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Running vanilla Windows 98 in 2020 and beyond...


Wunderbar98
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It has been computer maintenance weekend for me. I was planning on installing 40mm Noctua into TNT2, but noticed screws in current fan were too short so need go hardware store look bit longer ones. So anyway here is how it look now from inside. And yes SSD is not mounted best way but I had no hdd caddy to case and it is better let it move around freely. I chewed front fan casing a bit because whole design was stupid for airflow. It had few tiny holes resulting low or none airflow on intake. Rest of fans are noctuas. I kinda like older Power supplies more for having non sleeved cables that takes less space, but I cannot cut those

kotely.jpg.595eed905c2e6c20835f75f5fbe15eff.jpg

Then was able to find decent way read YLE news and weather reports and emergency alerts under retrozilla. This most applies to Finnish users but Yle got text version from teletext online that renders without issues with JS disabled. I mostly use that to check weather, weather alerts, stocks and sport results and seems good.

Shame site needs HTTPS that may break access to it on future under Windows 98. I am not saying HTTPS is useless and should not be used on any sites with user information, but I see no reason force HTTPS only from server side to text based sites. There is HTTPS enforcement addons to browsers and modern browsers got feature built in so why server side need force it? And excuse modern browsers support HTTPS is good reason to lock out any non HTTPS users if bad. Not all operating or even hardware can handle HTTPS. And who knows what upcoming tls libraries will require new cpu instructions or even worse TMP chip like Win11 locking out anything older. Big corpos could it if they want.

That also reminds me from one email I sent to webmaster year ago. One finnish site had WML (Wireless markup language) site along simple HTML site. WML/WAP is meant to handheld devices like older mobile devices like cellphones and PDA and was golden standard before new WBML (web bloat markup language) aka HTML5 came into play.

That site WAP page allowed to download old ringtones and operator logos to nokias and read site owner forum or even post there. However I noticed how all download links gave secure connection failure error on phone. I checked WML site code and noticed links were HTTPS instead of HTTP despite site offering HTTP fallback. After I sent email to webmaster which had last time been updated in 2011, was surprised he actually answered me and fixed that issue. Reason to it was since today Google seems lower site on index if it got HTTP so or mixed contect so he batch update whole site and broke wap page by accident. That site is working again thanks to my email to webmaster.

So now websites will drop on search index it they got no https. That will make many search results wrong. What is site that google dropped on index for no HTTPS got exactly answer I am looking for and I cannot find it? Again I am not saying HTTPS is useless but some seems go religious over it

10 hours ago, UCyborg said:

It's display name is something like .NET Runtime Optimization Service v2.0.50727_X86, the description is Microsoft .NET Framework NGEN. .NET Framework 4 has Microsoft .NET Framework NGEN v4.0.30319_X86. These are also versions of CLR (Common Language Runtime). .NET 2.0 - 3.5 share one and .NET 4.0 - 4.8 share another.

Most of the time, the services shouldn't be active as you're not getting any updates for these framework versions on XP that would require generating new native images of its libraries.

Don't remember having problems with .NET in general, except there was something about v4 on XP out-of-the-box, I suppose libraries weren't NGENed on install. It somehow caused waiting on the logon screen. Then you ran the optimization process manually and the issue was solved.

I have those services on manual, if I'm not mistaken, the one for .NET Framework 2.0 - 3.5 is set to manual by default while the one for 4.0 is set to auto by default, so without changing startup setting, it would run only for a short time, just to see there's nothing to do.

that service seems malfunction atleast on finnish Windows XP. I have tried it on both professional and home edition SP3 with or without updates. I guess it could be localised issue

Edited by Mr.Scienceman2000
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Thanks for the inputs. Discussion went from System File Checker to ScanDisk to SCANREG, to me this makes more sense. A default startup entry is 'C:\WINDOWS\SCANREGW.EXE /autorun', welcome here. It completes in < 2 seconds when run manually and shouldn't appreciably slow startup time. SCANREG can also be disabled via 'MSCONFIG' -> Startup tab.

If a system is perpetually running ScanDisk at every boot then that would be entirely different. I think Windows 98's biggest shortcoming is system instability and the clean shutdown issue contributes. Shutdown patch, hardware swapping, software configuration, so many potential solutions. A winning Windows 98 hardware/softare combination is a joy.

Thanks for the Simcopter thumbs-up @UCyborg. The game plays great natively on my old hardware, someone revived it for Windows 10. I downloaded a fan compiled 5000 SimCity pack years ago and hope to eventually 'fly' through them all. It sounds like a lot but to me just set aside 5 minutes per city, fly around and complete a couple missons, decide if it's worth keeping. With Tiger Woods 99 i eventually played through about 250 mostly fan contributed courses, all enjoyable and they extend the game so much. There's nothing like computer gaming, so much out there, plenty of free stuff too if on a budget.

My Windows XP system is only using NET Framework v2 and i have now toggled the service to manual, thanks. It is only used here for one application but when it's needed then it will be available. So many background services in Windows XP vs Windows 9x but that was also said when Vista came out and so on and so forth.

Played some Formula 1 on Sega Genesis this weekend. There were issues, like the game would stall at the loading screen. Cartridge contacts need periodic cleaning with an alcohol swab, just like old computer parts. Something struck me, how a 'gamer' can remember every turn, bump and idiosyncrasy of a particular racetrack, even if they haven't played the game for several years. A few quick laps and it's all familiar again.

Have fun with your hardware @Mr.Scienceman2000. To me working with hardware or software are equally rewarding. This faster Windows 98 hardware has sensors so i can monitor temperatures, fan RPM and voltages. AIDA32 has now become even more useful. The download link from @Siria on page 44 of this thread still works, in RetroZilla View -> Style -> None to get the link. A BIOS temperature alarm was set for 66 Celcius and it went off yesterday during intensive computing. The case will likely be opened to improve air exchange, like most of my others, and AIDA should help monitor progress.
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== Custom userContent.css ==

A custom userContent.css file (3 KB) can be downloaded below (login required). It enhances the default stylesheet used by RetroZilla and other browsers that support a custom userContent.css file (eg. Firefox, K-Meleon, Netscape Navigator). Only tested on one system, one monitor resolution and two browsers (K-Meleon, RetroZilla).

Place the file in the 'chrome' subdirectory (create if not present) of the browser's profile. In RetroZilla the default path is:
C:\WINDOWS\Application Data\RetroZilla\Profiles\default\your_profile\chrome\userContent.css

The first section is a code snippet from @Siria that displays sometimes hidden webpage output. This occurs on occasion, you will see a block of webpage surrounded by a two pixel thick dashed red line.

The second section helps view and utilize this MSFN forum, entries are commented for editing, modify as desired. Just a hack so the forum works a bit better, it won't fix everything.

MSFN forum enhancements:
- Prevent off-screen text output.
- Gray background to visualize white text, change lightgray to darkgray for nightmode.
- Box forum categories for better visualization (default blue).
- Box forum thread topics for better visualization (default green).
- Box member quotes for improved thread readability (default blue).
- Box member signatures for improved thread readability (default yellow, must be logged in).
- Shrink stretched/oversized member avatar images.
- Remove duplicate member avatar images in thread posts.
- Remove not useful mobile navigation clutter.
- Display member menu when logged in, log out without toggling browser's Style to None.

Note: It is still necessary to manually disable all 'style' to best visualize many problematic web pages. This often provides a cleaner layout and uncovers otherwise hidden text, pictures and hyperlinks. In RetroZilla toggle View -> Use style -> None and in K-Meleon use @siria's StyleKill macro (stylekiller.kmm).

Review 'Vanilla Windows 98 Web Browsing Summary' for more Windows 9x web browsing information.
https://msfn.org/board/topic/177106-running-vanilla-windows-98-in-2020-and-beyond/page/33/?tab=comments#comment-1189203

userContent.css Edited by Wunderbar98
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Always something new in old Windows land. Came across this local buy/sell ad the other day. Guess somebody wants a turnkey system for parallel port hardware plus more. Probably had flashbacks from the last time he/she installed such a system from scratch.

Desktop PC with Windows 98 or 95
I am looking for a working desktop computer with windows 98 or 95 installed and working. Must have the following.
1. Functioning parallel port
2. Video card with VGA port.
3. Floppy disk drive
4. Mouse port
5. Working internal hard drive 100 MB minimum.

Not that many years ago a slotcar buddy was running FreeDOS. Through his electronic wizardry he hooked up slotcar track sensors to a serial port for some DOS-based race timing software. Pretty nifty.

FreeCell game #114 was a stumper.
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Ehm... here, that might be useful for the Windows 98 users with their nice browsers: A Frogfind opensearch plugin. The main frog of Frogfind unfortuneatly didn't notice my mail, showing it to him. So I thought you might find it useful, to be able to access a search engine from your old browser, that understands Opensearch plugins, like the old Firefox, Netscape 9 and Retrozilla. The Frogfind plugin can be found on my home page at gansangriff.de/frog.htm.

It actually uses the search results of Duckduckgo. Might not be heaven's sanctuary, but at least not evil Google! Maybe another small search engine is worth looking at? Maybe Mojeek (https://www.mojeek.com/) does actually find at least something for you.

In fact, Frogfind would be much more useful on much older computers than Windows 98 machines. However Opensearch might be worth looking at, as it makes browsing the web more efficent. But one thing about this Opensearch standard is very strange! Amazon developed it! And if you alter the little note to a9.com in the plugin itself, the plugin doesn't work anymore. Why is that link crucial for the plugin to work? All I found in the official documentation was, that "it is important, without it you could get an error message indicating, that Firefox could not download the search plugin-in" and an error message appears. That's a pretty poor explanation!

@Wunderbar98: Let me know, if you're in Europe one day. One of the trash-picked Windows 98 computers here has no use case for me. You could have it...
Similar to the slotcar race computer, I found an old Windows 98 compter for time-keeping on a rental kart track. It looked very dusty and probably wasn't serviced in the last 20 years.

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2 hours ago, Gansangriff said:

It actually uses the search results of Duckduckgo. Might not be heaven's sanctuary, but at least not evil Google!

Duckduckgo uses yahoo as far as I know to results or atleast part of index is yahoo.

2 hours ago, Gansangriff said:

In fact, Frogfind would be much more useful on much older computers than Windows 98 machines. However Opensearch might be worth looking at, as it makes browsing the web more efficent

I like to use wiby.me to search too along with frogfind. Found lot of new sites that walled garden of google and others try to hide or drop to last page. Also sites on it mostly indexes non commercial bloat free sites. That part of internet is dying away every day since big corpos and their walled gardens

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Anyone knows where I can find language packs for Firefox 2 and seamonkey? As much as I like retrozillas they are english by default. There used to be language packs on Mozilla site but then they desired pull plugs and all went away. I tried look with wayback machine with no luck.

I am looking finnish language pack.

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Thanks for responses. FrogFind! now indicates 'Powered by DuckDuckGo' @Gansangriff, don't remember seeing that before. Seems the developer used your work or noted your concern (http://frogfind.com/). Search results are wonky, same 'Pentium 4' string in 3 engines, first 3 'hits'. Unfortunately FrogFind failed to load the linked CPU-world and CPU-upgrade pages, hopefully the conversion engine is still in development.

FrogFind!
1. Wikipedia
2. CPU-world
3. CPU-upgrade

DuckDuckGo
1. Wikipedia
2. Intel.com
3. Newegg.com

Google
1. Wikipedia
Featured snippet Smallbusiness.chron.com
Featured snippet Extremetech.com
Featured snippet Answers.microsoft.com
Featured snipped Forums.tomshardware.com
Google image links
2. Ebay
3. Intel.com

Thanks for the Opensearch information, visited your site. Opensearch and Amazon, who would have guessed. The RetroZilla Search Engine Collection includes Wiby (Search Engine for the Classic Web). Someday i should add FrogFind! (FrogFind search engine for vintage computers. Love the frog. Be the frog.) and Mojeek (web search engine that provides unbiased, fast, and relevant search results combined with a no tracking privacy policy). For old systems that will never have HTTPS access FrogFind! remains a gem.

Thanks for the computer offer. For environmental reasons i no longer fly and only used 3 tanks of gas in the pickup truck last year. Tip: Keep the gas tank at least half full to prevent fuel pump overheat and keep sediment out of the engine. Wish i could garbage pick for computer parts too, envious. I did, however, get a free HP Deskjet F4480 printer today. Initial testing the cartridges may be salvagable. Now i have two working HP F4480s and two Canon MX310 printers for Windows 2000, Windows XP and GNU/Linux.

One of the 'Pentium 4' Google search snippets above included 'Why was the Pentium 4 so bad?'. Why the heck am i searching for this hardware. Oh yeah, no IME, thanks Intel. First attempting to disable IME may brick your computer, which now works perfectly fine. Secondly, not being a computer expert, i wouldn't trust the 'fix' anyway (more of a hack). Intel you broke my trust, wise-up and stop producing garbage in this security-conscious era.

My Windows 2000 system is half setup now. When installing the Nvidia ForceWare driver i tried to simply install from an *.inf file pointer but that didn't work, so the whole ForceWare shebang got installed.

Hi @Mr.Scienceman2000, didn't know DuckDuckGo had a Yahoo affiliation. Agree, Google is very good at herding us sheeple.
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11 hours ago, Wunderbar98 said:

For environmental reasons i no longer fly

"But you can pay compensation payment that will magically make emissions disappear". Sorry I could not resist pulling that stupid comment I keep hearing how some "responsible" hypocrite consumertards can allow themself to fly while can criticise others for not caring environment :no:. That emission compensation payment is biggest scam ever. Money is going straight into shareholder pockets. Online stores offers similar to shipping, but it wont mean your order is shipped more efficently, just means you are scammed.

11 hours ago, Wunderbar98 said:

only used 3 tanks of gas in the pickup truck last year. Tip: Keep the gas tank at least half full to prevent fuel pump overheat and keep sediment out of the engine.

I actually walk more than I drive. I am not fastest runner but I am able to walk long distances. I have been walking even 40km walks with few short breaks. I spend way less time in front of my computer than outside when off from work. As for fuel it is important here to have fuel during winter to avoid having water condenstate inside fuel tank. Starting car with fuel water mix is not fun at all and whole thing feels crawling.

12 hours ago, Wunderbar98 said:

Thanks for responses. FrogFind! now indicates 'Powered by DuckDuckGo' @Gansangriff, don't remember seeing that before. Seems the developer used your work or noted your concern (http://frogfind.com/). Search results are wonky, same 'Pentium 4' string in 3 engines, first 3 'hits'. Unfortunately FrogFind failed to load the linked CPU-world and CPU-upgrade pages, hopefully the conversion engine is still in development.

FrogFind!
1. Wikipedia
2. CPU-world
3. CPU-upgrade

DuckDuckGo
1. Wikipedia
2. Intel.com
3. Newegg.com

Google
1. Wikipedia
Featured snippet Smallbusiness.chron.com
Featured snippet Extremetech.com
Featured snippet Answers.microsoft.com
Featured snipped Forums.tomshardware.com
Google image links
2. Ebay
3. Intel.com

Thanks for the Opensearch information, visited your site. Opensearch and Amazon, who would have guessed. The RetroZilla Search Engine Collection includes Wiby (Search Engine for the Classic Web). Someday i should add FrogFind! (FrogFind search engine for vintage computers. Love the frog. Be the frog.) and Mojeek (web search engine that provides unbiased, fast, and relevant search results combined with a no tracking privacy policy). For old systems that will never have HTTPS access FrogFind! remains a gem.



One of the 'Pentium 4' Google search snippets above included 'Why was the Pentium 4 so bad?'

Well there you see what I mean with walled garden. Those snippets are to keep you hooked with Goolag I mean Google. One funny example was when was looking liters to gallon conversion and one of snippets asked "is US gallon same as European gallon?" :buehehe:. Gallon is gallon no matter the place and that question makes no sense. Also google priorities CNN and some others to "prevent false information" when search for anything. Once google suggested Xbox one arcticle as second result from whatever media site it was when was searching with term "original xbox lpc header pinout". Those will twist search results and making things look wrong hiding whatever I actually search

Well I still use Google products, mostly Gmail because email provider at the end wont mean anything. I choose any that allows me to use IMAP to send and recieve emails to avoid vendor lock in.

Why I said wont mean anything? That is problem with email protocol, it is not secure, email provider can read stored mails and in and outgoing mails and even someone in middle in theory can read your emails since it is plaintext. There is no such as end to end encrypted email, sure there is PGP but it has it own flaws. Tutanota, Protonmail and others so called "encrypted zero access, forward secrecy, add here some fancy sounding words" emails uses deceptive advertising by telling you have end to end encrypted mail. Even if they use encryption key is done by js and stored to their server and even if they would not  read it all it needs is single malicious javascript to decrypt it. Also those forces you to bloated electron client "to keep you safe".

Do not use email for secure activities as it was never designed for it. And use email over IMAP for better security and privacy so wont have webmail vurneabilities and you wont need any JS.

12 hours ago, Wunderbar98 said:

Why the heck am i searching for this hardware. Oh yeah, no IME, thanks Intel. First attempting to disable IME may brick your computer, which now works perfectly fine. Secondly, not being a computer expert, i wouldn't trust the 'fix' anyway (more of a hack). Intel you broke my trust, wise-up and stop producing garbage in this security-conscious era.

Some mobile core2duo boards had no AMT installed at all but mostly Pentium 4 478 socket era had no IME. I got P4P800 mainboard and it is very solid, lacks IME and other junk, got expansion slots and supports offically down to Windows 98. And if IME is so secure why NSA or other goverment agencies wont trust it?

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For sure on IME @Mr.Scienceman2000, vulnerabilities have been found. Plus if the hacker requires hands-on, how many of us have acquired used hardware without knowing who handled it.

Good for you with the walking. I cycled to work for a few years, winter too -30 Celcius, until it became impractical. IMHO if people truly realized how much energy it takes to get from A -> B, or how much more energy is needed even to carry an extra 10 kg, maybe they would drive (or fly) less (or not).

To me the world is doomed, i still do my part but have no optimism. We're all food containers, consumptive until we die. The best people can do to counter climate change is nothing. Technology or government policy isn't going to be enough. Truly, stay at home, have less kids, retire early, eat less, plant trees, enjoy low impact activities, turn down the heat and lights, low energy computing, shop local, don't buy new stuff. Not even the worst pandemic in 100 years slowed things down, more busy-work than ever.

I often watch old television (1970s). In no particular order, drug abuse, police brutality, crime, racism, pollution, corruption. Most of this is worse than ever, we've been talking in circles for at least 50 years.

"Net zero, blah, blah, blah. Climate neutral, blah, blah, blah. This is all we hear from our so-called leaders: words -- words that sound great but so far has led to no action," said Thunberg. "Our hopes and dreams drown in their empty words and promises."
- Greta Thunberg

For a while YouTube has been throttling download speed. This affects the Quick and Dirty YouTube script (eg. 740 kb/s down to 50 kb/s) and my personal 9xweb script. It will also affect the Mega-pack (can't remember proper name) available here for kernel extension users, since youtube-dl has not been updated for several months. Fortunately yt-dlp works using an Android API work-around but requires a newer version of Python, most applicable to newer Windows or GNU/Linux users.
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1 hour ago, Wunderbar98 said:

Good for you with the walking. I cycled to work for a few years, winter too -30 Celcius, until it became impractical.

Repeat same on -40c then you know Finnish Sisu. Well I do have army winter jacket and gloves that are designed to extreme conditions so not such issue to me even though that cold your face is frozen once get in and no way to move it until warm again :w00t:.

1 hour ago, Wunderbar98 said:

To me the world is doomed, i still do my part but have no optimism. We're all food containers, consumptive until we die. The best people can do to counter climate change is nothing. Technology or government policy isn't going to be enough. Truly, stay at home, have less kids, retire early, eat less, plant trees, enjoy low impact activities, turn down the heat and lights, low energy computing, shop local, don't buy new stuff. Not even the worst pandemic in 100 years slowed things down, more busy-work than everrs.

Well I would say we all are doomed to our own stupidty. I seems to be last person who dare to question lot of this world insanity, but no since my soluctions to problems would mean they would have to give their wasteful consumertarism culture and move off comfort zone for a while.

Even though world is likely doomed I wont care. I try do best I can myself and I want enjoy whatever time we have left on this world. Life is too short to worry and worrying wont fix anything. I try to live best out of my life every day.

Everyone needs to find what will make them happy,  nobody else can tell it. For me it is playing with these old computers and doing nightly walks on local lake. At the end I am happy. I will continue enjoying life as long as it lasts

I would say this song summarises my way of thinking pretty well https://lyricstranslate.com/en/suomen-muotoisen-pilven-alla-under-cloud-shaped-finland.html (translated to english)

Quote

One of these can only be helped by God, the other can be helped with a Friday drunkenness

But you can't make it here by giving up, under a cloud shaped like Finland

You are my bringer of light, until the Lord has mercy upon us

You can't make it here unless you make love, under a cloud shaped like Finland

Good way for anyone start living that way is 1. Get rid of social media with those fake friends who only forces and cause you stress by making you think your life is worse than theirs 2. Start meeting people in real life 3. do you what you actually like (as long as it is not illegal) and ignore popular opinion if it is against it. 4. Spend less time on internet 5. Stop watching news all the time. Sure it is good to be aware things, but constantly watching world going down can cause stress.

1 hour ago, Wunderbar98 said:

For a while YouTube has been throttling download speed. This affects the Quick and Dirty YouTube script (eg. 740 kb/s down to 50 kb/s) and my personal 9xweb script. It will also affect the Mega-pack (can't remember proper name) available here for kernel extension users, since youtube-dl has not been updated for several months. Fortunately yt-dlp works using an Android API work-around but requires a newer version of Python, most applicable to newer Windows or GNU/Linux users.

throttling also happens with MPV under linux so it is on purpose

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5 hours ago, Mr.Scienceman2000 said:

Repeat same on -40c then you know Finnish Sisu. Well I do have army winter jacket and gloves that are designed to extreme conditions so not such issue to me even though that cold your face is frozen once get in and no way to move it until warm again

I had spent several winters in Norway. (from mid 80's and up to very early 90's) . The temp was more like up to -33C max in Jan of 1993 ! So Norway is much warmer ?

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On 10/21/2021 at 9:59 PM, Mr.Scienceman2000 said:

Anyone knows where I can find language packs for Firefox 2 and seamonkey? As much as I like retrozillas they are english by default. There used to be language packs on Mozilla site but then they desired pull plugs and all went away. I tried look with wayback machine with no luck.

I am looking finnish language pack.

https://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/firefox/releases/2.0.0.20/win32/xpi/fi.xpi

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10 hours ago, Dixel said:

The temp was more like up to -33C max in Jan of 1993 ! So Norway is much warmer ?

here we have days or weeks worth of -40c on my area. Otherwise it is around -30c and then lower. What is funny is southern Finland that thinks they are move civilised than northern Finland has near chaos when there is snow and -10c. Sometimes I am not sure if I live in same country with them...

I keep mentioning those army jackets maybe could mention more from them. I got atleast one British army desert jacket, German army summer jacket, Finnish army winter jacket, Netherlands army summer jacket and Finnish army winter gloves. I have been buying those from stores and internet as oversupply. Most of those been in my use 10 years and still no issues. All took lot of abuse on hard work and all needed to do been washing them. There is reason why I like military clothing and it is durability.

3 hours ago, UCyborg said:

Nah, we're going straight to death bed after decades of wage slavery. Isn't life a gift?

sadly that feels true. Unless you are over 50 years old now you have low hope retire unless you got plenty of savings. I am pretty sure forced to work for rest of my life. Retirement system turned into profit

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