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Railfan Technology > New Desktop (Revisited)


Date: 09/04/21 00:01
New Desktop (Revisited)
Author: cchan006

Previous discussion of older computers being obsoleted:

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?9,5261596

I've been in a retro-computing mood lately, so I investigated the issue further. Don't know where the original thread by the webmaster went, but the specific issue is TLS (Transport Layer Security). The issue is not unique to Trainorders as there are vulnerabilities in the earlier versions (TLS 1.0 and 1.1) so they got obsoleted system-wide (Internet). Browsers not supporting TLS 1.2 (and later) won't work, in a nutshell. I've mentioned enough details in this sentence where people can easily Google for more details.

I'm posting this thread using a previously "obsoleted" browser (Internet Explorer 9 on Windows Vista) to prove that there are workarounds for people who are reluctant to upgrade to a newer OS or a PC. Once the specific root cause is known, it's not difficult to find solutions, or find out if it's too cumbersome to solve. No need to be a sheep and blindly upgrade without knowing the reasons.

I've been able to resume access to other web sites which blocked IE9 previously.

Even if I got it to work, IE 9 has other problems, namely, some of the pages being messy due to obsolete rendering methods. Not a problem here on TO with clear and simple layout. Some web sites block access strictly based on browser version, not just TLS 1.2 capability, is another thing I'm finding out.

What's important for me is video playback on TO and that works fine, too - IE9 picked MP4 instead of WebM for playback. That made me do more research and found out IE9 doesn't support WebM natively - support is enabled when the user downloads a codec add-on.

If I have time, I will try to revive even older machine/browser combinations. It's rumored that Windows XP/IE 8 combination can work, but unfortunately, I no longer have my XP machine to test it out. Anyway, just letting TO members know what's possible, so they are motivated to figure this out on their own, and even learn some computing skills in the process.



Date: 09/04/21 12:22
Re: New Desktop (Revisited)
Author: robj

I have a Vista machine upstairs, I will look to see how it works as a month ago I was on Internet  it and was fine.   Iuse it to drive my Epson Scanner, Epson printer and it has an ol PS version. 
I know what I will say here will not take will be ????.

I never use Internet Explorer unless I run into some application that requires it.

I use Firefox and best I know no work arounds required and vulnerabiities  are ??? as I have not used a virus program in years and no problems(that I know of).

As a simple personal user I don't know why I'd want to use Explorer or outlook as most problems stem from them.  Used Firefox forever.

Bob Jordan

 



Date: 09/04/21 12:31
Re: New Desktop (Revisited)
Author: trainjunkie

For the sake of 'platform inclusion', I use a mid-2012 MacBook Pro running OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) which was released in 2015 and became "obsolete" in 2019. I have numerous browsers, Brave being my primary, which is the current version. I also use Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and a couple others. If a site doesn't work on one, it will generally work on one of the other browsers. But most work on Brave just fine even though the OS and hardware are ancient by computing standards. 

Yes, I'm a dinosaur.



Date: 09/04/21 15:32
Re: New Desktop (Revisited)
Author: cchan006

robj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I use Firefox and best I know no work arounds
> required and vulnerabiities  are ??? as I have
> not used a virus program in years and no
> problems(that I know of).

Firefox 27 and above should have no problems, and Vista supported much later versions. If you don't do a lot of downloading, your risk for getting a virus is far lower than people who do. It's still a good idea to run antivirus, if possible. The other day, it caught a Trojan horse software embedded in one of the downloads, and my antivirus software properly quarantined it - first time that's happened in probably 10+ years.

If you exercise discipline in your Internet surfing habits (knowing how to avoid phishing in e-mails, being careful with clicking on links), you can keep your risk low.

> As a simple personal user I don't know why I'd
> want to use Explorer or outlook as most problems
> stem from them.  Used Firefox forever.

IE 9 is the second browser on my Vista machine. I haven't used it in a while, but "revived" it for the sake of this TLS lab experiment. One of the "unwritten" rules in cyberattacks is that attackers target what's perceived to be popular, hence IE and Outlook getting all the attention. Mac users have been dealing with increased attacks in recent years due to popularity, and Linux community is finding out, too.
 



Date: 09/04/21 15:54
Re: New Desktop (Revisited)
Author: cchan006

trainjunkie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> But most work on Brave just fine even though the
> OS and hardware are ancient by computing
> standards. 
>
> Yes, I'm a dinosaur.

That makes me a fossil. I still have working Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4.11) machines, with TenFourFox browser (forked from Firefox) with security add ons that are relatively current. Those machines use PowerPC G4 and G5 processors! A bit slow for watching videos, but otherwise, they are still functional on the Internet. I kept them around as test beds for testing video speeds vs. codecs. We had complaints from Mac users many years ago that TO video was acting "jerky" on their machines.

I don't use Brave but it looks like a much better Chrome, with better privacy and memory use.



Date: 09/04/21 17:25
Re: New Desktop (Revisited)
Author: BRAtkinson

I'll second Robj's Firefox comment.  I keep my old XP tower side by side with my overclocked Win 10 box.  I have a couple programs that either had no more versions after XP or cost a fortune to upgrade.  So they stay on the XP.  I don't have any internet security software on the XP box.  However, I did successfully install Firefox a couple years ago when Internet Explorer 'died'.  The problem with trying to use an XP box on the internet is the lack of available software that will still run in XP.  That's what forced a couple XP friends of mine to finally upgrade.  I still have a holdout Vista friend, but he claims he uses his tablet for everything these days.



Date: 09/04/21 18:57
Re: New Desktop (Revisited)
Author: trainjunkie

cchan006 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That makes me a fossil. I still have working Tiger
> (Mac OS X 10.4.11) machines...

Nice. Tiger was my favorite version of OS X. Excellent feature set and very stable. I don't care for where OS X is going now but my last G5 machine was lost in a flood caused by a plumbing leak so I moved on to the Intel platform.



Date: 09/08/21 14:15
Re: New Desktop (Revisited)
Author: cchan006

trainjunkie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Nice. Tiger was my favorite version of OS X.
> Excellent feature set and very stable. I don't
> care for where OS X is going now but my last G5
> machine was lost in a flood caused by a plumbing
> leak so I moved on to the Intel platform.

Here's something you might appreciate...

I still have an iBook G3 "Clamshell" as a momento for Steve Jobs' comeback at Apple. He was responsible for reviving Apple when he came back as part of the NeXT deal in 1996/1997. That resulted in the iMac, and couple of years later, iBook in a similar industrial design.

I had used the iBook to goof around whenever I was in a retro-computing mood, but due to TLS issues ("TLS Apocalypse" as some call it), it couldn't surf the web effectively anymore. I could have upgraded it to Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) to make it usable, but decided to keep its original Mac OS 9. Instead, I used my G5 + Tiger machine as an https proxy server (essentially a TLS 1.2 proxy). I posted stuff here on TO using the iBook last night. 

So now, the G5 + Tiger has another purpose - to assist an even older Mac. The author of Classilla, the browser on the iBook is also responsible for TenFourFox, the browser on Tiger machines. He also wrote the software to allow the TLS proxy functionality. I won't mention his name, since people interested can look it up easily.

- iBook "Clamshell" booting up to Classic Mac OS 9.2. Keyboard to the right belongs to iMac G5.

- Trainorders.com viewed via 1999 technology. No major layout problems, still looks good.

Posted from Windows 7 (yup, I'm making a jab at Android and iPhone)






Date: 09/10/21 13:25
Re: New Desktop (Revisited)
Author: trainjunkie

Well, if we're going to go down that path, I really miss a lot of things about OS9. 

My first Mac was a 512K in 1985 and I've had dozens since.

You have some cool "relics" there. I think Jobs would be mortified at the state of Apple today.



Date: 09/13/21 21:40
Re: New Desktop (Revisited)
Author: jst3751

trainjunkie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You have some cool "relics" there. I think Jobs
> would be mortified at the state of Apple today.

I am a network administrator and a Windows guy. I started with a Tandy 1000 in the mid 80's loading MSDOS 2 from floppies. 

Having said that, even I know that Steve Jobs would be rolling over in his grave at the state of affairs at Apple today.

 



Date: 09/19/21 21:49
Re: New Desktop (Revisited)
Author: cchan006

jst3751 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I am a network administrator and a Windows guy. I
> started with a Tandy 1000 in the mid 80's loading
> MSDOS 2 from floppies. 

I managed to get Windows 2000 ("Win2K") to access Trainorders, and posting this from it, too. This means Windows XP (newer) should be able to run a browser to continue access TO with TLS 1.2.

There's another Firefox browser fork called Pale Moon, which is current enough that it can play WebM videos on TO. Unfortunately, my Win2K machine is too slow, so the video is beyond choppy (stops a lot). I also found out that there's at least one browser that supports TLS 1.2 on Windows 98, and I got that working also (K-Meleon, also based on Firefox).

Here's an image of my Win2K screen, with Windows 2000 welcome screen in the foreground, Pale Moon browser on TO behind it, and a VNC screen of "Titanium Powerbook G4" behind that. It's difficult to distinguish "eras" with Windows PCs, due to their more generic industrial designs, but the 4:3 ratio of the LCD screen is a dead giveaway that it's old.

I'm running the PowerBook remotely, since it has the infamous hinge damage and subsequent LCD damage at corners of the screen. I bought it cheap, damaged, but otherwise a fully functioning machine which I use to listen to railroadradio.net feeds, among other things.

Win2K is running on a dark grey Dell tower. I was working for startup(s) when this was my primary machine, so it has Unix-ish tools like VNC (Virtual Network Computing) and Cygwin (Unix environment within Windows) to do some remote work and programming away from work to test out ideas. I used it later to do some video encoding work before video technology advanced enough (DVD to 1080p HD) that this machine became obsolete and collected dust.




Date: 09/20/21 09:17
Re: New Desktop (Revisited)
Author: jst3751

cchan006 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Win2K is running on a dark grey Dell tower. I was
> working for startup(s) when this was my primary
> machine, so it has Unix-ish tools like VNC
> (Virtual Network Computing) and Cygwin (Unix
> environment within Windows) to do some remote work
> and programming away from work to test out ideas.
> I used it later to do some video encoding work
> before video technology advanced enough (DVD to
> 1080p HD) that this machine became obsolete and
> collected dust.

About 18 years ago I semi learned how to utilize Cygwin to run some Unix software/utilities on a Windows 2000 server running hosted email services. (My first IT job in 2001 was working for an IT company that did consulting and web/email hosting.)

FUN FUN.



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