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Win98 Resource Kit

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#151
JorgeA

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Multibooter,

Thanks a bunch for the complete, comprehensive answer -- wow! :thumbup

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#152
bphlpt

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Well now that there have been three different versions identified, with slightly different tools and docs available, here is what I would be interested in.

First off, note that forensic accuracy is not important to me at all. Functional accuracy is. I would like to understand the list of all the tools available in the different versions, what each tool does, and for tools that were in early versions of the Resource Kit but were removed in later versions I would like to know why they were removed and if they would still be of any use even if they are no longer supported. Essentially I would like to see a merger of the three versions with everything that is still worth having. If everything that is worth having is in the last version, ie the one still on the server, then except for forensic accuracy I see no reason for continued discussion of the other versions.

Cheer and Regards

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#153
Multibooter

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Well now that there have been three different versions identified ...

The scan and screen shot in posting #150 http://www.msfn.org/...ost__p__1000579 is of released Beta 1, v98.0.1.110.
The Book CD has v98.0.1.118. So there are possibly 7 more versions of the Windows 98 Resource Kit Tools. The question is which versions were released, and which versions were not released.

It would be interesting to know the criteria used by Microsoft to classify a version as a "Release", compare the screen shot in posting #150. The sold Beta version v98.0.1.110 is classified as a Release in the About screen. What about a beta version distributed free-of-charge to external beta testers? I was not really a technical guy, but I was given a beta version on floppies of Windows 95 Arabic, and signed some kind of agreement around 1996, if my memory is not playing tricks on me. Somehow I remember the Middle Eastern version came out late, MS had issues and eventually moved the Arabic localization back to the US. The documentation of the beta consisted of several volumes of fast-bound sheets, no idea whether I still have the stuff, so I can't check the About screen whether it contains the term "Release". I am sure in this forum there are real beta-testers who can clarify this term.

First off, note that forensic accuracy is not important to me at all. Functional accuracy is.

Not released versions, which possibly were not for sale but emanated somehow, from the archives or otherwise, thru dark channels, might become of particular interest to some crazy collectors. In some collecting areas, e.g. historic banknotes, the unreleased/not-for-sale stuff, e.g. sketches and artist designs, essays, specimen and proofs of bank notes, or sheets of finished and unfinished banknotes, are in particular demand by collectors. And next to these crazy collectors are even crazier experts, who certify the genuineness and trace the provenance/origin.

Here an example of a collectible Microsoft Windows 3.0 Resource Kit, 1991, offered at ebay for $140 http://www.ebay.com/...1-/150821656392 In the item description there is no indication whether the 3 floppies are still readable, "Due to Age Sold AS-IS", so even unreadable floppies, with zero functionality, may be collectible.

I would like to understand the list of all the tools available in the different versions, what each tool does, and for tools that were in early versions of the Resource Kit but were removed in later versions I would like to know why they were removed and if they would still be of any use even if they are no longer supported.

This sounds like a major project. Possibly an initial step could be to de-compile the WINRK98.HLP/WINRK98.CHM files of the various versions and compare them, these files are index and docu files of the various versions. Go ahead :)

More extensive info is probably available in the archives of Microsoft, and could eventually reach the public, if and when MS is merged or goes belly up. There was, for example, a high demand by collectors, when the archives of private security printing companies, which printed banknotes, stock and bond certificates or postage stamps of many countries, were auctioned off.

Essentially I would like to see a merger of the three versions with everything that is still worth having.

No idea if such a hypothetical merger with stuff from various owned CDs would be legal. A description of files of an eclectic selection could be interesting, but what if more versions of the Win98 Resource Kit are discovered?. Again, go ahead, at your own peril :)

Edited by Multibooter, 09 June 2012 - 07:39 PM.


#154
Multibooter

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Creating an installation source of the Windows 98 Resource Kit Tools
The creation of an installation source which contains just the Win98 Resource Kit Tools, not the other applications thrown in, is very easy:
Simply create a folder which contains the whole Book CD (or FTP site), without the subfolder \APPS\. From the Beta1 CD, the installation source can be created from the folder \RESKIT\, again without the subfolder \APPS\.

WARNING: The installation process from the Book CD source and from the FTP source (perhaps also from the Beta1 source, not tried) overwrites and modifies RESKIT.STF in the installation source, if the installation source is on a HDD. No idea what information is written into the RESKIT.STF file in the installation source. It's a good idea to have a backup of the original installation source, e.g. as a .rar file. The sizes of the rared up installation sources are 7.6MB for the Beta1 CD (no eBook), 16.4MB for the Book CD and 16.0MB for the FTP site, all including a 3% recovery record.

The .rar files created from the installation sources also permit some interesting experiments:
By extracting 2 rar files flat (i.e. -> right-click on rar file -> Extract files -> Advanced tab -> select Do not extract paths) 2 folders with just the files of the various Reskit sources can be created for an easier comparison, without subfolders (on the original sources of the various versions, corresponding files are contained in different folders). I am attaching a screen shot of the comparison with Beyond Compare v2.5.3 of the files of the Beta1 CD vs the files on the Book CD, both extracted flat without paths.

In the Beyond Compare screen shot only the files different in a binary compare are indicated, with the display of version, size and modification time (incl. seconds). The different files of the Beta1 CD are displayed in the left pane, and the different files of the Book CD are displayed on the right pane, for example:
- BATCH.HLP exists on the Beta1 CD only, BATCH98.CHM only on the Book CD, reflecting a change from .HLP to .CHM
- BOOTEDIT.EXE, differs on both CDs, even if they have the same version number
- CFGBACK.EXE exists only on the left, the Beta1 CD, not on the the Book CD
- CHAT(1).ADM on the right pane of the Book CD was created by WinRAR during the flat extraction, because 2 files with the same name existed in different folders, perhaps a source of bugs

This attached screen shot shows that a comparison of the features etc of various versions of the Win98 Resource Kit would be quite a project. BTW, I am running out of space for uploading images, so I will delete some uploaded screen shots and scans shortly.

Attached Files


Edited by Multibooter, 09 June 2012 - 10:57 PM.


#155
Multibooter

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RK98BOOK.CHM, the actual eBook
I am attaching a screen shot, showing a comparison of the 2 versions of the eBook RK98BOOK.CHM, which I apparently didn't upload with my posting #48 http://www.msfn.org/...post__p__999203

OT: Uploaded screenshots
I am archiving and then deleting some of the screenshots etc which I have uploaded here, I am running out of space for new uploads

@submix8c:
I just saved your screenshot in posting #63 http://www.msfn.org/...post__p__999298 , before you delete it, it's a gif with 90KB, you must be running out of upload space too. Sometimes gifs are smaller, sometimes jpgs. I usually have the compression factor of uploaded jpgs set to 50% in Paint Shop Pro 7, so a screenshot of about the same quality would use only 60KB upload space, which is still a lot somehow.

After I made a screen shot or scan with Paint Shop for uploading to msfn.org, I:
- sometimes reduce the image size
- then reduce the colors to 256
- then save a copy of both as gif and jpg_50%
- then upload the smaller of the two.
But I am still running out of space :( Perhaps you could have reduced the size of the 90KB gif uploaded to about 30-40KB, with the indicated sequence.

Attached Files



#156
loblo

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PNG is smaller than GIF by about 30% or so for applications screenshots such as those you post. :yes:

:hello:

#157
Multibooter

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Thanks loblo, I'll check it out with the next uploaded screen shot.

Tools Included with the Microsoft Windows 98 Resource Kit
KB247024 Rev1.3 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/247024 of 25-Jan-2007 seems to list the applets included in the Win98 Resource Kit Tools of the older v98.0.1.118 (Book CD). The listing includes FileWise.exe, which is not contained in the newer v98.0.1.119 (FTP site). The KB listing does not include CFGBACK.EXE of the Beta1 CD.

KB247024 Rev1.3 does not mention that there are several versions of the Microsoft Windows 98 Resource Kit.

BTW, the Beta1 CD includes in \FILE\ a DOS file copy utility CP.EXE v5.0.1708.1, 46864 bytes, modified 16-Nov-1997, which is not listed in WIN98RK.HLP of the Beta1 CD.

Edited by Multibooter, 10 June 2012 - 02:25 PM.


#158
dencorso

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Here's the Nov 13, 2001 version of KB247024 for comparison.
Whatever revisions were there dealt solely with the html code (i. e.: the presentation). The content, AFAICS, remained exactly the same.

#159
bphlpt

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PNG is smaller than GIF by about 30% or so for applications screenshots such as those you post. :yes:


As an example of how much better that PNG can be Multibooter, I downloaded the screenshot from your last post, which as a GIF was 38.7KB, loaded into IrfanView and saved it as a PNG with the highest compression level and it became 19.1KB, less than half the size. That should free up some space for you.

Cheers and Regards

Attached File  RKWin98_MSDN_vs_1st_version.png   19.16KB   5 downloads

Edited by bphlpt, 11 June 2012 - 09:56 AM.

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#160
PROBLEMCHYLD

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It would be great to combine all 3 packages into 1. :thumbup

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Believe Jesus Christ died for our sins.
Repent for your sins now or there will be
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U98SESP3 03-11-2013


#161
PROBLEMCHYLD

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Windows 2003 Resource Kits contains these newer files

IVIEWERS.DLL 2.1.0.59
OLEVIEW.EXE 2.1.0.59
VFI.EXE 4.99.8.2301 (AKA FILEWISE.EXE)

Believe God is the Alpha and Omega.
Believe Jesus Christ died for our sins.
Repent for your sins now or there will be
BLOOD

The Path to God


U98SESP3 03-11-2013


#162
PROBLEMCHYLD

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I have found TOUCH.EXE 5.0.1754.1 to be very useful. I have added it to SP3.7. I like files patched or not to have their original timestamps. Theres no need to change the timestamp if the version is changed. This will help users identify the newly patched version. When you use SP3.x and choose the change icons options, the original attributes changes. So I added the tool to fix that problem. If I patched a file on Win98 it always changes the timestamp, that same file patched on WinXP, the original timestamp is kept. I use resource hacker 99% of the time to patch files.

Believe God is the Alpha and Omega.
Believe Jesus Christ died for our sins.
Repent for your sins now or there will be
BLOOD

The Path to God


U98SESP3 03-11-2013





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