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Wunderbar98

Running vanilla Windows 98 in 2020...

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Thank-you for your update Bruninho. If you're still located in Brazil, hope you're doing okay, local news reports a lot of COVID cases in the country.

Doubt this helps with your install, maybe for others, my Windows 98 SE system uses Zeckensack's Glide Wrapper v0.84c. Unfortunately can't remember which game i've used it for and too lazy to search personal game install notes, likely Nascar Revolution. Regardless the site lists supported games.
http://www.zeckensack.de/glide

Netscape Navigator was a great browser back in the day, can't believe time marches on so quickly, need a rewind button. This world could really use a do-over, could someone reach forward and hit the reset switch please.

Way to new for any of my hardware is rFactor 2, developed by Image Space Incorporated, they did a great job of even Sports Car GT (SCGT) back in the late 1990s. Still playing and tweaking SCGT today, had a strong fan following.

Half-decent Windows 98 is good enough, glad to see your gonna play some games, life is short.

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I'm still quarantined, but I am perfectly fine and managed to avoid Covid so far.

I could try Zeckensack's again later. Netscape was my #1 browser all the times in the 90's. I currently have a dislike for rFactor 2, because of the new developers (ISI passed it to Studio 397). They chose to use DX11 instead of keeping DX9 and therefore newer mods don't work with older DX9 builds, which were faster for me. Then I quit the game.

Well, as long as I can play Championship Manager, FIFA and some Grand Prix 2 or 3, I'll be fine.

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Thunderstorm season where i live. Seems to get more violent every year - stronger winds, flash storms, flooding, lightning and thunder. Fortunately my residence has survived okay but there are more frequent and more expensive property damage claims reported year over year. As a precaution unplug your retro hardware during stormy weather, nobody's manufacturing this old great hardware anymore. If you store hardware or software in a basement, stack it off the floor or in waterproof containers.

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Old hardware probably powers most bare-metal Windows 98 systems. An example of patching worn out hardware, which can result in years of extra service. This system uses an ancient IBM MO09K PS/2 three button ball mouse with a centre toggle switch instead of a scroll wheel, similar to the top row third mouse linked below. Presumably > 20 years old, got it used for free years ago.
https://www.oldmouse.com/pics/ibm/IBMgroup.jpg

The mouse has been maintained and repaired many times. The roller ball is easy to remove, cleaned by using a little spit or water, just rub and roll off accumulated lint and dust into the garbage. Every couple/few years disassemble the mouse, single screw, and remove any built up lint, hair, plastic wear debris and corrosion from the rollers, sensors, switches and electonics.

The most commonly used left-click button micro-switch still works great but does accumulate dust, just a dab of isopropyl alcohol on a cotton tip to wipe away the dust. Careful not to saturate the tip and get liquid alcohol into the assembly. The plastic outer casing button, which depresses the left-click micro-switch, wore a concavity several years ago where it strikes the micro-switch. This prevents the micro-switch from engaging, resulting in missed clicks. An ~ 5 mm piece of scotch tape was spanned across the wear area to compensate for the plastic wear. This has been performed twice in about four years and works flawlessly on this heavily used mouse, including gaming.

Another issue is that one of two plastic positioning pins broke inside the mouse, responsible for holding a small ~ 1 cm square conductive pad in place underneath the centre toggle switch. Query damaged due to fatigue or 'aggressive' mouse use. The conductive pad needs to be kept clean for good contact, again with alcohol, then carefully slid back into proper position using tweezers. When the scroll function stops working well, gently rotating the exterior toggle switch lines things up again.

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Ya, I still use original Model M keyboards.  I just can type faster than with other keyboards, and they last forever.  I have 5 made by IBM and 3 made by Lexmark.  The oldest was made in '84, the newest is a '99 model.  Of course I have to use PS/2 to USB adapters for the ones not connected to 98SE game machines.  Only ever had one go bad because of a flood of orange juice. 

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Hi Feamane, thank-you for your input. Sounds like a wonderful keyboard collection, old stuff! The keyboards regularly used in this house all have PS/2 ports, no PS/2 to USB adapters used here. Mine connects to a KVM switch and is used to run numerous operating systems, including modern GNU/Linux. My better half uses a keyboard purchased new in 1999, still makes proper typing 'clicks', and hopes to never give it up.

The keyboards are vacuum dusted weekly. Due to spills, the keys were pried loose on a few occasions over the years for cleaning. There are lots of reports and YouTube videos of owners washing the keyboards and letting them fully dry, never had the courage or the need. The lubricating grease for the space bar dried and got gummy on the oldest keyboard long time ago, took it apart and just cleaned off the old grease, no new grease applied, no longer sticks and works like new. They all still actually work like new. Got a couple extra PS/2 keyboards in storage for backup.

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Good to know I'm not the only old keyboard hoarder.  It is awesome you vacuum your keyboards so frequently, I'm lazy and only do it maybe twice a year.  I have heard of people putting keyboards in the dishwasher as well.  Like you I never was willing to risk one of mine, they don't make them anymore after all.  I pop off all the key caps every couple years to scrub them all in dish washing detergent.  I also take the top cover off every once in a while to scrub it down.  Sounds like you have a nice setup, mine are mostly scattered around the house, the four Win98SE LAN party machines each have one on PS/2, and then there is one with a USB adapter for connecting to the XP laptop--the rest are in storage waiting for their turn in the rotation.  They are all still going strong!

Best regards,

DJ

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Hi Feamane. I only dust vacuum keyboards that are regularly used, not too OCD yet. Since using a black keyboard for many years, take a close look at it after one week of heavy use even in a clean office environment, they get pretty gross :)

Does anyone know a simple method to check the fragmentation level of a drive, preferably without 3rd party software? Scanreg and Windows ME's Disk Defrag do not appear to provide this feature. Based on an old 2007 forum recommendation, Diskeeper Lite v 7.0.418.0L was trialed (no JavaScript needed, ~12 MB download).
https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/diskeeper_lite.html

A 12 MB download is heavy just to check file fragmentation. The software installed fine but added a startup entry, not appreciated. The 'DkService.exe' startup entry can be disabled via 'msconfig' -> Startup tab. Upon reboot, the software still works fine without the startup entry.

Personally i love Windows ME's Disk Defrag, just want to check framentation levels prior to defragging a drive. Suggestions appreciated.

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Not sure if this serves your defrag-info purpose, but do you know windirstat?
It seems an ancient, very popular little tool for disk inspection. Small size and runs since Win95.
When I finally found it a few years back I downloaded this file from 2007:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/windirstat/files/windirstat/
https://sourceforge.net/projects/windirstat/files/windirstat/1.1.2%20installer%20re-release%20%28more%20languages%21%29/windirstat1_1_2_setup.exe/download

It's a setup, but was possible to just unzip it. Then started it, copied the folder and deleted contained install-files and some dll files which are only for translation. Perhaps at minimum only the inner exe is needed.

PS: Incredible how near impossible SOURCEFORGE makes access for readers since awhile. Pages plastered all over with fullscreen ADS, while the whole main content and FILES tree, PLAIN HTML, seems to be hidden away inside a "SVG" tag and inside "script" tags! And then additionally set to "display: none"! Created this for my user css:
svg[style*="display: none"] {display: block !important; border: 8px dashed red !important; }
svg[style*="display: none"]:before {content: " (####HIDDEN SVG####) _ _ _ _ " ;}
#btn-problems-downloading {border: 2px solid red !important; outline: 2px solid yellow !important; line-height: 1.5em !important; }
Huge ad blocks are section#project-nel and div[id*="newsletter-modal"]

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The defrag software VoptXP has been made free after the passing of its author in 2016. Version 7.22 is for 9x. Not sure if it's ever been mentioned round these parts.

https://web.archive.org/web/20160904115809/http://www.goldenbow.com/index.html

https://web.archive.org/web/20160816083906/http://www.goldenbow.com/aftp/VXP_v722.exe

https://web.archive.org/web/20160816083906/http://www.goldenbow.com/Vopt7reg.reg
 

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Everyone has favourites, personally i wouldn't recommend Diskeeper Lite. The uninstaller failed to remove the startup entry and most of the files from it's C:\Program Files pathway. The startup entry could have probably just been manually removed from the registry, run 'regedit' and search for the culprit key. After running the uninstaller, just used Easy Cleaner 2.0.6.380 to remove the startup entry, then manually cleaned up Program Files.

Thank-you for the feedback @siria. The long sourceforge[dot]net windirstat v1.1.2 link auto-downloaded with RetroZilla (no JavaScript needed, windirstat1_1_2_setup.exe, 631 kb, GPL v2 license). On my system, unzipping the setup files and attempting to run 'windirstat.exe' did not work, so the software was formally installed. The installer is nice and by default does not select additional languages. On first run the system appears to hang, 100% CPU with network monitor activated, presumably checking for networked drives, which aren't used here. Doesn't seem to be an obvious way to disable this in the options. The pacman animation and multi-coloured disk check results are too much for me but can be disabled. This appears to be a decent disk usage analyzer, however, don't see any output regarding file fragmentation, am i missing something? As per the about screen, "Shows where all your disk space has gone and helps you clean it up", no mention of file fragmentation.

Thank-you also for the feedback @loblo. The exe file linked downloaded fine in RetroZilla (direct download, no JavaScript, VXP_v722.exe, 3094 kb). VoptXP v7.22 installed without issue, lightweight and quickly reports on disk freespace and fragmentation, nice. The web page indicates the software is being freely provided, although the version installed indicates a 30 day trial. Query whether the author disabled the timebomb before his passing? Will keep the software installed and see. Do you use it's built-in defragger or just to check on disk stats? Shoot, accidentally clicked the defrag icon, it's fast, hopefully my system reboots and performs well :)

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To register  VoptXP it you should merge the linked reg file to the registry. I only defragged all my drives with it when I installed it a few years ago, new toy syndrome you know, otherwise it's been quite a while I don't bother defragging at all anymore with any tool.

Windirstat is a very nice disk space analyzer but it has no functions regarding fragmentation indeed.


 

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Thank-you again loblo. The 'reg' file was merged and the running VoptXP window now indicates 'Registered to: COMPLIMENTARY LICENSE COURTESY OF THE AUTHOR'. This appears to be decent software. Not sure how the defrag algorithm differs with official Microsoft, but it's optons offer 'strategic file placement' primarily for Windows 2000. So far so good. Will experiment for a while. System requirements indicate all Windows 9x plus Windows 2000 and Windows XP, if anyone's interested. Fondly remember running defrag as a Sunday evening routine before the start of another work week. Nice that fragmentation level can now be easily checked before deciding to defrag.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/27/2020 at 10:17 AM, siria said:

PS: Incredible how near impossible SOURCEFORGE makes access for readers since awhile. Pages plastered all over with fullscreen ADS, while the whole main content and FILES tree, PLAIN HTML, seems to be hidden away inside a "SVG" tag and inside "script" tags! And then additionally set to "display: none"!

Incredible how SourceForge has managed to not shut down after all these years, looks like them getting a new CEO didn't exactly do much on their part other than kill some of the more stupid shenanigans the previous owners did.

Always has been infested with advertising though, wish people would just switch to FossHub+GitLab. (Even if the name 'Fosshub' is inaccurate since not everything they offer is open source... but it beats SourceForge by a million miles)

Edited by CosmoDreamy
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Not the biggest sourceforge[dot]net fan but no denying they have a lot of software. The site actually works well in RetroZilla. With JavaScript disabled there are no advertisements. Just ensure View -> Use Style -> None is selected. These all work fine: software downloads, site search, software screenshots, user ratings and quick reviews.

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