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Running vanilla Windows 98 in 2020 and beyond...


Wunderbar98
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2 hours ago, Dixel said:

Just replaced my almost 10 y.o. drive with a new one and now it has 666 GB of free space , lol !

666.png

your operating system is evil. Just get free ram to 666mb and you will summon Bill Gates demon:buehehe:

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Thanks for all responses. An old workplace didn't provide system admin rights, when working on the road i would bring small games that didn't need installation.

My faster Windows 98 install @Mr.Scienceman2000 uses NVIDIA GeForce2 MX400 (64 MB AGP, Forceware v71.84) and DirectX9.0c. Basic tests like DirectDraw and Direct3D are good, the system runs stable. No games installed yet.

So @j7n you're then having to manually modify the registry for true bold. If you later use DisplaySet again to save changes then your preferred registry tweaks get reverted?

Maybe i'm misunderstanding, nobody called 'computer programs viruses'?

I indicated above viruses for these old systems may no longer exist in the wild. Some time ago i referenced modern Firefox as being spyware (IMHO). This is not the same as calling it a virus. Nor is referencing a single application the same as calling all 'computer programs' viruses.

Regardless, people have good reason to be apprehensive about using systems online, so many examples making the news. Maybe you've been fortunate, through diligence or luck. In regards to the Firefox spyware reference, for example:
https://spyware.neocities.org/articles/firefox.html

Open an old browser, like RetroZilla based on SeaMonkey v1. In about:config filter 'http' and you get nothing. Newer Firefox releases have dozens of HTTP entries (calling home) but they've removed the ability to filter search 'http' and toggle view (eg. default/modified), why? Well then just filter search 'google', that trusted, cuddly company with your best interests in mind, example:
browser.safebrowsing.provider.google.advisoryURL
https://developers.google.com/safe-browsing/v4/advisory

These are URLs built into Firefox's code, you won't see this in lean, calm browsers like Dillo or Links. Or just patiently scroll all about:config, hiding in plain site. Personally i don't feel safer (Safebrowsing) knowing Google is using telemetry while banking.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=mozilla.lockbox&referrer=utm_source%3Dprotection_report%26utm_content%3Dmobile_promotion
https://apps.apple.com/app/id1314000270
https://www.mozilla.org/%LOCALE%/firefox/geolocation/
https://www.youtube.com/,https://www.facebook.com/,https://www.reddit.com/,https://www.wikipedia.org/,https://www.amazon.ca/,https://twitter.com/
https://incoming.telemetry.mozilla.org/submit/sslreports/

Sites like ghacks exist because Firefox's default configuration is not as safe and secure as advertised.
https://www.ghacks.net/2015/08/18/a-comprehensive-list-of-firefox-privacy-and-security-settings/

A service does not need to be running, referencing backdoors, just a connection.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backdoor_(computing)

Intel Management Engine (ME), just one example, there are also lots of software backdoors:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Management_Engine

- The ME always runs as long as the motherboard is receiving power.
- The ME is an attractive target for hackers, since it has top level access to all devices and completely bypasses the operating system.
- The ME itself is built into all Intel chipsets since 2008, not only those with AMT.
- The subsystem primarily consists of proprietary firmware running on a separate microprocessor that performs tasks during boot-up, while the computer is running, and while it is asleep.
- Intel claims the ME is required to provide full performance. Its exact workings are largely undocumented and its code is obfuscated using confidential Huffman tables stored directly in hardware, so the firmware does not contain the information necessary to decode its contents.
- The ME has its own MAC and IP address for the out-of-band interface, with direct access to the Ethernet controller; one portion of the Ethernet traffic is diverted to the ME even before reaching the host's operating system, for what support exists in various Ethernet controllers, exported and made configurable via Management Component Transport Protocol (MCTP). The ME also communicates with the host via PCI interface.
- Several weaknesses have been found in the ME. In May 2017, Intel confirmed that many computers with AMT have had an unpatched critical privilege escalation vulnerability (CVE-2017-5689). The vulnerability, which was nicknamed "Silent Bob is Silent" by the researchers who had reported it to Intel, affects numerous laptops, desktops and servers sold by Dell, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard (later Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc.), Intel, Lenovo, and possibly others.
- "Full control of affected machines, including the ability to read and modify everything. It can be used to install persistent malware (possibly in firmware), and read and modify any data." - Tatu Ylönen, ssh.com
- In 20 November, 2017 Intel confirmed that a number of serious flaws had been found in the ME, Trusted Execution Engine (tablet/mobile), and Server Platform Services (high end server) firmware, and released a "critical firmware update".
- Essentially every Intel-based computer for the last several years, including most desktops and servers, were found to be vulnerable to having their security compromised, although all the potential routes of exploitation were not entirely known.
- Critics like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Libreboot developers, and security expert Damien Zammit accused the ME of being a backdoor and a privacy concern. Zammit stresses that the ME has full access to memory (without the owner-controlled CPU cores having any knowledge), and has full access to the TCP/IP stack and can send and receive network packets independently of the operating system, thus bypassing its firewall.
- In the context of criticism of the Intel ME and AMD Secure Technology it has been pointed out that the National Security Agency (NSA) budget request for 2013 contained a Sigint Enabling Project with the goal to "Insert vulnerabilities into commercial encryption systems, IT systems, …" and it has been conjectured that Intel ME and AMD Secure Technology might be part of that program.
- As of 2017, Google was attempting to eliminate proprietary firmware from its servers and found that the ME was a hurdle to that.

Like the example above, software firewalls can be bypassed, and most users don't own (ie. have full control) over their network router either, typically provided by their ISP.
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38 minutes ago, Wunderbar98 said:

I indicated above viruses for these old systems may no longer exist in the wild. Some time ago i referenced modern Firefox as being spyware (IMHO). This is not the same as calling it a virus. Nor is referencing a single application the same as calling all 'computer programs' viruses.

Regardless, people have good reason to be apprehensive about using systems online, so many examples making the news. Maybe you've been fortunate, through diligence or luck. In regards to the Firefox spyware reference, for example:
https://spyware.neocities.org/articles/firefox.html

Well remember that Mozilla gets funding from Google. Would not be surprised it there is data sharing contract between them. I have actually seperated Firewall (openwrt), Modem and LAN from each other. Modem has been configured to bridge mode so only works passing IP address to firewall. All I need unplug is modem and can have LAN without internet connectivity. Though my Windows 98 system wont call home all the time.

38 minutes ago, Wunderbar98 said:

Intel Management Engine (ME), just one example, there are also lots of software backdoors:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Management_Engine
 

well I happy my both Pentium 4 and Pentium 3 system and even my Core2duo laptop lacks that or AMT. To atleast partially fix it if got newer board @Dixelgave advice use external nic without intel chipset and that seems work on few test systems.

38 minutes ago, Wunderbar98 said:

- As of 2017, Google was attempting to eliminate proprietary firmware from its servers and found that the ME was a hurdle to that.

so big G themself cannot trust propieraty firmware they push consumers on smartphone to trust:buehehe:. Also even NSA or other goverment organisations do trust ME.

38 minutes ago, Wunderbar98 said:

Like the example above, software firewalls can be bypassed, and most users don't own (ie. have full control) over their network router either, typically provided by their ISP.

some areas you have no choice but use operator modem. Luckily I was able get AVM cable modem and mod it to act as bridge (ethernet port passtrough). It was expensive (200 euros) and used long time to get hash right to enable hidden lan bridges. After it had to configure OpenWRT to raspberry PI 4 to handle network between wan and lan. Also my ISP offer 5 public IP so can have one for services like web or file server and one to isolated LAB network where can do stuff without risking main network. I do have long list of software and operating systems and hardware I forbid to connect on home network. I got no wifi either. All wired

 

 

Edited by Mr.Scienceman2000
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Hi @Mr.Scienceman2000. There must be a contract, big companies sharing data and servers. You have a cool and secure setup. Systems here are wired 99% of the time, only wireless on a hobby system. I remember watching Battlestar Galactica (2004 series). To me the 1970s show was better just technically limited. For security reasons Commander Adama was adamant computer systems on the bridge were never networked with the ship. The storyline was crazy but anyway, next season a human-looking Cylon interfaced directly with a bridge computer through a wrist port to help the humans. This begs the question, if human-looking Cylons had wrist ports why the heck did it take Gaius Baltar so long to identify Cylons on board the ship. A quick round of wrist x-rays for all personnel and by afternoon coffeebreak it would all be settled :)

A Pentium 4 would be nice, my faster AMD does not support SSE2. Having said that, may last Penium 4 died and took a power supply along for the ride. There was a thread here about capacitor plague, the Pentium 4 boards have so many capacitors. Some day i would still like one again, an old SSE2 capable system would serve all my present computing needs. It is sweet spot hardware.

The NVIDIA MX400 (64 MB AGP) i mentioned earlier replaced an ATI Rage Pro (32 MB AGP). The Rage Pro worked perfectly in Windows 98 but the legacy ATI driver for Debian-based systems is poor. Since my builds are multi-boot with GNU/Linux, now i have five Windows 98 era ATI graphic cards that may never be used. This 32 MB ATI card was the most capable, the others are older. Just mentioning in case someone is trying to decide what may work for their needs. NVIDIA gets slammed, famously by Linus Torvalds, but my old NVIDIA cards work great in both old Windows and modern GNU/Linux.

Had a cool experience today streaming HTTP music in DOS using 'MPXPLAY Audio player v1.65 for DOS and Windows by PDSoft (Attila Padar, Hungary)'. Loaded DOS mouse and packet driver, started MPXPLAY, opened a VLC streaming playlist (*.m3u file) and streamed my favourite channels. Streaming 'polkaheaven' in DOS in 2021 is a treat. The player was okay, the interface is pretty good. The screen is busy with a flashing cursor and audio visualizations. It froze when attempting to toggle controls, probably just me. Maybe the visualizations can be toned down, didn't investigate.
http://mpxplay.sourceforge.net/

Good experience but i must say it feels limiting in DOS, guess it reflects a different era. Now when streaming music or video people expect to have several applications running at once, shifting back and forth. In DOS it's usually one thing at a time, sometimes rebooting between applications to reset memory or load different drivers. There are surely still DOS purists around but i would imagine as Windows evolved most users never returned to DOS-only. Makes me think of the old, old days (as seen on TV) when families would simply sit together around a radio or record player.
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3 hours ago, Wunderbar98 said:

A Pentium 4 would be nice, my faster AMD does not support SSE2. Having said that, may last Penium 4 died and took a power supply along for the ride. There was a thread here about capacitor plague, the Pentium 4 boards have so many capacitors. Some day i would still like one again, an old SSE2 capable system would serve all my present computing needs. It is sweet spot hardware.

That reminds me that when time evolves in order keep these systems, we need to learn maintain all ourself. Behind are good old days when there was many third party service center around every town and repairing broken equipment to get extra out from it was normal.

Luckily I have some relatives and friends who are better solder than me if ever need cap replacing. I hope wont need. I always was average to solder. I am better to work with anything solder free on hardware. I really hope wont need new caps anytime soon.

3 hours ago, Wunderbar98 said:

Good experience but i must say it feels limiting in DOS, guess it reflects a different era. Now when streaming music or video people expect to have several applications running at once, shifting back and forth. In DOS it's usually one thing at a time, sometimes rebooting between applications to reset memory or load different drivers. There are surely still DOS purists around but i would imagine as Windows evolved most users never returned to DOS-only. Makes me think of the old, old days (as seen on TV) when families would simply sit together around a radio or record player.

DOS was good/bad in my opinion. Good was direct hardware access that allowed to make very well optimised software and games under DOS. Bad was no multitasking and no memory protection. One bogus application took whole thing down and had keep spamming crlt+alt+delete or reset. Windows 1 and 2 expect 386 one were mostly dos Shells. Windows 3.1 on 386 mode was what I could call OS. That was kinda horrible configure if had any network or cd drive. Many drivers refused to work on upper memory areas filling 640kb rather quickly. And trying run anything on Windows 3.1 that was 386 mode could result out of memory error.

Windows 95 was built top of dos, but it had 32bit cd, network and other driver support so dos drivers were not that needed. Most of time something took down my 9x setup it was bogus dos program running on Windows. That is why I like exit to dos mode to run them

Windows NT improved memory protection preventing that crashing but it is trade between perfromance, compability and stability that user must choose. NT based Operating systems were mostly chose by companies needing stable system and were not depend on MS-DOS applications

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

NVIDIA gets slammed, famously by Linus Torvalds

That is just finnish honesty :buehehe: (In case you did not know Linus Torvalds is originally Finnish, just moved to states). Saying straight what you think from something is what many here likes to do.

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Posted (edited)
Thanks for the summary @Mr.Scienceman2000. My soldering skills are only fair with less than ideal equipment. Usually the solder works, sometimes not. Bit of a bull in a china shop situation. When my workplace switched to Windows NT 4.0, i remember how smooth and stable it was. Any slowness wasn't noticed as the new OS shipped with upgraded hardware. System requirements for older NT is still pretty low by any modern standard. Most would say NT was a superior product and i would be forced to agree, just don't tell anyone i said that ;)

My faster 1.8 GHz Windows 98 system is pretty much done. Downloaded the motherboard manual and connected the tower speaker and eight USB leads (2 front ports). Retro computing isn't legit without a system beep. Nice no longer crawling around for USB ports. A second IDE drive was added and partitioned. As my first Windows 98 hard drive was a 6 GB Quantum Fireball, for nostalgia subsequent Windows 98 installs use a 6 GB drive or partition.

MSI K7N2 (MS-6570) motherboard (BIOS date 2004) using onboard sound and ethernet, AMD Athlon 2500 (1.8 GHz), 1.5 GB RAM using R. Loews PATCHMEM, NVIDIA MX400 graphics (64 MB AGP), two IDE Drives (6 and 40 GB), CD burner, no floppy, big old case with working switches and LED lights, PS2 mouse and keyboard, KVM switch, 19" ViewSonic CRT monitor, generic desktop speakers. Less capable than a Raspberry Pi and the tower is estimated to be at least 160x heavier. Won't bother with an electical consumption estimate.

The system now multi-boots Windows 98 SE, Windows 2000 Pro, Windows XP Pro and Devuan Beowulf (current stable) using Grub2 bootloader. I usually embed Tiny Core or Puppy Linux but not this time, don't use them much anymore. All OS' are fully setup except Windows 2000 is still just a base install, it will be a fun winter project.

Now DOS, early-mid Windows applications and ~57,000 readily available Debian packages can be run from the same hardware. It is doubtful this system will be used much for pure DOS as the slower system is more suited and fully set up. Windows 98 SE uses primarily RetroZilla. Web browsers used in Devuan are SeaMonkey v2.49.4 (last non-SSE2 capable release) and Firefox ESR v78. The lack of SSE2 will eventually kill this system too but for now it's pretty much fully capable.
Edited by Wunderbar98
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Linus Thorvalds! I think he uses being raised "Finnish" wisely as a reason to be able to speak up more directly. It's all due to the cold weather! You can't afford to be sensitive I guess!

For me, problems with graphics cards are the most common reason for a badly performing Linux installation.
Some models don't have a good driver at all on Linux. On desktops, you can exchange the graphics card, but on laptops, you might be unlucky with what's built-in. Fortuneatly Live-CDs show problems with the graphics driver beforehand.

With all the advantages that Linux has, the graphical performance on the desktop is far off what an old Windows can do. No problem if enough GPU power is there, but we are speaking here about 15-20 year old Windows 98 computers with a dual-boot option. Very important on my low-end computers was the option to disable drawing the window when pulling and dragging it across the screen (which is possible in Xfce for example). The Windows 98 or Windows XP had no performance issues with that option, drawing the window fluently on screen. It's 20 year old stuff, I know, but is it that foolish to expect improvements in modern developments?
Okay, it's not all bad: Tabbed browsing in the file manager, sticky windows, mutliple desktops. Xfce on Linux is nice to use, but why the heck does it need so much power compared to Windows XP?

@Wunderbar98: What's your experience with the graphical performance? Are you happy with your Linux installations compared to the Windows on the same machines?

...writing these words on a CRT monitor. They are fantastic for making an old computer setup look even more odd. Big monsters. Sounding like blowing up every time they are switched on by their massive button. Shaking the whole electricity grid. Heating in the winter (no energy is wasted). And then the "Shhhhhhhhh" when being switched off, sounding like the waves of the ocean, ending a computer session on a calming note. But unfortuneatly, the LCDs are the more practical choice it looks like! Still, my beauty award goes to the CRTs. Currently, the prices are very low for CRT monitors and you can still get free working scrap when searching for it, but these times will be over soon, when people have cleaned up their basments from these bulky monitors.

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3 hours ago, Gansangriff said:

Heating in the winter (no energy is wasted).

Ever tried  GTX780 ( Ti version ) ? Well , you should ! It will outperform your 20 oldies in terms of heating up a 25 square meters room in a matter of several minutes !

Or try GTX Titan Black . I was going to buy it , but I just coudn't sit near it for more than 30 minutes and decided to stay with my first Titan (not black). 

Also , they all sound like a turbojet , I think you may like it even more . Build quality is very good ! Not like the modern days junk . Just buy original Nvidia reference version from 2013 , not from "partners" like Zotacs , Palit , Asus or EVGA. Besides , they already are ancient too . I know you can find drivers for Win2000. Perhaps someone modded Win98 drivers too.

Edited by Dixel
forgot EVGA
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On 10/7/2021 at 8:38 PM, Wunderbar98 said:

My faster Windows 98 install @Mr.Scienceman2000 uses NVIDIA GeForce2 MX400 (64 MB AGP, Forceware v71.84) and DirectX9.0c. Basic tests like DirectDraw and Direct3D are good, the system runs stable. No games installed yet.

My previous PC had GeForce4 MX 440. If I remember correctly, it was one of the cheapest for basic PC. Boy, it was limiting, number of games I played back then used shaders to achieve special effects, so number of things didn't display or display properly with that card. I also remember I had to overclock it to the max RivaTuner allowed to make it through one mission in GTA San Andreas because otherwise FPS was too low and coupled with FPS tied to physics I couldn't catch that airplane.

Apparently the card was simple enough that it didn't fry itself when its fan died, it was only noticed when PC was taken to service for motherboard failure, it didn't detect RAM anymore. They gave me new motherboard, they removed GPU from the previous and gave it back separately and said I shouldn't use this graphics card anymore due to broken fan.

The replacement motherboard had onboard GPU, which was only good enough for 2D. So I put the old card back and used that PC until the disk died (click, click, click, click).

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Hi @Gansangriff, GNU/Linux graphics is only difficult here with older hardware, newer hardware (2010 era) no problem. Still can't complain, GNU/Linux runs most servers and the world's supercomputers, yet still provides new kernels and software for 32-bit systems. When setting up a new system i don't need to hunt around at random websites for drivers and software, most everything is in the repository. Hardware is typically recognized without tinkering, including sound and basic graphics.

Yes if you need to disable window drawing to move them around something isn't right. One system i had a similar issue running OpenBox so i switched to Fluxbox and everything was good. Xfce is good, haven't used it in years. Here it's MATE, LXDE, OpenBox and Fluxbox. In GNU/Linux you can install as many window managers or desktop environments as you want and boot whichever one.

Once i find the right hardware and driver then graphics aren't an issue, but i don't game in GNU/Linux like many now do. In all fairness, Windows gamers and power users often swap hardware as well to get software running to their satisfaction. Plus Windows Vista already left most of my hardware behind many years ago.

I use GNU/Linux with CRT and flatscreen, desktops and netbook. There seems to be a regression in newer kernels recognizing CRT capability, plus Xorg graphics now seems to want nothing less than 24-bit color depth. If a proprietory graphic driver doesn't work well there's usually a free reverse engineered driver and the Vesa driver can always be used as fallback. Vesa just offers something like 1024x768 max but there's never a noticable performance issue for window management. One of my systems happily uses the 'nouveau' driver, free/libre software drivers for nVidia cards.

Hi @Dixel, to you it's ancient, to me it's new, no hardware close to that here. You could always fry some eggs and bacon with that heat. To me the same old shell game, bloat the software, juice up the hardware. Proprietary software and hardware developers are happy as pigs in mud making money to infinity and beyond.

Hi @UCyborg, you're obviously an advanced gamer. Most cases whatever graphic card is installed happily runs my (old) games, even if i have to turn down resolution or other game options. I just try to install more intensive games on faster hardware and use older hardware for basic games. Only one of my GPUs has a cooling fan. Ah, the click of death. I've had one hard drive clicking for years, still not dead, sometimes fails to startup but always revives somehow (non-critical data).
Edited by Wunderbar98
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13 hours ago, UCyborg said:

My previous PC had GeForce4 MX 440. If I remember correctly, it was one of the cheapest for basic PC. Boy, it was limiting, number of games I played back then used shaders to achieve special effects, so number of things didn't display or display properly with that card. I also remember I had to overclock it to the max RivaTuner allowed to make it through one mission in GTA San Andreas because otherwise FPS was too low and coupled with FPS tied to physics I couldn't catch that airplane.

Did you end up using downgrade mods to any games? I remember those to exist atleast for doom3. They allowed even lower quality graphics. Doom3 was able to run much slower hardware with it. It was not pleasant experience though:crazy:.

On 10/10/2021 at 12:21 AM, Gansangriff said:

...writing these words on a CRT monitor. They are fantastic for making an old computer setup look even more odd. Big monsters. Sounding like blowing up every time they are switched on by their massive button. Shaking the whole electricity grid. Heating in the winter (no energy is wasted). And then the "Shhhhhhhhh" when being switched off, sounding like the waves of the ocean, ending a computer session on a calming note. But unfortuneatly, the LCDs are the more practical choice it looks like! Still, my beauty award goes to the CRTs. Currently, the prices are very low for CRT monitors and you can still get free working scrap when searching for it, but these times will be over soon, when people have cleaned up their basments from these bulky monitors.

I got two 17" crt tubes for free, well price was take them from other side of finland with other stuff to my home. Was one fun trip though. One is Acer Aceview 77e/Mistubishi Diamondview 1772ie with Diamondtron picture tube that I use as main and second was Acer monitor that tube manufacture I am not too sure since have not taken apart. Likely it is cheap one since picture is very dim. I could try look if can manually pot adjust or find other faulty part than electron gun (note, do not take crt apart unless know what doing). Diamondtron one is great though.

 

And I agree CRT to be unique experience starting from degauss coil making nice donk sound on power up to picture showing up slowly in few seconds until tube is hot, which is part of crt experience.

Sadly decline for CRT seems to be too strong. LCD has it advantages, but so does crt. LCD is good for generic use like browsing web and using documents. CRT in other hand is good for gaming, because no matter resolution, game wont look pixelated, good for multimedia. I was watching few old commercials and CRT and was able see new elements on video that never did before. No technology been able do CRT like image. Also ability lower resolution without stuff showing pixelated allows extend use of obsolete hw.

 

Edited by Mr.Scienceman2000
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Soon it is important day to me, well to my Windows 98 machine. It has been 3 years since got it and got back to Windows 98 scene properly after had break.

I tell short story here how ended back to Windows 9x user.

 

Back when I was as child, my dad had computers with Windows 95 and later Windows 98. I remember Windows 98 pc had some Asus nForce athlon mainboard, 15gb quantum fireball hdd and 256mb ram if remember correctly. Those were first I used internet with, used software, played games and other stuff.

One point both of machines started suffer from technical issues. Windows 98 pc mainboard started suffer from bad capacitors and not sure what was issue was on win95 one. However back then hardware evolved rather quickly and did not feel good idea use money to repair old hardware, when cost could be worth newer faster hw.

One point I got my first machine from dad which was quite fast for the time (Intel Pentium 4 2.80ghz, Asus P4P800 mainboard, Club3D ATI 9800 pro (later Gainward Geforce 6800GT 256mb AGP). That gave me proper access into computer world. I had windows 98 and XP and Ubuntu Linux on it. Was also first machine I did virtualisation on, I was curious from operating system history and wanted experience operating systems never experienced before. Virtual PC 2007 was main I used for a long time. Over time I also learnt hate Internet Explorer more and more and understood why many did not like it at all and started take step midigate it so would be ok for it existence.

Fast forwarding last 6-8 years been kind of bouncing around. During that time I had more focus on getting work done with software I was forced to use personal system, operating systems worsened. Touch screen UI forced to desktop, ads by default everywhere on UI etc. Also felt was last person who did not want upgrade to newer OS. World changed too fast for me. In short my Pentium 4 fell out of use and XP, 98 were only used on vm sometimes

Later I really started to miss Windows XP and other operating systems on native OS. Windows 7 was ok, but lacked that simple and safe feeling (though had it more than Windoze 8+ that felt like downloading adwares to machine).

First I got dell Optiplex 755, that served as XP machine around half from year, then friend on one previous workplace mentioned he had some parts on closet he could sell after I mentioned was looking mainboard. I got pretty good XP rig then (Asus M2N SLI Deluxe, Nvidia 8800gt, Phenom-x4). I felt very good to be back on XP, but felt wanted go older.

But enough of XP lets go to 9x part

Around 3.5-4 years ago (Wont remember for sure) I got Digital Venturis 466 with 486DX2-66 cpu, 8mb ram and 500mb hdd. I upgraded ram to 68mb and hdd to 20gb with dynamic disk overlay since had no smaller and installed Windows 95. That machine was and still is amazing, durable and assembled England according sticker. It served my need for older games, but I wanted 3d accerelation, but it only had ISA slots.

3 years ago I got that Pomi that story I mentioned at https://msfn.org/board/topic/177106-running-vanilla-windows-98-in-2020-and-beyond/?do=findComment&comment=1205090 

Still was not fully satisfied, I wanted CRT and classic keyboard with Windows keys. Keyboard I got from same place as Pomi. I also got Windows 98SE finnish CD from there with other install disks and floppies from there. Before only had Windows 98 First edition. It was Microsoft Internet keyboard, that I use still. Around year ago I wanted reduce footprint of my Windows 98 install with 98lite. All was fine until messed up registry and restored too old backup that required reinstall. I made clean small Windows 98SE install.

That point I started use Windows 98 seriously. One thing I wanted was connect to internet. Most obvious was use Firefox 2, but that had issues connecting sites due obsolete TLS and broken web standards. I tried Kernel EX, but it felt to break more than did good so decided to stick with vanilla Windows 98. I quickly got impression everyone in retro communities though connecting Windows 98 to internet (it is not internet it is lan passing traffic trough firewalled gateway to internet on me) was insane, because all hackers would come and hijack my system.

Sadly none of vintage or retro forums were not suited to me and wanted find forum with members wanting keep legacy stuff alive. Then I ended up looking some things on MSFN and it felt right one, but did not register, because felt would never have anything to contribute there and had no time to hang on boards or anywhere else.

Then Covid came to play and was left to home doing nothing almost a year like most and had more time play with projects I love and was no more required force use some annyoing software so could upgrade OS i liked as daily drive (98, XP, Vista). It was like hitting wall on speed. Had change stop and think world and what really wanted

Then one point my dad asked if wanted something from my old machine and I was surprised, dad had kept it around like most of my other stuff. I felt so happy my dad did not throw/gave stuff away without asking from me first if needed. I got most of childhood things intact. I used lost of effort to restore my first machine like new and more effort will be used. I have special bondage to that machine. I even got original ATI 9800 to it still.

Also around that point I finally decided join MSFN forums. Here I learnt bunch of cool XP and Windows 9x software like New moon and Retrozilla and patched Netscape 9 and CSS fixes that made browsing modern web somewhat usable. And found all great peoples who had goal that idea, keep fighting against windmills to keep operating system they like good on daily use and had actual knowledge from things. Sure lot we share different thoughs on things, but most share same basic ideologies. And I was wrong from not having anything to contribute to community.

Going three months backwards I traveled to meet few friends in other side of Finland and got all type of cool stuff from them. Friend had salvaged two CRT monitors along with other stuff from building that was going to be torn down and wanted give 2x of those monitors to me. I also got Compaq Presario 5000 (820mhz celeron, nvidia tnt2 riva), bunch of old Nokia phones (3330, 6110, 5110, E90, 880, 3210 etc.), bunch of classic Windows game titles, most for Windows 98. 2x 90s notebooks (Digital Hinote and Compaq Armanda with Pentiums). One of those friend gave all that for free, because he no longer lives in Finland and was not worth take all aboard where he had similar stuff already and rather gave them to someone they knew. I had bags full of stuff when got home from there.

Then fast forwarding to this day I am writing long post here and moved to new area (in middle of nowhere with deep forest next to me) and got new workplace that I like. Also finally got room to use all machines properly. All systems I mentioned expect Dell 755 (it got good home for someone who needed it more than me now) are still used day to day. I am waiting build shelve, so can connect my 486 now running  Windows 3.11 OEM that original HDD had. Now got My first pc, Pomi and Compaq Presario 5000 hooked into KVM switch to my 17" Diamondtron CRT. Also I rock on old monochrome brick Nokia, that I wanted as kid, but never got so good that way too. So despite world turned crazy I was able find good things out of it and enjoyed best could from times

 

That was bit lenghty post, but that is how I ended up back to Windows 98 scene. For me Windows XP and even more Windows 98 is safe and familiar desktop environment, that feels place I am alone isolated from world with full control over things, that is what modern OS (Expect linux partially) fails to deliver.

I will give my Pomi nice troughly cleanup, new quality fan for gpu and maybe more storage space and if find good usb and audio header will give that too.

Likely I am not only who has been going trough many phases before ended back to scene. And I am most likely here to stay. Lets keep Windows 98 alive:thumbup

 

Edited by Mr.Scienceman2000
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On 10/9/2021 at 6:43 AM, Wunderbar98 said:

NVIDIA gets slammed, famously by Linus Torvalds, but my old NVIDIA cards work great in both old Windows and modern GNU/Linux.

One of the hot topics at the time was NVIDIA Optimus technology, I guess unsupported on Linux then.

I have such laptop at work, so poor Intel is stuck driving 3 screens, MySQL Workbench 8 and MS SQL Management Studio 18 are notably slower than should be at redrawing tables after being restored. Didn't get around to messing with application profiles to see if it would help. Probably those two applications don't render as fast as they could by themselves.

A desktop PC would be nicer or at least a laptop with only discrete GPU. The whole damn company has laptops as if portability was an actual must (it isn't in practice).

On 10/10/2021 at 8:13 PM, Wunderbar98 said:

Hi @UCyborg, you're obviously an advanced gamer. Most cases whatever graphic card is installed happily runs my (old) games, even if i have to turn down resolution or other game options.

 

18 hours ago, Mr.Scienceman2000 said:

Did you end up using downgrade mods to any games? I remember those to exist atleast for doom3. They allowed even lower quality graphics. Doom3 was able to run much slower hardware with it. It was not pleasant experience though:crazy:.

TBH, thinking back then, I played more games that could render properly entirely. Must have exaggerated due to fuzzy memory and the fact those few titles must have been impactful in my book. I wouldn't dare to play Doom 3 on such card. No special mods were needed for OKish performance for the games I played, so didn't think of looking for them. The other games that did use unsupported shaders were still coded to downscale accordingly. For something like Doom 3 I imagine better equipment would probably be preferred as in that kind of game lighting and shadows are big part of atmosphere. And you still need spare horsepower when the monsters show up.

Of games with shader problems, I remember Halo, where there was no shiny armor on protagonist and enemies, it was all dark and Half-Life 2: Episode One, where the big energy ball in the Citadel looked like some drawing physics teacher would draw on the board. Just 3D round see-through shape. This was probably most advanced game I played using that GPU. It was released in 2006. A year later Half-Life 2: Episode Two was released, this one refused to launch. Interestingly, there's this page last updated in 2021 with comparisons of some scenes in Half-Life 2 going back to DirectX 6.0. But, a plot twist, most relevant modifications of the page are from over a decade ago.

Fun times. Support for DX7 level GPUs eventually started disappearing, at least from bigger AAA titles. Then in 2007 Crysis happened.

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https://www.techspot.com/article/2053-can-it-run-crysis-history/

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On 10/10/2021 at 7:13 PM, Wunderbar98 said:

Hi @Dixel, to you it's ancient, to me it's new, no hardware close to that here. You could always fry some eggs and bacon with that heat. To me the same old shell game, bloat the software, juice up the hardware. Proprietary software and hardware developers are happy as pigs in mud making money to infinity and beyond.

Hi , they are quite new for me too and far more better for cooking , but what I meant is ancient for modern gamers and absolutely of no use for them (no DX11.1 , no DX12), too weak even for watching new BluRay disks . They only support blurays from 2007. And their kepler architecture is 10 years old , grab them while you can , it's the last tech that is able to support win2000 ! 

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