The ISA-Bus

One blog to bind them all.

Arachne Oddyssey

Adding Arachne to Download Central wasn’t all that easy.

The old website for the Arachne browser is long defunct and serves now as a preview of an upcoming massive multiplayer realtime strategy game, Archaic. Michael Polák abandoned the project around 2000, at least that’s the last Arachne Labs copyright date, and released it under the GPL. There’s a new Arachne homepage at, with downloads for two versions 1.95 (for 386 and for older computers). These are zipped self-extracting archives which however threw an unexpected end of archive error when I opened them. Finally I found an error-free download of 1.95a at RayeR’s homepage. 1.95a is only two weeks old. It supports resolutions up to 1600×1200.

How useful can Arachne be, nowadays? It is, after all, a very old browser, dating back to 1997, to the times of Mosaic and the early Netscape Navigator. It supports an inane amount of nested tables, not that much used in web design any more. It does not support JavaScript or CSS. It has some tags of its own, like the nice font 3D, which of course nobody uses. It does support PNG, though not always very well.

In the end it depends. I found it can display my old website quite well. I could only test this offline, since I can’t connect to the Internet from DOSBox. Unfortunately, this is the only one of my websites with mostly DOS-compatible file names, but I guess it should be able to display Download Central quite well too, since it relies even less on style sheets.

And of course, it is quite a capable desktop and file browser.

Download Arachne 1.95a.


One response to “Arachne Oddyssey

  1. RayeR March 11, 2011 at 01:20

    I found this article via backtrack of my web counter 🙂
    BTW there’s newer fork of Arachne but also with some newer bugs. For more search through discusion at

    Greetz from Czech Rep.


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