Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
454

This is because of a flaw in the way Windows 95 generates events, and the fact that many applications are event driven. Windows 95 applications often use asynchronous I/O, that is they ask for some file operation like a copy to be performed and then tell the OS that they can be put to sleep until that operation finishes. By sleeping they allow other ...


97

Yes, it's a real effect resulting in causing a measurable speed up and can be reproduced at will: Try opening a large file with Notepad on a contemporary machine. The window must not be full screen. When loaded, mark all text using the mouse (the keyboard works as well, it just needs more manual skill). While still holding the button down (and marking) move ...


35

It wasn't just Windows 95, but Windows 3.x as well, even though they work very differently. Other answers talk about pre-emptive multitasking, so let's first clarify this: Window 3.x was using cooperative multitasking where each app would release the cpu for the other apps to use it. Windows 95 uses pre-emptive multitasking where each app is allocated a ...


25

These are Distribution Media Format disks, storing 1.68 MB of data instead of the usual 1.44 MB (on high-density 3.5” disks). There are a couple of strategies you can use: You can create floppies with the original contents of the installation disks. If you’re running Windows, WinImage is supposed to be able to write such images to floppies. Under Linux, ...


25

The CD media for OSR (OEM Service Releases) are generally all the same; there is no unique code on the disc. Imagine what a problem this would be for commercial users with multiple machines to support - they wouldn't want to archive multiple copies of the media. Making the key unique to the disk doesn't add any protection if the disc image is easily ...


24

I have not tried any of these, not having a Windows 98 system, but a bit of research reveals: Internet Explorer 6 SP1 was the last IE, in 2001. Firefox 2 was the last Firefox in 2006. Netscape 8 (2005) or Netscape 9 (2007) are available here. Opera 10 (2009) seems to be the last available, here. Safari and Chrome never supported Windows 98. Browsers ...


23

That latest web browser I am able to find is K-Meleon 74 Windows 9x Edition. It was created in 2014, when the Pale Moon engine (Goanna) was backported for Windows 2000. It requires KernelEx (and the latest updates) and a rather beefy old machine to run. You could also experiment with other later browser versions on top of KernelEx, as it adds NT support to ...


20

The very first step of an attack is to probe the target for platform. Pentesting applications such as metasploit have much more numerous and varied techniques to breach Windows 98 as opposed to the newer Windows versions. By extension, most malware in the wild will also check for platform. In fact, much of that malware has its origins in Metasploit, ...


20

The reason is because of how WM_TIMER is limited to 15.6ms intervals by default. If you call SetTimer() with a 1ms interval it will still be called in 15.6ms intervals. WM_TIMER drives a lot of stuff in Win32 applications like network packet processing and such. Moving the mouse causes WM_TIMER events to fire more often on Win95. So some applications will ...


19

CDs are made by pressing, having a new master made is expensive so the content of the disk would rarely be changed, certainly not for a single copy. Yes there are recordable CDs now but they were not common at the time windows 95 was released, cost more in bulk than pressing and generally have worse longevity. Even for media that is not pressed making a ...


17

Notepad (at least originally) was implemented as a simple wrapper around the Windows EDIT control. EDIT is not really designed to handle large amounts of text -- it stores text in a single block of memory allocated via LocalAlloc (which, at least for 16-bit versions of Windows, means that it can't handle more than 64K of text in a single control, and in ...


17

AppleWin was announced in August 1994, so it turns out yours isn’t the first non-commercial emulator developed for Windows. It was made available by April 1995 if not earlier.


17

Raymond Chen from Microsoft has a great answer on his blog: One danger of the MsgWaitForMultipleObjects function is calling it when there are already messages waiting to be processed, because MsgWaitForMultipleObjects returns only when there is a new event in the queue. His blog is a great read!


15

The situation isn't nearly as cut and dried as Wikipedia might make it sound. For example, under US copyright law: § 117 . Limitations on exclusive rights: Computer programs (a) Making of Additional Copy or Adaptation by Owner of Copy.—Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, it is not an infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer ...


13

It very much depends on what you're trying to do - Lynx's latest release is from 2018, runs on Win95, and is very lightweight, but, you know, lacks graphics. I also use Dillo on old machines when I just need Wikipedia. (Yeah, it does not have nice prebuilt Win binaries as far as I can tell.) // would've like to comment, but I lack the reputation!


12

(The question How could one say that older operating systems are more vulnerable? on Security Stack Exchange (linked by Stephen Kitt in the comments) provides a more in-depth answer, but I will try to provide a high-level answer here as well.) Yes and no, mostly no. Yes in the sense Windows 9x is vulnerable to most of the exploits patched by the various ...


11

Well, turns out the Wikipedia article has the answer already: WinG would also perform a graphics hardware/driver profiling test on the first execution of the program in order to determine the best way to manipulate the graphics hardware. This test showed a window full of red curved lines, sections of which would wobble as performance was tested. Once WinG ...


11

Mostly no. Pre-XP versions of Windows are certainly vulnerable to targeted attacks, such as you'd see from Metasploit -- if you're the sort of high-value target that attracts such attacks, don't run Windows 98. However, most malware isn't that flexible. Instead, it's programmed to run on popular versions of Windows (typically XP or newer) and nothing else:...


11

Arguably, this is a common bug in early software based on an event-processing loop rather than a Windows bug: if some DD-paths of the loop only process a single event, then every time when two events are generated simultaneously, only one is processed and the other gets stuck. Moving the mouse generates more incoming events and restarts the loop. "Mouse move"...


10

In the Windows world, the MAX_PATH 260-character limit dates back to the introduction of the Win32 APIs; it is for example documented in GetWindowsDirectory. Before that, Windows (at least in version 3) documented a 144-character limit; see for example GetSystemDirectory. As far as why the path limit is 260 characters, the general answer you’ll find on the ...


9

Articles Q190355 and Q195737 previously available on microsoft.com provided a little documentation about the .scf script file format: Example 1: Show Desktop (from Q190355): [Shell] Command=2 IconFile=explorer.exe,3 [Taskbar] Command=ToggleDesktop Example 2: View Channels (from Q195737): [Shell] Command=3 IconFile=shdocvw.dll,-118 [IE] Command=Channels ...


8

SCF files are just another form of shortcuts to access various system functions with syntax identical to *.ini files. They are handled by shell32.dll. Parameter 'Command' determines how is the file handled. Possible values: Posts internal message to windows main process (systray.exe). At a glance it doesn't seem like message with this ID (0x4C8) is handled ...


8

When you used dd, did you capture it from the first physical sector? Or did you merely grab the volume of interest? If you did it on \\.\Volume{$$$$$$$$-$$$$-....}, then you only got C:, not the whole disk. You need to do it on \\.\PhysicalDrive# (whatever # it is) to get everything - including the Master Boot Record (MBR) which is in the first physical ...


7

The Windows 95 installation happens in two phases. Assuming you are installing from scratch the first phase runs under a stripped down version of Windows 3.x which runs under the DOS environment you (or the autoexec.bat on your boot media) launched the installer from. The system then reboots and the second phase runs under the newly installed Windows 95 ...


7

This is a rather broad question, but the answers are inter-related so here goes. Should I build a Win95 or Win98 computer in order to also play DOS games (System Shock, Teranova...)? This was common in the late 90s: PCs mostly ran Windows 95 or 98 then, but still ran DOS games too. I know some DOS games plays too fast on systems that are too powefull, ...


7

Key code verification was done by installer - without connecting to any server to verify if the key is valid / blacklisted. According to ViennaXP's answer on this thread on BetaArchive, Windows 95/NT keys must fit these constraints: the first digit of the first 5-digit block must be a 1 or 2 the first 3 digits of the 7-digit blick must be 000 the digit sum ...


7

I remember there being a folder installed with VisualBasic 4 or 5 that was full of those icons... I remember there being all the stock new, open, save, print, cut, copy, paste, etc. and some more esoteric ones like flags and smileys and chain links... I don't have access to my old MSDN disk from back then (they are in storage) but if you can dig up a copy ...


7

From your pictures you have a CD-ROM manufactured by Matsushita for IBM with a model number of CR-563BBZ. This drive uses Matsushita's proprietary interface, so won't work with the the OAKCDROM.SYS driver which only supports CD-ROM drives using the IDE interface. It is however not connected to your sound card, its connected to it's own LaserMate CD-ROM ...


7

Neat question ... and I may have found only a partial answer when looking through my notes. I did find some information about Win95 product/activation keys to be entered when installing from CD. Basically 3 formats. 10 Digit Key For one there is the basic 10 digit number in 3-7 format, where the first group (3) are not checked, while the second (7) has to ...


7

The laptop you describe is unlikely to be able to support USB ports, for hardware reasons. But there may be an alternative solution. The first USB standard (version 1.0) was published in 1996, but didn't really gain traction in the PC market until version 1.1 was released in 1998. The PCI bus standard had been published in 1992, and by the mid 1990s it was ...


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