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20 Years Ago Today

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10 replies to this topic

#1
Bracamonte

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August 24th, 1995, Windows 95 was released. It finally offered a graphical user interface similar to that of the Apple Macintosh and OS/2, after previously using the MS-DOS executive and Program Manager from Windows 1 to Windows 3.11. Windows 95 introduced the familiar features seen in the current versions such as the taskbar, windows explorer, and the start button. It was available in both diskettes and CD. The floppy disk version did not include internet explorer, but the CD version did. The later versions of Windows 95, known as OSR2, 2.1, and 2.5, were never available for retail and was sold only by OEM's.

 

My first two computers ran Windows 95, though I only mainly used it for playing games. I really didn't start using the internet until I got a computer that ran Windows XP. A couple of years ago, I salvaged an old computer and installed Windows 95 OSR 2.5. It still runs today. What are your experiences of using Windows 95?




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#2
submix8c

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Internet Explorer was available on Floppy as well in the "Plus! Pack" for "Windows 95 RTM".

Win95 RTM floppy version was an Upgrade Only (AFAICR) but with an MSBATCH.INF over-ride it could be installed "clean".

https://en.wikipedia...wiki/Windows_95

All later versions of Win95 were OEM-Only "clean" but could also be "manipulated" to install as Upgrade.

 

Unless it's a *really old* PC, I prefer Win98SE, although both will run *old* DOS/Windows Games (AFAICR). Later Windows are not conducive to DOS games and some older Windows games (again, AFAICR). Windows 95 limits way too many MS (and other) Applications to older versions.

 

You do realize that this Topic is going to be a repeat of *way too many* previously started ones, right?


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#3
go98

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Unless it's a *really old* PC, I prefer Win98SE, although both will run *old* DOS/Windows Games (AFAICR). Later Windows are not conducive to DOS games and some older Windows games (again, AFAICR). Windows 95 limits way too many MS (and other) Applications to older versions.

 

I had wished you would say: "Unless it's a *really new* PC, I prefer Win98SE..."



#4
cov3rt

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Unless it's a *really old* PC, I prefer Win98SE, although both will run *old* DOS/Windows Games (AFAICR). Later Windows are not conducive to DOS games and some older Windows games (again, AFAICR). Windows 95 limits way too many MS (and other) Applications to older versions.

 

I had wished you would say: "Unless it's a *really new* PC, I prefer Win98SE..."

 

as far as i know, windows 98SE can be made to work fairly modern with all the unofficial updates and work that has been done to it so far, so you can have a near "modern" working pc with the nostalgic feel of a old operating system, 1080p video watching in youtube, playing fairly new games online or offline, use and browse most sites properly like facebook, hotmail, ebay, etc. windows 95 as of now just has too many limitations to make it practical to work as a near modern pc, some of them would be directx 8.0a ( although there are a few dx 8.0a games that look nice ), 8.0a is slightly old for extensive graphics and functionality, no or limited wdm support ( someone correct me if im wrong ), fewer API codes, and just generally harder to build more stable or newer in functioning. 



#5
jimmsta

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I recall going with my mom to the local egghead software store, and picking up Windows 95 on floppy diskette sometime around April/May 1996. There was actually a choice between Windows 3.1 and 95, priced the same on the shelf. I was the one to make the decision for the family PC, at 10 years old. If it hadn't been for Windows 95, I never would have tried Linux, which I use alongside Windows to this day.

 

Windows 95 was buggy, but it certainly made Windows more user friendly. That, and true 32-bit support in the OS, which ended up propelling consumer computers forward more than any other software at the time.

 

I cannot believe it's been 20 years.


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#6
Tripredacus

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In my earlier times of playing with/owning computers, I had Windows 3.11 and Toshiba DOS 5. If I needed to reinstall I would install DOS 5 first and then Windows. I did this then with Windows 95. I had read a long time ago that if you wanted a true DOS you needed to install it first, then install Windows 95. I don't recall doing much on my own with Windows 95. I had it but usually only used it as an intermediary to get to Windows 98 as I only had the Windows 98 Upgrade edition CD. I'm sure I put a lot of time on Win95 but I can't really discern those memories from my Windows 98 ones.

On computers I did not own myself, I remember some things. I remember setting up a Token Ring network with multiple Windows 95 PCs in college for a course I was taking. Before that I remember using family members' computers that had Windows 95, mostly for playing games or going online with Hyper Terminal, then Prodigy and AOL.
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#7
Tommy

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Windows 95 was my very first OS on a computer that I owned. It wasn't bad, but I do prefer some of the advancements of Windows 98. Like it was said earlier, there were a lot of limitations to applications in Windows 95, especially with DirectX. But it was a great first OS but for some reason, I don't feel nostalgic on it like I do with 98.


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#8
Drugwash

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I had an OSR2 on a CD. My first PC (which I still own and hopefully still works) is a 486 IBM PS/ValuePoint that originally ran at 25MHz, which I later on modified to run a 66MHz DXII CPU.

The BIOS wouldn't take a HDD larger than 524MB which I felt was too little for my needs so I bought and installed an ESS1869 sound card with a built-in IDE controller to which I attached a 1.2GB Quantum HDD.

 

Windows 95 was installed on the smaller HDD and with the whopping amount of 32MB of RAM it was simply flying! Ugly as it was the GUI - and I'm only saying this compared to the Mauve Royale mod skin I'm using with RP9 in my 9 year old 98SE - it was looking much better than Windows 3.1 that I had run on the same machine previously. It was Windows 95 that made me realise how much a GUI matters, how options that otherwise layed only in the help files or a specialist's mind could nicely be put together on a single sheet at radio buttons, checkboxes, dropdown lists and so on. Win3.1 had not convinced me at all, previously.

 

I have installed that 95 version many times back then. Be it for the sake of learning how the process goes with different settings, be it because of destructive viruses that made a restore impossible. In the process I learned that I could change a few settings and make it compatible with my native language although it wasn't the Pan-European version that I would normally need. Hardest thing was to extract the whole set of fonts from a Pan-European Win95 and transfer it to the installed system.  A few lines in config.sys and autoexec.bat and here I was enjoying my native language in keyboard layout, menus, documents and so on. Sadly it's been fifteen years and a bunch of Windows versions in-between, all much more easier to set up correctly in terms of regional settings, but many - better said, most - of my conationals still can't set up their systems and can't type in the language that nature chose for us.

 

And since we've come to this, I should probably make it clear why this nickname I've been using for so many years now. It has nothing to do with drugs. Back then in the earliest Internet days (on our side of the world) I tried to sign up to different groups/forums/email providers/etc using my real name. Unfortunately it contains one special character that can't be found in the standard Western alphabet and since Unicode was not that widespread and Win95 couldn't cope with it I just reshaped my name into an English spelling. So if an English-speaking person would call me on the street using this nickname I'd surely turn my head. Drugwash is just the English spelling for Dragoş - something that was not accepted by the web forms of the last century…

 

And the rest is history. :)


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#9
submix8c

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Just for giggles - "It was 20 year ago today..."

hxxps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xj2bmQ4P4cM


Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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#10
go98

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Drugwash, I always wondered if you were a former drug addict, but not so... :sneaky:

 

Apart from that, I started with windows 95 at home, then 98, and later 98 SE...and kept it until around 2008 when I bought a new computer which ended up with windows 7 hmmm...until I saw this forum, and got back the hope...alone with little time, there's not much you can do, and I never even thought of fixing the OS myself before. That's all changed now :whistle:

 

Well, I always liked the BIOS too...sadly, it had to be replaced



#11
Andrew T.

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I'm not sure which of these points is scarier:

* That Windows 95 was released 20 years ago;

* that it represents the halfway point between the Altair 8800 and the present day; or

* that it was good enough that I still use it more often than any other OS today.

 

It's no secret that I have defended Windows 95 at various points over the years, and I maintain to this day that it represents a rare moment when the stars aligned and Microsoft engaged in serious usability research to make a GUI that was both powerful and flexible, didn't talk down to users, and was a joy to use.  Functionally it was a quantum leap over the memory limits, 16-bit limitations, and awkward Program Manager UI of Windows 3.x...yet it also maintained almost perfect compatibility with DOS and 3.x programs.  The Win95 APIs were also surprisingly robust, since they were capable of running the most up-to-date version of Firefox more than a decade later.  I sometimes wonder what Windows 95 (and NT4, and 2000) could run today if software developers didn't use MSVC compilers that are rigged to break compatibility with older Windows versions.

 

That said, when I see pictures of people eagerly scooping up copies of Windows 95 on the day it was released...it just makes me scratch my head.  It was common knowledge among users at the time that that "point-O" releases were to be avoided as reliability risks, and just about anyone who jumped the gun and ironed the RTM version over crufty 3.1 installations was asking for trouble.  To be fair, the OS showed promise from the beginning...but it wasn't until the OSR2 releases came out within 1996 and 1997 bug fixes and FAT32 support that Windows 95 really became good.  Yet by that point, Windows 95's "time in the sun" was almost through.  I've never understood the "upgrade mentality" of seeking out new software products for their own sake instead of seeing them as a means to an end, and I wonder how many of Win95's early fans and endorsers blindly dropped it like a hot rock three years later simply because Windows 98 was available.

 

My take on the Windows 95 era was also soured by its maker's anticompetitive aggressions.  The first sign of this was obvious the moment you started the OS:  Microsoft had "integrated" MS-DOS 7 with it, making it impossible to run the GUI over an IBM or Novell version of DOS and making it impossible to acquire MS-DOS 7 separately.  Microsoft pushed PC vendors to slap "Designed for Windows 95" stickers on their products, made it nigh impossible to buy a computer without Windows 95 pre-installed, and made it impossible to legally resell the bundled OS.  This segued into the IE4/Windows 98 debacle, where Microsoft demonstrated that they were willing to ruin the usability and security of their OS just to leverage another product...which segued into the Microsoft anti-trust trial, which ended with a whimper without much of anything done.

 

Almost unintentionally, this drove me straight into the arms of Windows 95:  If consumers, OEMs, 20 states, and the U.S. Department of Justice couldn't convince Microsoft to make a usable operating system free of IE integration that treated computer users with respect and couldn't break them up when they wouldn't, the least that I could do was use the last Windows version that worked the way I wanted it to...and use it to the end.  (Or use it until Apple or the fractured Linux community win me over.  So far, I'm not holding my breath.)

 

By now, my relationship with Windows 95 has seen twenty years of ups and downs.  It's been a steady challenge keeping it running and useful in a changing world (and I have started keeping Windows 2000 on hand as a secondary OS)...but it's not dead yet! :)


Andrew T.
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