Project Cisco Delayed, Redtoast Here to Stay
May 20th, 2021 at 3:30 AM by Kugee
Two weeks ago, I opened a poll asking which name should be used as Redtoast's release name. Windows LE was a close call, but the majority of users have decided to leave the Redtoast name intact. (It did surpass Redtoast for a while, but I found that 36 of the votes were illegitimate so I had to revoke them.) What makes that poll significant compared to my previous ones is that it's the very first one to be self-hosted on Razorback, and so old browsers are just as capable of voting as new ones. The code responsible for displaying the radio form and results barely hits 100 lines with whitespace, proving you don't need an overly complicated external solution to receive such basic input.
Not only do the poll results indicate the branding direction to take with the project, they also confirm that the poll program is working exactly as it should. With that doubt behind me now, it's only a matter of getting the first post-restart release out there.
The Direction of Redtoast
Of course, Redtoast's branding will not be widely prevalent throughout the operating system, just the same approach taken with Windows 95D Lite in its later releases. At most, I envision there will be a new one-time SULOGO.SYS specifically for letting users know that this remaster is not yet ready for a production environment.
Already, the latest release of Internet Explorer 5.5 has a much more rock solid integration into the Windows 98 distribution I'm working with now. At the moment, I still have to get more things turned into optional components; so far, Task Scheduler and System Information are now optional, but of course much of Internet Explorer needs to be given the same treatment - the browser and shell, that is. Redtoast was intended to provide access to the Windows 95 shell in Windows 98 from the beginning, so you can definitely count on that happening.
Some components are still a complete waste of space for anyone, so once again the WaveTop Web TV component is gone from Redtoast, as are the OOBE files, the bloated welcome and tour, the online services, and Quick View. To reflect the modified mirrored browsers on Razorback, the Java VM has been stripped out as well. That's not necessarily to say the complete Redtoast distribution will be smaller in the end, only that more space has been made vacant for much more useful things like updates and drivers.
It should be noted that while the 95 shell is very much usable in Windows 98, certain programs tend to be highly uncooperative with it, with Office 2000's installer being a prime example. It locks up close to the end of Setup and leaves a lot of things astray, probably because it always assumes that the IE shell is installed in Windows 98 even though it is fully compatible with Windows 95 nonetheless. Such cryptic issues like these make it hard to be compelled to work on Redtoast full time, but surely more answers have to pop up, right? At first I thought Windows 95 Setup would collapse with too many drivers integrated, only to find that I just needed to be more attentive to how they are integrated.
In fact, I've been brought to the answer to one such problem already - when the legacy shell is active, changing the theme doesn't change the desktop icons. It turns out that only some fairly simply hex modifications are supposedly needed to fix this, courtesy of Nathan's MAD IE De-integration Lab. With that in mind, Redtoast will have the theme control panel from 98 Plus put in place so as to fully support gradient title bars and the My Documents folder. I've already made the modifications I need to, so hopefully I got the different offsets right.
Once an acceptable level of cooperation between Windows 95's Explorer and Windows 98 stuff can be achieved, Redtoast will have to return to the state it was left off at. Some things that will be needed are DirectX 7.0a, the Visual Basic 6.0 runtime (VC6 is already in place now), the .MSI-based installation engine, NUSB for mass storage devices, some of Rudolph Loew's patches, several small official updates, and chipset drivers with proper AGP support. Once those are taken care of, I expect Redtoast will finally be ready for a new release.
Up to this point, live production updates for Redtoast were pushed on my Discord server, but with all the dumb changes the platform keeps making, I still haven't gotten it out of my mind that I would really like to replace the whole server with something else based on a more open platform. When that will come around, I cannot say, but in the meantime, a read-only production log should absolutely not have to rely on a garbage platform like Discord.
I already have the tools I need to do much better, and have just been slacking off. Following the conclusion of the poll, I got to work on porting the entire chatlog over to a publicly accessible web page, the Redtoast Miniblog. Alongside that as well is a separate gallery of screenshots to be posted in tandem with the new blog. Nobody should have to be walled off from reading the latest in Redtoast's developments because they understandably want nothing to do with a stupid Electrode chat program or something.
Project Cisco Delayed Indefinitely
While Redtoast is off the ground again, the same can't be said of the planned JimboVideo. Since bringing the web hub for Cisco live, I've never really gotten around to expanding upon my own website I've been working on for the project. Documenting small, general things is very tedious to say the least, but more than that, making new videos isn't very compelling anymore. I can no longer affirm that the video will be released on August 24th as I originally projected.
There's a bunch of other things going on back here as well which have made it a lot harder for me to be as versatile as I once was with making videos. I've mainly just been opting to upload a bunch of old leftover materials lately, so as to at least give people something to watch as they continue to nag me to make more of the same thing.
Due to these circumstances, Project Cisco will be delayed indefinitely. It may very well have to be a video for 2022 in the worst case. As part of my strategy to exit the video creation field, I want to ensure the video will be of the absolute highest quality possible, to which it will demand a number of skills which I am not yet familiar with.
I know everyone's gonna be wanting me to keep making videos, but I have to remind you again how detrimental that is to my larger ambitions. The effort involved in creating videos has proven to not be meaningful for a long time, because at the end of the day it's just 5-30 more minutes wasted in an endless stream of yet more useless videos. My channel is already dead; the only thing I have now is a highly compatible website.
What This Means for Contributors
The good news is that the contribution deadline for Cisco is also extended indefinitely, giving you more time to refine your own craft should you be interested in providing material for the video. Whatever the case may be, a new deadline will be posted as soon as I have everything I need to make this video something special.
On top of that, I have decided to expand the timespan for how pages can be written. Rather than the content being presented as if it was written on or before February 1996, it's shifted forward to October. This also means you can design your website with Internet Explorer 3 and Netscape Navigator 3 in mind, giving you a slightly higher degree of flexibility.
Just take your time... I'm sure that when the time comes, together we can make something that shatters the planet. This is your video, too.