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Redtoast - what Windows 98 should've been...

June 15, 2021

02:10 PM - confidential leaked new windows ?!!??!!!! Click On The Button !

June 05, 2021

07:18 AM - Rather than trying to keep knocking at the Office 2000 thing, I'm just gonna try to get this distribution back up to par with Alpha 3a (and more resilient at that). There's still something else I need to work on, so Alpha 4 may come in July. Maybe sooner, maybe later, I don't know. This whole thing is really frustrating to deal with.

07:13 AM - I think the main problem with getting Office 2000 installed on here may just be solely rooted in it attempting to install Internet Explorer for whatever reason, even though it is already on here. Not sure it's even worth bothering with covering that front now.

05:14 AM - ...aaaaand Office 2000 installer is stuck on a rock again. Might be ideal to focus more on getting the Outlook Express component properly optionalized first.

05:05 AM - As I wait for the Office 2000 setup files to copy over to the local hard drive (trying to install it differently), I've been knocking down some compiled HTML help files and replacing them with the ones from Windows 95. Hope they work as expected.

04:31 AM - New PRO/100 driver is in, and confirmed working! Doesn't have any of the extra perks it seems, but that's not so important right now.

02:25 AM - While the integration of the new PRO/100 driver should ensure many, many more adapters are supported, I have concerns that certain old 82557-based adapters from IBM, NEC, and Compaq may not work in Redtoast. If this ends up being the case for you, let me know.

12:26 AM - Now that Windows 95D Lite 1.5 is out of the way, I'm free to work on a little bit more Redtoast stuff, but there are a few other things I've gotta take care of as well. At the moment, my main point of focus is fixing the Office 2000 installation bugs and integrating a new Intel PRO/100 network driver.

June 01, 2021

03:58 AM - I've converted the MSCONFIG HTML help file to the WinHelp format... all by hand, yet again. This new help file will find its way into Windows 95D Lite 1.5, but to say the least, this is an incredibly tedious process. I've stated that I intend to have all of Windows 98's help documentation adapted to WinHelp, and in order to do that, I'm definitely gonna have to write a program to convert HTML to RTF the way I want it whenever I get the chance.

May 30, 2021

01:47 AM - (95D Lite) Haha! Now feast your eyes on THIS theme!

May 29, 2021

08:26 PM - (95D Lite) Graphics for the new theme are ready, now I wonder if I can make some original sounds with an old keyboard...

04:45 PM - (95D Lite) Gonna work on a new theme now. It's not specific to 95D Lite, so Redtoast will eventually get it, too!

04:22 PM - (95D Lite) Added the driver for the Microsoft SideWinder 3D Pro for 95DL 1.5... it's a controller from 1995, and it only requires a 10KB VxD, so why not?

02:22 PM - (95D Lite) Quick View component is still a waste of space as ever, so I've opted to remove it for version 1.5. Hope nobody is using it.

05:17 AM - (95D Lite) Those old NE2000 drivers made no difference, the system still locks up in PCem! Got a couple of real NE2000 cards I could try instead, I think...

04:14 AM - The previous post was for 95D Lite, by the way. Should denote applicable posts with that...

02:53 AM - The new NE2000 driver does seem to be working in PCem... although it appears to habitually lock up, which gets me thinking I oughta just revert it.

12:12 AM - When it comes time to return to Redtoast development, the first thing I expect to do is transplant a lot more IE 5.5 files from Windows ME into Windows 98, rather than source things from a normal browser package. That may be the key to getting Office 2000 to work here.

12:10 AM - Having put out that hotfix for 95D Lite, I've found myself working on that some more... just gathering some DOS-based network drivers now. I'm trying to improve support for Realtek cards as well, using the NE2000 driver provided by the RTL8029 package in place of the original. Hopefully that'll work out all fine.

May 26, 2021

06:09 PM - I figure that whenever I do get back around to Windows remastering work, I still want to update Windows 95D Lite again for what I'm hoping will be the last time for real.

The main objectives of 95D Lite 1.5 will be to add real mode DOS drivers for some network adapters to complement the existing ones for Windows 95 so as to let users switch from protected mode to real mode drivers in case it is of use, attempt to fix a joystick-related issue, and create one new theme for the CD. Of course it will be yet more time before that happens, but whenever it does, Redtoast will get moving again. Do know that Redtoast could not realize its full potential without Windows 95D Lite.

May 22, 2021

11:02 PM - After all that trouble I went through setting up the miniblog suddenly I don't feel like working on this right now. Gotta pursue another secret project, so I'll get back with you later.

09:13 PM - Trying to turn Internet Explorer and its shell into an optional component again. Turns out I'm gonna have to do the same with Outlook Express if I am to have any hope of not making it cause so many errors in late Setup...

03:09 PM - Gave installing Office 2000 on Redtoast another spin today WITH the IE shell in place... still appears to stall at 80%! Now, I can only deduct this as an issue with how IE 5.5 was integrated rather than a side effect of the 95 shell being loaded.

May 20, 2021

02:39 AM - Took many grueling hours much like with Redtoast development itself, but the entire chatlog has been ported over here. All future updates will be posted here only. Hah, fuck Discord! Can't wait to get off of that whenever I can.

May 19, 2021

10:13 AM - Then it is settled, the Redtoast name is left intact. I'll get the mini blog created whenever I manage to finish writing this other program I've been struggling with... gee, segmentation faults in C are cryptic as hell... all because of strings.

Poll results: Redtoast wins with 73 of the 189 votes

May 17, 2021

05:32 AM - Hey, who's using proxies to get multiple votes in? That's cheating!

04:35 AM - Haven't made time to work on Redtoast more over the last week, but I'll bring this up.

I figured out that providing read-only real-time production logs on a Discord server is a stupid idea, thanks in part to their recent FLATTER branding they put in place. While I've still yet to make time to try an alternative that may be a viable replacement for Discord, one thing's for sure: this should've been put on Razorback's website from the very beginning. Before I resume working on Redtoast again, I am going to implement a mini-blog on the project hub which uses the same blip/gallery functions. From there, everything posted in this channel will be moved over to the website, and nothing will be posted here anymore. Finally, everyone will get to see Redtoast's latest developments as they happen without the need to sign up for an account.

The poll for Redtoast's new name is nearing its completion. If you haven't voted yet, you have just two days to do so. Thank your for your feedback and support for this ongoing project!

May 10, 2021

06:54 PM - Well, shit! It turns out that when I have Windows 95's SHELL32.DLL and COMDLG32.DLL copied as is without the evasive .W95 extensions, that somehow causes Setup to not be able to copy a significant number of files. Does the program suddenly rely on these files in order to get anywhere even before the first boot? A more elaborate workaround will have to be put in place...

05:26 AM - ...and now Setup is complaining that a bunch of files are missing, even though they are in the cabinets! I made sure that every INF was pointing to every layout file available, so it's not that... this is pretty dumb, I can't figure out what happened.

03:39 AM - The component is a placebo as it requires another directory from the Windows 98 CD anyway, so yeah, it's a waste of 7 files.

03:36 AM - Gonna be testing the new SHELL32 and COMDLG32 positions with an Office 2000 installation soon. One other thing I think I'll strip out is the Personal Web Server component, since I find myself doubtful that anyone would use it these days. It could be useful as a makeshift file server, but there's just plenty of better ways to go about it.

02:30 AM - And all the OOBE files...

02:28 AM - By the way, I also cut off the CD sampler and tour again, guess I may as well do the same for the Welcome dialog.

07:24 AM - Likewise...

Notepad linked to missing export

02:16 AM - Scratch that, it's irrelevant and I might be getting all of this backwards. Anyway, I'm trying to install Office 2000 as of now, and I can't say I'm impressed with how it's turning out. The progress bar is still stuck.

I decided to cut Setup short, and now I'm left thinking I may need to try something else here. The whole time I've done Redtoast, I set up the Windows 95 system files exactly the opposite of 98lite - instead of Windows 98's COMDLG32.DLL and SHELL32.DLL being renamed to use .W98 extensions, the Windows 95 files use .W95 extensions. This may be throwing off certain Microsoft programs in such a way where they assume Windows 98 is being used as opposed to 95, where they would otherwise work normally. I'm considering flipping the positions of the system files around, but that may end up reducing application compatibility without some new thing place to redirect to a file like SHELL32.W98, assuming a custom program is responsible for the job. I've never really used 98lite beyond a quick test, so I wouldn't know.

12:17 AM - One registry value that may be of interest is set in MSBASE.INF, as follows.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Shutdown
"SetupProgramRan"=dword:00000001

The IE shell removes this value when the login has completed, but the 95 shell doesn't do this. This doesn't appear to be consequential, but I figure I should at least have it be deleted in a late part of Setup somewhere...

May 09, 2021

11:51 PM - As I previously found, the registry value needed to get Internet Explorer to load in Windows 98 with the old shell is as follows.

[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\BrowseNewProcess
"BrowseNewProcess"="yes"

May 10, 2021

05:45 AM - Oh 95 shell, how I missed you so...

Of course, right off the bat there's a number of things which need to be sorted out still. Internet Explorer needs a certain registry value set in order to run, a shortcut needs to be added for the browser when using the old shell, the double welcome dialogs shouldn't need to be there, and, well... I guess icons don't change when selecting a new theme still.

Office 2000 proved to be highly problematic with the last build of Redtoast, and I'm wondering if it's all the same registry-related issues I ran into with trying to start IE. Complete registry dumps of Windows 98SE with and without the IE shell will have to be compared, but I can't help but think there has to be another way to pull all of this off. Office 2000 and Internet Explorer 5.5 happily work in the classic Explorer in Windows 95, so why not here? I guess they want to assume certain things with Windows 98, which could have been a stubbornly underhanded attempt to break 98lite.

Windows 95 Explorer in Windows 98

May 07, 2021

03:34 AM - Windows 98 is slow to initialize even on a 1.4GHz Pentium III... I miss having that classic shell shoved in there already. I'm sure I'll get back to putting it in there, just need to work out whatever other small "mandatory" things should be turned into components. Also on the todo list is reinstating power management features for the new 3Com driver, which will probably come around when I'm ready to integrate other things like PATCHMEM and NUSB.

06:12 AM - MICROSOFT PROJECT MANAGEMENT BILL GATES 1997

01:05 AM - So, where was I? Ah yes, optional components! System Information is working as expected, but Task Scheduler still vanishes as soon as I install it. That will be addressed now..."bugfix_delight (5.,1 5/7/2021 6:08,"Found it already. Turns out Microsoft must've planned to make Task Scheduler an optional component, but may have changed their minds along the way, so registry information related to Task Scheduler being an optional component is always deleted upon installing this thing. Nice going there..."space_broom (6.,1 5/7/2021 6:10,"Maybe I'll look at it more if I remember to when I go to add secondary title bar colors back in from a Memphis build, as the final release of Windows 98 strangely removed them as well.

01:03 AM - I ended up just overwriting all of the contents of NETEL90X.INF with stuff from NET3COM.INF from 95D Lite to get the network driver working, simply because it was too much of a pain in the ass to try to carefully splice in relevant portions. Internet connectivity works perfectly out of the box now, but some features like power management are missing. (That might actually be an ACPI thing, though...)

May 06, 2021

07:21 PM - Of course, the 3Com driver was not implemented properly, so I'll have to waste more time getting that rolling along before I can start managing optional components again.

07:04 PM - Okay... so you know what ended up letting me proceed with Setup? Forcing APM to be installed instead of ACPI... as such, I can only conclude that the cause of all of this is nothing more than vanilla Windows 98SE having a sucky ACPI implementation. One such remedy would be to get an update package containing a newer ACPI driver, but I can't name any such thing off hand.

06:10 PM - Even reverting to a non-beta BIOS didn't help. Now, I clearly remember Windows 98 happily accepted Matrox cards before, and so I'm willing to speculate that the new SETUPAPI.DLL may not be as cooperative with Windows 98 as I thought. Nonetheless, I may have to resort to more extreme measures like removing more expansion cards. Booting in safe mode may also help isolate the fault...

05:47 PM - This thing is really hard to shove. I unplugged this USB joystick that happened to be in there, still locks up. Tried integrating the Sound Blaster Live driver, still locks up. Integrated the 3Com network driver next, still locks up. Remember, this all started only as soon as I inserted a Matrox video card, BEFORE integrating any drivers!

05:16 AM - Switched to another Matrox card, same thing. Tomorrow I'll have to go over the BIOS settings again and see if there's anything there I missed. I know an IRQ was being reserved for whatever reason, and released that.

03:46 AM - So, I integrated the ICH2 chipset drivers and the Matrox video drivers... AND IT STILL LOCKS UP WITH MY G200! Resetting doesn't help, either, as I'm just left with either a BSOD or the setup program doesn't even restart."bugfix_cringe (6),bugfix_teary (6)

01:34 AM - Compared to Windows 95's MACHINE.INF, integrating Intel chipset drivers into Windows 98 is at least three times harder. Last time I tried it the old way, AGP didn't work right. The main problem here is that MACHINE.INF is now split into two files, and linking the two together for each and every chipset is sure as hell going to be tedious.

May 05, 2021

10:20 PM - I ended up integrating the G200 driver, but that didn't seem to help with the lockup. Guess it's time to do something about getting those ICH drivers in there soon.

08:53 PM - ...and now the setup program locks up with this card in place. Am I supposed to integrate a new driver for it, or what? I think I'll just switch to a 440BX computer for the time being...

08:37 PM - Got back to this after replacing the Voodoo5 with a Matrox G200. Image looks a lot crispier. Anyway, actual savings for not installing System Information should come around to one and a half megabytes.

08:04 PM - Hang on... just found out that all of the essential help files are tied to System Information for some reason. Scratch the whole 10MB thing, this is pretty bizarre. Gonna move the help files over to another section in MSINFO.INF so they're mandatory.

08:02 PM - Need to get a more generic video card for the test bench as well, as I don't think the Voodoo5 likes the strain...

May 06, 2021

01:02 AM - Both Task Scheduler and System Information are now optional components, saving close to 10 MB. Both will install all fine, but I still haven't worked out how to get them uninstalled...

System Information and Task Scheduler components in Add/Remove Programs

May 05, 2021

04:24 PM - Most likely it was that the install section listed in MSTASK.INF didn't match the given short name of the component defined. (mstask, not mstask.base)

04:20 PM - Component doesn't show up in Add/Remove Programs. Think I'm missing something here...

04:05 PM - After some exhausting hours in moving my domain controller to Windows 2000 for the sake of power efficiency, I'm back on it now. Task Scheduler component shows up and toggles as expected. Have yet to see how it'll work in an actual environment, but looking good so far... of course, omitting this from the installation only saves about 0.6 MB.

Task Scheduler component in Windows 98 Setup

May 04, 2021

11:38 PM - Task Scheduler is the first thing to be turned into a component. I will be back in an hour or so to see what the results turn out to be...

11:03 PM - On another note, the Visual C++ 6.0 runtime was quietly slipped in as I had been struggling with the three files from before.

11:00 PM - Quick View is gone, the distribution is now one floppy disk smaller.

10:49 PM - Another screenshot just to really show that the new version is in place. No, IE6 will not be implanted in Redtoast as it is not practical to do so.

Internet Explorer 5.50.4807.2300 installed in Windows 98

10:47 PM - And just like that, Redtoast now initializes cleanly with the last build of Internet Explorer 5.5 slipstreamed. Still need to get that other thing worked out so the first home page seen when running IE is the start page on Razorback, but so far this seems to be a lot more steady than the last attempt to implement a newer browser. Next up is creating new optional components! ...and probably delete Quick View again, as I really don't think anyone uses it.

Razorback browser start page

10:18 PM - There are four RunOnce tasks that execute on the first login.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
"^Register_ICW_Apprentice"="c:\\windows\\SYSTEM\\regsvr32.exe /s c:\\windows\\SYSTEM\\inetcfg.dll"
"^Register_ICW_TrialOC"="c:\\windows\\SYSTEM\\regsvr32.exe /s C:\\PROGRA~1\\INTERN~1\\CONNEC~1\\trialoc.dll"
"^MM2ENT"="c:\\windows\\mm2ent.exe"
"^Printer Upgrade"="RUNDLL.EXE MSPRINT.DLL,RUNDLL_FinishUpgrade"

5/5/2021 3:19,"Two of them pertain to the Internet Connection Wizard, and I have reason to believe that may have been cause for the empty error message. That has been removed now, as it is more of an unnecessary hurdle for the masses of Ethernet users today.

09:14 PM - Nope, that didn't do it."bugfix_teary (5.,1 5/5/2021 2:46,"Putting the original THUBMVW.DLL from a vanilla 98SE installation did the trick, now I have thumbnail previews. The only other thing left to address is this inexplicable empty error dialog box that appears in the midst of the final RunOnce procedure. Hopefully Safe Mode will allow me to take a look at the registry and see all the possible tasks that could be causing this.

05:16 PM - Progress update... IE 5.5 now loads, but Setup still runs into a few errors related to MSXML.DLL, THUMBVW.DLL, and SETUPAPI.DLL."space_broom (5.,1 5/5/2021 1:55,"Getting closer. Had to put the new MSXMLA.DLL and MSXMLR.DLL files next to MSXML.DLL for the updated version to work, and I got SETUPAPI.DLL working with the power manager by implanting the one from Windows ME. I suppose the same could be done with THUMBVW.DLL...

04:37 AM - Some CMD FOR loops have allowed me to get that done quickly and lazily, but now I must quit for the day. Hopefully tomorrow you'll get to see IE 5.5 on Windows 98 out of the box.

04:32 AM - Still at version 5.0... I guess one thing I should've thought to do beforehand was implant the files from the IE_S*.CAB files.

04:30 AM - While I'm at it, I do want to remove the "Setup MSN Internet Access" icon again, which appears to be installed into the registry via a program called MSNMGSR1.EXE.

04:26 AM - And another inexplicable empty error box on first login, followed by a BATMETER.DLL error. Had to put the original SETUPAPI.DLL in place.

04:24 AM - Only two files involved in RunOnce appear to have thrown errors, the other being ODBCCONF.EXE. I've reverted both of them. Now rebooting into the new installation... gonna need to manually load up a network driver though.

04:21 AM - Already don't seem to need an extra reboot either. I did run into this thing, maybe some file went missing or it doesn't like the new version?

An error occurred loading msieftp.dll

04:17 AM - After some more prodding, I am in!

Windows 98 setting up Plug and Play devices

03:44 AM - If you still don't have Notepad++, I strongly recommend you get it as soon as you can. It's a very powerful plain text editor that's served me so well that I don't even bother using Word for typing up drafts and scripts anymore!

03:43 AM - Should you run into this, just open every single INF in PRECOPY2 and run this replace operation on every document opened.

Replace expression in Notepad++ - LayoutFile=layout.inf,layout1.inf,layout2.inf

03:40 AM - I finally figured out what it was. Turns out some INFs by default are not resilient enough to account for all three layout files; they all should have LayoutFile=layout.inf,layout1.inf,layout2.inf, but they may have only one or two. This works fine with the original 98SE layout file, of course, given how much more consciously every file is listed in each different layout file, but if one file is suddenly too far out of the earlier layout files, it's as if it doesn't exist even though it's right there in the cabinets. This is the kind of situation a lot of people rebuilding the Windows 98 cabinets from scratch will run into until they get every LayoutFile= line changed appropriately.

12:59 AM - Oh, and I also forgot there was a 4MB WaveTop cache file just sitting there in the cabinets; removing that was enough to save two floppy disks. The file is fittingly called wtcache.wtf

12:27 AM - First actual roadblock... and I don't remember how anything like this was resolved, nor do I know why it's expecting to find the file in PRECOPY1.CAB.

The file olepro32.dll cannot be found

May 03, 2021

11:09 PM - So the first cabinet rebuilding begins... IE 5.5 files have been placed over the default ones in the distribution, so now it's a matter of waiting to see if everything will turn out as promised.

08:58 PM - Need I remind you that the WaveTop Web TV component alone takes up 841 different files, mostly comprised of advertising?

07:18 PM - I've decided today's the day I'm gonna go ahead and restart Redtoast development from the ground up. This means that any existing releases of Redtoast are now obsolete. This time around, the first objectives are to update Internet Explorer to version 5.5 using the new package mirrored on the website (which still means components like Java and Shockwave get dumped), and only completely purge 1,000 files of WaveTop garbage.

After that, a number of things will be converted into optional components, including the Task Scheduler, System Information tool, and of course, Internet Explorer. As the lattermost is being componentized, the obvious next step is to reimplement Windows 95's Explorer shell. Before any updates like NUSB, DirectX 7.0a, and anything from rloew are integrated, my primary point of concern at the moment is ensuring Redtoast works as seamlessly as possible in both shells.

Quite a fitting day to kick this off again, given Bill Gates has just divorced, much to the amusement of everyone. Just don't forget that there's an active poll on Razorback's website where you can vote on a new release name for Redtoast until the end of May 18th. Your vote may affect the inevitable new branding to come. Good luck!