Netscape Communicator 4.08/Win 3.1 as a Standard Mode app

Recently I dug out good old Windoze for Workgroups ver 3.1 (sic!) for a test with Netscape Communicator 4.08 for Win 3.1. Just for fun, I tried to run Netscape in Standard Mode - and it worked! But not everything worked right from the beginning, so I had to do a few things:

  1. I noticed a lot of Javascript related crashes and a crash when displaying the "about font displayers" dialog, so I switched off JS and renamed the nstdfp.dll to nstdfp.dlx.
  2. Then I thought about connecting to the net, but the Shiva Dialler that had come with IE5 wanted a wnet286.dll v4.1, which I didn't have. So I used the software v2.085 from my ISP T-Online instead, which does work in Standard mode.
  3. Unfortunately my ISDN card needs a VxD which isn't loaded when Windows runs in Standard mode. So I had to dig out the modem (Rockwell based Yakumo 33.6). Fortunately the software still knew the init string. I set the COM port speed to 115200 bps (a PIII-500 is fast enough to support such high transfer rates even without active FIFO support) and tested. Everything really worked, web browsing, mail, news etc.!
  4. The last step was that I remembered the SVGA driver for 800x600 in 16 colors and installed it. Besides making working with Windows a lot easier due to the higher resolution this driver has the advantage of using a VESA mode that is displayed with a refresh rate of 85 Hz on my graphics card (this can be set with a DOS utility that came with the card), whereas the standard VGA mode only runs at 60 Hz * 1,25 = 75 Hz (standard VGA refresh rates can be increased by 25% with the same DOS utility). The difference between 75 and 85 Hz is quite noticeable on a 19" monitor, believe me!
Java worked as usual, BTW: Composer/Messenger plugins worked fine, but Java applets on the WWW crashed Netscape. (See my Netscape Comm. 4.08/Win16 bug list.) The Help function doesn't work, however (only displays an empty window); seems it requires Javascript to work.
Interestingly, starting Comm. 4.08 in Standard mode lasts much longer than starting it in Enhanced mode on my notebook (386SX-20, 16 MB, 1 GB) - 3 minutes instead of 1min15s; however, I couldn't notice such a big difference on my main machine (PIII-500, 128 MB, 2x8GB[+20GB FAT32]).

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Last modified: 03/08/2000 (dd/mm/yyyy)
Author: Stephan Großklaß