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Using an Old Laptop
Old 12-01-2005, 11:28 AM   #1
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Using an Old Laptop

I haven't had a computer at home for a couple of years now, but I found one in my parents basement that they aren't using, so now I'm trying to see if I can use it as an incredibly cheap system at home. The system is from around 1998, and is Windows 95 without much software.

Because I am so cheap (and I have high-speed internet at work) I am trying to use NetZero for a few hours of free internet access a month. When I tried to install NetZero it told me I need microsoft dial-up networking, and service pack 2. I think I have figured out how to install this (though I'll have to wait until I'm back home tonight to be sure), but I was also wondering if there are other upgrades that I should be installing while I'm at it. Anyone else have a bronze-age computer that they are maintaining with some advice for me?
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Re: Using an Old Laptop
Old 12-01-2005, 02:29 PM   #2
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Re: Using an Old Laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by bongo2
Anyone else have a bronze-age computer that they are maintaining with some advice for me?
Hey, Bongo, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History called...

I obtain solace from Windows Annoyances and its discussion board.

Better hurry, though, Win3.11 has already rolled off the roster and Win95 probably won't survive the Vista debut.

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Re: Using an Old Laptop
Old 12-01-2005, 02:42 PM   #3
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Re: Using an Old Laptop

I used to be really good with Win95 well after Win98 and Win2k came out, but the memory of it is decaying. MS is actively trying to kill it off: they took away all Win95 downloads and prevent their new products from installing on it, so no use going to their website for help.

If I recall, at a minimum you'll want to find and install (if they aren't there already):

- winsock update

- dial-up networking update (1.3 is the latest version I think)

Other software you may possibly want or need:

- IE 5.5 service pack 2 ; not available from MS, but many CDs had this on them; Intellipoint mouse driver CDs often have this, for example. (newer versions of IE will refuse to install on Win95)

- Domestic encryption pack; the details are fuzzy to me now, and this may be included with IE 5.5 sp2, but there was a "domestic encryption" update for IE. If you try to access a secured site and are told you don't have proper encryption, this is what you need

- Windows Installer or Microsoft Installer; whatever they called it then. The latest 3.0 version won't likely go on Win95, but a 1.x version should and *maybe* a 2.x version

- DCOM95 or similar. This may or may not come with IE 5.5 sp2 or MS installer. Many later programs require this.

I expect somebody has this all available for download out there somewhere even though that would techincally violate MS's copyright. Then again it may be fair use, but I doubt anyone will go to court over it.
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Re: Using an Old Laptop
Old 12-02-2005, 09:42 AM   #4
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Re: Using an Old Laptop

Thanks BigMoneyJim. I've found all that stuff on the internet except IE5.5, and I love your idea of digging up an old installation CD. What do you think would be the best timeframe for a CD to have IE5.5sp2? I assume you'd want to find something that came out right before IE6 so you'd get the most recent version, but not the one that won't instal. Maybe 2003?
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Re: Using an Old Laptop
Old 12-02-2005, 10:43 AM   #5
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Re: Using an Old Laptop

A while back I marked a CD here at work "Also IE 5.5 install files" and put it in my CD folder. It's an IntelliPoint 4.1 driver CD dated 2002. I don't know if that's sp2, but I suspect it is.

I have a server folder for IE5.5sp2 files, and they're dated 6/10/2002, but it's probably a corporate-modified version so the original files may be older. Here's another set of IE5.5 install files dated april 2001, but I'm not sure they're sp2.

So any 2003 IE5.5 is likely sp2. 2002 may or may not be sp2, but 5.5 goes back to at least early 2001.
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Re: Using an Old Laptop
Old 12-05-2005, 12:43 PM   #6
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Re: Using an Old Laptop

I installed winsock, DUN, DCOM, and Windows Installer over the weekend. I found a version of IE5.5 on the internet, but I'm going to avoid installing that until I run into problems. So far NetZero has loaded up, and everything seems to be running swell. Thanks!

In some ways it's nice to have an old computer -- I can use the old software that I had in the 90's that doesn't install on XP machines!
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