Retro Windows Users, Rejoice!

For any of you that run Windows 98, 98SE, or Me, there is a new project that is allowing you to run executables designed for the more sophisticated kernel of Windows 2K or greater on your machine.

What is the benefit you say? Well, it allows you to run less ancient and more useful software on your (now) ancient operating system. One thing about it, there have to be lots of hand-me-down computers still out there that would run with the easier requirements of the earlier Windows revisions, but allowing them to run later software makes their use an easy thing, and keeps many computers still in fine working order out of the recycling bins, or worse, the dump.

I’m certain that there are more than a few people who would be more than happy to have an older computer to noodle around on, simply to get back to seeing what can be done on limited hardware. Another benefit of this older hardware is that it can run DOS versions natively, and so older games, many times for which there is no equal, can be enjoyed again.

[instant fundas]

KernelEx is a fascinating open source project that aims to resurrect a dead operating system. KernelEx enables machines running Windows 98 and Me to run applications designed to be used on Windows XP and 2000. The software “patch” adds a compatibility layer to the older operating system that implements missing API calls used by newer applications that are absent from Windows 98 and Windows ME.

There aren’t a whole lot of Windows 98/Me users out there, but they exist. Whatever be their reasons for using it, KernelEx will make their life a lot more easier.

Highlights:

  • large speed improvements
  • compatibility improvements
  • minimal resource overhead
  • possibility to completely disable KernelEx extensions for selected applications
  • upgrades with single reboot
  • easy configuration through compatibility tab
  • minimal file patching
  • user-friendly installer
  • doesn’t load in safe mode
  • language neutral
  • multi-language ready

The list of compatible applications is pretty impressive:

  • Mozilla Firefox 3
  • Adobe Flash 10
  • OpenOffice.org 3.0
  • Java Developer Kit 6
  • Java Runtime Environment 6
  • Google Picasa 3
  • Foxit Reader
  • PDF-XChange Viewer
  • Doom 3
  • Quake 4
  • Prey
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted
  • and many other programs.

The KernelEx project is at least a decade late, but like they say, better late than never.

Note: KernelEx is not perfect. If you face issues, take your questions to the creator on MSFN forums.

So if you have a dinosaur that you love and can’t get rid of, or want to obtain one to play with, this project may be something to grab, along with that Windows 9x install CD, and possibly your old DOS diskettes.

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Where's Tweety?

If you use KernelEx, you too could have a smile like the cat that ate the canary [Tweety] as you use newer software on your older machine.


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