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Day 6: Exploring the Windows 95 CD-ROM

Originally encoded on September 8th, 2015 and published the same day

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New Softwarez!

Because the mainline Windows 95 distribution really only took up about 33MB of space on the gold CD-ROM, there was a ton of room for extra fun stuff to screw around with. That's exactly what one of the directories is called. With an operating system, you get two complete music videos and a movie trailer to watch at your leisure. They didn't take up any space on your hard drive unless you copied them over, so it was all fine. Their main function is to show off the multimedia capabilities of Windows 95 on fast computers, but they really add so much genuine personality to this operating system.

It really solidifies the fact that Windows 95 was just too good. And yes, I did say fact. Even the kinds of people who saw how dirty Microsoft was playing in 1995 to destroy OS/2 Warp had to at least acknowledge that this operating system was such a major leap forward in PCs. I mean, shit, Windows 95 was too good even for Microsoft. Something was bound to go wrong after that release!!!

I can't say I've meddled too much in the extraneous portions of the Windows 95 CD-ROM beyond this video, but it does have a few other things that may be of use, including a WinHelp version of the Windows 95 Resource Kit. I happen to have that as a physical book, and in later years I used that to get myself started on learning to write INFs for automating Windows 95 Setup.


Hover running in Windows 95

I'd be wasting way too much time if I was to go over every single one of the products mentioned in the Exposition catalog, and I'm not here to sell products, so I'm not gonna dwell on this. I guess I could do a quick review of Hover while I'm here. It's a pretty fun little game, although it's not one I would spend so much time on.

Anyone who's played this will probably recognize its psuedo-3D graphics to be reminiscent of Doom. Rather than being a bloody slaughterfest through a demonic landscape, though, it's a very safe and family-friendly game for anyone. You just hover in a hovercraft and try to pick up enough flags before your opponent does. You can bump your opponent and use certain powerups to harass it, but the only thing I'd really find useful is the spring powerup, which lets you jump to a higher platform.

Some of the textures look a bit strange, like why is there an open pipe with two plants coming out of each end? Is it decoration? Well, the important thing is that the textures are not painful to the eyes. Other than that, the music sounds really good on a Sound Blaster AWE32.

I think the biggest missed opportunity with Hover is the lack of any netplay support; it is just a single player arcade game. Even something as simple as the implementation of a direct serial connection between two players could've made Hover a much more powerful game that John Romero probably would've been wasting hours playing, much to the irritation of John Carmack. Would he? I dunno. But YOU would have with your friends. Imagine the fights that would break out over trying to grab all the flags laying out there.

Microsoft Exposition fat fish

Look at how FAT this fish is!!! Why is he so FAT!!!