10 Tips for Faster Browsing on Older Macs

The following tips are especially aimed at the lowest low-end Macs, such as the Mac Plus, SE, Classic, LC, Mac II, SE/30, PowerBook 100, and other models with older, slower processors or limited memory. However, some of the hints will help anyone using a browser.

Here is a Top 10 list for speeding up your browser:

  1. If you have a 68881 FPU in your Mac, replace it with a 68882. (The only Mac to ship with a 68881 was the Mac II.) If your Mac doesn’t have an FPU but can take one (via a card in IIsi or LC), get it.
  2. Always user 32-bit addressing, regardless of physical RAM size. (68000-based Macs can’t do this; older Macs may require Mode32 to use 32-bit addressing.)
  3. Empty your browser cache periodically.
  4. Set the Monitor control panel to black and white/1-bit.
  5. Set your browser not to auto-load images.
  6. If your Mac uses system memory for video (esp. IIsi, IIci), install a NuBus video card. Alternative: use IIsi-RAM-Muncher to prevent the OS from using the same bank of memory used for video.
  7. Turn off Virtual Memory, which is excruciatingly slow on a 68030-based Mac. Get more physical memory instead. If that isn’t possible, use RAM Doubler instead of Virtual Memory.
  8. Increase Navigator’s heap size to largest possible.
  9. Put browser’s cache folder on your RAM disk (Apple’s RAM disk or a third party one such as ramBunctious or AppDisk). See ShrinkWrap, a RAM Disk Alternative for another option.
  10. Use Netscape Navigator 2.02.

Hope this helps speed your experience on the world wide web – and happy surfing!

This article is adapted from a posting by Steve Strahm to the Vintage Macs email list.