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Everything posted by Wunderbar98

  1. == SpellForce: Order of Dawn == Thanks again @D.Draker for lending me SpellForce: Order of Dawn (2003). The game was completed and all content purged. Please consider the game fully returned. Purged: game ISOs, patches (v1.38), game key, game install, custom install instructions, character saves, PMs with @D.Draker [1]. I can no longer access, install or play the game, all gone. It was fun, personal preference was to turn it into a slugfest vs party management and spells. The first chapter (Rohen) was played normally, including Heroes, Monuments and RTS building. Due to time constraints the final two chapters (Phoenix, Circle) were played mostly solo with many cheats: see full map, no night time, fast mana recovery, God mode (no death), fast builds and resources. Few side quests were completed and only some Monuments were used. The game is flexible to play as desired. There were many times my character would have died (zero health) but i just kept slogging through to enjoy the maps, follow the story and finish the game. This is a hard and involved game, often endless hordes of enemies. Some camps spawn like crazy, sometimes minimal. Sometimes spawns seem to start automatically, sometimes only after enabling a Monument. Some maps were easier, some crazy hard. New concept to me, i can see why some players let the game run overnight to spawn farm for experience points. Smells like a cheat though. Probably addressed through official or community patches. Archer Elves, for example, would stupidly run into the fray even when ordered to hold. Friendly units also couldn't resist destroying enemy structures rather than simply guard a spawn area. Units seemed to occasionally forget what to do. It was often possible to destroy structures while enemies stood in close proximity, not bothering to attack or inspect their burning building. A missed feature from some RTS is the ability to order workers to guard certain structures, automatically repairing damage without micromanagment. First time playing a combined RTS and RPG. Seems the developers pulled it off but it's not my thing. Sometimes i'm in the mood for RTS, sometimes RPG but not usually both at the same time. The RPG component was preferred over the RTS elements, which felt tedious. There are many helper races (Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Trolls, etc) though i would have been happy just learning a couple. Beautiful graphics and sound, deep story, good variety, lots of monsters, nice cutscenes and NPC interactions. Most online reviews seem about 7-8 out of 10, seems fair, good game, thanks again @D.Draker. Final Hero stats: Level 26, Heavy Combat Arts 11, Large Blade Weapons 11, Heavy Armor 11, Black Magic 3, Strength 127, Stamina 126, Armor class 285, Life 1402, Adamantium breastplate, steelclad warhelm, knight's greaves and Nordic war mattock (two handed). Favourite spells were Aura of Weakness, War Cry and Benefactions (healing). As mentioned before, the game didn't play properly on my Windows 98 install due to graphic driver, played fine on same hardware in Windows XP. This custom installation footprint (no CD needed) was 3.5 GB of my 5.9 GB Windows XP install. Perhaps the largest game i'll ever play with the probable exception of Neverwinter Nights Diamond edition (2005, Windows 98 support), still sitting in the desk drawer. Old fart, i have no interest in purchasing or playing any newer games, still lots of classic stuff in my personal collection to enjoy. [1] Note PM was disabled, i'm not on the forum much anymore.
  2. Recent Distrowatch mention, Linux kernel developers may remove i486 support after ~30 years, arghh.
  3. Thanks for responses. No assistance was requested, just wanted to provide a quick command line fix for anyone that inadvertently disables DCOM and ends up with a broken system. There were all sorts of nonsense helps related to reinstalling OS, restore from backup, 3rd party registry tools. Simple command line fix, done. Yes odd @UCyborg, 'services.msc' just describes DCOM as 'Provides launch functionality for DCOM services'. No mention of critical, no warning, user beware. Microsoft must think it's critical, it temporarily broke my system, but @AstroSkipper's link seems it's mostly a security hole. Thanks for the information @AstroSkipper, hopefully it will help someone. Since i rarely use Windows XP i don't want to go too far down the rabbit hole, including 3rd party software to disable a Windows service. I will leave it alone for now, thanks again.
  4. Command line rules. The service guides used for reference do not mention DCOM so it was test disabled. https://www.blackviper.com/service-configurations/black-vipers-windows-xp-x86-32-bit-service-configurations/ https://www.overclockersclub.com/guides/windows_xp_services/2.htm Disabling DCOM Server Process Launcher via 'services.msc' causes the GUI to become non-functional ( without warning! ), not allowing the service to be re-started. Upon reboot the system has poor function (safe mode too) but it's still possible to Ctrl-Alt-Delete to access Task Manager and get a runbox to launch 'cmd'. Alternatively press F8 at boot and select 'Safe Mode with Command Prompt'. Reconfigure DCOM via command line, note space after 'start=': sc config dcomlaunch start= auto Very helpful including services reference: https://www.windows-commandline.com/start-stop-service-command-line/
  5. A switch to slower 3G USB tethered cellphone internet caused some issues. Network performance was good direct tethered to GNU/Linux system but not through Asus router. Biggest problem was outdated firmware on the router, now updated and fixed using a variation of 'plug and pray'. MTU tuning for packet fragmentation was completed. Windows 98 SE was boss for networking, seamlessly working with dial-up and ethernet, easy to set up, GUI assistance, lots of free helper software. Unfortunately a direct USB tether during a Windows 98 boot didn't work and, admittedly, not much time was spent trying. Packet fragmentation occured at a lower byte size when direct tethered to the computer (running GNU/Linux) vs the Asus router. To keep a consistent data pipe the lower MTU setting (of the cellphone) was configured throughout the network. Don't matter to others, the best MTU value for this 3G network is 1440. In Windows 98 free sofware like TCP Optimizer v3.0.8 can be used to test for best MTU. Old school command line also works to check for packet fragmentation. Start at 1500 and work down, example: ping yahoo.com -f -l 1492 GNU/Linux uses a similar command for fragmentation checks, example: ping -M do -c 2 -s 1492 yahoo.com Lots of MTU guides available, remember to adjust maximum non-fragmented packet size with headers (generally add 28) to get the MTU: https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/how-to-find-the-proper-mtu-size-for-a-network/ In Windows 98 SE, TCP Optimizer was used to set the MTU. Query whether it can also be manually set through this registry entry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Class\NetTrans\0000\MaxMTU The Asus router has an MTU setting for a USB tethered connection. In GNU/Linux custom .bashrc alias' are used here to manually connect/disconnect and check network status from command line, adjust for your network's preferred MTU: alias netstart='sudo ifdown eth0 && sudo ifup eth0 && sudo ifconfig eth0 mtu 1440 && sudo ifconfig' alias netstop='sudo ifdown eth0 && sudo ifconfig' alias tetheron='sudo ifconfig usb0 up && sudo dhclient usb0 && sudo ifconfig usb0 mtu 1440 && sudo ifconfig' alias tetheroff='sudo ifconfig usb0 up && sudo dhclient -r usb0 && sudo ifconfig' alias ping2g='sudo ping -c 2' alias ping2y='sudo ping -c 2 yahoo.com'
  6. A used HP brand PS2 keyboard had a couple sticky keys causing occasional mis-types. Fortunately these old keyboards are simple to maintain. Pop off key and use a cotton tip with alcohol to remove debris and old grease from the male key and female keyboard components. Pop keys back on, smooth, good as new. I don't add new grease, the keyboard will outlive me.
  7. --- @Tripredacus wrote: This is some bug where some dirs became unresponsible/unusable when number of files in a single dir/subdir would number 1000+. --- Ha, ha, yes unresponsible and unresponsive MSFT. I can confirm this issue goes back at least to Windows 98 SE with FAT32, recently encountered during a large data management project. It seems related to hard coded directories, like My Documents. Creating and working from C:\DOCS\, for example, fixed everything. Problem handling 1000s of files in My Documents in Windows 98 SE: https://msfn.org/board/topic/177106-running-vanilla-windows-98-in-2020-and-beyond/page/64/#comment-1219182 Exploring the issue: https://msfn.org/board/topic/177106-running-vanilla-windows-98-in-2020-and-beyond/page/64/#comment-1219272 Fixed: https://msfn.org/board/topic/177106-running-vanilla-windows-98-in-2020-and-beyond/page/65/#comment-1219323 Similar complaints: https://msfn.org/board/topic/45565-mydocuments-opening-slow/ http://web.archive.org/web/20030121213054/http://the-it-mercenary.com/forums/Help/posts/8929.html
  8. My preferences are similar, only in Windows C:\DOCS\ is created for files and in GNU/Linux encrypted USB sticks (triplicate backup) instead of an attached drive. This way a power surge, for example, isn't going to wipe out important files. Unless i misunderstand, GNU/Linux separates each user's files for a reason, security. Personally i don't keep many files in /home/user/, mostly configurations. Using your second hard drive example, the easiest way to replicate your desired Windows behaviour in GNU/Linux is to create a shared directory that is accessible to all, takes seconds to set up, example: mkdir /media/sdb1/shared_files chmod -R 777 /media/sdb1/shared_files All GNU/Linux users and multi-boot OS will then have access to 'shared_files' sub-directories. Choose whatever level of security you desire, 666 may be best (read/write for all, no execute). If a system multi-boots Windows and GNU/Linux set up a shared FAT32 partition, for example, to share files between the different OS (no permissions recognized) or use a dedicated GNU/Linux filesystem if the intent is to hide files from Windows. To me these are easy solutions to share files, get them out of a 'profile' (and abomination of 'My Documents') and avoid custom modification of each GNU/Linux /etc/fstab file.
  9. Windows 98 SE (Security-lax Edition). Maybe a Tweak UI glitch, encountered before, auto-logon option is activated. On rare occasion the login prompt fails to auto-populate at boot, leaving empty user name and password fields, then pauses. Simply pressing the Escape key, without entering credentials, allows bypassing the login pause. The system then boots and works as normal, no new PWL file created in C:\WINDOWS\. Watched a 2.5 minute YT video titled 'USA MICROSOFT LAUNCH WINDOWS 98'. A California retailer opening it's doors at midnight in June of 1998 to accommodate anxious Windows 98 customers running for purchases. One customer proudly mentions 'FAT 32' to the camera. Guess that was a thing back then. He may have been better off getting a decent night's sleep to stave off dementia, Windows 98 wasn't exactly a limited edition release. Watched another ~2 minute YT video titled 'Downgrading Windows 98 to 95!'. Though VMware, looks like it would work on real hardware. Interesting Microsoft provided the ability to remove Windows 98 using Add/Remove programs following a Windows 95 'upgrade'. Maybe a nice touch for those hesitant to upgrade or if catastrophic hardware or software issues were encountered. Seems much more respectful than a forced upgrade in the background approach.
  10. Hi @Tripredacus, good to know there's been improvment. Not sure a corrupt user profile was ever experienced personally in Windows 2000 or XP. If so, then it was either fixed without drama or a new one created. Unix-based, to my knowledge, this wouldn't happen. No profile to corrupt, just flat files in the user's home directory (eg. /home/user_one). So the primary issue will be either file system problem (run 'fsck' to repair) or someone messed with files or permissions in the home directory (manually remedy as needed). If desired adding a new user from command line is as simple as 'adduser' and copying over any favourite configuration files. Found these fixes for various Windows OS, can't vouch for them, maybe they help someone. Corrupt User Profile: Fix for Windows 10, 11, XP, Vista, 7, 8: https://neosmart.net/wiki/corrupt-user-profile/
  11. A surprising way to lose your files on Windows 366 points by raffraffraff 14 days ago | 245 comments This sad sequence of events just happened to a relative, and they're distraught. I haven't used Windows for ~15 years but since it was my area of expertise back then I still get lumbered with these problems. This one really surprised me though. They logged into Windows 7 (I know, upgrade...) and it looked like their files were missing. In a panic, they opened Explorer and searched for their files. They turned up in the search. They just didn't show up in the usual "My Documents", "My Pictures", "My Videos" paths. They decided to move the files "to the correct place". And then they shut the computer down. The next time they started it, the same thing happened. This is where I got called in, because this time, the files didn't show up in a search. I told them to turn the computer off immediately and drop it with me. Can you guess what happened? Well, check this out: - Windows couldn't use their user profile because it was corrupted - So it created a temporary profile in "C:\Users\TEMP". (This wasn't obvious to the user because Explorer hides the 'detail' of the file path and simply shows the username) - Unwittingly, when they moved the precious files to the "correct" place, they were putting them into a temporary profile. - On shutdown, Windows promptly deleted the temporary profile, so "C:\Users\TEMP" got wiped along with all of the files. I was frankly astonished that Windows would drop them into a temporary user profile without dire warnings about its transience. Anyway, now I have to try to recover not only the files, but the directory structures. I'm not even sure it's possible... :( https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=33047150
  12. Hi @Dave-H, moved as requested. https://msfn.org/board/topic/184017-a-surprising-way-to-lose-your-files-on-windows/
  13. Thanks for all feedback and suggestions. The memory patch will be used if necessary. For now i've just created a flexible Virtual Memory of 16 - 128 MB that allows playing the problematic game without issue. Since my system now has lots of RAM and doesn't need the Virtual Memory, it's stayed a nice little 16 MB C:\WIN386.SWP file. This is good as the previous 128 MB swap file wasted time when creating full OS backups onto USB. VoptXP confirms there is no fragmentation (yet) of this small swap file. If a flexible-sized swap file gets stretched with use during a session, will it automatically revert to it's smallest size upon next boot, inquiring minds want to know. ***** Windows 98 has decent built-in registry maintenance tools, from a DOS boot: SCANREG /FIX SCANREG /OPT Apologies to a forum member here, long time ago i indicated a new registry backup is created at every boot. Wrong, he was correct it's once daily without manual intervention, as evidenced by the C:\WINDOWS\SYSBCKUP\RB*.CAB files, even on days with many reboots. Mentioned before i usually increase 'MaxBackupCopies' to 10 in C:\WINDOWS\SCANREG.INI. If you're curious how frequently you boot into Windows 98 just check the date stamps on these backup files. By default the C:\WINDOWS\SCANREG.INI file also specifies automatic registry backup and automatic optimization. ***** If you're still diligently using these old systems for so many years then to me it's not retro-computing, just good old computing. Searching used computers again, asking prices for this old hardware keeps going up. Life keeps getting in the way but i still boot Windows 98 almost every evening for at least half an hour to read the evening news, a little MSN and YT video, some coding and configuring, mostly just having fun and taking a break from RL. ***** An implementation of Star Trek for DOS was briefly tested. Not sure exactly which version or release was run. Based on link below this classic computer game started already in the 1970s. Not really my thing but it's apparent how it may have been popular back then. https://web.archive.org/web/20081209035052/http://www.dunnington.u-net.com/public/startrek/ Played Hangman via Gopherus i believe from the developer's gopherspace, pretty neat.
  14. The 640 MB RAM currently used is exactly 10x my original Windows 98 SE build in September 1999. Back then RAM was expensive so my system started with 64 MB and IIRC was upgraded to 128 or 256 MB a year later. ***** Disabling Virtual Memory backfired. Some software (eg. EarthSiege) won't run, even if adequate RAM is available. ***** Reflecting, i've been computing for 40 years. Some productive, lots of fun, many wasted CPU cycles. Random memories. Commodore Vic-20 1980s: BASIC, tape drive, Radar Ratrace, creative, joy of programming, preference for computers over humans. When i was busy programing about age 12, my best friend was so bored he stuck a screwdriver into a port and shorted the system. The computer was fine, lost my code before creating Tape ARchive (TAR file). 1990s corporate: Lotus Notes, Word Perfect, word processing macros, IBM token ring network, floppy backups, old Windows 95 system relegated to storage, first NT delivery needed warranty motherboard replacement, no computer authority - call help desk for everything, small game executables that don't need install, laptop docking station, IBM ThinkPad TrackPoint, lead computer tech played Dungeon Keeper, database programmer had a good contract for years because no one knew his code, Prince of Persia looks great, wished my field was systems not healthcare but then it would be 'work'. Late 1990s Windows 98 SE: first 'modern' home system, fun, lean, versatile, blue screens, not so stable, dial-up, frankenstein builds, so tweakable, so many games, so much freeware, shifted to mostly open source software, appreciate and enjoy the OS even more today. Early 2000s, Windows 2000 Pro: nice, stable, smooth, professional, no clutter, won't play all my games, no true DOS, less impressive long term hardware and software support, wish i could have used it forever. Mid 2000s, Windows XP: too much eyecandy, services, bells and whistles, why so complicated, overall nice, reasonably lean, stable, activation crap, minimize hardware changes to avoid re-activation trigger, good long term hardware and software support. 2021/2022, first (yes) fresh Windows 7 install: OMG everything throbs and glows, delete-delete-delete, disabled dozens of services, horsepower waste, don't panic use only if necessary, occasionally booted only to ensure it still runs, maybe it will help run future tax software once a year.
  15. The RAM on my 800 MHz Windows 98 SE (Surplus-RAM Edition) was recently upgraded from 384 MB PC100 to 512 MB PC133 to 640 MB PC133. Unfortunately my extra 256 and 512 MB modules were not compatible so the last bump was only 128 MB. Out of curiousity the system was booted without adding a 'MaxPhysPage' entry, like below, to limit RAM to 512 MB: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.INI: [386Enh] MaxPhysPage=20000 But the system already had [vcache] entries: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.INI: [vcache] MinFileCache=49152 MaxFileCache=98304 ChunkSize=512 To wonderful surprise Windows 98 has been running great. If errors are encountered a MaxPhysPage entry or R. Loew's memory patch may be used. The system is booted daily and below tests fine. Pure DOS: - Command line commands, 'MEM /C /P' recognizes the RAM - Graphics, sound, packet driver - Gopherus - Links web browser - Games like Mechwarrior 2 Safe Mode: - Safe Mode boots and runs fine - System properties recognizes the RAM (639 MB reported) Regular graphic boot: - System properties recognizes the RAM (639 MB reported) - All software tested thus far good, no memory errors or glitches Short discussion and i'm sure lots archived here on MSFN too: https://www.techrepublic.com/forums/discussions/max-ram-for-windows-98-se/
  16. Thanks for posting this @awkduck. Interesting but not for me either. I will stick to authentic Windows 9x on real hardware and boot GNU/Linux separately. It's obviuos the developer(s) spent a lot of time and energy on the project, looks good.
  17. Hi @UCyborg, congratulations on your new(er) vehicle. The chip and parts shortage has me holding back, oh well mine's only about 13 years old, low mileage, runs well. Thankfully doesn't 'connect' to anything outside. Call me old fashioned. This Firefox 102 ESR on non-SSE2 gives occasional tab crashes just like Firefox 78 ESR. Much wasted time trying to find a solution, sucks. I am seeking a newer used system that has SSE2 or 64-bit. Ideally something that can run Windows 98 but will be happy just having my old Windows 98 systems on the side. Unfortunately even used computers seem harder to find now at a fair price. Hindsight is 20/20, should have transitioned to RaspberryPi a couple years ago before mass shortages.
  18. Screenshot of Firefox 102 ESR running in Devuan Beowulf on 32-bit non-SSE2 capable hardware. Mozilla officially dropped non-SSE2 support after Firefox 52. This was reported in my 'Multi-boot Windows 9x with current GNU/Linux' thread but i wanted to place the screenshot here as this thread probably gets more traffic. The purpose isn't to brag about GNU/Linux, it has issues too, though usually a workaround and solution. This is my 23 year old multi-boot Windows 98 hardware with a 15", 1024x768 CRT monitor. Openbox window manager, fbpanel, launchers on the left. Open applications: Caja, Firefox, terminal displaying 'lshw'. Top right custom Conky as dashboard: % CPU use, % RAM use, % Swapfile use, uptime. Under opened windows Conky displays partition freespace and network activity. The only two add-ons used here in Firefox are NoScript and Bluhell Firewall. Multiple browser preferences and about:config settings were modified for performance and security. Maybe this helps others keep their old DOS and Windows boxes running to slow the perpetual upgrade cycle. This slower 800 MHz multi-boot is still my daily, goto system that gets 90% of the work done. My faster 1.8 GHz multi-boot system, which also runs Windows 98 SE, does another 9%. Unfortunately there was one banking login that didn't work in older Firefox 78 ESR last month, requiring a newer 2010 era 64-bit system. Over the weeks i'll trial this Firefox 102 ESR with my important websites and logins. There were some issues with tab crashes in Firefox 78 ESR, likely releated to non-SSE2 capability, i am curious to see if this improved. Some browsers may need to click on 'Download original image' to view: https://i.postimg.cc/kghbvTVY/2022-09-28-231552-1023x767-scrot.png
  19. Hi @UCyborg, here my 20 year old systems keep better time than my 12 year old vehicle. No big, bump the time up a minute or so per month. The clock needs to be adjusted twice a year anyway. ***** Firefox continues to be built and packaged for non-SSE2 capable 32-bit systems. My Devuan multi-boots were just bumped from Firefox 78 ESR to Firefox 102 ESR. Not too shabby, since Mozilla officially dropped non-SSE2 support at Firefox 52. Pretty amazing for my 23 year old hardware. Special thanks to all contributors who keep old hardware relevant.
  20. Thanks for replies. Harvest done, busy with projects. To clarify my comments are specific to the environment and ravages of climate change. Everyone's situation is different for sure @Drugwash, thanks for the kind words. The need for us to do better is targetted towards those who are in a position to make a change. If someone is impoverished, unhealthy, aged or living in a disaster or war zone, of course focus on survival. For the rest of us, please brainstorm some ways to make a difference. IMHO relying on government is useless, yak, yak since at least the 1970s. World governments are too concerned with the immediate economy and ongoing emergencies. So much greenwashing, churning and wasted energy. To me it's grass roots, house by house, but fear it's too late. Not sure why i fret, we're not supposed to worry, the outcome may be predestined. Lots of insight have you @awkduck. I'm not interesting to converse with, please place public messages here, others may also be interested. In 20 years most of us Windows 9x geezers won't be around, so post whatever, wherever. My efforts are also part selfish. The city owned trees i water, for example, also shade my house and yard. Good to hear from you @UCyborg, welcome back. Something awry when the house may no longer have a roof upon return from work. Seems most have already been directly or indirectly affected. ***** My slower, daily use Windows 98 SE system (800 MHz, 32 MB graphics, 6 GB partition) was upgraded from 384 MB PC100 to 512 MB PC133 RAM. Many have beefier Windows 9x hardware though this would have been a superb Windows 98 system back in the day. My original build was only 450 MHz, 64 MB RAM, 16 MB graphics. Hard to tell if any performance improvement, other than helping avoid swap when multi-booting for a full-featured web browser. My Windows 98 boots will not likely need 512 MB RAM, the swap file may be deleted. ***** Full Windows 98 backup from a GNU/Linux multi-boot to USB stick, as root, example: cp -axv /dev/sda1/* /dev/sdc1/win89_202209 ***** Japan declares war on floppy disks for government use In Japan, 1,900 government procedures still require submission on floppy disk. https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2022/08/japan-declares-war-on-floppy-disks-for-government-use/ ***** Seems newer hardware and OS aren't helping much with website loadtimes. https://www.datafantic.com/how-much-time-do-we-waste-waiting-for-websites-to-load/ ***** Microsoft executives say it's 'wrong' for managers to spy on remote employees' mouse clicks and keystrokes: 'That's measuring heat rather than outcome' https://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-executives-call-remote-employee-surveillance-spying-wrong-2022-9 Hmm, well the world needs more humour. A quick search like 'is windows 10 spyware' is satisfying enough. I'll keep it old school with Windows 98 SE (Spyware Excluded edition), surely not whole truth, close enough.
  21. Hi @awkduck, thanks for thoughtful response. To me ignorance is no longer valid. Most everyone has internet, all get news. Being observant of one's local environment, it's obvious there are drastic, rapid changes everywhere. Since ignorance is no longer valid, choosing not to act for positive change is even worse. A special 'for shame' to parents who choose not to act, remember this polluted fishbowl is your children's future. Unfortunately i think societies, and most individuals, are going 'crab bucket'. I think you are correct, Windows 9x is probably the most developed and popular single mode OS of all time. FreeDOS is developed and supported much longer than Microsoft supported MS-DOS, but the user base is small and it can't do cool, old Windows (graphic) sofware. As mentioned before, with an up to date web browser Windows 9x would still be a viable daily use OS. Thanks for the information @jumper and @Goodmaneuver. Since my systems are running well i do not need to troubleshoot these items, hopefully they will help someone else. Thank-you for providing clarification @MrMateczko. ***** If you've got your ears on @UCyborg, hope you're doing well. No response is expected or required. Maybe you're taking a break or moved on to bigger and better things. IMHO social media isn't a healthy place to spend signficant time, including computer forums. ***** This may only be of interest (a little bit) to @Drugwash, since many Windows users have Unix-based allergies, AutoHotkey for Linux is a thing. It's been really nice to use a little AutoHotkey on my Windows 98 systems. https://github.com/phil294/AHK_X11 ***** Doubt many here still fax and also unsure if modern Windows (eg. Windows 10) provides fax functionality. Back when fax was setup here regularly, these links were useful. Fax page to test send, view web page for quality: https://www.faxtoy.net/ Fax page to HP, await response, to test send/receive: https://support.hp.com/bg-en/document/ish_2385619-2276753-16 In GNU/Linux fax is straightforward with a 'hardware modem' and packages like Efax. I have quite a stack of 'WinModems' in the basement from my active Windows 98/XP days, which will not likely get used again. This is the first year my household no longer has an activated old-school copper telephone line. I don't fax for work anymore, though 10 years ago it was still used extensively in many medical and legal offices. Although anything can be intercepted, to me it was more secure than sending attachments via interweb.
  22. You got me excited @xpandvistafan, unfortunately your Gmail URL didn't work without JavaScript. After entering username, all browsers tested were prompted with a JavaScript not enabled or supported in your browser message without a password prompt to continue the login process. Also trialed the HTML only URL used here, with the no JavaScript request. https://mail[dot]google[dot]com/mail/u/0/h/&nojavascipt=1 Failed with DOS 7.1 (Windows 98) using Links. Failed with Windows 98 SE using RetroZilla. Failed with Devuan GNU/Linux using Links, older SeaMonkey and Firefox 52, including Firefox user agent switcher testing Android, Opera, Windows, GNU/Linux, etc. No unsupported browser notice received, couldn't even get passed the JavaScript message. The JavaScript change was a long time coming, amazing it still worked without it up to a couple months ago. https://www.zdnet.com/article/google-wont-let-you-sign-in-if-you-disabled-javascript-in-your-browser/
  23. GMail's HTML-only via webpage started requiring 'gmail.com' JavaScript domain for login a couple months ago. After login the domain can be disabled via NoScript or similar without loss of function. Before this change GMail worked flawlessly on browsers that do not even support JavaScript, even DOS browsers, oh well. Don't mean to stray off topic, modern Devuan GNU/Linux, for example, can run >20 year old hardware just fine, user just needs to know what they are doing regarding setup, application selection and tweaks. 3D graphic acceleration support on >20 year old hardware in GNU/Linux, i say multi-boot and run old Windows games in a Windows OS and use GNU/Linux for a modern browser or whatever other newer software is needed. There are still freshly maintained, 32-bit distributions available for older hardware. The 23 year old hardware used here (32-bit, non-SSE2) runs Firefox v52 and Firefox ESR v78. Of course with SSE2+ support could then run any browser, wish my Windows 98 was on Pentium 4.
  24. Thanks for all responses, busy getting back to nature. It appears we're doomed but gotta make an effort, gardening, composting, growing trees, reduce/re-use/recycle. Humans disgust me, of which i am too, continuous consumption and pollution, worse than invasive, noxious weeds. Hi @MrMateczko. Permissions was a thorn to me years ago but since i now have a good understanding and can easily manipulate file systems, it's a good thing. But yes running an old OS like Windows 98 is easy and fun. Nice knowing you can make trouble if not careful, DOS and Windows 9x provides that freedom. I do use Windows ME ScanDisk and Defragmenter, mentioned before. The Defragmenter is very fast and efficient, has caused no issues on this otherwise vanilla Windows 98 SE system. Since you SSD nothing to worry about, performance on spinning drives, especially slower RPM drives, defragmenting the filesystem makes a difference. Windows 7 benchmarking below, including SSD comparison, couldn't readily find anything Windows 9x (FAT) specific. https://www.hofmannc.de/en/windows-7-defragmenter-test/benchmarks.html Hi @jumper, makes sense as the option only disables 'write caching'. Perhaps setting both Min and MaxFileCache to 0 (zero) fully disables, don't know, C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.INI: [vcache] MinFileCache=0 MaxFileCache=0 Hi @Goodmaneuver, disabling DDHELP.EXE has caused no difficulties on the software used here, video or sound related. Concerned users shouldn't disable the service or backup registry beforehand (own risk), any performance improvement is negligible anyway.

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