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Author Topic: Greetings from Windows 98SE!  (Read 1261 times)
Cobra!
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« on: November 18, 2022 @116.25 »

I managed to connect to the internet with my Thinkpad 660E, running Windows 98, by getting a Wi-Fi G compatible PCMcia card, a program that connects to WPA2 connections, and the last K-meleon browser compatible for Windows 98, and it works! I'm sending this message from it! :ozwomp:



Don't worry, this is going to be a one time thing, I am aware of the potential risks and vulnerabilities that come with connecting to the internet with such an old device. (Though no viruses are made for 9x nowadays, the vulnerabilities remain. Any suggestions to mitigate them are welcome.) I'm going to mostly use the internet connection on this for TheOldNet proxy after this.

Surprisingly, despite the constant prompts to accept certificates, the internet is still perfectly browsable on Windows 98, and it's not too slow either. I think it's actually comparable to my 2012 MacBook in terms of speed.

Some sites, though, like the big tech social media, and Discord, don't work on this. Downloads don't really work either, since the connection is constantly dropping out and reconnecting. That and programs assume it's downloading from Dial-Up, which seems to work differently.

So it's definitely not optimal for daily driver usage, but if this was my only computer, and I really had to use Windows 98 in today's world, I could probably make it work, though I'd need to communicate exclusively on IRC and Forums and exclusively develop homebrew software.

There are some proxies and servers you can set up for Windows 98, like WebOne and Browservice that make the modern web more compatible with older browsers and supposedly give you a better experience, though I've yet to try those.

Anyway, yeah, just thought I'd make this post, now to disconnect. :p
« Last Edit: November 18, 2022 @647.48 by Cobra! » Logged




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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2022 @264.27 »

I set up an old Win98 laptop a few years ago and found that Opera worked pretty good for browsing. It was long enough ago that it might not be the case anymore, but if you haven't already tried it maybe it's a workable alternative.

I didn't do anything too strenuous on it though. No big downloads or social media. I basically just browsed a few sites and installed Diablo 2. So your mileage may vary.
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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2022 @405.67 »

There are new developments for old operating systems like Windows 98 and Windows XP!

Previously, it was Opera 12.02 and K-Meleon 1.5.4 that were the best choices for browsers. Now there is a patch for the old Netscape 9.0.0.6, that makes it possible to access TLS-1.2 encrypted HTTPS sites.

For those who want to go deeper, check this thread in the MSFN message board:
https://msfn.org/board/topic/183515-using-netscape-9-in-2022/

Here you can download the TLS patch for Netscape 9:
http://o.rthost.win/gpc/files1.rt/ns9-nss-update.7z

Disable JavaScript on your ride around the WWW. Then you're even safer than all the new computers alltogether. And, considering how slow the old single cores and old hard disks were, it's reasonably quick on the right sites. Some sites that use modern stuff will not load at all of course, but Melonland runs without problems.
I find Windows 98 to be very useful. You get all the great programs of the past for free. And the machines of around 2000 already have enough horsepower to participate in the web effectively. Even online gaming with things like Armagetron, CS 1.6 and Star Trek is possible. Well, you have to look for the right services of course, but there are plenty of options available for Windows 98. Writing this on an old machine of course!
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2022 @48.15 »

Opera 12.02 and K-MELeON 1.5.4 that were the best choices for browsers.
? ? ? :cheesy: :cheesy: :cheesy: :cheesy:

Wow though that screenshot looks almost perfect; Im surprised the CSS holds up. One of the rules I try to maintain is that sites should at least be navigable without Javascript for exactly things like this! (Unless it really needs JS)

Its a very cool project though thanks for sharing it! And you should totally use this and your main browser setup!
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2022 @193.38 »

Wow though that screenshot looks almost perfect; Im surprised the CSS holds up. One of the rules I try to maintain is that sites should at least be navigable without Javascript for exactly things like this! (Unless it really needs JS)

I used to have the same rule for all my personal sites. Then I became a full time Angular developer and... would still have the same rule for personal sites. Javascript is great for web applications that need interactivity and dynamic feedback. But for static content it just doesn't make sense.
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Cobra!
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2022 @621.02 »

There are new developments for old operating systems like Windows 98 and Windows XP!

Previously, it was Opera 12.02 and K-Meleon 1.5.4 that were the best choices for browsers. Now there is a patch for the old Netscape 9.0.0.6, that makes it possible to access TLS-1.2 encrypted HTTPS sites.

For those who want to go deeper, check this thread in the MSFN message board:
https://msfn.org/board/topic/183515-using-netscape-9-in-2022/

Here you can download the TLS patch for Netscape 9:
http://o.rthost.win/gpc/files1.rt/ns9-nss-update.7z

That sounds neat! Sadly, my laptop has only 32MB of RAM, and Netscape 9 requires 64.
I plan to upgrade this laptop to maximise the performance I can get out of it, hopefully that can include upgrading the RAM.

? ? ? :cheesy: :cheesy: :cheesy: :cheesy:

Wow though that screenshot looks almost perfect; Im surprised the CSS holds up. One of the rules I try to maintain is that sites should at least be navigable without Javascript for exactly things like this! (Unless it really needs JS)

I do the same for my site. It uses Javascript, but I coded it so that it can work without if need be. The site works on the browser, but it reads the CSS wrong. It also keeps saying it can't connect to the site securely, even though it was displaying and functional.

Its a very cool project though thanks for sharing it! And you should totally use this and your main browser setup!

I'm tempted. That way I'm not tempted by Discord or social media. A few people are concerned about the safety, though.
I did a bit of research, and found one page on the subject, and it mentioned that while it does leave me vulnerable, very few people use Windows 9x as their daily driver that no viruses are made for it nowadays. There is still a risk, though, I guess.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2022 @624.58 by Cobra! » Logged




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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2022 @689.20 »

i love this! seeing old computers and such being given access to the modern web is so fun. it just goes to show that old hardware that many consider ‘obsolete’ still has a lot to offer!!

as for security issues and stuff, i’ve never been concerned about it personally. i still use a windows XP computer for a lot of my web browsing and light computing duties, and i’ve never had any issues with it. while there are some security issues out there that do occasionally warrant a software/hardware update or at least in increase in caution, like the wannacry ransomware from a few years ago, for the most part i think the risk is massively overblown by people who just want to scare you into updating to The Newest Thing when it would otherwise be unnecessary. just exercise a little bit more caution while surfing the net than you would on your modern computer and you should be ok. also, as other people have mentioned, disabling javascript on sites that don’t need it will both increase security and make your browsing experience smoother. (i keep javascript enabled personally though because a lot of sites require it nowadays (including mine unfortunately)).

i would also recommend imaging the hard drive in your windows 98 computer and saving that image somewhere safe. that way, if something gets screwed up or you do get hit with a virus, you can just restore the hard drive from that image and you’re back in business.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2022 @692.06 by Frost Sheridan » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2022 @745.02 »

as for security issues and stuff, i’ve never been concerned about it personally. i still use a windows XP computer for a lot of my web browsing and light computing duties, and i’ve never had any issues with it. while there are some security issues out there that do occasionally warrant a software/hardware update or at least in increase in caution, like the wannacry ransomware from a few years ago, for the most part i think the risk is massively overblown by people who just want to scare you into updating to The Newest Thing when it would otherwise be unnecessary. just exercise a little bit more caution while surfing the net than you would on your modern computer and you should be ok. also, as other people have mentioned, disabling javascript on sites that don’t need it will both increase security and make your browsing experience smoother. (i keep javascript enabled personally though because a lot of sites require it nowadays (including mine unfortunately)).

This is a yes and no. The security issues are real threats, but the worst ones are targeted attacks. Businesses, governments and public figures absolutely should keep their systems up to date. For your day-to-day personal use, unless you catch the attention of the wrong person, you're kinda safe. There are still the broadly targeted attacks that can catch anybody, but the behavioural steps to mitigate it that you already described are pretty good at keeping you safe.
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« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2022 @758.11 »

The security issues are real threats, but the worst ones are targeted attacks. Businesses, governments and public figures absolutely should keep their systems up to date.
yeah absolutely, that’s something i totally overlooked in my message. computers for business/government/other sensitive uses should be running up-to-date software and OSes because they’re the ones that are specifically targeted by attacks.
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Cobra!
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« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2022 @794.44 »

Yeah, I've disabled Javascript and refuse 3rd party cookies. It doesn't seem to affect my browsing experience, and hopefully does something to mitigate any risks.

I've even hooked the laptop up to a CRT monitor, and it feels so authentic! Like this is how Windows 98 should be experienced, you know?

I think what I might end up doing is use this laptop recreationally. Like browse the old web & Wiby, go on forums like this nd the Yesterweb one, and play what classic games I can on this laptop.

My main PC being a more work PC for working on my games and running games this laptop cannot.

You know, getting all of these "certificate"/cookie notifications has made me realise something: Back in the day, those were seen as dangerous and risky to accept, to the point it stops you in your tracks to let you know they're there.

Now you're never told anything. The risks have been way downplayed since and are seen as normal, and you're the weirdo for not liking them. I'm sure this was no accident.
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« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2022 @69.94 »

Is this one of those things that you know is completely impractical, but you just did it because you can?
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« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2022 @200.58 »

You know, getting all of these "certificate"/cookie notifications has made me realise something: Back in the day, those were seen as dangerous and risky to accept, to the point it stops you in your tracks to let you know they're there.

Now you're never told anything. The risks have been way downplayed since and are seen as normal, and you're the weirdo for not liking them. I'm sure this was no accident.

Don't worry, it's not a conspiracy. Older browsers just don't recognize the newer method of using a single IP to issue multiple certificates.

Certificates that don't come from a known trusted source recognized by the browser will cause a warning so you have to manually accept them.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2022 @205.07 by MamboGator » Logged
Cobra!
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« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2022 @891.93 »

Is this one of those things that you know is completely impractical, but you just did it because you can?
Yep. That's basically what I do: Things that aren't practical, but cool as hell!

Don't worry, it's not a conspiracy. Older browsers just don't recognize the newer method of using a single IP to issue multiple certificates.

Certificates that don't come from a known trusted source recognized by the browser will cause a warning so you have to manually accept them.

Yeah but isn't that reflective of how many certificates and "services" are being used nowadays, doing things like collecting user data and selling it to advertisers?

Back in the day, that would have caused a massive outrage, but over the years, it's become normalised.
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« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2022 @924.06 »

Yeah but isn't that reflective of how many certificates and "services" are being used nowadays, doing things like collecting user data and selling it to advertisers?

Back in the day, that would have caused a massive outrage, but over the years, it's become normalised.

I think you've got cookies and certificates conflated. Certificates are used to authenticate and encrypt connections to a web server.

Cookies, definitely. Those are rampant thanks to sites like Facebook and can be used to track your activity all over the web. They even deviously managed to create self replicating cookies that couldn't be cleared. I don't know if those are still in use or if they got rid of them once they were exposed.
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Cobra!
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« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2022 @991.53 »

Ah, fair enough.
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