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Microsoft Systems Management Server Exhibition, Windows NT 4.0 on a 486

Created on November 12, 2022
Indexed on December 27, 2022 at 03:59 AM

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I have escaped the eternal torment to bring more Windows NT goodies to the surface! They were also charred.

When Blue Horizon ripped the Windows 95 TrainCast alongside the launch event, it was generally a borefest sitting through each of the segments, but a few things in particular are what gave me the motivation to record new Hardcore Windows clips in the first place.

I had read about Systems Management Server in the Windows 95 Resource Kit previously, but didn't think too much of it when I read about how it could be used to aid in remotely installing Windows 95. I was already developing my own methods for that!

But this program had a feature that I really did not expect. It turns out that even back in 1995/1996, Windows 95's desktop could be remotely managed via the Help Desk utility, a few years before Terminal Server showed up!

It's very clunky, but it has something that not even VNC has: you can access DOS prompts in full screen! Not only that, it's possible to remotely administer Windows 3.1x clients, and even clients running bare metal MS-DOS!! Now that is a hell of an administrative tool if I've ever seen one. I wish I knew about this back in 2016, because I definitely would've been using it in there!

There's very little video coverage of Windows NT 4.0 on a 486 computer out there. Then again, Windows NT 4.0 tends to get overlooked in general. It will definitely put a bit of a strain on a 486 computer, and you won't be able to use it comfortably unless you have 32MB of RAM installed or more. For the slowness you get, though, you also receive a rock solid kernel that won't fail you on your simple office tasks. It's worth trying, at least if you can get a good 486 computer these days...

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Available in this collection: Hardcore Windows


flatrute - December 27, 2022 at 01:01 PM

Hardcorer Windows :bugfix:

The fact that you can remotely manage MS-DOS-only PCs is...Microsoft was just plain crazy with those talents there...

Blue Horizon: How "prohibitively expensive" would it be once it shown out, I wonder... :bugfix_discontent:

Blue Horizon - December 27, 2022 at 06:40 AM

On another note, it seems earlier versions of Systems Management Server before 1996 are highly elusive to find, besides one beta version of it from 1994. No full copies of this software predating version 1.2 are anywhere to be found: not on BetaArchive, not on Internet Archive, not on WinWorldPC, not even on Vetusware...

I won't be checking for it much, but if a copy of one of these earlier versions happens to hit eBay, I'll try to snatch it if I come across it - unless its prohibitively expensive.

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