What I Hated the Least Today 42/365: Win 95

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I’m an aspiring geek. Not so by virtue of skill as rather by sheer power of determination. I happened to get for free some geeky books, which I finally ventured to open today. I was aware that the books were old but I didn’t realise they were antiquities really. I will probably use them to prop up a wobbly table. They have done their service of amusing me infinitely.

As I was leafing through one of them, I noticed a paragraph explaining how to cater for the needs of Win 95 and, more advanced, Win 98 users. This made me laugh so much that I inadvertently dropped the book on the floor and frightened the cat. I didn’t read on to see if the author recommends using floppy disks for backup.

The book was practically unreadable anyway. It was in Czech, and while I’m technically a native speaker, I don’t use the language beyond ordering pizza or talking to my mother. This explains why you have the dubious pleasure of reading this blog in a world language instead of Slavic gibberish.

16 thoughts on “What I Hated the Least Today 42/365: Win 95

  1. Isn’t it ‘funny’, though, how this whole web thing has changed our outlook on what’s old. Two, three, at the most, years, and then it’s outdated … totally! I remember so well when Win95 was released. That was ‘my’ first upgrade, and then I didn’t like it. I wanted things to stay the way they were. Then I became accustomed to Win95. By the time Win98 came around, I was looking forward to it.

    Then there are the cellphones … iPhone in my case. They release a new one every year and upgrade the operating system. So after three, four years your ‘old’ phone isn’t able to cope with the latest operative system. Bleh …

    I wonder if you’d be able to do or read anything at all today on the web, with a Win95 …

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    1. It seems that printed tech books are outdated already at the moment they are printed… But I had lots of fun with my ancient books. There is some interesting general information but one has to read with great care – I was entertained by the author’s assertion that Win 98 looks just as Win 95 because Win 95 is already perfect. Ha. I don’t think these systems would work today… I feel too that “old” devices simply can’t cope with the software being constantly updated, so one is forced to get a new device each few years though the old one is still as good as new. It’s annoying.

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      1. LOL @ Win95 being perfect. Now there’s Win10 and that’s a whole different universe to me. I haven’t dared to upgrade my husband’s computer yet, so he’s still on Win8.1

        No, right. The old devices can’t cope … all the new software takes so much power. Annoying and expensive.

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        1. Well, I upgraded to Win 10 and I wish I could downgrade to Win 95. Sure, Win 95 would freeze and crash, but other than that, the few functions it had actually worked. The same can’t be said for Win 10. It literally messed up my computer and half a year later, I still haven’t managed to fix it. If your husband’s computer is oldish (mine is five yrs old), I wouldn’t update it to Win 10.

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          1. I see! Well, it’s not technically difficult, but for me, it took several hours to complete the upgrade. Not to mention the time spent consequently on setting it up. Good luck…

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  2. When driving home from the store with my Windows 95 PC, (that I payed waaaaayyyyy too much for) the radio station announced that Windows 98 was coming out in a few weeks time. Did anyone in the store tell me that? No!

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  3. This reminds me of an old Microsoft joke that goes something like this:

    A helicopter is lost in heavy fog over Seattle and rapidly running out of fuel. In desperation, the pilot hovers next to a window in an important-looking tall office building and instructs her co-pilot to hold up a sign saying “Where are we?

    The people in the office have a little meeting and eventually respond by holding up a sign of their own saying “You are in a helicopter.

    “Ah! I know where we are now,” the pilot proclaims and proceeds to set course for the nearest heliport.

    “How did you work that out from such stupid directions?” the co-pilot asks.

    “As soon as I saw how useless those guys’ help was, I knew it must be the Microsoft building,” the pilot replies.

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    1. Hahaha, that’s a good one and very right. I’m afraid it applies not only to Microsoft. But Microsoft products and Microsoft “support” is among things I hate the most. I had some problems with my subscription to their Office 365, they kept on sending me automated messages which didn’t contain any helpful information and there was no phone or email to be found anywhere on their website to contact them. There was an option to fill in a number of fields with your personal details and description of your problem and the idea was that when you do that, you’ll get a number to call at or they’ll call you. Anytime I used this form, the result was a popup saying “Sorry, out of office now”. I can’t even begin to describe the depth of my frustration…

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    1. It’s a fascinating story. I surely believe in preserving minority languages when possible; but I don’t feel the calling to actively try to preserve my language. If I blogged in Czech, we wouldn’t be talking now; and I would be similarly limited if I relied on Czech translations when looking at the news, using apps and doing basically anything. I have my computer set up in English too, for the reason that the Czech location is so terribly translated that it almost physically hurt.

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      1. I understand this conundrum well but have no solution to it. I have lived in Brazil for twenty years, and yet, despite the best of intentions at the outset, I am now almost physically incapable of reading Portuguese newspapers or watching Brazilian TV—except for reports on local weather conditions, crime or elections (the latter two often falling into the same category) and am suspicious of any academic text written in Portuguese.

        I have good reason to feel this way—I have read too many news reports and scientific papers based obviously on crass mistranslations of foreign sources; and many lawyers, doctors and academics have proudly confessed to me that they routinely use over-complicated language, arcane vocabulary and obscure grammar rules primarily to intimidate and impress readers and hide their own ignorance, lack of substance or outright deceit.

        On the other hand, there are the poor sods of humbler backgrounds who are so confused by the grammar rules beaten into them in school that they wear them like a strait-jacket, ball and chain or badge of honor. These are the kind of people who will struggle never to repeat the word ‘diabetes’ in an article (about diabetes!) and will send back an English translation because the translator has failed to put plural endings on the adjectives or use the subjunctive mood. These, admittedly, are extreme cases. But they do occur.

        I do, however, feel very guilty and conflicted about feeling this way. Local (intermediate) languages should be more open and flexible and not used primarily to oppress internal minorities, impress authorities and deter outsiders. Yet, in so far as they truly reflect changing popular parlance and regional realities, they also have genuine potential to challenge and enrich an increasingly monolingual and hence culturally and intellectually impoverished world.

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        1. Thank you for your comment, it’s interesting to hear what the situation is in another part of the world! I don’t think we’re deliberately trying to appear smart by deceit here, it’s mostly mistakes done out of ignorance and lack of interest in getting it right.

          You’re correct of course about various languages being bearers of various cultures, reminds me of George Steiner’s quote, “When a language dies, a way of understanding the world dies with it, a way of looking at the world.”

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