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Wunderbar98 last won the day on September 5 2020

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  1. Thanks for all responses. For sure @Mr.Scienceman2000 my 800 MHz system will still be primary for Windows 98. All my Windows games are from the 9x era but i will try more demanding games on the faster system (Neverwinter Nights, Microsoft Train Simulator). The faster system is better at processing the now higher quality MSN videos and gets less hung-up during multiple tasks. A 200 MB MP4 video, for example, would have been a huge file in the Windows 9x era. On the faster system i experimented with SYSTEM.INI [386Enh] -> MaxPhysPage=20000 (limit 512 MB) but R. Loew's PATCHMEM works well so will use all 1.5 GB RAM. Thanks for CMOS.zip @RainyShadow. CMOS.COM is now in C:\DOS and the CMOS was backed up, hopefully will never need to use it. I didn't realize this type of software existed. Being old school and manual i would prefer software that just outputs CMOS settings to plain text but CMOS.COM would obviously restore a borked system more accurately and efficiently. Interesting comment regarding KernelEx enabling more viruses @Gansangriff but i have no experience. At first glance what you say makes sense, wonder if it's been discussed here before. Agree with all comments, most viruses and malware can be avoided through 'safe' computing practices. I vaguely remember having a virus or malware years ago (1999). Whatever it was, recovery was straightforward. If this happened today i would wipe the system and restore from a good backup. Things are certainly outrageous @UCyborg, healthy unvaccinated who take proper precautions appear to be treated unfairly here too. To me this type of issue was already pre-virus, even basic banking tasks often make a customer feel like a criminal, at the very least just another number. Windows 10 will apparently do away with a user password, presumably optional (for now). For Windows 98 i don't care, easily bypassed anyway. To me this is a slippery slope, dragging a user's cellphone into the equation for two-step authentication, just to use a computer. Lately i feel like such a dinosaur. For a production machine GNU/Linux or BSD with a strong password is good. A long passphrase is tough to beat and easy enough to remember. Playing FreeCell game #41, still fun. I'll take this (and roguelikes) over most games for replayability and enjoyment. To me a good game needs the right balance of random (number generator). Wish i would have logged games since the 1990s, my heart will likely stop beating before i can finish them all. Just wanted to mention for anyone using the forum software's JavaScript enabled '@member_name' tag, the @member_name is not visible in a vanilla Windows 98 browser like RetroZilla (whitespace). Unfortunately forum member's signatures don't show up either, shame as they sometimes include interesting links or information.
  2. As indicated earlier FreeCell is my favourite built-in Windows game. Finished the first 23 games and started a log, dedicated to @Drugwash, wherever you are. Only 31977 unique games left but i'll probably never finish. Apparently all games are winnable, good to know, except game #11982 but there is a cheater Easter egg win, tested to work in Windows 98 SE. https://dan.hersam.com/2009/02/13/how-to-beat-the-impossible-freecell-game/ If anyone else is interested, FreeCell FAQ. http://www.solitairelaboratory.com/fcfaq.html My faster 'backup' Windows 98 system was dragged out of storage the other day for service. Lots of work is being done on this system. It needed a new IDE ribbon cable, took a while to figure out the data corruption issue. It also required CMOS battery replacement. Re-configuring the BIOS on a franken-built system without documentation can be tricky and time consuming, all good now. This system was originally double-vanilla but i went ahead and installed all applicable official Windows 98 updates from my personal hoard. It's currently running defrag, more mesmerizing than a fireplace. First time i've ever run two Windows 98 systems at the same time via KVM switch, delightful way to spend an evening in this (current) dreary world. Remember to stay safe and try your best to love one another. You'll probably never get a virus hunkering down at home playing with Windows 9x, even if the system's online. Best wishes to you all, especially those less fortunate.
  3. Good to hear from you all, thanks for the DisplaySet information and download link. Pretty cool and lean, small download (displayset.zip, 631 KB) that works well. Nice to have a large preview window that updates in real time before hitting 'Apply'. The 'Revert' and global font size 'Raise/lower all' features are welcome too. Ziff Davis Media a blast from the past. Custom configuration made easy. Now i can play with shades of grey all night, thanks again :) In the old days i didn't realize for some time that Windows 98 appearance was quite customizable via Display Properties -> Appearance tab -> Item dropdowns (desktop, icon, spacing, title bar, border, menu, message box, scrollbar, selected items, tooltip, window). Custom themes were not important though i was partial to 'Desert', 'Red White and Blue', 'Storm' and 'Windows Standard' with minor modifications. As i get older built-in High Contrast themes may be handy as my vision shifts (so say we all). One thing i think Windows 98 did pretty well was remember window positions and size. To me it really was a well designed, logical and usable interface via keyboard or mouse.
  4. Thanks for all responses. Wishing happy thoughts to you @UCyborg, i won't post a depressing shades of grey screenshot :) I don't know much about DOS and Windows hacking, manipulating hex values, reverse engineering binaries. Fortunately some kind soul hacked the problematic 1990 DOS game for more recent hardware. Now i can thankfully play the game without any tweaks or slowdown software, including mouse support and the ever great Sound Blaster. It now appears to play as originally intended. The oldest DOS game i'm currently playing is a children's exploration game from 1986, it is not CPU sensitive and plays well. I remember back when games like Myst were popular and heavily marketed. Just reviewed this game and don't think i could play it today. Fictional storylines were never my thing, just take me to the action please. So for me it would probably turn into a rushed Where's Waldo point-and-click exercise, skimming important details that may later be needed to properly finish the game. In about 2000 when a colleague and i needed to eat lunch at our workstations, we would sometimes have FreeCell competitions. We would each start a new game using the same preseed number (1-32000) and see who could win first. She usually won, still a fond memory. Windows 98 SE (Sucksless Edition) has some decent pre-installed coffee break games (FreeCell, Hearts, Ninesweeper, Solitaire). Being not much of a colour guy @i7u, i never noticed your finer points on Windows 2000 appearance, other than it always looked very pleasant, polished and professional. Makes me want to install it again, also wish i owned Millenium Edition for comparison. Unfortunately there's never enough free time, i would create more partitions and go installation crazy. Hi @Gansangriff, agreed Windows 98 can easily become very colourful. The grass is greener on the other side, i think i was just depressed about getting an old DOS game to run on sub-optimal (too fast) hardware. Thanks for reminding that emulation isn't perfect either and needs a lot of horsepower. Forums like Vogons have lots of information regarding DOSBox woes. I am very thankful for my older hardware but need to upgrade one system soon, as it can no longer log into a bank site. Wish my KVM switch, equipped with PS2 and VGA cables, could handle more than two computers. Windows 98 SE runs well as long as the same stable software, setup and routines are utilized. It does, however, hiccup on occasion when trying new things. Doubtful it would surprise anyone that it isn't exactly the most stable OS. This system needed a forced shutdown the other day and ScanDisk auto-ran next boot. During a later boot to Windows this most recent ScanDisk run wasn't recognized (Properties -> Tools -> Error Checking Status -> Last checked drive for errors xxx days ago). What the heck? Then remembered Windows 98 uses C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\SCANDISK.EXE (141 KB) for DOS and C:\WINDOWS\Scandskw.exe (5 KB) while in Windows. Despite it's instabilities DOS and Windows 9x have by far the fastest boot and shutdown times of any other system in this household. In DOS mode, SMARTDRV.EXE was loaded the other day to complete some file management. Upon finishing i wanted to unload it from memory without rebooting but this doesn't seem possible, unless i misunderstand the user options. DOS only takes seconds to reboot but still would have been nice just to continue the session.
  5. Torvald's Linux is now 30 years old though i've only used it for a bit more than half this time. Operating systems from Windows i owned for about 7 years before switching over, aside from Windows usage earlier in the workplace. So to this day Windows is still more of a mystery to me. In GNU/Linux the cat command piped to less is sometimes useful to quickly determine what a binary may be about. I just realized that in Windows this is also easily possible, duh. In DOS just use MORE or EDIT to 'view' a COM, EXE, DAT, DLL file. In Windows just open the file in Notepad or WordPad. The head or tail end of the file will usually contain helpful embedded comments. My Windows 98 hardware (800 MHz AMD) grossly exceeds DOS gaming requirements and some older CPU sensitive games still don't run well despite slowdown software. Mo'Slo and Slowdown have been used here with limited success. One older game seemed to run a bit better when System Cache was disabled in the BIOS, on my system Advanced Chipset -> System Cache -> Disable. I think Slowdown can also do this via software. Though lots of DOS resources are still available i can see why most DOS gamers now just use DOSBox. Memory management for DOS gaming is still 'a thing'. One game i recently tested crashed with a memory error when attempting to view the in-game map. Removing DOSKEY from startup was enough to run the game properly. Loading high and all the other tricks help as 640 kilobytes sometimes doesn't go very far. My seasoned Windows XP install was recently used to repair a FAT filesystem. It struck me how similarly i've configured it to look like Windows 98. This wasn't intentional but must be my preference to keep it simple. The shinier appearance of Windows XP never impressed me. In Windows XP the Display Properties are set to a 'modified theme' with simple options. Appearance is set to 'Windows Classic Style' and Color Scheme is set to 'Windows Classic'. Under System Properties -> Advanced -> Performance almost all visual effects have been disabled. I kept Windows XP's default Start menu, to me it is very nice.
  6. The Hubble Space Telescope was launched in 1990, it is both ancient (modern standards) and awesome. It's provided us humans with so much information and knowledge over many years. I remember reading once that it uses a 486 processor. This intrigued me, makes sense, however, based on it's age. To help put 1990 in perspective, the year the Gopher protocol was developed at the University of Minnesota. Also the year the first search engine 'Archie' was released from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. I'm no expert on the Hubble or old computer hardware. Some of the computer components are discussed on page 5-8, section 5.1.3 (Data Management Subsystem) of the PDF linked below. It reportedly utilizes a 'DF-224 computer' and an 'Advanced Computer'. The Advanced Computer is, in fact, based on the Intel 80486 microchip. It is reportedly 20 times faster with six times as much memory as the DF-224. https://asd.gsfc.nasa.gov/archive/sm3a/downloads/sm3a_media_guide/HST-systems.pdf The Advanced Computer is configured as three independent single-board computers. Each of these has two megabytes of fast static random access memory and one megabyte of non-volatile memory. Only one single board computer may control the telescope at a time. The others boards can be off, idle state or performing internal tasks. Just skimmed so far, haven't seen any mention of the operating system. Probably something custom in-house but what's it based on, curious minds want to know. Computer Hope has really nice computing history information if anyone is interested. https://www.computerhope.com/history/index.htm
  7. Typically i just boot DOS proper for specific tasks (Links web browsing, Gopher access, games) then back to Windows 98 for most everything else. Just tested the latest release of Necromancer's DOS Navigator (2021), described as a clone of the famous Norton Commander. Mouse support, system clock, graphic calendar, editor, dual pane file management, lots of built-in features and helper software. Even has a CD player which didn't work for me, caused system restart, query memory or sound driver compatibility issue, didn't troubleshoot. http://www.ndn.muxe.com/ The software is pretty nifty but takes a while to get used to. It's probably most useful for those who spend long sessions in DOS or have limited hardware that makes running Windows graphics difficult. Does that even make sense, however, since Windows 3.1 has such low system requirements. Nonetheless i still regret getting rid of my 486 and early Pentium hardware. Old games, like original Red Baron, would run so much better than fiddling with slow down software that still doesn't seem to run the game properly after much fussing. Here GRUB Legacy and GRUB 2 are used, however, a new GRUB4DOS (2021) is available if it helps anyone. https://github.com/chenall/grub4dos/releases Still neat to me that DOS related software is being developed. DOS ain't dead (and FreeDOS) is where i seem to find the most recent DOS news. http://www.bttr-software.de/forum/board.php For whatever reason MSFN has very little DOS activity. Recently visited the Windows 2000 section and there's not much activity there either. Come on Windows 2000 fans, help keep maybe Microsoft's best ever alive! Maybe i'm just ignorant, maybe Windows 2000 still works well enough that not much work is needed, doubtful but can dream :)
  8. Please stick around @Drugwash if you can. The world is a miserable place right now, not just where you're at. So many people suffering so badly, praying they can take another breath. Reach out to anyone in your community that is able to provide assistance. Don't feel guilty for requesting help, you can always pay it back (or forward) later :) Thanks @siria, downloaded aida32-3-94-2.zip from your last link (aida32.en.uptodown.com), thanks for confirming md5sum. Small download, no install needed, runs great, provides lots (too much) system information including Windows 98 install date. Note when launched creates a AIDA32.vxd file in the parent directory of the extracted executable. Keeper software. I don't work in IT @UCyborg but volunteered lots with two GNU/Linux distributions and have many personal projects. I've tapered over last two years. No longer volunteer, this is my only active computer forum, personal projects are maintenance now. Unplug good, thanks. Been reading more (real books) and played through three old-school console games this summer that waited too long (Sega Genesis' The Humans, Lost Vikings, Jurassic Park). For whatever reason the OS is the most fun for me, not games or applications. Whenever an OS gets installed here, more time is spent tweaking it than using other software. Similarly with Windows games, often more tweaking than playing. I've read and seen numerous videos similar to 'Using DOS or Windows 9x in 2020'. The reviewer typically installs DOS or Windows 9x, often not on real hardware, slags the age of the system, fumbles some DOS commands and feebly attempts to go online using default Internet Explorer v5 or old Arachne (DOS). Old HTTP-only Google loads but attempts to access anything HTTPS fails. The system is then slagged again as it can't stream YouTube or access Facebook. Now i understand most users are just going to use Windows 9x to run legacy software and already use something newer as a workhorse system. I also realize that everyone computes differently, with different expectations and preferences. Still this bugs me. Most 'reviewers' don't take the time to learn that connections can be tweaked for highspeed and HTTPS capable web browsers are presently available in DOS (eg. Links) and Windows 9x (eg. RetroZilla, K-Meleon) that work okay. Logging into this forum and even using HTML-only Gmail still works. With further tweaking, and sometimes a little code, it is still possible to stream music, access MSN video and YouTube. Considering Windows 98 is more than 20 years old not too shabby. Modern operating systems don't do much more, requiring so much horsepower to perform similar tasks. Even though not on this forum as much i still use Windows 98 SE (Spectacular Edition) daily for at least an hour (forums, news, YouTube, MSN video). As the world is so sucky lately i'm still streaming Christmas music daily, despite record summer heat waves, makes me feel a little better. Not sure why, in Windows 9x and XP i always tend to turn on sound. Generally like the clicky-clicky mouse sounds and such. In GNU/Linux sound is just activated to play music or videos. Also in Windows, i have always kept my 'real application' shortcuts in the system tray with all 'gaming' related shortcuts on the desktop. In GNU/Linux i just use a simple Window Manager (Fluxbox or OpenBox) and don't keep anything on the 'desktop' aside from Conky (system information). Our family's 1990s era sewing machine broke this week. The foot would no longer spring down into position when lowered. After removing many screws and much dismantling it turned out the be a gummed up spring at the top of the assembly, hidden under two covers. Similarly i had an issue with gummed up white grease on a computer DVD player not that long ago, reported earlier, also fixed by removing the old gummed up grease. Over time it becomes almost like a firm glue, no longer providing lubrication, causing moving parts to seize. Interestingly i was reading up on sewing machine repair and someone suggested the gummy white grease issue may be a 1990s era problem, not present in newer machines. Maybe there's something to this 1990s (Windows 9x era) white grease issue, don't know for sure but that seems to be my experience too.
  9. Good to hear from you @siria. Seems we're getting funneled towards something that may not end well. I've been able to avoid most of this but in reality things change and appear to be slipping away. And yes, no public outcry. The general populace is too busy or distracted and leadership is pre-occupied with emergencies. The 'no big deal i have nothing to hide' argument no longer applies. Everyone has an identity to protect and most have digital bank account(s) linked to either a phone or email address. This article was long but pretty good, 'Why we will win the war for general-purpose computing'. https://cheapskatesguide.org/articles/war-on-gp-computing-farnell.html As per this 'technological optimist', there is hope. For sure there will always be a need for 'general computing'. There has never been more hardware available, across many generations of computing. And there have never been so many non-mainstream operating system choices, many open source, covering a broad spectrum of hardware requirements. Still with the printers @Gansangriff, very cool - dot matrix. Now you just need to convert images to ascii before printing. Regarding Row Hammer, chip density i think yes, thank goodness for good old RAM. To me the 'grannies and gramps', as you say, will eventually pass on and the new(er) generations will already be indoctrinated into the 'new' era, just a matter of time. Thanks for your input @Mr.Scienceman2000. I don't care for a 'smart' world either. To me it generally means 'users' are actually getting dumber, in a sense, trusting (often unaudited) software to take care of their needs. Replacing batteries on older stuff is for sure true, easier and often cheaper. Don't know why the 'right to repair' has become such an uphill battle. Oy yeah, product churning means higher corporate profits. Thanks for the smartphone usage link @UCyborg, based on this i must be 100 years old :) Sad Firefox usage is dropping. To be honest i don't use it directly but my go-to 'modern' full-featured browser of choice uses much of the code and security fixes. The chart linked below (PNG image) appears to say it all - you will be assimilated. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:StatCounter-browser-ww-monthly-202011-202011-bar.png Just did another full Windows 98 backup, it's been several months. The system is stable, most software is now installed and tweaked so not much will likely change. Still the best Windows 98 system i've ever set up and utilized. Aside from internet facing limitations, not much excites me anymore with newer operating systems, not even the GNU/Linux side. I was reading up on some proposed Windows 11 stuff. Some changes include rounded corners and the blue screen is now black, how terribly exciting. If you've got your ears on @Drugwash - hang in there my friend :)
  10. Drugwash said: 'Fact is the utopia in my head clashes hard with the dystopia of the real world, and I just can't take any more of it.' This hits me hard every day too, more bad news, more dysfunction and problems. Hang in there Drugwash. If you have the strength, keep digging, ride things out day by day and have hope for tomorrow. I was going to state the obvious, like try to find help (friend, neighbour, agencies, landlord, etc) but i'm sure you've been down this path. You have been a blessing to the Windows 9x community, sure would be nice to have you around longer so we can all get old and cranky together.
  11. As usual thanks for all responses. From what i've read it seems John McAfee had good reason be be paranoid, the charges were serious including murder. Depending on your belief system and what actually happens, man's judgement wouldn't be my biggest concern. Your old bug collection sounds interesting @Drugwash. I remember a YT video once, something like destroying your Windows 9x system with viruses. Entertaining only if it's not a production machine. I remember commenting a while back that i don't typically re-install an OS on the same system, just repair and move on. The exception, setting up Windows 9x on unsupported hardware which may require much trial and error. The other exception to me would obviously also be if the system was exploited or suspect compromised. I wouldn't trust a 'fix' and would start fresh. It's been too long, can't remember exactly how my Steam account was cancelled @UCyborg. From poor memory i think it was an internal Steam message requesting same, then confirmation via the email account associated with the Steam account. Sorry if not helpful. To me it's amazing the slippery slope. If i hadn't mentioned before i remember Richard Stallman speaking once. Something like, imagine in the 1970s if someone told you to use a phone that could track your movements, purchases and habits, record phone conversations, take unintentional pictures or video and potentially access your financial and health records. Almost everyone back then would have said this is craziness, 1984 type stuff. Well now people can't even turn the bloody things off long enough to safely cross the street or drive to work. I was hiking recently, there were more tourists flocked around a hotspot staring at screens than on the trails :( Did a little reading on Row Hammer and SMASH attacks, pretty scary. Fortunately my (old) RAM is immune and my cell is too dumb to make much trouble. Just heard about the latest Windows 10 print spooler vulnerability (PrintNightmare), potential escalation to administrator privilege. Recently so much bad news about ransomware, data breaches, password hacks, telemetry, hardware backdoors, etc. To me the best defenses against network exploits is to disable or remove unnecessary network software, use a firewall, use two factor authentication, install trusted software from trusted sources, real time system monitoring (CPU, RAM, network), long unique passphrases, limit online connectivity, encrypt important data, proper backups, frequent cache and cookie clearing and blocking almost all JavaScript. Not saying my systems don't have holes, probably plenty. To all those who do harm through computers and networks, shame on you. Everyone has different beliefs and ideologies, i believe we will eventually be judged on our thoughts, words and deeds. The world is presently struggling in so many ways, more than i've ever seen. Please use your computing energy and skills to accomplish something positive for the human race.
  12. Hi @seahorser. I'm not aware of a standalone libpng port to DOS, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Maybe i misunderstand your question, the Links browser ported to DOS was compiled static and has the necessary dependencies. Links can view and download *.png files. Just set it up as described in the first post of this thread, including the -mode switch for preferred graphics mode. The Links download link utilized contains library sub-directories with png data if this helps any. http://links.twibright.com/download/binaries/dos/
  13. Links v2.23 for DOS is available, download and changelog links on first post. New cookie options via Setup dropdown -> cookies. Options include enable, save, duration and clear. Briefly tested, seems good, fast as ever, a go to DOS browser.
  14. Sounds like you hopefully got your language issue sorted @UCyborg, at least the cause identified. Sorry i can't help. English wasn't my first language but i've been fortunate in that an alternative language OS was never needed or desired. *** Nice to see the forum is back up and running. Haven't seen a cause for the outage although country flags now appear better in the browser. Maybe forum software update or update difficulties, don't know. Don't remember seeing a post from forum admins regarding the issue. In case of undesired tampering my user passphrase was modified. *** John McAfee found dead in Spanish prison after his extradition to the US was approved By Clare Duffy and Alan Goodman, CNN Business Updated: Wed, 23 Jun 2021 22:29:55 GMT http://lite.cnn.com/en/article/h_c3f80e869076d38b2c430cc28d1c3b0b I remember seeing McAfee products a lot when Windows 98 and XP were my go to operating systems. Not sure if 'proud' is the right word but i'm happy to say i never spent money on an anti-virus product. There always seemed to be a free alternative for Windows operating systems, whether anti-virus, malware scanning, etc. The two anti-virus programs used here back in the day were AVG and later ClamWin. Don't recall ever having issues with these free alternatives but IIRC AVG utilized more system resources that ran as a daemon so then i switched to ClamWin, occasionally scanning the system and moreso just downloaded files. My oldest Windows XP system still has ClamWin installed but i never use it. My Windows 98 systems run naked and exposed. Don't think targeting an old Windows 98 OS with a virus is a high priority for black hats these days. Haven't noticed any issues running my present Windows 98 system online almost daily for the last couple years.
  15. Just my thoughts and experiences. Long term average real estate prices basically rise not much more than the rate of inflation plus population growth (demand). Here real estate prices on average over many decades have doubled every 10 or maybe 10-15 years, although it's not linear. Young families basically buy houses when they need them, so purchase price will not necessarily be at the bottom of a cycle. So i think @ArcticFoxie maybe your father did okay in personal real estate but with such a long mortgage and additional lines of credit certainly not much to brag about. Also here, additions like swimming pools add little value to the property when selling, as many buyers may not desire such upgrades resulting in a smaller pool of potential buyers. You also did not equate property tax and house insurance, going up every year now. Don't be hard on your father or tear him down, he probably did the best he could, paying off a house and raising a family. I wish my father was still around to enjoy a barbecue or do some fishing :( Presumably adding features, like a swimming pool, provided you with a 'happier childhood'. The cost of some items, like eventual siding replacement, is unfortunately sometimes necessary, it won't make money but it protects the home. At least his mortgage was a forced savings program and he now owns a property outright. Doing the long term math on 30 years of renting, not to mention no control/ownership of your personal space, would not be pretty. Plus he would now still be renting vs a paid off house. Here personal real estate capital gain is not taxable, so to me the best is to purchase a reasonable detached (think COVID) family dwelling, pay off the mortgage early (<10-15 years) and invest additional funds into dividend paying stocks. If your investments are spread across 10-15 different stocks, you've created your own mutual fund without management fees. Many dividend paying publicly traded companies have essentially figured out a way to legally print money. Many of them are real estate companies and landlords in disguise. Think about how much land is owned by large corporations like McDonald's and Walmart, for example, which equates to land appreciation, rent from tenants (franchisee) and profit margins on products and services. McDonald's was once described by one of it's administrators as a real-estate company that makes burgers on the side.

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