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Running vanilla Windows 98 in 2020 and beyond...


Wunderbar98
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15 minutes ago, Bruninho said:

Seinfeld's computer was always a Macintosh, in some seasons they show a different Macintosh model. I did spot a Macintosh 512k once and some newer Macintosh models. So it's safe to say it at least ran System 7.

In "The Net" (1995) Sandra Bullock's main character (Angela Benett) is seen using different computers, but essentially she used a Macintosh Quadra 650 at home, and a PowerBook 520 in another scene on the beach. I also presume she was using System 7.

Also, "Friends" (1994-2004) Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) is seen bragging about his new laptop performance, a Compaq Contura 4/25cx

Also Nightmare on Elm Street 3 had PC/AT compatible with Windows 1.0 in background on one scene. Maybe that was real nightmare on movie :buehehe:.

 

P.S I have almost that compaq laptop but it is slightly newer Compaq contura CX430 with 100mhz 486 cpu. Old compaqs are near unkillable laptops. Few years ago I found one old article from that series of notebooks and some complained they had issues running Windows 95 but luckily I never had those.

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1 hour ago, Mr.Scienceman2000 said:

Also Nightmare on Elm Street 3 had PC/AT compatible with Windows 1.0 in background on one scene. Maybe that was real nightmare on movie :buehehe:.

 

P.S I have almost that compaq laptop but it is slightly newer Compaq contura CX430 with 100mhz 486 cpu. Old compaqs are near unkillable laptops. Few years ago I found one old article from that series of notebooks and some complained they had issues running Windows 95 but luckily I never had those.

Back then I had one of those Texas Instruments Pentium II laptops with Windows 95. Gaming on it was ageing badly when FIFA 97 and Grand Prix 3 came in late 90's. I was desperate for a computer with 3Dfx capabilities as a kid back then.

I did found that laptop last year buried somewhere, but it was done and dusted. broken all around. It did turn on, but it died minutes later before I could even think about how to fix the corrupted system on hard disk. The screen was shattered. RIP

However I was amazed to find a nearly 30 yrs old laptop attempting to boot into Win 95...

Edited by Bruninho
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17 hours ago, Bruninho said:

However I was amazed to find a nearly 30 yrs old laptop attempting to boot into Win 95...

I have seen around same age laptop booting Windows 3.1. That laptop did not have any documentation with it and finding info is hard as it is Olivetti rebranded to digital.

I have that laptop still but without understanding error codes I cant swap rechargable cmos battery. I installed one to it which had same voltage and laptop turned off every so often blinking heart symbol on LCD which I assume means system health warning. When I pulled battery it worked and still works great just need reconfigure bios on every boot. I also was able to salvage very rare WSOY EN-FI dictionary program (1991) from it hard drive that runs on DOS and WIN16 (it runs even on XP).

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Thanks for the information @Bruninho and @Mr.Scienceman2000, will keep an eye out if i watch these again. Re-watched Tomorrow Never Dies (Bond, 1997), one Bond per week on VHS til end of year, no newer broody-Bond here. Paraphrased from poor memory, Elliot Carver (Carver Media Center bad guy, world domination through information control) in video conference asks a crony whether the software is ready. Crony replies, yes with bugs as requested, users will be forced to update for years. Good storyline, amazing humanity has not yet destroyed itself.

Holiday season approaches and many probably won't be socializing as much. Maybe time to fire up some old gaming hardware. I used to think myself a gamer but was too busy back in the day and now don't play much anyway. FPS now make me nauseous.

Estimating Windows 9x era total game title count seems difficult. The Archive_dot_org site indicates 7263 MS-DOS games (hard to believe, query unique) while Wikipedia indicates only 2418 DOS games. Not sure Windows 9x can play them all though (ie. backwards compatability of DOS v7.10). Of course there were also many non-DOS (Windows) titles for Windows 9x era (1990s - 2005-ish). I don't have a count estimate, for sure hundreds.

By comparison it appears Playstation 2 may be the most prolific console. Wikipedia indicates over 3800 titles, don't think this includes backwards compatible Playstation (original) games. Regardless, Windows 9x era gaming appears to give the venerable Playstation a good run for most playable games on a system.
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10 hours ago, Wunderbar98 said:

Holiday season approaches and many probably won't be socializing as much. Maybe time to fire up some old gaming hardware. I used to think myself a gamer but was too busy back in the day and now don't play much anyway. FPS now make me nauseous.

funny that I felt that for few years. I had other priorities in life than enjoying games. Now I still got other priorities but more free time enjoy games.

10 hours ago, Wunderbar98 said:

Estimating Windows 9x era total game title count seems difficult. The Archive_dot_org site indicates 7263 MS-DOS games (hard to believe, query unique) while Wikipedia indicates only 2418 DOS games. Not sure Windows 9x can play them all though (ie. backwards compatability of DOS v7.10). Of course there were also many non-DOS (Windows) titles for Windows 9x era (1990s - 2005-ish). I don't have a count estimate, for sure hundreds.

By comparison it appears Playstation 2 may be the most prolific console. Wikipedia indicates over 3800 titles, don't think this includes backwards compatible Playstation (original) games. Regardless, Windows 9x era gaming appears to give the venerable Playstation a good run for most playable games on a system.

Those wont count many unknown games that were served in BBS servers or personal sites here or in other European countries. Most of games were simple and small games made by developers for fun. Many of those are hard to find these days. Also there is still games done for dos by some

Also I am not sure from PS2 but Xbox gets new games even today. There is new pc game ports and some unreleased beta or alpha games popping into internet as people dump devkits/port them.

So collection is growing even though those platforms are dead in public eyes. I may stumble into recent gem that never heard before even today for xbox or dos/9x.

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

Re-watched Tomorrow Never Dies (Bond, 1997)
Estimating Windows 9x era total game title count seems difficult. The Ar...

 

Honestly , the article is garbage ! How could they dare to miss SpellForce ?!?!??! I'm sure you know this game is iconic .

The first playable beta came out in 2002. The famous beautiful two-cd retail package released in 2003 worldwide, being version 1.01. 

It officially runs on Windows 98 , Windows ME , I even heard of people running it on '95 ! At that time I was running Windows ME and it was just fantastic !

SpellForce + Windows ME !!!! Try it on Win 98 , yes on vanilla windows 98, it's really very cool !

Keep in mind , I'm talking about SF 1 , Spellforce 2 from 2005 is pure garbage and only for XP and up. Tomorrow Never Dies 1997, always thought it was one the lamest Bonds , but I tried to give it a chance (a couple of times), since it's from our favourite 90s. Just no , sorry still looked lame . But comparing to the Bond films with the later "actor" it's just a masterpiece ! 

Anyways, I think any good Bond films ceased to exist after Goldeneye 1995 . The 1999's film seemed to have some potential , but alas ... 

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Yeah still neat to see trickle development for DOS and old systems @Mr.Scienceman2000. I am also thankful for the 'modding community', who extended the re-playability of my old games.

Thanks for your enthusiastic post on a garbage topic @D.Draker. TBH all Bonds are pretty tacky, to me the early (1960s) releases were best. Not sure they stand the test of time well, amazing the franchise is still around. Never heard of SpellForce, will check it out, thanks for the suggestion.

As reported on the previous page (DMA Tuning), the best my old 5400 RPM drive could manage on my faster 1.8 GHz Windows 98 was 11.4 MB/s. Using the same AIDA32 benchmark test, 20.6 MB/s on my slower 800 MHz Windows 98. Definitely explains why my slower system often feels more responsive. Oh well, the systems are installed, tweaked and stable, not going to swap drives.

Noticed a couple issues recently, wanted to share if it helps someone. Don't ask how much time was wasted troubleshooting. It's often difficult to pinpoint the cause when configuration changes are completed long before a problem gets noticed.

Add/Remove Programs -> Windows Setup tab -> Multimedia -> Audio Compression. This is necessary for some, not all, built-in system sounds, like C:\Windows\Media\START.WAV. If Audio Compression is not installed, this WAV file won't play if configured as a system sound or in Windows Media Player v6.4.

Add/Remove Programs -> Windows Setup tab -> Multimedia -> Video Compression. This is necessary to playback some video files, such as AVI files in games like EarthSiege II. If Video Compression is not installed, the game's introduction video, for example, plays black screen with sound only.

My systems are not 'lite' but reasonably lean. Everyone has different preferences. Many Windows Setup options are outdated, unnecessary or undesirable. The following provides a functional system without too much clutter.

Add/Remove Programs -> Windows Setup tab -> Installed:
Accessibility 0/2
Accessories 5/12 (Calculator, Games, Imaging, Paint, WordPad)
Address Book 0/1
Communications 0/9
Desktop Themes 0/17
Internet Tools 0/5
Multilanguage Support 0/5
Multimedia 4/9 (Audio Compression, CD Player, Video Compression, Volume Control)
Online Services 0/4
Outlook Express 0/1
System Tools 1/10 (System Monitor)
Web TV for Windows 0/2
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2 hours ago, Wunderbar98 said:

My systems are not 'lite' but reasonably lean. Everyone has different preferences. Many Windows Setup options are outdated, unnecessary or undesirable. The following provides a functional system without too much clutter.

Add/Remove Programs -> Windows Setup tab -> Installed:
Accessibility 0/2
Accessories 5/12 (Calculator, Games, Imaging, Paint, WordPad)
Address Book 0/1
Communications 0/9
Desktop Themes 0/17
Internet Tools 0/5
Multilanguage Support 0/5
Multimedia 4/9 (Audio Compression, CD Player, Video Compression, Volume Control)
Online Services 0/4
Outlook Express 0/1
System Tools 1/10 (System Monitor)
Web TV for Windows 0/2"

funny that finnish windows 98 is leaner even with maxium configuration. I have both OEM and retail Windows 98 and Windows 98SE finnish and they lack online services and WebTV. Also "channel bar" that was considered to be ad in was actually useful here as it pointed out to local sites that had free access and content you may want to find:buehehe:. Finnish people used to do their own path on everything before started copy others sadly to appeal someone which I am not even sure.

For me configuration is mostly same but I got wallpapers, audio samples, desktop themes and hyperterminal enabled also. I like listen some classical music that was included in sample music and some legandary midis like canyon or passport.

Hyperterminal is for communicating with friends using BBS.

I have been experimenting "instant messaging" using BBS over SSH with friend on Windows 98. You cant do it purely on Windows 98 as new ssh ciphers wont work but any linux/other unix or XP+ computer can run ssh tunnel that Windows 98 can access. That way you can encrypt telnet between parties and have better control who can use BBS. Also been doing BBS gaming with it. That is likely most minimal way to have encrypted text communication and "social" platform by combined best of new (ssh) with old and reliable (BBS)

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You didn't miss anything @Mr.Scienceman2000, Online Services installed affiliate components from America Online, AT&T WorldNet Service, CompuServe and Prodigy Internet. Web TV for Windows, never used here, includes WaveTop Data Broadcasting (WaveTop capability to your TV tuner) and the actual WebTV for Windows. I'm not sure my Windows 98 SE install CD has the channel bar.

I've seen single player BBS games like Minesweeper and Dope Wars. Are you also able to play interactive games with friends or just record high scores? BBS was never used here. In 1999 i subscribed to newsgroups via Outlook Express until Google groups infiltrated and changed to an HTML format that required JavaScript.

Watched a very good YT video @D.Draker 'The Story of SpellForce: The Order of Dawn in 7 minutes' (lots of spoilers). Very beautiful game, like the combination of RTS and roleplaying.

Someday i hope to finish the Dungeon Siege (original 2002, Win98/ME/2000/XP) multi-player map (Utraean Peninsula), half done. Large world, lots of monsters, playing single player (no network or party members). I find it more fun than the single player campaign (Kingdom of Ehb map) as there are no party members or pack mule to micro-manage. The character's ranged (archery) and nature magic (healing) skills were intentionally developed to change the gameplay and strategy. The single-player game (Kingdom of Ehb map) was finished a long time ago. Good game, nice graphics, more of a hack-n-slash (walk 10 paces, fight enemies, repeat).

Neverwinter Nights (BioWare 2002, Win98/ME/2000/XP) still sits in the cabinet.

A lower spec Windows 95 build was planned (450 MHz, 64 MB) but i can't spare a power supply.

FreeDOS released 1.3RC5 this month.
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3 hours ago, Wunderbar98 said:

SpellForce: The Order of Dawn

Draker forgot to tell you about the most amazing addon "SpellForce The Breath of Winter" , also released in one package with The Order Od Dawn under the name SpellForce Gold.

Dungeon siege is nowhere near this game . I played them all . I can help you with the right version and setting up this game . There was a patch (official) that removes outdated CD checks . You need Spellforce any version below 1.3 . Then patch it with the patch 1.38. Can send you the link , if you're interested . I played this wonderful addon in 2004 on a cheap ar_se 1.5Ghz mobile Celeron and Intel "extreme" (lol) graphics and Win2000 . Worked fine. Later there was a "Phoenix" addon that bumped the version to 1.5x , but it's still being sold at steam , so no protection-free patches , but this addon is no good anyways ! In any case , do NOT patch the game to 1.5x versions to avoid bugs.

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6 hours ago, Wunderbar98 said:

I've seen single player BBS games like Minesweeper and Dope Wars. Are you also able to play interactive games with friends or just record high scores? BBS was never used here. In 1999 i subscribed to newsgroups via Outlook Express until Google groups infiltrated and changed to an HTML format that required JavaScript.

Not really a BBS, but i used to play the MUD game Medievia with my friends some 20-ish years ago. I see that it's still active, lol.

Unfortunately, the client i used back then (zMUD) won't run in my XP.

Here is a site listing current MUD games - http://www.topmudsites.com/

The Discworld one sounds interesting :P

 

 

P.S. have you checked eXoDOS yet?

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21 hours ago, Wunderbar98 said:

You didn't miss anything @Mr.Scienceman2000, Online Services installed affiliate components from America Online, AT&T WorldNet Service, CompuServe and Prodigy Internet. Web TV for Windows, never used here, includes WaveTop Data Broadcasting (WaveTop capability to your TV tuner) and the actual WebTV for Windows. I'm not sure my Windows 98 SE install CD has the channel bar.

I've seen single player BBS games like Minesweeper and Dope Wars. Are you also able to play interactive games with friends or just record high scores? BBS was never used here. In 1999 i subscribed to newsgroups via Outlook Express until Google groups infiltrated and changed to an HTML format that required JavaScript.

there is some. One my favorites is called planets which is text based space exploration game. You can explore planets, resupply, fight, trade on it with AI or friends.

As fans of oldschool star trek it is fun game. Here pic from it on hyperterminal.

planet.GIF.f404f305a315fb9793c27a89cbd1aadf.GIF

If you want to setup your own BBS for fun I recommend use syncronet BBS software on Windows 9X based OS as many BBS software were dos based. Dosbox should work too I guess. Friend is running it on win9x VM with games and programs.

Edited by Mr.Scienceman2000
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Thank-you for the SpellForce tips @Dixel, feel free to post or send the link. I will hoard the patch and get the game if i find a private local sale (physical copy) or they change licensing. I've been a good boy respecting licensing and don't do Steam, GOG, shipping and online purchases.

Dungeon Siege isn't the best but it's fun, can be played when dozy. It was purchased from a clearance bin when i was a Chris Carter fan. I own his masterpieces Total Annihilation (1997, Windows 95) and Total Annihilation: Commander Pack (includes 275 page paper strategy guide). Less than one quarter of the missions have been played - wannabe gamer.

Thanks for the input @RainyShadow. I never used a MUD just old school Dungeons and Dragons, until my Momma threw it away. I must be mistaken, zMUD seems to support Windows XP.
http://www.zuggsoft.com/zmud/zmudinfo.htm

Just checked out eXoDOS, thanks. I don't DOSBox or emulation (much) but did notice at least 7200 DOS games, cool. Pasting their site information below, as it's not always easy or convenient to set up a DOS machine today. Link intentionally omitted as there may be several (thousand) licensing issues :)

---
eXoDOS is an attempt to catalog, obtain, and make playable every game developed for the DOS and PC Booter platform. We strive to find original media rather than using scene rips or hacks. This collection uses DOSBox to allow these older games to play on modern systems. Games supported by ScummVM give the user a choice between emulators. All required emulators are included and have been setup to run all included titles with no prior knowledge or experience required on the users part.

This pack includes 7,200 DOS games. The focus is on games that were either released in English or are fairly easy to play without a knowledge of the native language. This is not every DOS game ever made, however it is a very high percentage of all commercial releases. There are thousands of freeware, homebrew, and shareware games that will continue to be added in future packs.

The games have already been configured to run in DOSBox. Games which are supported by ScummVM will give you the option at launch as to which emulator you would like to use.
---

Thanks for the information @Mr.Scienceman2000. Long live DOS, Windows 9x, Gopher protocol and now BBS !

If anyone using old browsers can't see linked images (blankspace), the image URL is associated with filtering the HTML source for 'spacer.png'. The 'Planets' image from @Mr.Scienceman2000.
https://msfn.org/board/uploads/monthly_2021_12/planet.GIF.f404f305a315fb9793c27a89cbd1aadf.GIF

Re-watched The World Is Not Enough (Bond, 1999). Greed, power, pipelines and oil - not much has changed. Moneypenny was already using a flatscreen, lots of CRTs in the movie too. GPS with waterway mapping used on the Bond speedboat. A Hewlett-Packard PDA running Windows CE. Elektra, villainess, may have been running an NT based Windows setup (didn't want to pause the VCR). A reference to the millenium bug - Windows 98 still runs fine in 2021 - phew. Best part a few minute tribute to Desmond Llewelyn (1914 - 1999 RIP) at the beginning of the tape, his last appearance was in this movie. He apparently played 'Q' in 17 Bond films, starting in 1963.
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3 hours ago, Wunderbar98 said:

Thank-you for the SpellForce Dixel

While I respect it , legal way is a bit tricky , because the original Gold Edition was using the CD checks without serials (securom scanned the CD).

Later , when Vista came out , the devs released a special patch to remove the outdated protection to make it compatible with Vista . And guess what ? The CD check was removed , but you still need the original serials (not from the Gold edition , but from the addon and the main game too), this is not supported by the Gold verson at all , it was a well-known problem (bug) during that days .

So you need to :

1 - find The Order of Dawn on CD and keep it's serial! I saw them for 4-5 bucks not long ago. Install.

2 - find The Breath Of Winter . Keep the SERIAL number. Install over the main game.

3 - Then download this patch 1.38 and install it . 

https://www.gamepressure.com/download.asp?ID=5878

4 - Then download this Gold edition patch with the removed checks , 

https://www.patches-scrolls.com/dl.php?file=spellforce_pol138.zip

5 - Do NOT install ! Open the zip folder and you wil see "SpellForce-POL-1.38.exe"  extract this 42mb executable with 7zip . You will see setup files .

Now extract with Universal Extractor , starting with data1.hdr. Now you will see "data1" folder with 8 folders inside.

You need to open {MAIN POL} , and here is your main spellforce,exe file ! Replace yours with it !

 

That's it , enjoy the game ! Of course, it will ask you to enter/confirm your legal serials (both) , because it's not a crack.

P.S. Why Polish ? Simply because others are already deleted , so many years passed (15 , at least) ... 

But the game will still remain in English , if you do exactly as I say.

Edited by Dixel
link to the 2nd patch
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Thank-you for the notes and links @Dixel. The files were downloaded but Universal Extractor fails with the Gold edition patch on both Windows 98 (Universal Extractor v1.5) and Windows XP (fresh patch download, Universal Extractor v1.6 portable). Attempting to extract data1.hdr in Windows 98 provides an empty error log (uniextract.txt) but a Universal Extractor error popup indicates 'appears to be a supported InstallShield CAB archive'. In Windows XP the uniextract.txt error log indicates 'An exception occured, this might be a new version of InstallShield not supported at the moment'. AFAIK v1.6 is last release of Universal Extractor, the systems used are 32-bit, non-SSE2.

No reply required as i may never get to the game. When the time comes i'll patch SpellForce to v1.38. If there are CD checks and i own the CD, no problem my systems have optical drives. Christmas came and went, still busy but relaxed a bit. Aside from a little FreeCell there was no gaming, so yeah not much of a gamer anymore. Lesson learned, enjoy games when you're young and don't assume you'll always have time when you get a little older.

After a few months of checking finally bought another used system. I was open to Pentium 4 for an ultimate Windows 98 multi-boot but ended up purchasing a newer Acer Aspire (2010 era, 64-bit, 2.8 GHz dual-core, Windows 7). The hardware will be refurbished and Windows 7 OS reset. Windows 7 probably won't be used but may come in handy for income tax software (most vendors here dropped Windows XP). Never used a Windows release this new, everything throbs and glows. Apparently Windows 7 was supported until early 2020 so should provide a decent user experience. The system will primarily be used for secure web browsing and data handling via BSD or GNU/Linux.

For anyone price checking this used Acer Aspire AX1400-E3802 was purchased for $50 CDN (about 5 Big Mac meals). It included a 20" LCD monitor, new in package PS2 mouse and keyboard, used desktop speakers plus subwoofer, used HP printer and used router. The router is newer than mine and not provided by my ISP, so may switch over. As this Acer supports good old fashioned VGA and PS2, i can stop fretting over a 'can of worms' upgrade to Raspberry Pi4 (HDMI mini converter, HDMI monitor, USB mouse/keyboard).

In all my years only two new 'modern' systems were ever purchased. My custom Windows 98 build in 1999 and an HP Mini netbook in 2009 (runs great, portable business use). Up until now i never paid for used hardware but ended up purchasing two used systems in 2021. The first a Dell Vostro (2010 era, 64-bit, 3.2 GHz dual-core, Windows XP) and now this Acer Aspire. Both are capable and overpowered for my needs. Pending hardware failure they should be good for 10+ years. Unfortunately the Vostro has IME (Intel Management Engine), still good for unimportant computing, which prompted this Acer purchase. Apparently AMD didn't introduce PSP (Platform Security Processor) until 2014/2015. My needs are fairly basic so there was no need to maximize hardware before Intel IME / AMD PSP.
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