The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

4 July 2006

Scraping away

There are no formal screenshots from Genesis: it's all text. And there's not a whole lot of Scriptural basis for the notion of God looking at His monitor and reading "Formatting Universe, 0.000000000001% Complete," but hey, He had six whole days, while I was dumb enough to try to clean off an old PC in half of an afternoon.

And anyway, I didn't exactly scrape it down to the hull and start over. For one thing, Windows 98 support is well and truly over; while I had my original Microsoft CD at hand, I wasn't entirely sure I could locate every last patch and tweak that's come down the pike since the dawn of time, and I wasn't about to upgrade this box to XP: the only real reason for keeping it at all is to provide a way to run my old scanner, which dates back, if not to Genesis, certainly to Phil Collins' solo days.

So the first order of business was to uninstall all but a handful of apps, which was as much fun as you think, and then to reformat three of the four disk partitions. (This is a nominal 40-GB drive, so each partition is nine point something gig, and it's slow going.) At some point it dawned on me that I'd deleted my install for Adobe Reader 6 — version 7 won't run on 98 — and so I had to download that monster again.

The box has now been stripped to Windows, stuff supporting the sound card (though there are no speakers attached at the moment), a graphics app (to acquire from the scanner), and Firefox (in case the other machines go troppo). I suppose it would be useful to install software for the CD burner, but it's not a high-priority item at the moment.

And while this was going on, I ordered some RAM for the laptop, which is still in good shape but which has only 256 MB, barely sufficient to take on XP's Service Pack 2. It should run better with 512. On the other hand, its original 20-GB disk is down to about 6.

Posted at 7:07 PM to PEBKAC


Aint it fun! So much easier and quicker to blow away the entire partition and reload everything from scratch. Makes for a faster system also. Maybe you already know/have done this, but make sure you've run a good registry cleaner after all the uninstalls and folder deletions. W98 was a good OS (I still keep one around for specific purposes) but it did not do a good job of preening and pruning the registry along with the uninstalls. Getting out the cobwebs makes things run quicker, better, smoother and silkier... er, skip that last one, this isn't a lingerie ad...

Posted by: Winston at 6:46 AM on 5 July 2006

Winston,
Did you just write "W98 was a good OS?!"

To what are you comparing it? Words fail me as I was trying to come up with ridculous comparisons, but they're all BETTER than Windows 98.
CP/M? Check.
Mac OS 7? Check.
AmigaOS. Umm. Check.

98 is better than 95, I'll grant you that. And it's much easier to use than DOS. But I confess that I'm shocked that anyone would call Windows 98 a "good OS."

* - Yes, I am a Mac fanboy.
** - I don't hate XP much.

Posted by: Dan at 3:44 PM on 5 July 2006

I didn't like CP/M all that much. (And I had it on two different machines, too: an Osborne 1 — "portable" if you had forearms like Popeye the Sailor — and a Commodore 128.)

On the other hand, this is what you ran if you wanted to run (gag) WordStar.

Posted by: CGHill at 7:32 PM on 5 July 2006