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ruthan

Why you are still using Win98/ME except gaming and old OS support(work issues)?

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Hello,
i wonder why someone still now using Windows 98 except obvious reasons like retro gaming (my thing, for me 9x games were best at least in money / performance ratio, so lots now impossible concepts were realized), or old software support.

This system wasnt own for its stability, messing with drivers is hell and lots of modern features are missing.

  Its about speed and purity of GUI, or you only hate change?

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I suppose I could agree with all of those reasons. There just aren't enough so-called "modern features" in a newer OS interest me (although I have been forced as of late to use XP or Linux for anything online).

Threads like this often invite flame wars and lots of senseless heated debate with unsubstantiated opinions flying everywhere. I hope this does not happen again...

Let's keep this thread respectful and on topic folks. If you are not really a 9x user (and just decide to drop in here to troll) then obviously the subject of this topic will not apply to you, so consider yourself warned.

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I use Win9x for older software purposes, nostalgia  and networking. Don't need a newer browser on the machine because I run Slackware Linux for that. My windows 98 SE machine did everything I needed it to do. Outlook Express, movies, music, games ,Remote Desktop to my WinXP Pro etc.... My next project is getting Win9x running in VMs. Working flawlessly as possible, its a hell of a task. Once all the older hardware becomes obsolete, we are not going to have much of a choice but to use VMs. That's why I'm getting a head start now. After Win 7, I will never upgrade to another Windows unless for monetary reasons. I'm done with the new Windows.

Edited by PROBLEMCHYLD

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PROBLEMCHYLD - 1 hint if you need something between VM (no proper 3D drivers for Win98 in no go for me) and physical machine, Unraid (KVM) is solution, its fastest Windows 98 machine which i had (no CPU Win98 limitation, because of MB compatibility, fastest today / future CPU possible, no IDE or Sata - driver speed problems its fast, no NIC lan problem - Realtek 8139 NIC is emulated) and it does GPU passthough so 3D is working and emulated hardware is best compatible (intel440) which no could have, no installation problems etc...


  Only hassles are:
-  that you need to switch display outputs + usb inputs (manually or with some display output switch with auto detection or inputs priority support - Input1 signal> Input 2>Input 3)  or multiple displays (Lazy solution, i mean use 1 display just for booting and maintenance, is waste ). USB - you could be more usb input devices, usb switch or passthrough whole USB controller for particular machine (most elegant).
- when you use more 1 virtual machines at once on 1 physical HW, you could crash them all at once, but there is advantage, that crash of Windows 98 or other machine, could crash only virtual and physical machine could survive
- there some isssues with Display signal output - one more layer
- additional layer of QEMU, were could be bugs, but once you hit right configuration (1 xml file) you are ok and there is quite sure that QEMU and Unraid will get better and better over time. 
- you need HW with vt-d support - so no cheap Core i3 / Pentiums / Celeron.. or Ryzen (stupidly designed IO groups regarding to Level1tech)

 Other advantages are better use of 1 pc for better multiboot, there is not all HW  (for example, you have 4 /8 (cheap AMD slugs, but still 8 cores) core machine, but because of Win98, you are utilizing only 1 core and all 3/7 not used at all - there could be NAS, Linux Web browser terminal, girlfriends or guest pc etc..) just sacrificed to dark god of Windows 98.. For Win 98 just need 1 old PCI-E/ PCI GPU, which could be in any PCI-E slot and thats all, because of passthrough you dont care about disabling old GPU in modern OS (its not forwarded there). 

   Passthrough compatibility is quite good, i wasnt able passthrough only 1 GPU (Ati Mach 2 MB  PCI), but even Vooodoo 3 worked. Audio could be passthrough too, i used PCI Audigy, but USB Soundcard is maybe more elegant solution.

   I dont have any shares in KVM / Unraid, i swear :) 

Edited by ruthan

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With all due respect, I disagree. :no:
Start with a sufficiently powerful machine, say, any Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge i7 with 8 GiB RAM.
Add, as the host, the x64 version of either Slackware, Debbian, TrueOS or Win 7 SP1.
Add VirtualBox 4.3.40.
Then follow the well tested instructions of @Kurt_Aust, who's been doing it for a real long time already. :thumbup
Links (I) and (II). With 8 GiB RAM onboard, one can give a little more than 3GiB RAM to the VM, and max up the Win 98 experience (better with RLoew's RAM Limitation Patch, but that's optional, especially up to 2GiB RAM). 

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Links (I) and (II).

 I suppose that you already studied those threads? So just major questions:
1) how is Direct3D and OpenGL managed, if its working how fast?


2) Virtualbox is in general quite slug- slow (i dont really like pay 300 bucks for Vmware worktation license, but Virtualbox "quality" is forcing me to do it, with ever major Vmware release.. for my normal work, WIn 98 is my hobby..) - you can see lots of KVM, VMware vs Virtualbox performance comparion on Phoronix  is quite far from physical HW or passthrough.. so found mister Kurt some magic solution for that? Or its slow, but because of slowness of Windows 98 on real HW, is still faster?

  Its quite know that Vmware is faster for some old configuration and tasks that physical HW, because of some secret sauce hacks and old OS design flaws..

Edited by ruthan

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I'm no gamer (using computers), so I really don't care for Direct3D and OpenGL.
When I'm in the mood for playing (which is seldom, nowadays) I:
* Either play cards (using real waxed linen-papar cards).
* Or go to a pool hall to shoot some pool.

I was thinking about using older software in Win 98 and, for that, VirtualBox is perfect, easy to set-up and free.

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I have qemu and its a little more complicated than VirtualBox. Technically, the games I play are Spades, Freecell etc..... Those games come in handy when I'm taking a 2 hr flight. I haven't got everything setup the way I want, but things are coming along nicely. I will be triple booting Win XP, Win 7 SP1 and Linux Slackware with a VM of Win98 SE on all of them.

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I have qemu and its a little more complicated than VirtualBox.

  Vanilla QEMU could be commandline nightmare, one wrong character and lots of mess and that is why frontends are there.. QEMU is powerfull, can run even on other architekture - ARM for x86 Windows, i have Win98 on Android 7 netbook etc..

  Unraid is really pretty frontend - its just simple GUI and template for typical OS, you only need edit 1 xml, i specific cases, like is Windows 98 emulation (no template) and you need edit 1 string for NIC, when you dont have USB lan.. and its only because of laziness of GUI developer, GUI is running as web page..  You can look at some video about it: 


 If you dont game you have easy life with your machine, because for gaming everything have to be working - GPU, sound, controls, HW have to be strong etc..

 Why i play games? In general, easy answer is that golden grail of video games is best movie which you could imagine were you can play some important role and change a story.. Games technology is still far from that, primary because of stupid AI (my thing), but they can still give you some moments when you feel that you are somebody else, on some other place, its like pen and paper rpgs..  Of course there are some simple stupid games for just relax too, if you have mood for them..

   Its like food, alcohol, drugs, you dont need strong stuff every time, sometime is a cigarette and glass of wine enough.

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I don't use Windows 98 but Windows 95. Of course, I don't use it on my main computer (even though I have a few virtual machines that run Win95), but 1 or 2 years ago, I bought an old laptop, just for fun. And then I thought, why not putting it to use as it was meant to be? So, now I really use it as a computer that I can take anywhere to work on Word document or to view PDF files.

And except for the battery life I think I'm not really worse off than other people who also use Word and pdfs, so it doesn't really make that much of a difference (but I don't have to struggle with ribbons in Word, which is a good thing)

From time to time a get strange looks and some people have asked me if my laptop is some kind of new retro-looking device and OS. It's not, it's as old as it looks.

;)

 

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Windows 98 is a memorable system to a lot of people. I grew up right in that era, my elementary school was set up wall-to-wall with Gateways in our computer lab, hours wasted on Kid Pix and the occasional flash games (the classic era of Macromedia Flash).

I've set up a 98 machine with an IBM Thinkpad T23, based somewhat on a laptop given to me by my older brother once he got a Dell desktop. Said laptop would be mercilessly smashed against a wood chest because I could never remember the BIOS password (retrospect: it was "advanced"). That was the first, and last high-cost device I would break intentionally. IBMs are tough, but they can't withstand it all.

I'm mostly in this stage to explore old games I used to play on Windows XP, but also to see how far I can stretch the system. I am shocked at how much I can do on a PIII and only 512mb RAM. If I wasn't so deep into Steam or Youtube, I could probably survive just using this laptop.

I very much wanna see what "current" things I can pull off with this machine. Maybe try a super-old copy of Adobe Premiere, see how far that takes me.

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