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Why do you still use 9X


win95guy
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Hi guys,

I am a Windows 95 user and i have been since the day it was released. I don't upgrade because i only use my web browser and that is all, does the only task i need. But why do you continue to use it? What makes you use an OS that isn't even supported anymore? one that has a lot of BSODs, lack of new hardware support and the same is beginning to occur with software, lack of SMP support and limits on Hard drive size/ram capability/ and cpu speed? There are so many things against it yet so many of you cling on like a resistant disease lol... tell me why?

Regards, Win95Guy :)

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There have been many threads here about this. See this one.

But why do you continue to use it?

IMO, it's the best OS Microsoft made.

What makes you use an OS that isn't even supported anymore?

Support? Is that what you call a steady stream of patches and having to put up with WGA? Besides, 98 is supported, just not by Microsoft. Look at the member projects here.

one that has a lot of BSODs,

When 98 is properly updated and tuned, BSODs are very rare. I haven't seen one on my 98FE box in months.

lack of new hardware support and the same is beginning to occur with software,

Microsofts policy of planned obsolescence is directly responsible for much of this. See the threads here regarding compatible hardware, motherboards, and software that still supports 98. There's more than you think. Also see the KernelEX project.

lack of SMP support and limits on Hard drive size/ram capability/ and cpu speed?

98 is faster one one good processor than XP or Vista is with 2 or more.

Regarding hard drive capacity, see Enable48BitLBA | Break the 137Gb barrier!

Regarding RAM, see Day-to-day running Win 9x/ME with more than 1 GiB RAM. 98 doesn't need the huge quantities of RAM that Vista or XP does to fly. The same applies to CPU speed.

Interesting that you use the term "disease". XP and its NTFS file system have made rootkits a common computer disease, one which 9X systems are largely resistant to. 9X systems are immune to much of todays malware and is unaffected by many of the exploits that cause havoc on NT systems. When properly configured and equipped, 98 is a very secure and reliable OS that runs very well on hardware that XP can barely run on, and Vista has no chance of running on at all. 98 users don't have to put up with all the anti-piracy irritations that users of Vista and XP do. For users who value their privacy and won't tolerate an OS that wants to "call home", 98 is ideal. Unlike XP and Vista, the user can access and delete any and all usage records with no specialized software.

When my OS does everything I ask of it, runs 24/7 on hardware a new OS couldn't, and is easily secured at no cost, why should I buy anything newer?

Rick

Edited by herbalist
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Personally, for me, it's the architecture.

First, Windows itself included, there are very few programs proliferating my HD's root folder with unsolicited files and folders, and most of those are GNU ports anyway. Having control over the folder structure starting at the root is quite important to me. Anyone who says I shouldn't care where my files are stored should just switch to a Mac.

That and native Win32 support are probably the only reasons I haven't switch to linux yet. Though recent experience demonstrates linux is just now topping 9x in driver support (by "just now" I mean "just this week, with the most recent kernel update"), with 9x's end-of-term having much of the responsibility for that (as opposed to linux kernel development).

Now, with regard to the above, switching to XP would, indeed, only cost me two extra folders on the root, and vastly increase software support (at least until the next KEx). With some work, I could also remove all the unnecessary components that comprise of the disadvantage to using XP, e.g. genuine, firewall, SP2, etc...

I would still lose something I'm not ready to lose: Guaranteed startup stability console. That good old DOS prompt that tells me that even if the screen settings go haywire and even if win.com suddenly disappears, I can still restore my system without a boot disk. 9x has it, Linux has it, but the so-called "modern" Windows versions utterly lack it.

Well, setting all of these aside, even if I chose to upgrade now, I would only be forced to continue upgrading as new versions of Windows continue to appear. Right now I have my good spot, and I can stay in it for the next few years.

Besides, all of these "down sides" you've mentioned? Haven't seen any of them for at least a couple of months, if not years. My system is as stable as I can imagine a system being...

I've reached the point where I'm searching for features, not fixes.

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Yep, my 98SE system is stable and I don't see many BSODs these days thanks to the support from MSFN!

Besides, even XP is sluggish on my dual PIII, and on the same box, 98SE runs better with just one CPU.

...That good old DOS prompt that tells me that even if the screen settings go haywire and even if win.com suddenly disappears, I can still restore my system without a boot disk. 9x has it, Linux has it, but the so-called "modern" Windows versions utterly lack it.

...

Actually, Windows XP has the command-line Recovery Console that can be installed locally with Windows.

If it's not installed locally, then it can be accessed off the OS CD (and installed locally if wanted).

I've recovered many Windows NT, 2000, and XP BSOD at startup failures by booting from an XP CD and using the Recovery Console.

...But 95/98 DOS is fully featured!

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I use Windows 95 because that's what I've always used on this computer, and it still works fine for my needs.

one that has a lot of BSODs

Not if you don't install the IE4 shell.

lack of new hardware support (snip) lack of SMP support and limits on Hard drive size/ram capability/ and cpu speed

None of that matters if your computer came with Win9x and works fine with it. Now, peripherals can be a problem, but if you needed a printer and/or scanner, you probably already own them (I do). Most of the remaining hardware you'd want to use consists of flash memory which can be made to work.

By the way, I consider SMP support to be for servers, and not home use. This SMP business is just part of the perpetual upgrade cycle, trying to sell use newer CPUs over and over because increasing clock speed is getting hard. I wish they'd sell on architecture instead. A Core 2 Duo at 1.8 Ghz using only one core is faster than a Pentium IV at the same clock speed.

Software support can be an issue, but it hasn't really been a problem for me. I've always got my other computers as fallback anyway.

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I use 98SE on older hardware. For newer computers XP is preferable, despite its many disadvantages.

Likable features of 9x: it's more responsive, faster, uses less resources. It's much easier to fix (no NTFS, simpler registry backup/restore, etc.). There's less unknowns running in the background doing who knows what and sometimes causing problems. I also like being able to rename directories even when there are open handles to files inside. :)

There are some things which are "less broken" in 9x compared with XP, but these can probably be replaced with 3rd party alternatives or fixed that way or another. I just still haven't invested enough time to get there on XP.

Actually, Windows XP has the command-line Recovery Console that can be installed locally with Windows.

If it's not installed locally, then it can be accessed off the OS CD (and installed locally if wanted).

Booting it from the CD is so excruciating (and so 1980). And it's not very useful at all. Some Linux LiveCDs are probably a better choice for fixing XP.
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By the way, I consider SMP support to be for servers, and not home use. This SMP business is just part of the perpetual upgrade cycle, trying to sell use newer CPUs over and over because increasing clock speed is getting hard. I wish they'd sell on architecture instead. A Core 2 Duo at 1.8 Ghz using only one core is faster than a Pentium IV at the same clock speed.

Here you are wrong. SMP is good for home use. It allows for better multitasking on the piece of crap known as Vista. :lol: And there are single core Conroe processors. They're (still) called Celerons. :)

I use 98SE on older hardware. For newer computers XP is preferable, despite its many disadvantages.

Likable features of 9x: it's more responsive, faster, uses less resources. It's much easier to fix (no NTFS, simpler registry backup/restore, etc.). There's less unknowns running in the background doing who knows what and sometimes causing problems. I also like being able to rename directories even when there are open handles to files inside. :)

There are some things which are "less broken" in 9x compared with XP, but these can probably be replaced with 3rd party alternatives or fixed that way or another. I just still haven't invested enough time to get there on XP.

XP doesn't have any big disadvantages except not having DOS and 16 bit components. This is the reason for most of the compatibility problems. However, having gone through the trouble to patch an older game to run in XP, certainly some things are broken, but what's more irritating is that they broke some of them in updates, the original SP2 release was better. And WGA? Wots dat???? :whistle:

Vista 64-bit is okay, however they broke most of the compatibility that somehow remained intact in the 32-bit version which is SLOW. And having to deal with permissions when modifying the system folders is such a b***h. I run Vista 64 as my main OS on the C2D rig in sig, but i end up doing most of the work in a virtual machine running 32-bit XP...

Some Linux LiveCDs are probably a better choice for fixing XP.

So true.

PS. XP is VERY responsive on my dual-PIII 700 @ 933MHz / 1GB SDRAM / 9800 Pro / Sil 3112A PCI SATA + WD 320GB. However i downgraded the XP in my Portege laptop to Me (98 had serious stuttering issues when accessing the network), and it'll stay that way. Very poor memory performance (ALi chipset, bleh) and better compatibility with the crap i play on this laptop makes Me a much better choice.

One PIII is not enough for XP. Two PIIIs at 800MHz or higher, yes. The C2D/C2Q chips are based on the PIII Tualatin core btw. :D

But... Here's the reason i still love 9x:

deletingtherecyclebinmi7.png

It lets me delete the recycle bin!!! :w00t::lol: And yea i did that for real once.

Edited by Th3_uN1Qu3
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@herbalist:

Why do you think it is the best OS Microsoft made? You make a good point about support where you say

you have MSFN because i think they would provide better support than what Microsoft ever could have.

How do you get Windows 98 'properly tuned'? That sounds good not having BSODs for months at a time!

But why are u using 98FE and not SE?

I fully understand what you mean when you say Microsoft is pushing upgrading onto us... it's a constant

pressure. I honestly believe those XP only applications would run flawlessly on W2K 99.9% of the time

given the chance to run on it... But nooo lol.

Nice to see Windows 98 has got large hard drive support working... but it would be far better to see

someone get SMP working. What is the purpose of having large ram support on 98? Mainly games would

need this much ram and that's games like Crysis which hugely benefit from SMP or atleast eg. 3.8ghz

Pentium IVs... Can Windows 98 use that processor? Obviously HT wouldn't work.

@ Slugfiller:

It sounds like what you're after you could get from XP and easily remove the components you don't like

plus add in the recovery console to the install so you can use the same command line based tool to fix

your OS if anything happens to it.

@ RetroOS:

The same box with Windows 98 would be wasting half the CPU power available to any other OS that supports

SMP ;)

@ BenoitRen:

If anyone is still using a PC that came with 9X then it is surely ready to die if not soon... some parts you

simply cannot replace without scavenging on Ebay for parts of the same age. It would seem more economical to

buy new stuff wouldn't it? SMP is great for home users who like to multitask... and lots of people do it!

Playing music while writing an email and talking on IM while your AV runs it's real-time scanner and so on...

@ Shae:

Is 9X really more responsive than other Kernels? Is that like a fact and has a reason behind it to back it?

I find that very interesting and in a good way because i love a good fast responsive machine! :)

@ Th3_uN1Qu3

It seems that you are one of the few people who understand that the Conroe range of CPUs isn't better than

the previous just because of Multi-Cores on the cpu but the cpu architecture itself being more efficient

making a 1.8ghz cpu rival the best of the Pentium Ivs that were released.

With XP you can obtain free programs that emulate DOS and can run 16-bit apps fine like DOSBOX. There

is also compatibility mode. Yeah Service Packs can be a pain but that is for all OSes. WGA? wouldn't

be a problem if you were legit although there is 101 ways around this WGA you speak of. If someone wanted

they could completely take out everything they don't like about XP and add everything they want into it by

using a tool like nLite to make their own custom CD so they wouldn't have to bother with any of this ever

again.

See how you can delete the recycle bin? Windows NT5 and onwards (W2K and newer) has a better for of Windows

SYstem File protection that is great for home users so they don't deystroy their OS as easily as the probably

could with Windows 98's system file protection.

Oh and the C2D and C2Q chips aren't based on the Pentium 3 Tualatin... It goes like this:

Pentium 3 Tualatin > Pentium M > Core > Core 2

So yeah you were right but you were basically saying that the Core 2 is based on P6 architecture meaning any

example could have been used as far back as the Pentium Pro (Excluding Netburst based CPU architecture).

Win95Guy :)

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In response to the thread herbalist linked me i found someone called Fredledingue saying this:

What I like with the Vista saga is that XP users are now in the same boat as w9x users.

XP users used to call us idiots for staying with w9x, told us to buy more ram and move to XP. Today it's them who are the "idiots" for not moving to the latest windows to date while they are resisting pressure against non-sens bloat.

The need for a "different aproach of computer use" and for "rethinking OS desing" is totaly artificial and yes, probably put upon us to sell more hardware and also to give a pretext to sell a new OS.

M$ wanted to create something new and different so that we would buy it. That was not bad in itself, except that it came with a technical regression so patethic, discouraging and sad.

When i read this i agree with what he says... But i also think of the good in What Microsoft may or may not be intentionally doing... Pushing the world of computing forward when it comes to hardware and the technology we have available to us today. If you think about it deeply... as computers evolve and become more and more integrated in our daily lives then we will to evolve with the technology presented to us and what is available. Oh and in 2004 when Microsoft was going to cut 98/ME support, they didn't because 27% of pageviews on google were from Windows 98 still... let alone ME. So they extended it until some date in 06 when the number dropper to just 2.7%

I think he should think about those figures before speaking of the reluctant xp to vista upgraders because what happened with 98 will happen with XP in time. And many of those XP users are likely those 98 users anyway.

Win95Guy

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But i also think of the good in What Microsoft may or may not be intentionally doing... Pushing the world of computing forward when it comes to hardware and the technology we have available to us today. If you think about it deeply... as computers evolve and become more and more integrated in our daily lives then we will to evolve with the technology presented to us and what is available.

I don't have a problem with real progress. When change is for the sake of profits and doesn't represent any real benefit to the user, it's a whole different story. As for the ability to integrate into our daily lives, what can XP or Vista do that 9X wouldn't be able to handle? Many of us don't like the direction windows is going. IMO, an OS should be a platform for the users software, no more.

BTW, don't take those OS usage percentages as accurate. Many 9X users use browser extensions or other apps to spoof the browser and OS data sites obtain from us. It's partially a privacy/security issue and partially to deal with sites which try to force users to "upgrade".

Why do you think it is the best OS Microsoft made?

The 9X systems are the last ones over which the user has full control. Each new version of Windows stores more usage records and takes more control away from the user than the one before. With 98, one adjustment closes all of the open ports. That's much harder to do on XP. Most anything malware can do to a 9X box can be fixed with DOS. With XP, to gain that kind of access, a linux CD, Barts PE, or something similar is necessary. How's that an improvement?

How do you get Windows 98 'properly tuned'? That sounds good not having BSODs for months at a time! But why are u using 98FE and not SE?

I do have both FE and SE installed. So far, I haven't got as much performance from SE as I get from FE. The difference isn't much, but it's enough that I prefer FE. I use SE as more of a testbox. As for how to "tune" 98, that subject would be several threads in itself. Many threads here cover a lot of the details, like optimizing memory usage, swap file settings, etc. Most 98 boxes came with a lot of junk installed, just like XP does today. Much of it has autostart entries. The big problem is the hardware these came with. Much of 98s alleged instability was due to the weak hardware it was installed on, combined with the ever growing demands placed on it by new software. Microsoft's own software is some of the worst for this.

One of the best things you can do for 98 is to stop using Internet Explorer. I can't make this box run day after day if I browse with IE6, but I can with SeaMonkey. Security suites are another problem. Most are too bloated for 9X systems and much of what they do isn't needed on a 98 box. There's better ways to secure a 9X box that are more effective and don't add several more autostart processes at the same time. DOS batch files top that list.

When I first got this PC, I knew nothing about computers, save that you "needed" an AV to protect them. A co-worker steered me to Norton. I fell for the "one suite does it all" pitch and installed NIS 2002. It took almost 5 minutes to boot this thing up with Norton. One hour of browsing with IE6 would run it out of resources. One malicious site killed Norton and infected me, the only time this box ever got infected without my choice. Dumping Norton for a separate AV and firewall and switching to Mozilla enabled it to run all day. An upgrade from 64 to 160MB RAM, a good tuneup, and dumping the AV entirely enabled it to run for days with no problems. The same PC now boots up in 45 seconds.

98 does have memory usage issues in its design. It wouldn't surprise me if someone here figured out how to fix that too. Until then, getting long run times from 98 means using software that makes efficient use of memory. With SeaMonkey, I can browse for a while, then shut it off and have almost the same amount of free resources I started with. Not so with IE6.

SMP is great for home users who like to multitask... and lots of people do it!

Playing music while writing an email and talking on IM while your AV runs it's real-time scanner and so on...

Maybe Vista or XP need multiple processors to do that. 98 doesn't.

Screenshot

This is with a 366MHZ Celeron and 64MB RAM.

Rick

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IIRC the XP recovery console is extremely limited in functionality. It's tough enough just copying a file from folder A to folder B in it.

With DOS, I get something that is intended to be a full operating system, and I get all the command line tools and 16-bit software I could possibly need. I always keep Norton Commander on-hand, making me hardly miss the absence of the GUI. Log reading, text file editing, copying, zip and cab extraction, etc etc... I have a complete toolset.

With Linux, the root console gives such complete support for non-X programs, that you wouldn't believe it doesn't load any kernel modules. With nano I can easily (well, relatively...) edit the configuration files, fixing any malconfiguration or error, something I can only dream about in Windows. It would have been an awesome feature, had it not been the only way to get the system working (forget X-based, even a curses-based configuration dialog would have been sufficiently awesome).

XP's recovery console is no replacement for cascaded kernel responsibility. In XP, if one driver goes, everything goes. This just gets worse with every new release.

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Here you are wrong. SMP is good for home use. It allows for better multitasking on the piece of crap known as Vista.

Sure, but that's because Vista is a hog. Single-core has always done multi-tasking well on modern OSs.

If anyone is still using a PC that came with 9X then it is surely ready to die if not soon... some parts you simply cannot replace without scavenging on Ebay for parts of the same age.

Ready to die? Yeah, right. Still works great. I bet even our dinosaur (AT286) would still work great if I replaced the BIOS battery. The only parts I had to replace so far was hard drive that got too many bad sectors and a PSU that failed. Those are still readily replaceable, especially the latter.

SMP is great for home users who like to multitask... and lots of people do it!

Single-core already handled that fine.

With XP you can obtain free programs that emulate DOS and can run 16-bit apps fine like DOSBOX.

Which is also much slower.

WGA? wouldn't be a problem if you were legit although there is 101 ways around this WGA you speak of.

Think again. There are a lot of false positives.

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It seems that you are one of the few people who understand that the Conroe range of CPUs isn't better than

the previous just because of Multi-Cores on the cpu but the cpu architecture itself being more efficient

making a 1.8ghz cpu rival the best of the Pentium Ivs that were released.

With XP you can obtain free programs that emulate DOS and can run 16-bit apps fine like DOSBOX. There

is also compatibility mode.

See how you can delete the recycle bin? Windows NT5 and onwards (W2K and newer) has a better for of Windows

SYstem File protection that is great for home users so they don't deystroy their OS as easily as the probably

could with Windows 98's system file protection.

Oh and the C2D and C2Q chips aren't based on the Pentium 3 Tualatin... It goes like this:

Pentium 3 Tualatin > Pentium M > Core > Core 2

So yeah you were right but you were basically saying that the Core 2 is based on P6 architecture meaning any

example could have been used as far back as the Pentium Pro (Excluding Netburst based CPU architecture).

Win95Guy :)

Pentium 4 (Netburst architecture) was the biggest mistake Intel made. They were slow and ran very hot. Dual PIIIs @ 1GHz+ wipe the floor with any P4. I know that the Tualatin evolved in the Pent M and later in the Core, but i simplified it a little. :)

DOSBox is very useful. I do prefer a P1 with 32MB RAM and an AWE64 soundcard instead, but that's just me. But i'm talking about 16-bit Windows programs. And no, ntvdm.exe doesn't do the trick, especially when you have a game using mixed 32-bit and 16-bit DLLs. Compatibility mode? Bwahaha, what a joke. When it does work it makes the program throw random errors instead of not starting at all. Really awesome. :blink:

As about deleting the recycle bin, in 2k/XP you can delete the boot loader with 3 lines in a bat file without anyone noticing. On next reboot there's no more winblows. In what way did security evolve in XP?

I don't have a problem with real progress. When change is for the sake of profits and doesn't represent any real benefit to the user, it's a whole different story. As for the ability to integrate into our daily lives, what can XP or Vista do that 9X wouldn't be able to handle?

98 does have memory usage issues in its design. It wouldn't surprise me if someone here figured out how to fix that too. Until then, getting long run times from 98 means using software that makes efficient use of memory. With SeaMonkey, I can browse for a while, then shut it off and have almost the same amount of free resources I started with. Not so with IE6.

Maybe Vista or XP need multiple processors to do that. 98 doesn't.

Screenshot

This is with a 366MHZ Celeron and 64MB RAM.

Rick

The memory leak issue isn't that bad. For some reason or another i have to reboot at least once a day so i don't worry about it. However you are wrong about SMP, and... uh... Try Youtube or another flash video site on that Celeron. :rolleyes: My laptop in sig can run them in their window without hiccups, but smooth fullscreen is only possible if i don't have anything else CPU intensive running at that moment.

A little example of SMP. Yahoo Messenger has the nasty habit of locking up when transferring files at high speed (over 2MB/s). With my dual-PIII i can set Realtime priority and assign it to one of the CPUs, and i still have another one available to surf the web or play games. On a single core system Yahoo Messenger would kill all CPU resources, forcing you to wait till the transfer is done.

IIRC the XP recovery console is extremely limited in functionality. It's tough enough just copying a file from folder A to folder B in it.

With DOS, I get something that is intended to be a full operating system, and I get all the command line tools and 16-bit software I could possibly need. I always keep Norton Commander on-hand, making me hardly miss the absence of the GUI. Log reading, text file editing, copying, zip and cab extraction, etc etc... I have a complete toolset.

With Linux, the root console gives such complete support for non-X programs, that you wouldn't believe it doesn't load any kernel modules. With nano I can easily (well, relatively...) edit the configuration files, fixing any malconfiguration or error, something I can only dream about in Windows. It would have been an awesome feature, had it not been the only way to get the system working (forget X-based, even a curses-based configuration dialog would have been sufficiently awesome).

XP's recovery console is no replacement for cascaded kernel responsibility. In XP, if one driver goes, everything goes. This just gets worse with every new release.

I wished i was in Linux when i saw Vista's permission stuff. I want root command line. :) And i sure miss DOS alright. I remember being 6 and learning what I/O, IRQ and DMA meant so i could configure my soundcard for DOS games in Win95. :D I keep a 586 box around just for messing about in DR-DOS.

As for XP's drivers, this is why they removed the Vista audio stack from the kernel space to the user space. However, this didn't make it more stable than XP, just created more trouble...

Sure, but that's because Vista is a hog. Single-core has always done multi-tasking well on modern OSs.

See above.

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I really loved the Tualatin revision a lot too... but there is no way a dual tualatin rig could beat Pentium 4s as you said. The early willamette ones yes, and maybe some northwood due to SMP but when you get a 3.8ghz one with HT then that kicks a**. Netburst was very inefficient due to power leakage meaning more had to be pumped in and more heat was produced. The Pentium D was basically a Dual Core Pentium 4. They were nice i think, and i own a 3.73gh extreme edition version of them in one of my PCs. I wouldn't mind dual Xeon 5080 cpus... they are practically the SMP versions of this cpu allowing for two in one machine... 4 cores of netburst would yes raise your power bill and heat your room in winter, but also perform pretty nicely :)

Pentium 4>Pentium 3 but not clock for clock... :)

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