Offler

Windows 98SE "Immolator" - things to finish

95 posts in this topic

Good point at BD... Anybody tried Blu-Ray on win98?

edit:

Miranda

Its win9x builds contains some bugs, so i tried Pidgin based on GTK+. Since KernelEX supports GTK+ i expected no errors but after running of it i get error:

error loading pidgin.dll

Error: 31 a device attached to the system is not functioning.

seems like wrong path???

Edited by Offler
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Current state:

Hardware

The strongest PC with Win98SE will use P4 or AMD 1650, but it will be quite hard to find usable system board. I dont know how new intel chipsets support this system and i have no reports.

Intel chipset 945 is still being produced and installed on new systems, alongside with Pentium4 and older graphics can be used for "new" machine on windows 9x. Alternate disk adapter will be mandatory, since most new boards have SATA. For me the SCSI is still the most compatible way how to boot on any board with any OS.

The most advanced system based on Windows 9x should look like this:

(please note that i am not familiar with AMD and its chipsets)

Pentium 4 3ghz

4 gigabytes of DDR2 (rloews patch mandatory)

Intel Chipset 945 or older, better with AGP

Ati X850 or older, Nvidia 6xx0, maybe 7xx0 or older

This performance should be enough for programs or games from year 2007 or 2008, but the compatibility even with KernelEx might be questionable. Also i am not sure when may occur errors caused by too high cpu frequency, or how can win9x handle PCI-E.

So much for Hardware, lets search for software

To these days i was able to find and use all tools i needed to my work and hobbies, some of them work because projects available at this page. Most crucial for me as common user was the compatibility with formats i want to use and work with. Lets mention some software which has been sucessfully tested and later used here:

Opera 10 - I know it had issues on some machines, but it is good to have new browser

Media Player Classic - Contains internal decoders, but works great with all external codecs. Supports DX9 renderer and shaders. DVD player

Open office - currently using version 2.3

ATV2000/ProgDVB - TV viewing. They are not flawless but they dont make much trouble. Most SW available is only worse.

BurnIMG - tool for dvd burning. slim with 2,5 mb. It just cannot burn CD audio from waves...

Virtual dub - easy to use video editing tool

Total Commander - the one and only

Miranda 0.8.8 - Has its bugs, but works for me in win9x

Missing software:

- some freeware sound editor

- freeware image editor

- Audio CD player Sw able to use SPDIF

Features which will be out of system possibilities:

- playing some HD video formats

So if you have an older machine which is not intended only for playing but also for multimedia win9x should be enough for it. Still a PC on which you can browse web, record sound and work with or just entertain. Immolator can be used as machine with lots of multimedia, it is able to process most documents, audio and video formats. Issues caused by lower system peformance than the average are not problem of Win9x. Hardware compatibility is now the biggest trouble which makes impossible to make more hardware upgrades. All machines with windows 9x and some hardware performance can be used this way without limitations.

System Stability:

Nothing to report. No system crash occured for few months.

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Missing software:

- some freeware sound editor

- freeware image editor

- Audio CD player Sw able to use SPDIF

Try IrfanView - freeware image viewer (and editor)

You don't need software support for SPDIF. Connect digital-out (TAD) from CD drive to digital-in on sound card, activate digital passthrough in sound card control panel and use any player that doesn't use digital audio extraction. I recommend Media Player (the old one, \Windows\mplayer.exe).

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I am trying to use SPDIF... just my possesion :D

I know Irfanview. have to test it, but i just dont like its ugly red icon :D. I started with photos in my job using ACDSee and Photoshop 5.5. Now i have one old license key for 7.0 from copy which is no longer being used in my former job so i can use it legally, but when comes to Immolator project I dont know adequate freeware replacement for both. ACDSee was quite fast when i was using it some years ago, but now it contains tons of useless things. I just prefer to press enter in Totalcmd to view the image in fullscreen, properly aligned and to see it in time less than one second... Photoshop is bit bigger problem. I cannot find nothing so sophisticated.

Also i found sound editing software called Audacity. Works great. It seems they plan to drop win9x support so i will contact them and ask a few questions. This freeware met all my requirements.

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First page has been updated, some links will be added soon.

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Also i found sound editing software called Audacity. Works great. It seems they plan to drop win9x support so i will contact them and ask a few questions. This freeware met all my requirements.

As an alternative freeware sound editors I can recommend WavePad www.nch.com.au/wavepad and Wavosaur http://www.wavosaur.com

They should work on Windows 9x.

And what's so bad about HD video formats? Which ones cannot be played on Win98?

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Well, all of them can be theoretically played on Win98, but common issue is that computers compatible with Windows 98 have too weak CPU... I was thinking about some special AMD build with single core, but i dont know about available mainboard for that socket.

The best way how to play them is to use hardware acceleration, but it is somehow limited too depending on codecs.

Even when i was really hard working on system optimizations I still cannot play HD videos smoothly. The limit for FullHD video using WMV container was somewhere at 56 FPS while the video containted 70fps.

The highest quality i was able to play was video with 720p at 30 FPS with matroska.

On my system the device which is decoding Mpeg stream is graphic unit, the sound is being decoded by sound card again on hardware level. CPU handles only renderer, but it is not strong enough (Pentium III-s, 1400@1638). Pentium 4 does not perform much better.

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On my system the device which is decoding Mpeg stream is graphic unit, the sound is being decoded by sound card again on hardware level. CPU handles only renderer, but it is not strong enough (Pentium III-s, 1400@1638). Pentium 4 does not perform much better.

MPEG (I assume you are referring to MPEG 1 or 2) is not the same thing as HD (H264, the most common codec used). Many old graphic cards have hardware MPEG acceleration but this is useless for HD.

Sound in HD video is usually AC3. I don't know about any sound card that can decode AC3. Passthrough to an external receiver - yes; hardware acceleration for AC3 - never heard of it. Most of sound cards can't even decode MP3...

CPU handles only renderer?? You contradict yourself. If video decoding is done by video accelerator, then rendering is too. Video stream cannot go to graphic card for decoding, then return to CPU for rendering (?!) and then go back to graphic card for display on screen. In the last 15 years rendering has been done by hardware acceleration: overlay or DirectX VA.

There are two other operations that must be done by the CPU: reading the file and splitting it into video and audio streams.

If you need hardware acceleration for HD, first you need a new graphic card that can do that. I don't know any that still have drivers for Win98.

I have ATI Radeon 9800 Pro. It can decode MPEG2 in hardware, but not in Win98 because the codec (Nvidia PureVideo Decoder) doesn't work in Win98.

Hardware decoding in Win98 is a problem, not only for HD, but for MPEG2 too.

You said that the container is WMV? Video in HD WMV files is usually Windows Media Video 9. I don't know any card or codec other than M$ that can decode WMV9 (hardware or not).

Edited by Marius '95
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DXVA does not work on Windows 98. I use Overlay mixer or the VMR9 - Video Mixing Renderer 9 - which is also part of DirectX 9. I know that both should be hardware accelerated, but it is not so completely. The difference is that the program responsible for rendering is running on CPU, while the rendering is handled by GPU, but more modern method is to use GPU not only for rendering, but also for running the rendering dynamic library (or executable). This makes rendering completely CPU independent and mostly much faster.

Full HD format means for example 1920x1080 and 75 fps. It does not matter if it use Mpeg 1 or 2. Mpeg4 or H264 is used because of its better compression rate and later has now it is new compression standard. For Mpeg1 and 2 there is hardware which can accelerate the decompression process, or codecs which use GPU for this purpose even on Windows 98. For H264 the newer decompressor is not available even when there is hardware..

For AC3 decoding can be used old Soundblaster LIVE 5.1. I use it for this purpose and it helped me to bring another 10 percent of performance.

Also if you wish to use Radeon 9800 for video decoding you can use Cyberlink PowerDVD. It is not freeware, but it was bundled to many older graphic cards. Last versions which also works with Windows 98 is version 6.0. In version 7.0 and 8.0 is also present module which makes available decompression of H264, but the module does not work with windows 98 kernel.

WMV is container of media file... mostly based on WMV codec or Mpeg codec, but it can use other codecs. Its one of the worst methods of movie packaging because its too CPU consuming. Uncompressed AVI is something different, and also Matroska is something faster.

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Apologies if I'm repeating myself: for (basic) image editing I use FastStone Image Viewer and Chun Sejin's Imagine (as both standalone and Total Commander plug-in). However I still miss the ability to crop and paste from different image files using positive/negative zoom levels; having scanned some documents I tried to copy/paste certain parts to create a printable image that fits to paper size, but failed even under XP with its MSPaint. If anybody knows of a free utility that can do that, please do tell.

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Since I own one old but legal copy of Photoshop 7 i will always forget that somebody (including me) is looking for freeware replatecement. Here is list of some...

1. Gimp

- not working with win9x.

2. GimpShop

- looks more like photoshop, but works with original gimp.

3. Krita

Part of KOffice of KDE. Porting linux to win9x was bit hard as i remember...

4. Paint.net

Maybe should work but i havent test it yet.

5. Cine Paint

- available for all OS except Windows :D

6. Seashore

- another software not available for windows

7. Pixia

- works on windows. Seems promising.

8. Pixen

- Mac Only

Other image editors i've are Web based and thus OS independent. Any interest?

I shall look at Pixia, and Paint.net. If they fail to run on my machine it will be almost impossible to use something else as Photoshop 7 or web based editors.

Edit:

Pixia supports windows including all 9x versions. I am just bit confused at its GUI which is not as in photoshop and i have to learn how to work with it. At all will see.

Edited by Offler
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Since I own one old but legal copy of Photoshop 7 i will always forget that somebody (including me) is looking for freeware replatecement. Here is list of some...

...

Other image editors i've are Web based and thus OS independent. Any interest?

...

OpenCanvas 4.5 (not freeware) running properly without KernelEx... ;-)

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And viewer? I provide very old ACDSee 3.1 :-)

Edited by Philco
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And viewer? I provide very old ACDSee 3.1 :-)
Don't forget about XnView. It's not as fast as ACDSee but it has lots of features and is freeware.
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Four things happened:

1. I was able to set "VMR9 Mixer mode" On in Media Player Classic.

Effect: Enhanced DVD video playback, visible better color quality.

2. I found that i can play 4,1 (or 5,1) sound while in Surround mixer i can set any of the effect ON.

3. I use Creative Sound Blaster 5.1 with WDM drivers. anyway i was not able to reproduce my current system configuration. For me it is mystery how this works.

4. windows media player is after all able to play CDs via SPDIF interface without chops. This has been archieved by adjusting "Audio CD F:" properties. I selected "digital" playback and enabled "error correction".

Too many things fixed recently. I did some minor changes since last system restore, i probably forget how i set them previously to work fine and now when I set them to correct values I am amazed at the way how they work.

Just backing up my own system settings. Check them, i have been testing hundreds of any possible values on my hardware but these works best.

Autoexec.bat

@echo off

cls

@CTTY NUL

LFNFOR ON

set windir=c:\os

set winbootdir=c:\os

mode con codepage prepare=((852) C:\OS\COMMAND\ega.cpi)

mode con codepage select=852

lh keyb sl,,C:\OS\COMMAND\keybrd2.sys

rem c:\dos\xmsdsk\xmsdsk.exe 513732 K: /c1 /t /y

c:\dos\xmsdsk\xmsdsk.exe 524288 K: /c1 /t /y

rem C:\OS\COMMAND\label K: scorpion

lh C:\dos\blaster\sbeinit.com

c:\dos\shsucdx.com /d:AADVARK /Q /l:f

c:\dos\cmouse\ctmouse.exe

rem lh c:\dos\lsl

rem c:\dos\e1000odi

rem c:\dos\e1000pkt 0x60

rem c:\dos\ipxodi.com /a

rem lh vc

rem c:\umbpci\fastvid\fastvid.exe 111 -128 d0000000

SET PATH=%PATH%;C:\PROGRA~1\ATITEC~1\ATICON~1

c:\dos\umbpci\umbfill.com

CTTY CON

Config.sys

SWITCHES=/F /E

DOS=HIGH,UMB,noAUTO

FILEShigh=150

FILES=150

BUFFERShigh=50,8

BUFFERS=50,8

LASTDRIVE=k

FCBShigh=1,0

FCBS=1,0

STACKShigh=0,0

STACKS=0,0

DEVICE=C:\OS\HIMEM.SYS /numhandles=128 /hmain=64 /TESTMEM:OFF /Q

DEVICE=C:\dos\EMM386.EXE RAM NOTR

SET PATH=C:\OS;C:\OS\COMMAND;c:\vc;C:\DOS

SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1

SET CTSYN=C:\OS

DEVICEhigh=C:\DOS\QCDROM.SYS /D:AADVARK

rem SHELL=C:\COMMAND.COM C:\ /E:1280 /L:160 /U:160 /P /F

ACCDATE=C- D- E- F-

DEVICEhigh=C:\OS\SETVER.EXE

DEVICEhigh=C:\OS\IFSHLP.SYS

devicehigh=C:\OS\COMMAND\DISPLAY.SYS con=(ega,,1)

Country=421,852,C:\OS\COMMAND\country.sys

System.ini

[boot]

oemfonts.fon=vgaoem.fon

shell=Explorer.exe

system.drv=system.drv

drivers=mmsystem.dll power.drv

user.exe=user.exe

gdi.exe=gdi.exe

sound.drv=mmsound.drv

dibeng.drv=dibeng.dll

comm.drv=comm.drv

mouse.drv=mouse.drv

keyboard.drv=keyboard.drv

*DisplayFallback=0

fonts.fon=vgasys.fon

fixedfon.fon=vgafix.fon

386Grabber=vgafull.3gr

display.drv=pnpdrvr.drv

[keyboard]

keyboard.dll=

oemansi.bin=xlat852.bin

subtype=

type=4

[boot.description]

system.drv=Štandardné PC

keyboard.typ=Štandardná klávesnica 101 alebo 102 klávesov alebo klávesnica Microsoft Natural

mouse.drv=Štandardná myš

aspect=100,96,96

display.drv=RADEON X850 Series

[386Enh]

ebios=*ebios

woafont=dosapp.fon

mouse=*vmouse, msmouse.vxd

device=*dynapage

device=*vcd

device=*vpd

device=*int13

keyboard=*vkd

display=*vdd,*vflatd

MaxPhysPage=40000

ConservativeSwapfileUsage=0

MinSPs=16

DMABufferSize=64

PagingDrive=K:

MinPagingFileSize=523264

MaxPagingFileSize=523264

MaxDMAPGAddress=1000

[NonWindowsApp]

TTInitialSizes=4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 18 20 22

[power.drv]

[drivers]

wavemapper=*.drv

MSACM.imaadpcm=imaadpcm.acm

MSACM.msadpcm=msadpcm.acm

MSVideo.VfWWDM=vfwwdm.drv

wave=mmsystem.dll

midi=mmsystem.dll

VIDC.IV41=ir41.dll

VIDC.IV32=ir32.dll

VIDC.IV31=ir32.dll

VIDC.YVU9=iyvu9.dll

VIDC.MSVC=msvidc.drv

VIDC.MRLE=MSRLE.drv

[iccvid.drv]

[mciseq.drv]

[mci]

cdaudio=mcicda.drv

sequencer=mciseq.drv

waveaudio=mciwave.drv 4

avivideo=mciavi.drv

MPEGVideo=mciqtz.drv

MPEGVideo2=mciqtz.drv

[vcache]

MaxFileCache=32768

MinFileCache=32768

ChunkSize=512

[MSNP32]

[drivers32]

msacm.lhacm=lhacm.acm

VIDC.VDOM=vdowave.drv

MSACM.imaadpcm=imaadp32.acm

MSACM.msadpcm=msadp32.acm

MSACM.msgsm610=msgsm32.acm

MSACM.msg711=msg711.acm

MSACM.trspch=tssoft32.acm

vidc.CVID=iccvid.dll

VIDC.IV31=ir32_32.dll

VIDC.IV32=ir32_32.dll

vidc.MSVC=msvidc32.dll

VIDC.MRLE=msrle32.dll

VIDC.IV50=ir50_32.dll

msacm.iac2=C:\OS\SYSTEM\IAC25_32.AX

msacm.l3acm=C:\OS\SYSTEM\L3CODECA.ACM

VIDC.YUY2=msyuv.dll

VIDC.UYVY=msyuv.dll

VIDC.YVYU=msyuv.dll

VIDC.I420=msh263.drv

VIDC.IYUV=iyuv_32.dll

vidc.X264=x264vfw.dll

vidc.xvid=xvid.dll

VIDC.HFYU=huffyuv.dll

vidc.ffds=ff_vfw.dll

msacm.avis=ff_acm.acm

VIDC.YVU9=tsbyuv.dll

[TTFontDimenCache]

0 4=2 4

0 5=3 5

0 6=4 6

0 7=4 7

0 8=5 8

0 9=5 9

0 10=6 10

0 11=7 11

0 12=7 12

0 13=8 13

0 14=8 14

0 15=9 15

0 16=10 16

0 18=11 18

0 20=12 20

0 22=13 22

Note: Since last of the tests i randomly performed was test of VcacheFix (which failed on my system) i have to put vcache.vxd info here.

Modified: 11.2. 2008

(obviously the "fixed" version). I use selfcompiled vmm32.vxd which uses newer versions as defaults - maybe some trouble have been caused by this, and maybe some memory settings have been correctly set. Not sure about that.

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