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How did you guys get your 9X knowledge?


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I'm a computer technician by trade, but some of what I read here indicates a level of knowledge regarding Win9X that goes far beyond what I've learned in school and in my time in the field. I'm often impressed by the degree of understanding when it comes to the OS's system files and other workings under the hood. So my question for these advanced users is: How did you build your knowledge up into what it is today? A lot of what I read seems to be things that one might know if they come from a programming/development background . . . and perhaps that's what makes the difference.

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How did you build your knowledge up into what it is today?

Hmmm...

Mostly by:

  • Trial and Error
  • Experimenting
  • Backing up and restoring files and my registry
  • Formatting and reinstalling my OS

In addition, I was an very early Axcel216 (now known as MDGX) convert/follower...

His site introduced me to tweaking... and I've never looked back ;).

I also use:

which are indispensable apps for tracking down problems/errors...

HTH :)

Edited by whatever420
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whatever420, BenoitRen and dcyphure have put it very well. I've been doing the same, and also spending long hours trying to make sense of the results obtained from disassemblers, debuggers and hexeditors, and also by reading "between the lines" of whatever documentation I happen to find, be it on paper or online (very often what is not explicitly asserted turns out to be the truly important info).

Edited by dencorso
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Windows 98 and its precedents 9x were designed only for individual users or to work in common: It was never a network OS, because in these years NT was the OS specially designed for networks.

The internet was not an essential part of the OS, but one more of the apps that you might run.

For that very reason it is transparent, simple, small and easy to manage. In that time it meant something like now Linux, when compared with Windows NT.

If you used it every day having a small computing knowledge, in a short time you learnt the purpose of almost every program and every driver.

This way you got caught by it: I remember the passion and the illusion I had trying new ways for doing things, i.e. cloning the OS into several drives to boot indistinctively any of them, and even creating my own personalized programs and drivers.

Most things were learned by experience and common sense, taking into account that there are no secret files, no hidden parts and no backdoors at all.

Now I keep using it every day almost for all purposes, and it is my best friend to keep healthy and restore from scratch XP from a .rar file without reinstalling, using double boot.

Edited by cannie
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Now I keep using it every day almost for all purposes, and it is my best friend to keep healthy and restore from scratch XP from a .rar file without reinstalling, using double boot.

Yes, I double-boot Win 98SE (w/98SE2ME) and Win XP SP3, too. I have a third bootable partition to use as a sandbox, where I can destroy an image of either of my OSes, without causing any real damage to either. And I've used unix for a long time on workstations, SunOS, Solaris, Irix, even FreeBSD and Linux on PCs. And I've used CP/M, of course, but never happened to use OS/2. All in all, I remain believing that Win 9x rules!

Edited by dencorso
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And I've used CP/M, of course, but never happened to use OS/2.
Hey, me too. I used the MS Basic Compiler under CP/M quite a bit :rolleyes: What CP/M computer did you have?

It was a MSX, the Gradiente Expert XP-800, a brazilian clone of the National CF-3000. MS Basic, Turbo Pascal, Wordstar and VisiCalc... Those were great days... :yes:

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It depends on how deep you can get, I guess. It's really a challenge, sometimes, to find good descriptions of things. To wit, I've tried to start studying assembly, and found a real good technical description of how computers work. It's very fascinating in fact. It's perhaps a good testament of design that its so transparent to most when it happens. I know I've gone 15 years since I've used computers and 13 years since writing my first program, and I still learned a few things from it.

Any kind of knowledge really involves knowing the right places to dig, and the effort to learn it.

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