Well, here it is at last, the review for the Netconnect2 package.
A long year ago, I reviewed the "Net&Web" package for this magazine. That comprised a 33.6-k modem, the "Whippet" high-speed serial port, IBrowse, and "Net&Web" software. I also Promised a review of the new Netconnect2 package, which was due out in September 1997. If you read that review, you may remember that the modem and the serial port were fine, IBrowse was excellent, and "Net&Web" was dismal.
Now, a year on, the modem has been replaced with a Diamond 56-k, the "Whippet" has died, and I have finally been able to purchase a copy of "Netconnect2."
First Impressions

The CD comes with a small, but nicely printed and well presented booklet containing instructions on installing, registering, getting on-line, and an overview of the various applications.

The NC2 package, as you may realise, consists of a range of registered shareware applications, brought together and setup for ease of use and access.
The one unregistered application on the CD is MUI, which is needed for the rest of the bunch to function. This may be enough to discourage some of the MUI haters out there. I personally like MUI, and have a registered version already.
The unregistered version of MUI is useable as is, but needs registering to be able to get the full range of GUI configurability.
Netconnect2 is easy to install and configure. Running the installer script from the CD works fine; the included setup wizard dials your ISP and configures itself!
The applications are all accessible from a dock bar, which is user configurable, allowing you to add your own applications easily. I have already installed icons on it for IBrowse, YAM and STRICQ.


Clicking on the "plug and socket" icon on the dockbar launches Genesis. This is the TCP/IP stack, by the author of AmiTCP. Anyone who used early versions of AmiTCP will remember configuration using text files. This new version however is as easy to configure as Miami. It comes with a setup Wizard,which will dial up your ISP and configure itself.


Also built-in to Genesis are multi-provider and multi-user support, allowing you to use more than 1 ISP account, as well as local TCP/IP networking and enabling, for instance, members of a family to have their own preferences setup.
Event control can be used to, say, launch your mailer automatically on dialup.

There is a mistake however, in the printed manual. It is not possible to rename the "root" account in the multi-user setup. This is not really a problem, as single users won't see it, and multi users can just create another account.
Having "root" in your user mask can apparently cause problems with some IRC servers, so it might be advisable not to logon with this username.

Voyager NG 2.96.7

The latest, fully registered version of the popular Amiga browser, including Fastmem support, (allowing images to be stored in fast memory), SSL, FTP, etc.
Similar in features and usage to IBrowse, but noticeably faster loading some pages.


This is a combined, multi-threaded e-mail and news reader.
A nice workmanlike program, does its job well, but I must admit to preferring YAM (which I am now using in2 p5 ), this is a personal preference, however.
It is better suited to news than YAM, and although I find newsgroups tiresome, others who use them will probably prefer MDII.


AmIRC 2.0

Another old favourite, brought right up to date.
The full version of AmIRC 2.0., thought by many to be the best IRC client on any platform.

AmFTP 1.92

A useful and straightforward file transfer tool. Essential for mining the Aminet archives.

AmTelnet 1.10

A necessary tool for some, allows remote operation of another computer, e.g. for maintaining Web pages on a server.

AmTerm 1.5

Useful terminal program for transferring files between 2 computers, or for browsing Bulletin Boards, etc. I will use it for transferring files to and from my Laptop PC.

AmTalk 1.9

A direct chat client for when you know someone else is on the net, but you don't want to use an IRC server to talk to them.

Netinfo 1.4

Network analysis tool, incorporates Ping, Finger, etc.. Useful for tracking down spammers, for instance.

X-Arc 1.1

Archive handling utility, archive/dearchive/edit lha/lzx/zip files from Workbench without all the cli commands' sometimes confusing array of switches.

Contact Manager

A much needed program.
Allows you to share Addresses, URL's, etc. between the various applications. As a pleasant surprise, it also supports YAM, Thor, AWeb, DOpus, FTP, and IBrowse, allowing you to transfer addresses and bookmarks between them and the corresponding NC2 applications.



The dockbar is a very useful program giving single click access to your programs.
It can easily be setup to suit your needs. I added YAM and IBrowse immediately. You can have multiple bars and control their position and orientation.


MIME Prefs

The centralised MIME prefs allows you to set up external viewers, players, etc., once, and all the programs will use them by default.
Some are already setup on installation,but you can easily change these for your favourite text/picture/sound utilities.



Excellent HTML doc files.

This is not an in-depth review, I know, as I have not yet had time to explore each of the applications thoroughly, but most of them have been around in shareware versions for some time, and are well known to the online community.
Although not all are perfect, I have found no major bugs in any so far.
The main applications, including Voyager, AmFTP, and AmIRC, are available in demo form for download from Aminet, or from
The active website ( ) also lists dealers in various countries, or you can order direct from Active.
I find my Amiga a far friendlier face to the Internet than my PC, which I have for work (I install and repair Colour RIP servers, and administrate a Novell/NT network for my company). I hope this package may encourage people to stick with their Amigas for a little longer. It really has all you need to get your Amy on the net, except free phone calls !

Overall, the package is great value, at only UKP59.95. Registering two of the applications on the CD would cost you nearly that much , and here you have 11 fully registered versions, along with free support from Active via telephone, e-mail and WWW (patches and updates are available from their web site for free download).
There is a support mailing list, made up of (generally) friendly and helpful users. The software authors and Active staff also read and contribute to it.
There is even a #netconnect on IRC!
Netconnect2 has definitely been worth waiting for.

Leo Maxwell, Birmingham UK
Wylie_Çoyote on #Amirc, Dalnet