Lion of the Blogosphere

Using a Windows 98 computer in 2017

The computer geek in me found this interesting. Guy with a Russian accent demonstrates using a 17-year-old laptop with Windows 98.

The bottom line is that, although software designed for Windows 98 runs perfectly fine, it doesn’t play videos (except a few cherry-picked low-res videos) and it can’t surf the web.

Why can’t it surf the web? Internet Explorer 6 won’t run any websites at all. I believe that’s a case of all modern websites using newer versions of HTML that can’t be parsed by outdated browsers. He was able to jury rig the computer to run a 10-year-old version of Opera (which required geek knowledge that regular people don’t have), but that still only worked with simple websites and often had display errors. And the computer’s hardware is not powerful enough (not enough RAM, not enough processor speed) to run heavy JavaScript websites such as Facebook or Gmail.

Remember the point in my review of the iPad Pro that you need fast computing devices to surf the web because web pages are loaded down with massive JavaScript that requires lots of computing power to run with acceptable speed?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 2, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

13 Responses

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  1. I used a Win98 box until Jan ’10. I’m out in the country so it was dial up. By that time they had started with adding all the videos, audio, and other garbage like the multiple copies of something about twitter widgets I get when I try to right click the back button at this very site! There are like 7 of them, all the same.

    What are those about? Some way to scam that you have a lot more visitors? Like Drudge forcing a refresh every 3 minutes?


    March 2, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    • Anyone who was the first to use Windows 98 post college years, is at least middle age by now.


      March 2, 2017 at 10:16 pm

  2. The other day I saw the 8-bit Guy was still writing software for the Commodore 64. What the heck for?!?!


    March 2, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    • Because he can? A lot of guys like to tinker with old machines.


      March 5, 2017 at 7:47 pm

  3. he has a Dutch accent, not a Russian one. I thought you would have worked with enough Russians in IT to recognize their accent.


    March 2, 2017 at 4:54 pm

  4. Is Javascript good or bad? It seems to dominate web pages and to be one of the most popular languages now. But if loads down web pages so much, why is it used so much and why is it so popular?


    March 2, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    • You create a static webpage wirh HTML. Adding Javascrpt gives the webpage more functionality allowing it to actually run programs. A lot of it is crap for advertising and marketing. You may see the ads but don’t see all the trackers under the hood — and there’s a boat load of them. I added no-script, ghostery and adblock plus to my browser to kill all that garbage. The biggest noticeable difference is that I don’t see all the ads, popups, etc which is great. On the other hand, it sometimes blocks a script that’s necessary for a page to work. For example, I had to manually allow a few scripts in order to watch videos and play Words with Friends on Facebook. But only when I first installed them. I haven had to fiddle with anything in a long time.


      March 2, 2017 at 7:25 pm

      • A lot of websites simply don’t work without JavaScript. In a previous post, I noted that I was able to get around the LA Times anti-adblock software by turning off JavaScript for their site using Chrome’s built-in settings. I believe the no-script plugin just makes it easier to turn it off by right clicking or something like that.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 2, 2017 at 8:33 pm

      • My experience was that I didn’t need to do very much with scripts after installing no-script. There were a few that I had to turn on to make the page work but not many. That may have been because no-script keeps a list of “good” vs “bad” javascript. Once you allow that script it’s allowed everywhere. So you only need to allow it once even though it may be necessary for every page to work.


        March 2, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    • It’s way overused in my opinion; nearly all the sites that use it would work just fine (far better, in fact) with just HTML and CSS. As a programming language (i.e. for people writing it) it’s fairly terrible. It’s so popular because it’s the only language that will run inside web browsers.

      The reasons for that are complicated but the TL;DR is that the creator of Javascript, Brendan Eich, is adept at playing corporate politics to kill or neuter all efforts to allow browsers to run other languages.


      March 2, 2017 at 9:59 pm

      • I thought Eich was unpopular and didn’t carry much weight with the corporate bigwigs.

        So the only reason Javascript is popular is that it runs inside web browsers? What exactly does that mean? It doesn’t mean that all webpages are programmed with Javascript, does it? I thought people used other languages to build websites as well.

        Also why is it terrible? Is it hard to learn and use?


        March 3, 2017 at 2:08 am

  5. imho JavaScript is ruining the web, or the move from hypertext to web apps rather.

    It’s horrible to watch what a bloated and slow mess the Internet is turning into.

    I don’t want my MTV, i want my web 1.0 back!


    March 3, 2017 at 4:35 am

  6. Has anyone ever managed to use Lynx recently? Seems like all webpages are totally graphically organized now and it just wouldn’t work, but I used to use it back in the late 90s to slack off…


    March 5, 2017 at 7:49 pm

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