI-E) and AGP, I think GeForce 6200 and newer support H.264. The GeForce 7 cards do to, I think. But really you want to go with GF 8 series or higher for good H.264 support. For example, I have two GeForce 8400 GS PCI cards (for PCs that don't have AGP or PCI-E slots), and those support H.264 flawlessly. In fact, they greatly help to offload the CPU on YouTube (so soon I will be putting one in my P4 main PC just to hold on for a year or two more before I finally retire it.) On the AMD/ATI side, you'll want at least HD3k video cards for good H.264 support. HD2k cards supposedly support H.264 too, but it's not great and they don't help offload the CPU that much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uranium-235 View Post
AMD Radeon HD 2000 Series and higher support it. It's called AMD's Unified Video Decoder. I believe XP supports it, and it seems linux does too.

Nvidia seems to be first supported I believe on the geforce 700 series but I don't have a matrix of supported codecs except for the 100 and 200 series gpu's
See above.

GeForce 6 series was the first to have some H.264 capabilities. Even the crappy GeForce 6100/6150 chipsets have it and will help the CPU somewhat.
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Old 02-29-2020, 09:23 PM   #13
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Default Re: Alternative Browsers for older machines

uh here is a question. Why? It's not like you're in some country without access to getting even used stuff from ebay. Is this just a challenge?
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Old 03-01-2020, 04:02 PM   #14
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Default Re: Alternative Browsers for older machines

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uh here is a question. Why? It's not like you're in some country without access to getting even used stuff from ebay. Is this just a challenge?
I guess you could say it's a challenge. I have a large amount of older gear and am now retired and don't feel the desire to have an I7 or Ryzen based machine, as I just watch videos and download music.

I also wanted to know why browser performance on my older machines has deteriorated so markedly. Using Linux gives me the opportunity to experiment. I am amazed at how reponsive my recapped CUR-DLS board is for normal non-streaming tasks but unusable for streaming.

I do have core 2 and and quad core machines as well so I am not deprived. My partner wants me to prune my collection so I will eliminate anything unusable. Need to know what can;t be saved.
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Old 03-02-2020, 05:16 PM   #15
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Default Re: Alternative Browsers for older machines

thanks for posting this. i managed to discover that recently last christmas, someone put up a christmas wishlist for k-meleon 1.5.4 with tls support so that web 2.0 is accessible again on win98 machines.

i managed to find a forum topic on the k-meleon forums to download this k-meleon 1.5.4 with tls. here is the link http://o.rths.ml/gpc/files1.rt/K-Mel...en-US.tls12.7z

im now using this to access both bcn and wikipedia (both require modern encryption) with no issues. please view the attached images. thats really nice! tho some webpages still dont display correctly but its fine. rock on!

of course, im posting this msg from k-meleon 1.5.4 in win98se.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg k-meleon 154 tls win98se badcaps.jpg (117.9 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg k-meleon 154 tls win98se wikipedia.jpg (152.7 KB, 17 views)
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Old 03-03-2020, 12:58 AM   #16
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Default Re: Alternative Browsers for older machines

Hell you can watch youtube videos full HD by taking a roku stick and plugging it into a monitors HDMI port

I threw away pretty much 90% of everything Pentium 4 (though I do have a dell that has a Pentium D 965 EE I kept) or lower (with the exception of a dual P3 1.4 tualatin 1u server) and two Tyan dual Athlon MP boards (processors included).

Everything higher I kept. C2D is the minimum i'll install win7 on. Everything else is just taking up space
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Old 03-10-2020, 06:47 PM   #17
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Default Re: Alternative Browsers for older machines

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Originally Posted by Uranium-235 View Post
Is this just a challenge?
In some ways, yes.
I just find it interesting (and to certain extent, even a little amazed) that old stuff like that can still be used today. Sure, you get very slow performance... but it still works. And I want to see until when - that is, until the CPU/RAM simply can't handle the workload anymore and not when websites intentionally refuse to work by doing a system check simply because some retarded IT/designer person thinks your PC is "too old" and shouldn't be on the web, because it's "unsafe".

I also haven't switched my main PC (P4 mentioned above in previous post) mainly because I don't like to change things that have been reliable and worked very well in the past. In fact, this is currently the debate I keep having right now about my next "main" PC - I have a ton of motherboards and PC parts that are much better in terms of performance. The question is, which ones I consider reliable enough (have to have Intel or certain AMD chipsets - all others are under scrutiny, especially nVidia ones) and also the features and ports they have (native PS/2 is still a must, as I want to keep re-using my old clicky beige keyboards.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uranium-235 View Post
I threw away pretty much 90% of everything Pentium 4 (though I do have a dell that has a Pentium D 965 EE I kept) or lower (with the exception of a dual P3 1.4 tualatin 1u server) and two Tyan dual Athlon MP boards (processors included).

Everything higher I kept. C2D is the minimum i'll install win7 on. Everything else is just taking up space
Yeah, I can understand that.

Pentium 4 is too old to be considered useful for online browsing nowadays (and it really hardly is), yet also too new to be considered "retro" and worth saving.

They are kind of useful to mess around, on though.
With one of them, I have various PCI SCSI cards installed in it to wipe/0-fill SCSI HDDs (and also use the native IDE for wiping IDE HDDs.)

Another one I use for testing PSUs after I've recapped them - especially the "gutless" ones, as I don't want to sacrifice a good PC for that.

And yet another one I had, I showed my neighbor's kid how computers are built. We took that one apart completely (to get the motherboard recapped), then we put it back together. The good thing about an old P4 PC like that (at least the socket 478 stuff) is they can take some abuse and not care. When I was teaching the neighbor's kid, he had no experience before that and was also a bit "clumsy" to say the least - dropped the CPU several times, accidentally stepped on the motherboard several times, tried inserting the CPU the wrong way in the socket with force , tried inserting the RAM sideways , over-tightened the hell out of most screws, and touched the thermal compound and CPU heatspreader with fingers several times (so heat transfer is probably not optimistic on that machine). But that old P4 PC just couldn't care less. Worked fine after all that without a hitch.

I thought about showing him a more modern rig with an Intel LGA socket... but quickly realized why that probably wouldn't be a good idea (and thankfully I didn't go that route.)

Last edited by momaka; 03-10-2020 at 06:51 PM..
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Old 03-10-2020, 08:09 PM   #18
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Default Re: Alternative Browsers for older machines

once u bend an lga pin like beckham, there is no bending back! and once u bend/warp an lga socket mobo like beckham, there is no bending back to fix the mobo. only the gorilla technician's hammerfisting technique to fix focked bga balls on the lga socket!!
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Old 03-15-2020, 06:49 AM   #19
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Default Re: Alternative Browsers for older machines

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosLegionnaire View Post
thanks for posting this. i managed to discover that recently last christmas, someone put up a christmas wishlist for k-meleon 1.5.4 with tls support so that web 2.0 is accessible again on win98 machines.

i managed to find a forum topic on the k-meleon forums to download this k-meleon 1.5.4 with tls. here is the link http://o.rths.ml/gpc/files1.rt/K-Mel...en-US.tls12.7z

im now using this to access both bcn and wikipedia (both require modern encryption) with no issues. please view the attached images. thats really nice! tho some webpages still dont display correctly but its fine. rock on!

of course, im posting this msg from k-meleon 1.5.4 in win98se.
I have a question for you about Windows 98

It has an issue with hanging up on shutting down there use to be a fix for this a long long time ago

The reason I am asking about this I have a very old Windows 98 machine that has this operating system on that I use to use micro controller programming on and I was wanting to bring back from the dead

Any pointer can you give to bring it back to life

First thing I need to do is recap the switching power supply
Second thing I need to do is recap the mother board
Third thing to do is to make sure that the hard drive is still working

Can you think of anything else

I can not remember if you have to activate the product key or not because if I do not have to go on the internet for this purpose I would not have go on the internet at all
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Old 03-15-2020, 07:54 AM   #20
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Default Re: Alternative Browsers for older machines

you dont need to use an old harddrive, you can use an sd-card or cf-card or sata drive with an adapter.
what programmer is it?
a dos one??
i run a dos programmer in freedos. (used to use win98)
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