patchworks

Open Sourcing Windows 9x

190 posts in this topic

First and foremost-

I joined this forum just to pitch my two cents into this discussion.... and to thank everyone for all their hard work on these projects.

There are MANY people trapped in Windows 9x. They are REQUIRED to KEEP it.

Now, no more caps....

A small custom racing engine shop in my area uses a small (5) Win98SE network. Numerous times they have tried to upgrade to a newer OS. They can't. Why? The software that 'reads' the dyno computer is DOS only. The software that 'reads' the camshafts is Windows 9x ONLY.

Why is this software stuck in older OSs'? Well, the dyno needs DOS for the serial port- you know, that port that is also called an RS232 port? Yeah, that's the one. The software is DOS only, because that's the only way to get proper, perfect RS232 port emulation outta the machines. Versions of the software exists for newer Windows (XP mainly), but the test results are a LOT shottier. IE instead of seeing jagged lines in the graph, the XP version shows a *clean* curve.

The other software, the cam one, uses a special HASP driver and plug. I can't for the life of me find a patch, fix, anything for this software. This software claims to run on XP, but only if the system begins as a Win9x machine and is upgraded all the way to XP. (something to do with making the driver migrate??)

We have just bought enough parts to build 5 Windows 98SE machines... brand spanking new.

Thank God for this site and the threads on newer hardware... I've already thanked Gigabyte for including and conducting Win9x compatibility software drivers.

You see, there are a great deal more reasons to 'hang on' to this supposedly dead OS.

BACK TO THE TRUE POINT OF THIS THREAD!!!!!

Pardon my language (n00b here, and don't know what is 'offensive')

HELL YEAH!!!! Open sourced "wrappers" for installers....

We also need drivers that will work on Win98 and allow basic hardware functionality... basic (BASIC!!!!) USB support (keyboard, mouse, printers?), at least upto 1024x768 16bit colors (methinks everything 'work related' should run in this mode, right?), and proper shutdown/restart files. Oh yeah, also need network drivers... but I find most cards still include these (just not built-in motherboard based ones, the ones you get for free!)

Seriously, if we could just get DRIVERS created for Win9x, 95% of the battle is won... then we could worry about blowing the hood off and doing it without M$... right now, we need this OS to still run on the newer hardware.... otherwise it won't matter what you do... if Win9x can't run well enough to work with, who cares about it at all?

just my two cents, as I said above..

don't forget the industrial workers, either... I admin'd a production plant for 2 years... they STILL run Win98/ME for similar reasons... the manufacturing machines run DOS 3.someting and ME still has a DOS mode... good enough to program the big machines. you see, we just need the OS to actually work properly... installing newer software can come much later, you'll lose most of the people that can benefit the most if you wait too long.

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Hello all,

I was asked by patchworks to look a the opensourcing-Windows9X subject on te forum here.

I think that a lot of conclusions where taken and a lot was discussed like the source-code of Windows 98 and if Windows 98 is the right choice when you have ReactOs that is more "future-proof".

In my opinion, I think that Win9x is not really future-proof. So I can understand all the reply's about Windows98 being dead and stuff. Windows2k based systems are more future proof, but do not always run on the old hardware that is laying under a dust-blanket on your attic.

Just like the old hardware, software will also expire. Hardware developement will eventualy kill Windows 9x because newer hardware will not support them, or you will have to make your own drivers etc. etc.

I have searched a lot during my Windows: Jackhammer project, and I am already experiencing some difficulties in finding some open-source win9x based software. I had to get programs like Fdi_fw or fullcontroll out of the way because they where not Windows 9x comp.

So.. my advice for this project to succeed is to make a wiki or equalivent with all current software that is comp. with Win9x.

To really keep Windows 9x alife, you will need your Windows 98 CD & cd key, your current software and just safe it on a good place.

To keep Windows 9x alife, yo will also have to keep it's hardware alife.

Conclusion?

Start saving your software and hardware, because when vistas time comes, a lot of software-websites will scrape out that "-->Windows98/<-- Win2k/WinXP/Win2003/Windows Vista" quote. Software websites made from scratch from this day, will not include that Windows 98 quote anymore.

Let's make a wiki with your preffered software (like I told in the jackhammer post) and setup a web-mirror for those software packages. From there we can make this open-sourcing project work for what it's worth.

Agree?, or am I really thinking on the wrong page here?

All reply's are appriciated.

Greetings,

NL-Stitch

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I think that a lot of conclusions where taken and a lot was discussed like the source-code of Windows 98 and if Windows 98 is the right choice when you have ReactOs that is more "future-proof".

Yeah, someone agrees that open sourcing 9x could be interesting, come other says that it's just a waste of time.

My opinion is: if you REWRITE an os (such as ReactOS devs are doing) it's a really hard to see results in short time; patching fully functional os is surelly faster (you have a working os since the beginning), not so hard but not either useful for the majority of MS Windows users. :angel

Anyway people (like me, DeadDude or them) that can't upgrade (for different reasons) deprives of hope due to MS-support abandon. I think is the same reason for uSP and all unofficial patches & stuff in this forum.

BTW open sourced 9x let us mantain stability and (why not) improving many features, keeping the compatibility; it can helps the community (ReactOS one in my mind...) to know better how Windows works and how implement something. We can also exchange solutions, developers and (of course) source code between similar projects, in order to keep 9x alive.

Not only: it could be also a good way to approach "historical" windows users, hoping to bring them on ROS (in the future)...

I had to get programs like Fdi_fw or fullcontroll out of the way because they where not Windows 9x comp.

Well, this is one of the problems partially solved by the open source Kernel Update Project... ;)

To really keep Windows 9x alife, you will need your Windows 98 CD & cd key, your current software and just safe it on a good place.

Well... or have an open sourced version ! :yes:

Agree?, or am I really thinking on the wrong page here?

As already sayed my idea is more similar to your JackHammer goal... but: how to proceed ?

1. I believe that a WPI (Windows Post-Install Wizard) is the best solution for this goal; it also solve license violations (wanna remember all of you that GPL allows "mere aggregation" but not "combination" :ph34r: )

2. Collecting open alternatives: MS 9x kernel -> KUP, MS (W)MP -> skinned-VLC, etc.

3. Choosing good and "resonant" name for the project (do you remember the Lindows litigation ?): GNUWIN sounds cool and has a cool bivalence (GNU sounds like 'NEW' in some language) in my opinion...

Ideas are welcome !

Edited by patchworks
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patchworks, please check your pm, i still havent received a reply from you yet.

I hope to include some new things patchworks said, in the end-user version of Windows Jackhammer. My opinion is that you can not really open-source windows9x and keep it alife that way. You can only make "addons", service packs and etc. But keeping up with all new hardware like dual-core cpu's, sli configurations and etc. Is just to hard to keep up in a while. Let it rest man (I know it hurts me to), choose a more future-proof os like ReactOS to get the most out of your ideas patchworks..

Greetings NL-Stitch

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Just like the old hardware, software will also expire.
Not if you update it.
you will have to make your own drivers etc. etc.

What the hell do you think the GNU/Linux community does?

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Just like the old hardware, software will also expire.
Not if you update it.

You do not get my point here, windows 98 will not run on future hardware.

you will have to make your own drivers etc. etc.
What the hell do you think the GNU/Linux community does?

They make drivers for LINUX...

And if they made drivers for Windows or equalivent OSes, they would make it unstable. "Home-made" drivers are for 80%, less efficient then the ones you can get from the official hardware supplier.

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You do not get my point here, windows 98 will not run on future hardware.
Unless you update it.
They make drivers for LINUX...

And if they made drivers for Windows or equalivent OSes, they would make it unstable. "Home-made" drivers are for 80%, less efficient then the ones you can get from the official hardware supplier.

Then we need to make drivers of higher quality.

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@ patchworks...

So.. All your ideas seem verry promising..

But did you made a "Plan of approach", any kind of planning, or submitted your project to a website like sourceforge.net?

Greetings,

NL-Stitch

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I don't recall *where* I read this, but someone informed me there is a way to use the SciTech drivers to 'wrap' a Linux driver for Win9x....

Might I also add, that *most* people using Win9x frankly don't give a **** about any of the frills... that's why they are *still* on Win9x.

SATA, PCI-E.... cool stuff... but why? If you use Win9x, why would you need/want those things? All I am looking for is a ***simple*** wrapper-type driver that simply grants slightly better than no functionality...

There is a way to finangle a PCI-E video card to be 'seen' as an AGP card, and it *will* work on Win9x... The 3D aspect may not work, depending on the card, but I personally don't care about that... I need NO DirectX support of any kind. If people want that, they *should* upgrade.

SATA will work in IDE mode on most systems, but with quite a bit of yelling and breaking of stuff... No RAID support, though... but if you need that, you *should* upgrade.

All the newer hardware/motherboards/etc that do NOT work *at all* on Win9x need to be addressed...

OffTopic, sorta....

How does WinXP make 'vga' mode work on *all* video cards? With 8bit, 16bit, 24bit, 32bit color? At 800x600/1024/768? If you've seen it, you know it 'works', but that's about it. That is the functionality level we need.... At least to *start*.

If you can make most, if not all hardware, have some sort of default "panic" mode.... just like the XP VGA driver... then who cares about the new crap? if it didn't exist in the 90s, 9x shouldn't use it to its full potential, thats just design... Let us not forget that is the original reason for upgrading an OS.

Now, if you are some sadist who wants to use *all new hardware* with *all the latest gadgets and gizmos*.... on Win9x??? Come on... This thread is suppost to be about keeping the older OS and older software alive... And I for one think this community deserves it. Windows 98 is the *first* M$ OS that people *loved*.

OT, but has on topic followup:

Has anyone noticed that *all* the XBox referrences on M$ site have been removed??? Only XBox 360 info left now... Why would they not support hardware 2 years old? Because that's what they WANT. Buy the new stuff, kill the old stuff, make more money, buy the new, kill the old, make more money....

Do you want to be a part of that machine simply because you *need* to use a particular program? Screw that. I, like many others, love MY setup. If I can't customize, it never gets fully realized... Chuck it in the trash.

Did ANYONE setup a website or ANYTHING to support this idea?

Is there a petition? Tell me how to do one, I got over 5,000 people right now to sign. The majority of the heating and air conditioning repairpersons, custom engine shops, machine manufactering plants, small retail shops, fast food places (McDonald's uses Win98SE for their registers here in Florida), ALL USE WINDOWS 98SE OR OLDER.

I know the owners of these bussinesses around here, and every single one of them would happily sign a petition to get M$ to get off the code somehow...

Just tell me where to send them...

We will make this be a bloody, righteous war my brothers... The hydra shall rear it's head once more, then no more... Raise your voices up, and make thunder with your words. We shall overtake the beast one way or another... Do not fight blindly, for only with honor can you join us at the feast...

::it's a joke, knowing my luck someone will think I mean to do violent things... I *don't*, it's dramatical posting here :P ::

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Windows 98 is the *first* M$ OS that people *loved*.

But for other people Windows 95 was the first M$ OS they loved. Especially if they don't want integrated IE. ;)

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A wrapper to allow usage of XP drivers in 9x would be nice :whistle:

Edited by RainyShadow
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How does WinXP make 'vga' mode work on *all* video cards? With 8bit, 16bit, 24bit, 32bit color? At 800x600/1024/768? If you've seen it, you know it 'works', but that's about it. That is the functionality level we need.... At least to *start*.
I've been wondering the same thing. Apparently the XP driver includes built-in generic VESA support.

About XP drivers on 98, ME and 98SE actually support WDM drivers (which XP uses) but set of API is reduced. Maybe by editing the drivers themselves, or the API, can make it work..

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Again guyz, you're OT: i never talked about open sourcing drivers (even if this discussion could evolve in a very interesting way...)

So.. All your ideas seem verry promising..

But did you made a "Plan of approach", any kind of planning, or submitted your project to a website like sourceforge.net?

Uhmmm... no, i'm not a developer. I'm just purposing the idea to peoples that can do it. :blushing:

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