You know the problem: you can successfully install many different OS on your hard disk, for example DOS, OS/2, Linux, etc. Provided that you
have an appropriate boot-manager, you can work with all of them, separately, enjoying the specificities of each one. This is in the ideal
PC-world. That was my first PC.
Then you enter the world of Windows.
End of 1999, I built my 2nd PC, and I bought Win98SE (known to be the best W9X). With Win98SE (and other W9X), normally
it doesn't work. There are 2 possibilities: either you are lucky and Windows will detect OS/2 and just refuse to install, or you are really
unlucky and Windows will simply take all the disk space for itself, and bye-bye OS/2 & Co... This is well known and was largely discussed in
the specialised press.
But, but, but, don't desperate, with enough time and determination, you can overcome this really criminal behaviour. Here is how I proceeded:
caution: this operation is very sensitive, as it may harm the complete data stored on your computer. If you don't know and
understand well what can happen, don't try it. This chapter is definitely reserved for experienced users only.
start with the preparation of your HDD:
formatting, partitioning, and installation of the boot manager.
install your other OS, like DOS, OS/2, Linux, BeOS, QNX, etc.
on my system, I have a 1st primary partition for the boot manager (from OS/2, one cylinder), a 2nd
primary for DOS (very small, for tests and maintenance. Caution: due to DOS limitations, it must be located at the beginning of the HDD),
then a 3rd primary for Win98SE (which requires a primary), and at last an extended partition containing many logical
partitions for the rest: OS/2, Linux, etc.
Now the game really starts:
boot Linux, go to the installation, go to HDD, and change all the partitions (also the boot manager!) to type 0x83 (Linux), except
the primary partition for Windows. This makes Windows happy as it believes that it's alone on the disk.
installation of Win98SE: at first you must format the partition. Then I recommend to convert it to fat32. Some tools do that in just 1 pass.
when Windows is successfully installed, boot again to Linux and restore the other partitions types (0x0A, 0x06, 0x07, etc).
wasn't so hard, what ? ;-)) Well, in fact it really took me a hard time to find that out.
Beginning of 2001, I found an old PC on the street... Configuration intel Pentium 133MHz, that was better than my old 486 with 83Mz overdrive.
I tested it, it worked, except there was no HDD. So I added an HDD, some more RAM and a new CD-drive. This makes a good game-PC for my family.
Later I found an overdrive processor AMD 333MHz and a modern PCI graphics board, both second hand, so it was about time to find out how to install
them. I searched the internet and found many sources, not all being coherent however... I tried to merge them. Here is the best result I achieved
This utility comes absolutely at the very first place. I call it from my autostart folder. Under Win9x/ME, it helps cool down the micro-processor
by a permanent call of the HLT function. This does NOT slow down the performance of your system. Other OS, like OS/2, Linux or Win2k/XP, have this
function already integrated in their kernel.
Btw, I found also a version 2.0: ignore it, it's identical to this version 1.0... Similar products:
I tested also Waterfall and CPUidle: they are more complicated, with more additional features. Rain is easy, and further, I read somewhere that it
is supposed to work better...
» BigFix (v1.760 - 2,7MB - free for personal use)
"Fix it, before it fails!" That's what this utility promises. In fact, it automatically informs you about any kind of potential
problem relevant to your specific system, and offers a fix. BigFix works in the background, and needs a short access to the internet to
search for information about the latest bugs and security updates from Microsoft.
Unfortunately, BigFix has stopped his support for the free edition on 31-Aug-2007. Similar products:
I don't know. At least there are manual ways to update your system: 1) there are security tickers informing you about important security
issues. Then YOU have to decide whether it's relevant for you and YOU have to fix it! and 2) from Microsoft itself via "Windows Update".
However I must admit that I never used it under Win98SE.
-- now with WinXP, I use this "Windows Update" (needs admin rights) in manual mode, which means I can control what is being updated,
and I find it Ok.
» Secunia PSI (v184.108.40.206 - 700kB - freeware)
Secunia Personal Software Inspector: where BigFix only applied to Microsoft's own Windows components, Secunia PSI scans your computer for all
software installed and reports every unsecure or just too old program for which an update is available. Link to the latest version (v220.127.116.1103, 10/2011, WinXP+):
http://secunia.com/PSI. Similar products:
I don't know any.
This utility is a very interesting graphical visualisation of your hard disk occupation. It helps by showing immediately which folders or files
take the most place on your HDD. Link to the latest version (v2.1.1, shareware, 09/2006):
http://www.sixty-five.cc/. Similar products:
TreeSize (v5.0, shareware) is based on this concept.
Simply the best file manager around. Clone of the excellent DOS program XtreeGold, with enhanced capabilities for Win32. It works in text mode, but
this is not DOS. This makes it very fast. Possibility to work with the mouse, but by design you'll want to work with the keyboard (hotkeys), which
makes it even faster. Full control of the directory structure and files over different directories. You can select some directories and manipulate
the files they contain depending on own filters. Etc. Very powerfull.
Here you can find a very comprehensive site about Xtree/Ztree: http://vujnovic.free.fr/ztw/.
Thanks to the author for his excellent work. Link to the latest version - v1.74, shareware, 10/2008, last version for Win9x: download/ztw174.exe.
- v2.2.19, shareware, 05/2011, new for Win NT/2k/XP+: download/ztw22.zip. Similar products:
Well, there are plenty of file managers available on the net, most of them in graphic mode. At first the Windows Explorer itself, but also,
and alphabetically: ExplorerXP, Free Commander, Speed Commander, Total Commander, etc. Many of them are clones of the good old DOS program
Norton Commander. All in all, nothing as good as Ztree ;-) Remark: under Linux, I use Midnight Commander,
another clone of Norton Commander.
This program scans your PC's harddisks for trojans (aka. backdoors), worms, bots, dialer, spyware and adware with a
pretty good performance, finishing Nr.1 in many tests. You'll have to choose what to do with the findings ;-) Link to the last version (v18.104.22.168, 04/2010, WinXP+): http://www.emsisoft.com/.
July 2010: a-squared Free has been stopped and replaced with Emsisoft Anti-Malware: Link to the latest version (v22.214.171.124, 04/2012, WinXP+): http://www.emsisoft.com/. Similar products:
I don't know any, but maybe - hopefully - modern antivirus programs (see below) do at least parts of that ?
» AntiVir PE classic (v7.02.x - 10.6MB - free for private use)
This is an antivirus program, which protects your PC against viruses, worms and trojans with a pretty good performance, finishing Nr.1 in many
tests. Automatic online update. With Guard-function.
Unfortunately, Avira has stopped supporting Windows 98/SE/ME, following Microsoft's EndOfSupport Policy by 30-Jun-2006. The program cannot be
downloaded anymore, even the signatures are not updated anymore since 01.01.2008 :-(( Link to the latest version (v126.96.36.1998, 02/2012, Win2k/XP+):
http://www.avira.com/. Similar products:
of course there are lots of them, as for example and aphabetically: BitDefender AntiVirus Free Edition (I tried V7 in March 2004 and I liked it),
Kaspersky Antivirus (I tried it in March 2003 and I didn't like it, my Win98SE became instable ??), McAfee VirusScan (I liked V4, also years ago),
Norton Antivirus, Panda Antivirus, etc. Also available as part of another product, like for example Zone Alarm (see below).
» Zone Alarm (v6.1.744 - 11.4MB - free for private use)
Zone Alarm, of course !! This is a firewall with very good benchmark results. Nowadays, nobody should seriously dare going online w\o the protection
of a firewall. I have full control of what program can access the internet or not. I once checked my PC via grc, and the protection was perfect, which
means I was invisible.
Unfortunately, Zone Labs has stopped since V6.5 supporting Windows 98/SE/ME, following Microsoft's EndOfSupport Policy by 11-Jul-2006.
The last revision for Win9X seems to be V6.1.744.001. Link to the latest version (2012, Win2k/XP+):
Now also available with integrated free Antivirus. Similar products:
I read a test by end of 2002, where the best firewall was Symantec (freeware), just before Zone Alarm (also freeware), and both showed better
results than the other products, even the most expensive ones. Newer reports from 2005/2006 place Zone Alarm as number 1.
This utility performs an automatic adjustment of your PC-clock with an atomic clock server on the internet. I configured it for example to load at
Windows startup, minimized and hidden, waiting silently for me to go online, then synchronize the clock and exit. Link to the latest version (v5.0, 02-Jun-2005): http://www.thinkman.com/dimension4/. Similar products:
meanwhile, there are other products which provide this function as an additional feature, like for example Modem Monitor Graph since v3.6, but I
didn't test any of them. Btw it's also included now in WinXP.
Actually this is not a utility but an internet search engine, just like Google. The main difference is that "with each search at Forestle,
you save 0.1 m2 of rainforest for free". All details available on their homepage
In October 2009, already 1.8 million m2 have been protected, the 7 millions m2 have been reached in July 2010, and
10 millions in April 2011. This is great, let's continue.
Forestle used the Yahoo search engine and thus it deliverd identical results. "Forestle" is a south-German word creation from "forest" and
the suffix "-le" which means little. This means each time you save a little bit of forest. And you do nothing special for that, it's fully
transparent for you.
Meanwhile, Forestle has received a new name, Ecosia, and already 828 k€ have been
donated to the rainforest by May 2012. Btw, Ecosia uses now the bing search engine. Similar products:
Google is currently the Number 1. I liked it but now I use Forestle !! Save the planet !!
» Modem Monitor Graph (v3.5 - 675kB - freeware)
This utility is a graphical visualisation of the dial modem activity. You can see if and how the sent and received data flows. This helps me check
for example if an internet site is responding to my click, or if the flow is constant or interrupted. It can do more, but I don't use it... Link to the latest version (v4.1, 04/2002): ModemGPH.zip. Similar products:
I don't know any.
» Net Traffic (v1.0 - 266kB - freeware)
Modem Monitor Graph is only for dial modems. Net Traffic does the same but for cable modems. I recently switched to cable modem, so I needed the
same functionality for network activities. From the same author as Modem Monitor Graph, see above.
Caution: there is a bug in this program, it crashes after 2GB - close it before! Similar products:
I don't know any.
This utility monitors all your dial modem activity, and records the date and length of each online session. Via an open database of internet providers,
with associated online costs, you can permanently check your current online costs for any given period of time. Similar products:
I tried also a very similar product (I don't remember the name), but this one is freeware ;-))
This is a small HTML code to be placed on your desktop via "Active Desktop".
I adapted it from an example described in SelfHTML (see below).
It shows as much as 15 monthes (the last, current and next ones to scroll down), with the week numbers and the current day highligted. Similar products:
There are many calendars to be installed as background picture on your desktop, and I tried some, but finally I ended up with this one.
Graphics viewer for lots of picture and audio/video formats, some of them however via external plug-ins (v4.33 currently 8.9MB, 03/2012). Also including
simple edit functions. Similar products:
I tried ACDSee a few years ago, but I found iView much better. XnView (v1.96, 10/2009) is a real alternative to iView, it is known to support even
more formats, but I never tried it. A new challenger is FastStone Image Viewer (v3.9), which is more for the ambitious photographer.
» Paint Shop Pro (v5.0.3 - 40MB - shareware)
Graphics editor, very good in my opinion. I use PSP since version 1... At that time it used to be a simple viewer.
Meanwhile this program from Jasc has been bought by Corel and is available in version "X4" (v14.00.345, 11/2011, WinXP+). Similar products:
PSP and Ulead PhotoImpact are for normal users. For professional users, the best ones are known to be Adobe Photoshop, Corel Photopaint and
Micrografx Picture Publisher, if you can afford them, because it's not the same price ;-)
This program just builds a panorama view from two or more digital photos. Link to the latest version: - v1.6, shareware, 05/2008, last version for Win9x.
- v2.3.1, shareware, 04/2012, new for Win2k/XP+:
www.tshsoft.de/download/PanoStudio2Setup.exe (download including a PDF manual). Similar products:
I had tested Panorama Factory (v1.6f) before, but I was not so happy with the results. So I puzzled my panoramas by hand - not so easy !!
Then I read a test of various panorama programs in a computer magazine, where Panorama Studio ended with the best performance at the 2nd. best
price. I tested it and compared the results with my own - woaoh, I bought it immediately.
This is a simple ASCII editor which provides fairly good support when programming HTML by hand. With preview function. Btw, these pages were hand
written with this editor. Available in version 188.8.131.52 since 06/2009. Similar products:
I didn't like NetObjects Fusion (v2.02i - no freeware!), which is a real objects programming tool: you have absolutely no control on the final HTML
code, that's nothing for me ;-) On the other side, I like Microsoft Frontpage 2000. It's expensive, so I use it only in my business. You can program
in ASCII with full control over your tags etc, same as Phase 52, but you can also program directly with a WYSIWYG editor.
Ok, this is not a program, but a guide for HTML programming.
These pages were hand written with great help of this excellent manual.
Btw, selfhtml was originally written in german but it is available in englisch, french etc. Similar products:
for sure there must be lots of good books about this subject...
most of those utilities will also work under Win2k/XP.
no link mentionned means that I have got no explicit authorisation yet from the respective authors, so you'll have to search the internet.
Function: this utility cuts any file in smaller parts. This can be helpfull
when the file is larger than the destination support, for example a diskette or a mail.
Includes a batch-file for restoration of the original file.
It works up to a file size of 4GB (4.294.967.295 bytes).