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Running vanilla Windows 98 in 2020 and beyond...


Wunderbar98
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56 minutes ago, RainyShadow said:

Got any ads? You can get rid of them by blocking these two :

http://info.gomlab.com/eng_ad.html
http://playinfo.gomlab.com/eng.html

 

older versions had no ads I think or lack of Internet Exploiter and it HTML render engine breaks them. Newer versions started to have ads as far as I know while old one was ad free. I need try on system with ie installed

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Bye, bye, GomPlayer! It flew off my hard drive last week. The old VLC 0.8.6 uses more codecs it feels like. And it plays DVDs so nicely. Unfortuneatly some DVDs have a bigger capacity with a higher resolution, so that they are too much for the old computer. Animes are better too, as they don't look too different when skipping frames.

Windows 98 and multitasking... of course it isn't perfect, but if the programs in use are good ones, nothing holds you back from opening Winmap 2.95 for listening to music, a photo editor (PhotoImpact for example), a couple of folders, Word 97 or Notepad++, WinSCP for making FTP connections and a web browser like Netscape at the same time! The old Winamp is the most important program in that heap, because before that I used something called "ProFiler" for listening to music. That program was capable of much more, but was truly inefficent for listening to music...

For a good performance, don't mind maximising your RAM, too. Old SDRAM is at the absolute low-point of price now. I optimised my setup, put in only the best RAM that I had (and that the mainboard supports), and got like a 8% speed boost in compiling my programming scripts.

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5 hours ago, Gansangriff said:

Bye, bye, GomPlayer! It flew off my hard drive last week. The old VLC 0.8.6 uses more codecs it feels like. And it plays DVDs so nicely. Unfortuneatly some DVDs have a bigger capacity with a higher resolution, so that they are too much for the old computer. Animes are better too, as they don't look too different when skipping frames.

tested vlc again and seems it no longer lags for some reason. I guess 1280x1024 screen resolution was too heavy for in last test. Now got 800x600 as desktop reso and no issues playing same file

5 hours ago, Gansangriff said:

Windows 98 and multitasking... of course it isn't perfect, but if the programs in use are good ones, nothing holds you back from opening Winmap 2.95 for listening to music, a photo editor (PhotoImpact for example), a couple of folders, Word 97 or Notepad++, WinSCP for making FTP connections and a web browser like Netscape at the same time! The old Winamp is the most important program in that heap, because before that I used something called "ProFiler" for listening to music. That program was capable of much more, but was truly inefficent for listening to music...

I am using winamp pro, office 97, filezilla, photoshop, premiere then retrozilla for email and web and lot more I wont list here. Also got tls 1.2 patched netscape but prefer retrozilla since netscape 9 was rebranded firefox 2 (well gecko is from netscape originally). I can listen music, write emails, browse web and write docs same time no issue. Office 97 is very good software despite being old, it is more stable than office 95. Also got adobe premiere and photoshop to edit pictures/videos from my Canon Powershot G6. Imaging works using TWAIN, but TWAIN sucks real bad so I use usb CF card reader for transfer. Also that way can tranfer pics from my Nikon coolpix l29 pocket camera. Funny how 700€ digital camera from 2004 still got better image than some cameras today (3072 x 2304).

5 hours ago, Gansangriff said:

For a good performance, don't mind maximising your RAM, too. Old SDRAM is at the absolute low-point of price now. I optimised my setup, put in only the best RAM that I had (and that the mainboard supports), and got like a 8% speed boost in compiling my programming scripts.

I actually have maxium amount of ram 815 chipset will detect and it had fastest ram it can do already when got it. Machine was originally custom build ordered from POMI (Pohjanmaan Mikro OY) in 2001. I was used with to make 3d models to cnc and machine and possibly control it so that is why had such beefy specs (Pentium 3 EB 800mhz, Gigabyte GA-60MM7, Nvidia TNT2 M64 32mb, 512mb ram) compared other machines on facility that were mostly Pentiums with 2d video card.

I got hands to it when saw it one place and asked if can have it and after they security wiped hdd,I got to keep it. I saved this powerhorse from the being recycled

Later on it lifecycle I replaced 20gb hard drive with ssd, swapped it to bigger better airflow chassis, replaced cpu and gpu fans with noctua, added arctic 80mm high pressure fan to intake and 60mm noctua to back to keep it cool also added ESS Solo1 pci sound card for dos support, and replaced dying psu with new seasonic S12II-520. Then got 98lite with Micro shell for maxium performance Been investing lot of money and time to this thing, but all been worth it, I do not see this as waste of money rather investment. Here pics of it and monitor setup (downscaled to vga and gif to save space). Black tower on side is my first pc with Pentium 4 478. I got kvm hooked to them

torni.gif.c1e0d583ff51c43cb08c5b3bdd1c7301.gifputki.gif.25aeed0f0254311c029e5ef699dfca48.gif

 

 

Edited by Mr.Scienceman2000
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Thanks for the hint @RainyShadow, i created a userContent.css entry for the MSFN domain and will eventually make it available from the RetroZilla Community Edition thread. Didn't realize '@forum_member' was white on white. So far i've hacked something that displays '@forum_member' names, makes all white text visible, shrinks oversized/stretched avatar pictures and properly box wraps quoted text from previous posts (otherwise very confusing). Still no member signatures, needs tweaking but low priority. Forum member @Siria posted lots of info about this topic, will review this too.

Spending time with modern browsers makes one realize how broken most sites appear in RetroZilla. By the way @Mr.Scienceman2000, your screenshot above is not visible in RetroZilla even with JavaScript enabled. I did see the picture on a newer system, thank-you for posting, always great to see other's setups.

Thank-you also for your other posts and information. I meant a 200 MB MP4 file was big in the Windows 9x era for processing, not drive space, back when anything over 64 MB RAM was lots. For me MPlayer (not Windows' media player) is still the leanest for daily usage.

Agreed on the smartphone, adds another layer of complexity that can lead to breakdown. Being without a phone for even a single minute makes me laugh, i am not overly social to begin with but there are many days my flip phone doesn't get turned on.

I wish you well @Gansangriff with your FrogFind contribution. Maybe i'm wrong, looks like the project currently uses Google, so evil.

Thanks for your contribution @ArcticFoxie, mental health and social media is a big issue, amongst so many big issues. A neighbour was so distracted last year, using her smartphone in the driveway before taking off, she almost hit a kid riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. Middle of the day, good visibility, big/tall enough kid, mother nearby. This is getting really crazy.

Your system with 98Lite is vanilla enough @Mr.Scienceman2000. The 'vanilla' nomenclature started for me during an episode of much frustration over what software versions actually ran on a default Windows 98 install. The forum was littered with many confusing posts of systems running KernelEx or various upgrade pack combinations. So to me you've stripped Windows 98 further, whatever runs on your system should probably run fine on my 'vanilla' system. Your hardware and software tweaks are cool and amazing, should make for an extremely efficient and functional system.

Two additonal Dillo web browsers were recently tested (downloads dillo-win32-3.0p9.exe and dplus-0.5b-setup.exe). Unfortunately one was buggy (crashed) and the other had limited TLS support, no longer functional on today's internet. Hopefully these projects will revive. I install Dillo as a lightweight, backup browser on my personal GNU/Linux systems, most times it's good enough.
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4 hours ago, Wunderbar98 said:

Spending time with modern browsers makes one realize how broken most sites appear in RetroZilla. By the way @Mr.Scienceman2000, your screenshot above is not visible in RetroZilla even with JavaScript enabled. I did see the picture on a newer system, thank-you for posting, always great to see other's setups.

well modern standards break stuff. Web browser as application platform started push again in recent years. This time mostly by Google and instead of ActiveX it is Webassembly. Whole idea of something lowlevel running inside web brower by default sounds huge security risk to me. Wonder if Webassembly can be used as HDD formatter at some point like ActiveX. And I have seen site expoloiting ActiveX script to format HDD.

Reason why I hate those web standards, ActiveX, Webassembly so much is because they result poorer less compatible code. WASM is easier than C but C can be better optimised. Also you can choose what applications you install on hdd, but if application got runtime on browser it will be harder to block it. Then there is support question. There any many intraweb management sites still uses activex and have issues running even on internet explorer 11 properly without tweaking. Some point same will happen to WASM sites when peoples admit it was mistake to create to begin with.

Edited by Mr.Scienceman2000
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6 hours ago, Wunderbar98 said:


Thanks for your contribution @ArcticFoxie, mental health and social media is a big issue, amongst so many big issues. A neighbour was so distracted last year, using her smartphone in the driveway before taking off, she almost hit a kid riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. Middle of the day, good visibility, big/tall enough kid, mother nearby. This is getting really crazy.

combine that with stupid peoples who blindly rely on driving assists and sensors. I had one near crash with Tesla roadster. Driver was likely on assisted driving mode since was tapping her phone and not touching wheel. She was behind yellow triangle meaning I had priority pass it first, but car pulled front of me. Was able to stop luckily before hit, but was too close call. Driver dropped her phone and went panic when I slammed horn to warn from impact. If you are so focused to your phone or anything else on car since rely on driver assists that you are scared when hear horn, you done something terribly wrong.

Peoples have reached point where they blindly trust electronics since "computers never do mistakes unlike humans". Computers are coded by humans and contain human mistakes. I am not saying all are bad and useless, traction control and anti lock brakes are useful here on cold slippery winter and helped me few times when took off or braked too hard on ice, but I do not trust them blindly and understand they can malfunction. Humans are not perfect, but neither are machines. And human got something computer wont, ability to question learned things. Sometimes creativity is only way solve/survive things

 

If their device would tell them jump off roof they likely would because computers cannot be wrong

Edited by Mr.Scienceman2000
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Just now, Mr.Scienceman2000 said:

combine that with stupid peoples

I'm terribly sorry to point this out to you , every time I read your posts , I want to stick forks in my eyes . Why ? People is already plural . It' like hair , children , etc . All of these are in it's plural form already . There's no "peoples" , "hairs" , "childrens" in the English language . Perhaps you wanted to say folks ? In that case , yes , it would right . No hard feelings , OK ? Again , I'm terribly sorry , but someone had to do it . Geez , with all this politcorrectness these days ... 

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Not to split hairs, but I count oops x 5. I only get frustrated when the meaning becomes ambiguous. If you need help deciphering a post, politely ask for clarification.

 

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1 hour ago, D.Draker said:

I'm terribly sorry to point this out to you , every time I read your posts , I want to stick forks in my eyes . Why ? People is already plural . It' like hair , children , etc . All of these are in it's plural form already . There's no "peoples" , "hairs" , "childrens" in the English language . Perhaps you wanted to say folks ? In that case , yes , it would right . No hard feelings , OK ? Again , I'm terribly sorry , but someone had to do it . Geez , with all this politcorrectness these days ... 

Well blame it on my rally english :roll1:. Most of words I say way they are pronounced and many times I end up writing sentences in way or order written in finnish and end up using it on english. Here you can use ihmiset (peoples) that way on sentences.  If professors on universities are allowed do that mistake I assume it is ok to me :yes:.

And I do not care from grammar that much as long as understand UNLESS it is offical writing or report and not some message or forum post. Or perhaps I learnt not to focus on small problems like that

Edited by Mr.Scienceman2000
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I think we can make an exception for "stupid peoples", as it better conveys the incredible amount of them being around (and growing).

In Italy we have a saying that would roughly translate to "the mother of imbeciles is always pregnant".

jaclaz

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I ended up messing around with two "new" game controllers (Logitech F310 controller and extreme 3D Pro Joystick) on Windows 98 and had positive results on both.

Logitech F310 (directinput) worked out of box if toggled it swtich to dinput mode (makes it detected as rumble pad2), but had lacking joystick and button support on games. I tried install logitech software for Rumble pad but did not detect it

Logitech F310 (Xinput), This one was bit tricky to get working. When controller was on Xinput mode it detected as Xbox 360 controller so tried use ported driver from this board without luck. Managed not detect and even cause BSOD. Then tried this from vogonsdrivers and worked without issues. I had manually force it though then worked. I know could edit INF, but that will take time and will limit compability. Also it works without issues despite I got no nusb installed. Only use some old USB drive driver if need to use USB hdd or flash drive.

I tested controller on XInput mode on Viper racing, Croc Legend of Gobbos, Croc Legend of Gobbos 2, Donald Duck: Goin' Quackers and Lego Island and had no issues detecting analog stick or analog triggers (expect Lego Island where was limited controller support)

 

Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick that I bought as spare in case my old reliable Microsoft Sidewinger 2 starts acting up. Logitec site and box claims it works Windows Vista and newer. I however remember seeing it on sales long ago with Windows 98 support. I bought one brand new from store and connected it to Windows 98 PC. It found driver out of box (hid gaming device), all buttons were detected, I have tested it so far on Microsoft Flight Simulator 98 and Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator WWII European series and worked out of box.

 

Atleast on here both of those controllers can still be purshaced off store shelves, so I leave my experience with models before someone uses their money to incompatible one. Happy to be able find new controllers to Windows 98 on market still

Edited by Mr.Scienceman2000
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On 9/30/2021 at 2:43 AM, Wunderbar98 said:

A neighbour was so distracted last year, using her smartphone in the driveway before taking off, she almost hit a kid riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. Middle of the day, good visibility, big/tall enough kid, mother nearby. This is getting really crazy.

And you hardly need a smartphone to crash. Look away for 2 seconds because something else in the environment caught your attention and next thing you know you just caused chain collision.

The news this summer said they increased penalties for smartphone usage and decreased the ones for speeding. I doubt it's much of a bother for a wallet for someone who has for the latest iPhone, hm?

In other news, we got the first 3D zebra crossing in the capital city recently. Not sure what to think of it. I still find it absurd that we have to drive with lights on in the broad daylight.

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All the drama, geez peoples. FWIW @Mr.Scienceman2000 your posts are informative and interesting, thanks for your contributions. Did some quick searching for ActiveX exploits and came across this, probably just scratching the surface.
https://flylib.com/books/en/1.47.1.112/1/

Interestingly on new Windows installs many of my personal preferences are opposite default, even installer choices, as many 'features' are perceived as unnecessary or security holes. To me this provides a safer, calm computing environment.

Your comment regarding less compatible code, for sure. If i was king developers would still edit HTML by hand, CSS would be frowned upon and JavaScript banned, along with anything else that can't generically run in any browser. Oh yeah, infinite scrolling would also be banned. Who came up with that, guessing some marketer wanting to keep you hooked. Stop scrolling for a while, turn off the computer and get some sleep. If you're addicted to a smartphone, rest those weary opposible thumbs.

When i think back to 'important' websites from years back (eg. email, bank), the web interface was generally very functional and efficient. Now there are so many icons and menus, so much clutter, hamburgers, hover text, scripts, etc. IMHO most modern sites do not provide much more valuable information, mostly marketing and noise, and they take much more processing to navigate.

Thank-you also for your gamepad comments @Mr.Scienceman2000, nice to see Windows 9x can use some modern controllers. The only gaming controller used here needs an old fashioned gamepad port. The 'faster' Windows 98 system i'm setting up has no such port, unless a proper sound card gets installed. Maybe i'll just use that system for keyboard/mouse games, many of my favourites don't need a gamepad anyway.

I've been using more recent Firefox lately. From poor memory, remember the 'Australis' phase some years ago. To me a crazy mess, rounded tabs wasting precious pixel space, hidden menubar, tabs above the navigation/URL bar, traditional navigation buttons removed or shuffled, introduction of 'hamburgers', etc. Even worse it was intentionally designed not to be easily revertable, abandoning many loyal followers. Well to my surprise recent Firefox seems to have reverted to some common sense, tabs are square again and the menubar is easy to re-activate. Still to me it's modern day spyware, the irony. Firefox usership is presently very low, hopefully it will survive.

Much of this seems similar to Windows abandoning the Start menu with newer releases. What a pity, such a functional interface. Why not keep it default and allow an option to remove as desired. Gramma and grampa would definitely approve, so would multitudes of office workers that just want to get their jobs done. My favourite interface ever remains Openbox on Unix-like systems but most users don't want to waste time tweaking every little thing.

In Windows i'm usually click-happy. Just noticed a COMMAND.COM 'window' can't be closed using the usual Alt-F4, Alt-x or Escape keys. Of course clicking on the close button or issuing 'exit' works, still odd. Maybe just reminds the user, hey you're using the power of DOS now.

Hi @UCyborg. Yes it's definitely easy to get distracted these days, glad it's not just me. Hopefully i won't get a ticket in the mail from an incident today. I was waiting to turn left in an intersection, yes i crossed the white line to wait as everyone does these days, and there was a speeding van approaching that didn't look like it would stop when the light turned yellow. So there i sat idle, waiting for him to slam on the brakes and dive to a stop, before safely exiting the intersection. 3D zebra crossing, how cool, had to look it up. Hopefully it makes a difference, it's not safe for pedestrians or cyclists anymore.
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