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Why would somebody use Win98?


Azelza
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I'm not an NT crusader. (Net/Open/Free)BSD are far better than NT.

In the context of this thread and forum, you pretty much are.

The article was just one of the 100.000's available. Google is your friend.

You started the argument. The burden is on you to back it up.

The 32bit interfaces in the 9x line are just nothing more than thunking layers that go back down into the 16bit APIs from Win 3.1x

This has been claimed in the past, but never proven. Since the Win32 API has a lot more than Win3.1.x' API, this doesn't seem likely at all.

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The question as to the matter of "why use 98" has been asked which lends the question of why not use 98? We all know the specs of each operating system, all have the good and bad which should not be debated because each OS has it's holes . The purpose of the forum here is to improve each aspect of every version of windows be it the nt or dos version. We all have our preferences as to which we bang away on the same 102 key or more keyboards be it for playing games, writing code or answering a question on a forum. As long the OS is capable of performing it's required task and still do it in a reasonable and timely manner then it is viable well beyond it's life cycle. I have a question to the author of this thread will he be using xp/ vista beyond it's life cycle?

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The 32bit interfaces in the 9x line are just nothing more than thunking layers that go back down into the 16bit APIs from Win 3.1x

This has been claimed in the past, but never proven. Since the Win32 API has a lot more than Win3.1.x' API, this doesn't seem likely at all.

Look at the USER32.DLL, SHELL32.DLL, GDI32.DLL, ect. They are nothing but stubs that thunk into the 16bit layers. The 16bit code is what provides the functionality of the 9x line. Anyone that can look inside of files like those can see it for themselves. Anyone can install SoftIce and follow tracing/debug tutorials and see it as well.

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So I don't understand you people, wanting to run Win98 on modern hardware, *let alone old hardware* where MicroXP / nLite is perfect...

Well, the main reason to run Win9x on modern hardware is because it flies on modern hardware.

Seriously, the dual/quad CPU speeds, L2 caches, DDR2/DDR3 speeds, and HDD cache/speed improvements are really just begining to let WinXP shine. The registry can be so huge that GUI features like context menus and start menu flyouts (and similar items tied to registry keys) cause a maddening wait for the enduser. Now add in a realtime antivirus that eats up 25-50% of your available 'power' and a not-so-new system can be slowed to a crawl. IMHO, WinXP started to be useful once CPU's hit the 3GHz mark with 1MB caches. Before that I would always say that 'only WinXP can make a modern computer as fast as Win3.x.' In other words, hurry up and wait. Essentially WinXP came out 3 years too early.

But back to Win9x. If you can get it to run on newer hardware, it runs like a racehorse. Actually more like a rocket ship. If you click START, the menu is there. If you drag past submenu flyouts, they appear instantly. Even the plain old brute-force non-indexed FIND runs quickly. Hot-swapping a properly tweaked USB is embarrasingly fast compared to WinXP and Vista. Assuming that my peers have also killed all their autorun features like myself, we have no interminable waiting for optical discs. And as has already been beaten to death around here, the relatively few startup points are manageable so security is a snap. If you add in Opera/Firefox for browsing, Win9x is itself a defacto firewall. The presence of DOS is not a liability at all, this becomes clear on WinME/WinXP/Vista where an infection will require a non-Windows boot solution.

Look at your computers like items in your toolbox. There is a time and place for hammers, screwdrivers and pliers. If you use Win9x for the wrong job its your own fault. WinXP+NTFS versus Win9x+Fat32 are two different platforms that have strengths and weaknesses. If you want crashproof: use WinXP. If you want a very responsive GUI: use Win9x. Processing thousands of files: use WinXP. Require a lean and mean search on *all* files: use Win9x. Installing monstrous programs with gazillions of files and megabytes of registry entries: better use WinXP. Editing and compiling source code, doing Email, Website browsing, HTML editing, most games: why not use Win9x?

If a given chore is likely to cause a crash/lockup I personally choose WinXP because it tends to confine the damage to that particular task, plus no cold reboot with a subsequent scandisk. Win9x+Fat32 is inherently limited by design: file size and file quantity limits, FAT size, RAM limits, registry maximums and resource bugs. If you understand these issues you will avoid suicidal tasks on Win9x. However, if something will actually take more time to accomplish on WinXP than on Win9x, and there are many, well, that would be equally stupid.

I cannot tell you how many people have seen my faster Win9x boxes blazing when clicking around the GUI (you know, the part that user actually interacts with). Unanimously they are like: "wtf? why isn't my computer fast like that. I click and like, wait forever!".

With proper (some might say drastic) tweaking, a WinXP box can be speeded up to get close to Win9x speed on identical hardware (kill indexing, use only one user, delete startmenu/new registry keys, etc). But it is still only close. This is because the quirky limitations of Win9x can also be its very advantage.

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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There is the other reason, some of us like to run different OSes, especially older ones. For example, I still have a notebook at home that runs Windows NT 3.51. Ya it isn't my main computer, its just something to play around with.

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Now add in a realtime antivirus that eats up 25-50% of your available 'power' and a not-so-new system can be slowed to a crawl.

sounds like you've been using Norton (sorry i cant resist taking cheap shots at them)

I don't get the 1998 software on 2008 hardware thing either. old computers are for old OSes/programs, new ones are for new OSes/programs.

runnign anything but Xp/Vista/2003/2008/linux on 3Ghz range PC is just wasting your resources on nostalgia IMO. I can emulate a full 9x environment in VMware more efficiently than i could run 9x on my quad/dual cores (and reboot it faster too when it bombs) and anything that wont run well emulated (3d mostly) will likely run on XP/vista in compatibility mode. Im sorry but IMO, there is not real reason for 9x to be in use these days. 9x is not a functioanl replacement for a modern OS. Also, Kobain/Elvis/Tupac/Biggie are all dead. Just let them all go and remember the good time you had while they were around.

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sounds like you've been using Norton (sorry i cant resist taking cheap shots at them)

XD

I don't get the 1998 software on 2008 hardware thing either. old computers are for old OSes/programs, new ones are for new OSes/programs.

runnign anything but Xp/Vista/2003/2008/linux on 3Ghz range PC is just wasting your resources on nostalgia IMO.

Normally, someone with such a computer that runs Win98 uses dualboot

I can emulate a full 9x environment in VMware more efficiently than i could run 9x on my quad/dual cores (and reboot it faster too when it bombs) and anything that wont run well emulated (3d mostly) will likely run on XP/vista in compatibility mode.

C'mon, VirtualPC isn't half the fun... making it work with newer hardware is actually entertaining, when possilble.

Edited by alexanrs
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sounds like you've been using Norton (sorry i cant resist taking cheap shots at them)

I don't get the 1998 software on 2008 hardware thing either. old computers are for old OSes/programs, new ones are for new OSes/programs.

runnign anything but Xp/Vista/2003/2008/linux on 3Ghz range PC is just wasting your resources on nostalgia IMO. I can emulate a full 9x environment in VMware more efficiently than i could run 9x on my quad/dual cores (and reboot it faster too when it bombs) and anything that wont run well emulated (3d mostly) will likely run on XP/vista in compatibility mode. Im sorry but IMO, there is not real reason for 9x to be in use these days. 9x is not a functioanl replacement for a modern OS. Also, Kobain/Elvis/Tupac/Biggie are all dead. Just let them all go and remember the good time you had while they were around.

Death before Symantec! Seriously, no Norton/Symantec AV within these four walls except for sick customer computers who wish they never bought it. The machines here that face the internet on broadband presently use McAfee on the theory of the lesser of many evils. But the best way to address the substance of your post is to state unequivocally that this machine: Win98se+, has no Antivirus running ever. :thumbup It does not need it. I do keep an older McAfee 6 around with manual definition updates for scanning on demand, plus some other apps for verification. And to drive the point home, I do prowl around some websites that I shouldn't, and wouldn't using MSIE on WinXP or newer.

My Win9x thesis (with me this really means Win98se+) relies on the whole point of Windows itself: its GUI. That is why it exists at all. From the standpoint of the enduser this is what matters: How they interact with all the hardware by way of mechanical input (keyboard/mouse/voice) and visual output (what windows paints on the screen). There can be little disagreement that in 2001 WinXP and its GUI put a real hurting on the pre-Northwood chips (does anyone remember starting explorer and aiming it at a CDROM and waiting for the filelist?). But when Win9x was ran on the same machine everybody called it 'snappy' or 'smoking!'. That difference will always exist since each iteration of Windows piles on eye candy without ironing out previous bottlenecks. Microsoft chooses to let the hardware catchup to each release.

So, from a GUI standpoint I choose to make my stand. The enduser is constantly interacting with menus and related GUI and autorun features. Doing the math, a second here and a second there adds up to real time. I should point out that I completely rule out startup/reboot/shutdown times as a basis for judging the useability of Win9x versus WinEverythingElse, if it takes 10 minutes to bootup to a bombproof desktop thats just fine with me. Its once we get to the desktop that we start to take note of wasted time. After all, time is the one commodity that cannot be replaced or upgraded. How much time has Microsoft and others cost us? Tons (someone please cue up Wasted Years!) Microsoft spends our time like it is free and we cannot get it back once it has been spent. None of us have enough of it or know how much we have left (possible Maiden lyric tagline: "As soon as you're born, you're dying").

So having said all that, an example. Facing two desktops on identical hardware, one is Win9x and one is WinXP (need I say Vista?), and given a random job:

{A} rip dozens of audio CD's into MP3's with editing and postprocessing plus ID3 customizing and push the lot of them into some MP3 USB device, test it and re-arrange them some more

{B} build a website including editing hundreds of photos and debugging all the HTML, firing up lots of ancillary tools for reference and color matching, upload and testing

{C} write a paper for a college class with lots of raw research, formatting, footnoting, proofreading, previewing, drafting, printing

{D} develop a family genealogy slideshow, scan documents, distill tons of raw information from ZIP/RAR archives, emails, attachments, editing/processing multitudes of photos and songs

{E} completely develop a Windows application from dev to compile, bouncing around from editors to output windows while juggling a multitude of online/offline references

... now, provided that the required software works on both platforms, which will get me there faster? Without question, I am going straight to the Win9x box because the thing that I physically interact with: the GUI, will be faster. If time is a determinant, the faster GUI wins. Yes, there are many jobs that are not in that list, and we are all very aware of the limitations of Win9x. I addressed that in another post: using the right tool for the job. And to further refine something else I said, 'if something takes more time to do in WinXP/Vista, I will do it on Win9x'. Honestly, nostalgia is definitely *not* involved. WinXP themes, msstyles, cursor shadows and Vista Aero are definite visual improvements and I would rather have them than not. But the GUI is slower. You mean I need to buy this big slow Roll Royce just to get the hood ornament? (obvious Vista Aero metaphor but applicable here).

Unfortunately for Win9x fans this is all an academic discussion. Those that fail to understand the concept of lean and mean as a time driven goal will of course get the last laugh as the community succumbs to Redmond, as hardware vendors get too lazy to write drivers for previous OS versions, as software authors get incentives to change to new compilers, as Microsoft rigs these compilers to fail and as they exert pressure to not even sell computers without Vista. In short, we're whistling past the graveyard as Microsoft funnels everyone into what-they-think is best for us, even if that thing is slower than the previous thing (and I am not even mentioning DRM style intrusions yet!).

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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I dunno, to each his own but for all the crap people talk about vista, it outperforms everything ive tried (yes including XP)

for instance right now i have:

Vista business with aero enabled (minimal tweaking UAC/sec center/firewall disabled)

mcafee ent (lesser of evils as well) -used to go commando to but that means never hooking any customer machines up on this side of the router -otherwise i cant trust the machine to stay as clean as i left it

2 firefox windows open (1 with 10 tabs, 1 playing the new terminator episode on hulu)

Several torrents running at 123k up/ 63kup

Corel Paint Shop 11, Textpad, Trillian, Outlook 2007 and Filezilla open (too lazy to count the open files)

my cpu usage is bouncing between 3-4% with memory usage holding steady at 2.10G

all that and not even a HINT of lag. even the stupidly fancy aero min/maximize wont slow it down. 9x just cant do that (even if it would run on this hardware) even if i could get 9x to boot on this box, it wouldnt see all the cores, most of the memory and prolly wouldnt see the HDs(i forget what the limit is -im sure you guys know though) so i stand by my old OSes for old hardware, new OSes for new hardware.

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So I don't understand you people, wanting to run Win98 on modern hardware, *let alone old hardware* where MicroXP / nLite is perfect...
98se is one the BEST os's ever released my friend!!

If you have enough Ram,your good to go :)

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... even if i could get 9x to boot on this box, it wouldnt see all the cores, most of the memory and prolly wouldnt see the HDs(i forget what the limit is -im sure you guys know though) ...

Fully agree with you here. The multi-cores appear to be a brick wall for Win9x. Its almost as if Intel is creating its own planned obsolescence with respect to the OS. Something about those 3.x GHz single core chips hitting a thermal limit or something. I still dream of a 4 GHz single core (take it in a heartbeat over dual 2 GHz) running Win9x.

One thing I have not done is use Win9x under a VM under WinXP/Vista. CPU overheating issues aside, I wonder if the multi-core CPU is presented to the Win9x kernel as a single monolithic glob of GHz. Whetstone might be a decent measure of the really old hardware against the really new since it has been in use for quite a long time. Maybe others could chime in that have tested Win9x under these VM's.

That 120+ GB HDD limit has obviously been broken by some rather clever members here. Personally I stay at or under 120 GB HDD's just to be safe. Like I said, the right tool for the job. Massive quantities of files or really gigantic ones belong on NTFS (if you care about the data). FAT32 tables can get so large from LFN's that the law of diminishing returns comes into play anyways as simple file operations become slow and FsInfoSector updates begin to fail, then you have a Scandisk that eats up all the time that was saved in the first place! Hmmmm, wasn't there supposed to be a FAT64 anyway?

I'll stay away from the Vista debate (definitely wrong section of forum) but will say that I love WinXP Pro. In fact both Win9x and WinXP Pro will have to be pried from my cold dead fingers. :thumbup

Edited by CharlotteTheHarlot
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{E} completely develop a Windows application from dev to compile, bouncing around from editors to output windows while juggling a multitude of online/offline references

I'll have to disagree with that one... When actually compiling the program, I'd switch to winXP, and compile as a unicode application (with unicows.dll).

Edited by kamahl
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Fully agree with you here. The multi-cores appear to be a brick wall for Win9x. Its almost as if Intel is creating its own planned obsolescence with respect to the OS. Something about those 3.x GHz single core chips hitting a thermal limit or something. I still dream of a 4 GHz single core (take it in a heartbeat over dual 2 GHz) running Win9x.

Machines with multiple processors have existed for quite some time, even NT 3.51 supports it, whereas Microsoft chose not to support it in Windows 9x-line because this used to be for servers only, and they found it too troublesome to work in something this big for no profit.

One thing I have not done is use Win9x under a VM under WinXP/Vista. CPU overheating issues aside, I wonder if the multi-core CPU is presented to the Win9x kernel as a single monolithic glob of GHz. Whetstone might be a decent measure of the really old hardware against the really new since it has been in use for quite a long time. Maybe others could chime in that have tested Win9x under these VM's.

I doubt it, AFAIK each VM gets one thread, and one thread stays on one core only.

That 120+ GB HDD limit has obviously been broken by some rather clever members here. Personally I stay at or under 120 GB HDD's just to be safe. Like I said, the right tool for the job. Massive quantities of files or really gigantic ones belong on NTFS (if you care about the data). FAT32 tables can get so large from LFN's that the law of diminishing returns comes into play anyways as simple file operations become slow and FsInfoSector updates begin to fail, then you have a Scandisk that eats up all the time that was saved in the first place! Hmmmm, wasn't there supposed to be a FAT64 anyway?

What good would it have been? Windows 9x wouldn't be able to use it anyway.

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