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Thread: Windows 95: the Twentieth Anniversary

  1. #1
    The User DemonDragonJ's Avatar
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    Default Windows 95: the Twentieth Anniversary

    This year shall be the twentieth anniversary of Microsoft's Windows 95 operating system, so this thread is for the discussion of it and its legacy.

    Who here is of sufficient age to remember when Windows 95 was first released? I am, although it was not the first operating system that I ever used. The first computer that I ever used was running Windows 3.1, and I had become accustomed to that at the time that Windows 95 was released.

    I remember, albeit vaguely, that I found Windows 95 to be amazing and remarkably different from Windows 3.1 when I first used it. Unlike Windows 3.1, which was essentially a flashy GUI for DOS, Windows 95 was capable of operating completely independently of DOS. There were few games made for Windows 3.1, so the operating system was used primarily for word processing and business purposes, but there were many games made for Windows 95, which were a significant advancement from the games that existed for DOS at that time.

    Windows 95 introduced the now-familiar features of the taskbar and start menu, which have since become staples of the Windows family. It also brought a new level of customization and other features that made it more accessible and friendly to general users.

    Windows 95 did have its problems; I recall that it froze rather frequently and could be difficult to operate, at times. Personally, I believe that its successor, Windows 98, was a vastly superior operating system, but 95 must be given credit and respect for its importance in the history of computers.

    Who here remembers Windows 95? Are you memories of it positive or negative ones? let the discussion commence!
    "When the people fear the government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." -Thomas Jefferson.

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  2. #2
    Yuk it up Monkey Boy! Airbozo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Windows 95: the Twentieth Anniversary

    The first Windows OS I used was version 1. Total crap, possibly responsible for people never wanting to touch a computer again. Same with version 2, but at least it installed correctly without a 10 hour conversation with Microsoft. Still ran like crap and took dedication to actually install anything on it. Oh and probably the main reason for the disclaimer to backup your important data came directly from both of those versions.

    For me Windows 3.1 and to much anticipated fanfare, Windows 3.11 (Windows for Workgroups) was the OS that got me involved in Windows. Still 99% of my games were DOS based and I only booted 3.11 to look cool since I had a copy of Word Perfect for DOS (still have the original disks too). Windows 95 was cool when it came out, but had limitations and just like the release of Vista, drivers were a long time coming for all but the most common devices. I've also had experience with 98, Me and up. XP for me was really the greatest Windows version that had ever come out. That will most likely change when other versions come out or I look back in 20 years.

    To really get a perspective, I have been using computers in one form or another since the late 70's with many different OS's (including several ground up custom ones from Raytheon, Concurrent Computer (then Perkin Elmer with OS/32)). Yes I am old. Been using DOS since a pre-release version in the Military (80 or 81 if my brain cells still work right). Still use a version of it on select systems, mostly industrial computers and POS Systems (not so much any more). Most of those are now going Linux to stay away from Windows.

    On the Unix front I have been trained as a system administrator on: AIX, Solaris, IRIX, SCO Xenix and Unix, AT$T System V and DEC's Ultrix. Not on that list is HPUX which I was never exposed to.
    "...Dumb all over, A little ugly on the side... "...Frank Zappa...

  3. #3
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Re: Windows 95: the Twentieth Anniversary

    Falling somewhere in the middle...ok, pretty far on one end, hush.

    My first computer was a second-hand Leading Edge D2 running DOS 3.1 with some sort of directory-browser GUI (no, I have no clue what it was). When that finally died, the family went several years without a computer, until we finally got a Compaq Presario running Windows 95 in 1998. I remember using friends' computers that ran 3.1/3.11, but I don't honestly remember what my reaction to 95 was; the main thing I remember from early days with that computer was that was my first encounter with the internet.

    Since then I've used just about every OS version MS has made to some degree or the other. XP was definitely a force to be reckoned with, and probably the most revolutionary of any MS OS since 95. If I had to pick my favorite though, it would probably be 7.

    That all being said, a friend introduced me to Linux in 2005 and kicked off a journey that continues to this day. I currently have one computer that runs Windows (8.1 atm), and that is a count that will likely never change until I can get reliable, high performance, cloud-streamed, games (at which point it will drop to 0). Aside from that desktop and my Mac laptop, everything (including my phone) runs Linux.
    That we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
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    Anodized. Again. Konrad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Windows 95: the Twentieth Anniversary

    Ah, but how does Windows 95 compare against Intel 20th Anniversary Edition? I doubt it can be overclocked half as well!

    Win95 was a great improvement over Win3.x. At least it had a desktop and working file manager. Hell, it was almost as good as Macs at the time.

    But it still sucked, couldn't play DOS games worth a damn, couldn't play Win games without a heavy performance hit, and (as of OSR2.5/95C) it heralded Microsoft's evil policy of embedding the inferior IE browser deep within the OS core. Win98 carried it a step further by embedding Windows Media Player. WinME was a buggy joke. At least WinXP did away with separate 9x/NT paths, though it continued Microsoft's strong tradition of exponential bloat.

    I prefer an OS which doesn't automatically fill up every megabyte and gigabyte available, which isn't built around optional components like web browsers and media players and office "frameworks" (let alone built around proprietary ones). Which doesn't dedicate more code towards collecting a user's money than towards improved functionality.

    linux FTW
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    Carpe Apenodytes halcyonforever's Avatar
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    Default Re: Windows 95: the Twentieth Anniversary

    XP didn't do away with the separate paths. They just launched Server 2003 then. The separation just got much wider than it had been in the Windows 2000 era.

    I got into computers right around the launch of Windows 95, so I had glimpses of things before.

  6. #6
    Will YOU be ready when the zombies rise? x88x's Avatar
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    Default Re: Windows 95: the Twentieth Anniversary

    Quote Originally Posted by halcyonforever View Post
    XP didn't do away with the separate paths.
    He was referring to the codebase. The original Windows codebase (1.0, 3.1, etc) served as the basis for Windows 95, 98, and ME. Meanwhile, with Windows NT, Microsoft basically started over from scratch with a much better, more stable codebase, that unfortunately was not very compatible with programs written for the classic Windows codebase. Windows NT 3.11 and 2000 (both Pro and Server) were both based on the NT codebase.

    With XP, Microsoft consolidated codebases, mainly sticking with the NT codebase, but bringing in components from the classic codebase that allowed much greater compatibility with classic programs. Every version of Windows since XP has grown out of this new codebase.
    That we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.
    --Benjamin Franklin
    TBCS 5TB Club :: coilgun :: bench PSU :: mightyMite :: Zeus :: E15 Magna EV

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