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Running vanilla Windows 98 in 2020 and beyond...


Wunderbar98
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Very good to hear from you @Drugwash. Sometimes survival is the only option, glad you found some good people to help you out. I will check out Imagine image viewing software, thanks for the tip. Yes 'xgamma' is deprecated but works well here in Devuan with a simple Window Manager, 'xrandr' works well too.

CRT party indeed @ABCDEFG, posted via 15" CRT 1024x768 :)

Hang in there @XPerceniol, the world's so much layered crazy. My post frequency is way down, world events have affected me too, this forum is sometimes a nice escape.

Special thanks to @UCyborg, new Platinum Sponsor, for helping this forum stay alive and, of course, to all contributors and staff.

Finally swapped out the NVIDIA GeForce2 MX 200 with an ATI, immediately worked well with Madden 2000 in Direct3D mode and Sports Car GT (SCGT) looks gorgeous too. Screenshots not shared to avoid jealousy trigger. Hardware labels indicate 'ATI OEM Xpert 2000 Pro 32 MB AGP' and 'Rage 128 Pro'. Device Manager indicates 'Rage Fury Pro/Xpert 2000 Pro' and the driver is ATI Technologies v4.13.7192 (circa 2000).

The ATI driver in Devuan GNU/Linux did not work for this old card so the fallback 'vesa' driver is used. On multi-boot systems, this old hardware almost always needs an /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. A graphic resolution is not specified on this system as the monitor and 'vesa' driver default to 1024x768.

Devuan GNU/Linux xorg.conf:

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Monitor0"
EndSection

Section "Device"
Identifier "Card0"
Driver "vesa"
Option "ShadowFB" "off"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Screen0"
Device "Card0"
Monitor "Monitor0"
EndSection

Some modern games were reviewed while enjoying these refurbished CRTs. Some of them 'wow'. Glad i'm not young now, would probably become addicted and never finish school. One that really stood out was 'Red Dead Redemption 2' from Rockstar Games. Throttled YT still works here in Windows 98 SE (Stay-alive Edition) using a Bash script.
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On 3/9/2022 at 11:48 PM, Drugwash said:

Oh, if that's the case then sorry for the misunderstanding. And also sorry for the delayed response, I had gotten no notification e-mails whatsoever from this board until today when I found about 15 of them all bearing same timestamp.

Well you cant defeat my response time which can be from instant to months. I am not lot online. I enjoy walking and even when on on computer I do stuff offline. I like to be partially unreachable. If someone reaches to me fast way they most likely got actually urgent thing.

And even when would want to be here life decides to throw me around like ball :unsure:.

On 3/9/2022 at 11:48 PM, Drugwash said:

Maybe, but wouldn't that specifically require for that particular machine to be running in order for any other machine on the network to use that printer? A true network printer would be accessible at any time without the need for another computer to be driving it. That is precisely why I searched and chose such model.

Well I always got atleast one workstation online if use other systems so it is not really big deal to me. It depends from use case

Edited by Mr.Scienceman2000
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Another Windows 98 compatible software.

adsbSCOPE 2.7.

http://www.sprut.de/electronic/pic/projekte/adsb/adsb_en.html#downloads

I found out it 9x support when found mention from it on documentation. That software is Radar software that can be used to track Civil aircrafts using RTL-SDR or other radio dongle. It uses ADS-B signals that aircraft trasnmit to find location. There is public sites that show it but it is cooler to have one offline. If you live close to busy big airport like I do following it will be fun.

There is few limits on my tests:

-As far as I know RTL-SDR dongles cant be used on Windows 98 so you need to have ADSBSharp or RTL1090 or other raw data client sender on XP or newer. If someone knows way I will correct this

-Trying move on map causes illegal process atleast on my Windows 98 workstation. I did map config on my Windows XP pc for that reason.

 

I am going away from Windows 98 for a while since will be exploring new horizon.

I can run vanilla Windows 98 day to day but how about running vanilla Windows 95 day to day? I will be running it on my Celeron 266 system with TNT2 Vanta 16mb, 256mb ram, Fortemedia FM801, CD burner and 20 and 40gb hard drives.

Windows 95 can be installed without Internet Explorer with few config tweaks. I did those modifications to my Windows 95B. Many of my favorites like Retrozilla, winamp will work there too and my favorite codec for old hardware XVID works well on it too (320x240 800kbps bitrate). It will be fun ride so 98 and most other stuff need to step aside for now.

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On 3/17/2022 at 3:43 AM, Wunderbar98 said:

Some modern games were reviewed while enjoying these refurbished CRTs. Some of them 'wow'. Glad i'm not young now, would probably become addicted and never finish school. One that really stood out was 'Red Dead Redemption 2' from Rockstar Games. Throttled YT still works here in Windows 98 SE (Stay-alive Edition) using a Bash script.

I miss the times when I still had energy to play games, now it feels like a chore. :( There's some newer titles that I'd definitely like to play, like Amnesia: Rebirth and Terminator: Resistance.


I like event sounds and was recently changing my settings on Windows 10 to have more events play a sound. I also used CHORD.WAV from Windows 98. Modern versions have tweaked chord.wav, but I like the original Windows 98 version the most.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Imagine v1.1.3 is a nice, light image viewer. Downloaded from the link @Drugwash provided above, thanks again for the tip. Freeware (DonationWare) license, no install needed. Lots of features but very configurable to be as simple and non-intrusive as desired.

Have fun with your Windows 95 project @Mr.Scienceman2000. As always thank-you for your contributions here.

---
No link provided as there are lots of sources available, so sad:

It has been reported that the Mariupol Computer Museum in Ukraine, a privately owned collection of over 500 items of retro computing, consoles and technology from the 1950s to the early 2000s, a collection nearly 20 years in the making, has been destroyed by a bomb.
---

Gaming does require energy and a certain headspace, no doubt @UCyborg. I always thought this stage of my life would be more fun and games, but it's not. My preferred games are now short coffee break or single missions that can be completed in less than 30 minutes. Nevertheless it's sometimes a nice escape.

Some DOS gaming again. Recently tweaked Dawn Patrol, MechWarrior 2 and USNF Marine Fighters. Interestingly the mission pack of the original USNF release (~1994) is the 'Ukraine Campaign'. A fictitious campaign that requires the player, a U.S. Navy Fighter pilot, to assist Ukraine against you-know-who.

All games are running great here on real hardware. AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files are ever changing. Due to the memory limitations of DOS and the unique requirements of applications, highly recommend taking the time to configure a boot [MENU] via CONFIG.SYS. Although it takes setup effort, once configured rebooting to switch applications is a breeze.

Example of my every changing CONFIG.SYS boot menu:

[MENU]
MENUITEM=DOS0,MS-DOS
MENUITEM=DOS1,MS-DOS DOSKEY MOUSE -> Launch LINKS
MENUITEM=RAIDEN, MS-DOS HIMEM EMM386 SOUND -> RAIDEN WINGSTAR
MENUITEM=DOS2,MS-DOS HIMEM EMM386 DOSKEY
MENUITEM=DOS3,MS-DOS HIMEM EMM386 DOSKEY MOUSE
MENUITEM=DOS4,MS-DOS HIMEM EMM386 DOSKEY MOUSE SOUND -> MECH2 DAWNPATROL USNF
MENUITEM=DOS5,MS-DOS HIMEM EMM386 DOSKEY MOUSE SOUND CD-ROM
MENUITEM=WIN,WINDOWS 98 (DEFAULT)
MENUITEM=SAFE,WINDOWS 98 (SAFE MODE)
MENUDEFAULT=WIN,3
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17 hours ago, Wunderbar98 said:

It has been reported that the Mariupol Computer Museum in Ukraine, a privately owned collection of over 500 items of retro computing, consoles and technology from the 1950s to the early 2000s, a collection nearly 20 years in the making, has been destroyed by a bomb.

You know, that guy could retire and play golf or something. But no, better to seed suffering and destruction.

I saw the truck on the highway today that had "f*** PUTIN!" sprayed on the back.

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Hello, I have a PC with Pentium 3 at 1ghz that works very well. You now have windows 98se vanilla installed with updates up to 2006. At the moment it is very strong and stable.
I'm going through these threads with programs and doing a bit of triage.

In reference to imaging programs...
I've been trying some:

-Imagine v1.1.3 (posted by @Drugwash, thank you!)
 It is very light and works very well.
 I keep it for pc with low power.
 The interface is beautiful, very clean.

-Xnview v2.13
 This viewer seems insurmountable to me, it can handle everything. It is a beast.
 You can even preview audio and video.

For now I'm sticking with Xnview for some very subtle details. Like you can scroll the image drawer up and down with your mouse wheel and you don't need to click on the other directory drawer. Just hover your mouse over the drawer you want and scroll the mouse wheel. Also because it accepts many formats and previews a little better.
Unimportant things really.

-Acdsee
 I still have to try this one, but I think it's hard. With the previous 2.

Regarding the formats...
Do you know any image converter? Which ones did you use?
Which ones do you think are better, so as not to lose quality?


Thank you
Regards

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Forgot to mention @UCyborg, CHORD.WAV from Windows 98 is one of my least favourite event sounds. I find it grating as it's associated with negative events like Asterisk, Critical Stop and Exclamation. My favourite event sound is START.WAV, a satisfying click that gets associated here with Minimize/Maximize, Open Program, Restore Up/Down, Select and Start Navigation. Seeding suffering and destruction i've never understood, even if it's an 'enemy', life is too short and already difficult enough.

Welcome @teclillass. Imagine is all that is needed here in Windows 98. Image conversion i tend to use ImageMagick via command line in GNU/Linux so can't comment. My better half is fond of PrintMaster Platinum 11 (proprietary) for graphic work. It works well for image manipulation, conversion i don't know. It supports Windows 9x and runs fine in Windows XP. Lots of experienced users here, hopefully someone will have suggestions.

Aside, an interesting old discussion at Stack Exchange, 'How did Windows ME "cripple" DOS?'. New Technology was no secret, Windows NT 3.1 was already released in 1993 and Windows NT 4.0 in 1996. It would have been interesting if Microsoft maintained a core DOS-based team after Windows 98/ME aimed at home users and hobbiests. Their decision makes sense though, new hardware development was leaving DOS behind.
https://retrocomputing.stackexchange.com/questions/3286/how-did-windows-me-cripple-dos

A Real DOS-Mode Patch For ME 1.3 is readily available at sites like MajorGeeks, which does, in fact, patch the three files, whopping 10 KB patch. I don't use Windows ME myself, just think it's interesting.

---
RELEASE NOTES :
Did you ever wonder why Windows ME, which is based on the Windows 9x
kernel, can't access Real DOS-Mode? Did you think that Windows ME
architecture doesn't allow it?

Well, it seems that Microsoft simply decided to hide this option
in Windows ME, for some unknown reason...

This patch will modify "IO.SYS", "COMMAND.COM" and "REGENV32.EXE" in
order to unhide the Real DOS-Mode on Windows ME systems, resulting
in a similar boot process to the one available in Windows 9x. This
will allow, for example, to reach DOS directly by pressing "Shift-F8"
at boot-up, to use "CONFIG.SYS" and "AUTOEXEC.BAT" before Windows
loads, and to set up a startup menu.

Compability:
- This patch was tested only with the final release of Win ME
(build 4.90.3000). It might be compatible with other (future or
previous) builds as well.

- If you are using a NON-US version of Win ME you will probably not
be able to use versions prior to v1.3 as the files that are patched
seem to be country specific. We have updated our current release to
reflect this. If you use the US version then you will not experience
any differences between v1.1, v1.2 and v1.3.
---
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7 hours ago, Wunderbar98 said:

CHORD.WAV from Windows 98 is one of my least favourite event sounds

Totally agree!
The first thing I always did back in the day was to edit and save chord.wav at HALF VOLUME.
I kept it as the same "sound", but the original would scare the living sh#t out of me, I'd jump out of my chair and hit my knee or stub a toe each and every time that d#mn sound popped up!

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Why is it called "Asterisk"? I do use CHORD.WAV for that event alone. The event seems to be more informational, but I guess the sound was used for other, bad events back then since they didn't include many other sounds. At least it's triggered when calling MessageBox API to show INFOrmational message box. Old school Mozilla based browsers with Navigational Sounds extension use that particular event to indicate finished download.

6 hours ago, NotHereToPlayGames said:

I kept it as the same "sound", but the original would scare the living sh#t out of me

Isn't Win95 version scarier?

Edited by UCyborg
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On 4/1/2022 at 7:22 PM, UCyborg said:

Isn't Win95 version scarier?

The first Windows version to use that scary chord.wav was Win3.1, not Win95. :P

I do agree it's scarier nonetheless.

I guess you're referring to this one.

Edited by mina7601
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On 4/1/2022 at 5:27 AM, Wunderbar98 said:

Forgot to mention @UCyborg, CHORD.WAV from Windows 98 is one of my least favourite event sounds. I find it grating as it's associated with negative events like Asterisk, Critical Stop and Exclamation. My favourite event sound is START.WAV, a satisfying click that gets associated here with Minimize/Maximize, Open Program, Restore Up/Down, Select and Start Navigation. Seeding suffering and destruction i've never understood, even if it's an 'enemy', life is too short and already difficult enough.

Welcome @teclillass. Imagine is all that is needed here in Windows 98. Image conversion i tend to use ImageMagick via command line in GNU/Linux so can't comment. My better half is fond of PrintMaster Platinum 11 (proprietary) for graphic work. It works well for image manipulation, conversion i don't know. It supports Windows 9x and runs fine in Windows XP. Lots of experienced users here, hopefully someone will have suggestions.

Aside, an interesting old discussion at Stack Exchange, 'How did Windows ME "cripple" DOS?'. New Technology was no secret, Windows NT 3.1 was already released in 1993 and Windows NT 4.0 in 1996. It would have been interesting if Microsoft maintained a core DOS-based team after Windows 98/ME aimed at home users and hobbiests. Their decision makes sense though, new hardware development was leaving DOS behind.
https://retrocomputing.stackexchange.com/questions/3286/how-did-windows-me-cripple-dos

A Real DOS-Mode Patch For ME 1.3 is readily available at sites like MajorGeeks, which does, in fact, patch the three files, whopping 10 KB patch. I don't use Windows ME myself, just think it's interesting.

---
RELEASE NOTES :
Did you ever wonder why Windows ME, which is based on the Windows 9x
kernel, can't access Real DOS-Mode? Did you think that Windows ME
architecture doesn't allow it?

Well, it seems that Microsoft simply decided to hide this option
in Windows ME, for some unknown reason...

This patch will modify "IO.SYS", "COMMAND.COM" and "REGENV32.EXE" in
order to unhide the Real DOS-Mode on Windows ME systems, resulting
in a similar boot process to the one available in Windows 9x. This
will allow, for example, to reach DOS directly by pressing "Shift-F8"
at boot-up, to use "CONFIG.SYS" and "AUTOEXEC.BAT" before Windows
loads, and to set up a startup menu.

Compability:
- This patch was tested only with the final release of Win ME
(build 4.90.3000). It might be compatible with other (future or
previous) builds as well.

- If you are using a NON-US version of Win ME you will probably not
be able to use versions prior to v1.3 as the files that are patched
seem to be country specific. We have updated our current release to
reflect this. If you use the US version then you will not experience
any differences between v1.1, v1.2 and v1.3.
---

Will this patch make Windows ME compatible with DOSBOX ?

Edited by sonyu
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Thank you everybody for your welcome. The virtual world is getting wierder everyday. Today found more than two dozen MSFN notifications in my mail's Spam, something I can't usually check with the daily mail application since it doesn't provide that option in its free version. Looks like "someone" is trying hard to bury your/our efforts as it's not the first time these notifications have been hidden away despite having them flagged as not spam everytime.

Screenshot-from-2022-04-07-11-21-10.png

 

Now, as for image operations I used to use FastStone Image Viewer in my supercharged 98SE. Very intuitive interface, almost always working in full-screen mode having all necessary tools autohidden on all four screen sides. No idea if recent versions still work in Win9x, with or without KernelEx, and also can't remember what was the last version I had installed on that 98SE machine. One can always try and see.

Event sounds were a nightmare to me. One of the first things used to do right after installing the OS was to disable all event sounds except for the one for Critical... error or whatever (forgot the exact name). Too sensitive hearing and/or too crazy. :lol: Also, one of the important things was to replace the default Startup, Waiting and Shutdown splash screens. Seems like a lifetime ago when I was working on the WLL (Windows Logo Loader) project here, taken over from the one started by... Tihiy if I recall correctly. There also used to be a parallel project called WBL (Windows Boot Loader?) by user PassingBy. So much fun working at bit level.

Gosh, so many good memories, at least as much as I can remember something, anything... And this world changing so rapidly into something I utterly dislike. Gah, not gonna start ranting now. Y'all have a good time anytime possible, as much as possible, coz time ain't waiting for nobody. ;) And if any of you misses me or you got problems with my AHK scripts do drop me a line at drugwash [at] mail [dot] com (the only address I can still be reached at, the rest are long gone). Peace! :hello:

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