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Windows 95, now 15 years old!


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Some moments are culturally defining. They pave the way for a generation of consumers. People of my parents generation still remember the Beatles appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. I recall long lines to see the movie "Jaws," which gave A-movie status to scary B-movies. Many young adults of this generation will recall iPhone's June 2007 launch. Some moments define us. So it was this day 15 years ago. Windows 95 launched to long lines at midnight on Aug. 24, 1995.

Microsoft had the right product at the right time. The planets aligned just so. Windows 95 was by no means the best PC operating system of its day. But it was good enough, usable enough, cheap enough and marketed well enough -- and the personal computer was mature enough for the mass market.

Windows 95 made geeks cool, too. Suddenly the seemingly unhippest of all people, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, was a rock star and business genius. Microsoft left IBM at the OS/2 altar -- abandoning the 32-bit operating system the companies codeveloped -- and shacked up with pseudo-32-bit Windows 95. A decade-and-a-half later, OS/2 is all but forgotten, while Windows defines the very essence of personal computing.

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Yuerghh!

Some things from the past are just best forgotton, not to be celebrated 15 years later. :dunce:

Let's face it Win95 was truly horrible! It started out with that hideous sea-green coloured background to the Desktop :sick: and, well, just kept on going downhill from there on.

Back then we had NetBEUI, NetWare servers, crashes on a daily basis, a truly ghastly, ideosyncratic, standards-ignoring browser called Internet Explorer (so, no change from today really) and other faults too numerous to mention.

Back then we also had 66MHz or maybe 100MHx 486 processors, or maybe a Pentium MMX; we had ISA slots on the motherboard; some hard drives went up from 500MB to over a 1GB. A year or two later Compaq started putting in 2.5GB drives :questionmark: in their computers -- yes, that's 2.5GB, not 25GB -- huge at the time, but pretty stupid really with a hard 2.0GB limit on partitions, because the hidden boot/diagnostics partition certainly didn't need 500MB.

I skipped Win95 entirely.

Now, if someone was to mention Windows 2000, that is an OS worth celebrating. Microsoft took two mediocre systems (Win98 and WinNT 4) both with their own strong and weak points and made something beautiful out of them, instead of making something with the worst of both.

Don't forget that XP is just a minor version increment of 2000, since XP is mostly 2000 under the Desktop (2000 = version 5.0, XP = version 5.1).

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I have a fondness for 95', the OS was problematic as has been mentioned but I knew things were going to get better and personal computing was going to come alive at some point. I really enjoy watching Computer Chronicles just to reminisce :questionmark:

I'm not naive, it was 95' that had my sister thinking I was an idiot when it came to computers. Well, I actually was a bit naive. I told her we could upgrade her system at the time, add a new drive, a faster ISA modem and so on. 3 trips to the comp store later, a drive overlay that my sister thought was annoying to look at (remember installing 'overlay' software), buggy drivers (not the OS's fault), the result - a system seemingly hacked together to work, that took longer than expected to upgrade. This same job could be done quickly without much of a headache today, and I would be a prince, in 96' I was a pauper (technically speaking).

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