win9x demoscene : Upgrade your Windows version.

Getting old software/games running on older hardware.

win9x demoscene : Upgrade your Windows version.

Postby ElBrunzy » 2019-10-10 @ 23:39

I was in the impression that the demoscene passed from dos to windows early as soon as win9x was available. This allowed them to quickly take advantage of opengl acceleration and offload the 3d tax from the cpu. So I expected a 1995~2005 computer to be able to run a bunch of windows demos. The unification of video and sound drivers into os management should make it easyer to run more demos from a larger time frame. I found that it is not very easy to watch opengl/d3d demos on windows 98se as most crash and so much ask for a newer version of windows:
errorwin9x.png
Upgrade your Windows version.

Since around what year demos stopped being win9x compatible ? How can we tell, as pouet.net dont discriminate win9x/nt and I'm tired to have every demos I download pop me up that error message, what does it mean exactly ?
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Re: win9x demoscene : Upgrade your Windows version.

Postby ElBrunzy » 2019-10-10 @ 23:55

ok I realize gaiamchina and other demos that prompt that error message are post 2012 so it's obvious that it's too late. Still I'm curious about what does trigger it exactly, and since when does that append ?
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Re: win9x demoscene : Upgrade your Windows version.

Postby DosFreak » 2019-10-10 @ 23:59

OS version in the PE header which can be modified but you should run the executable through dependency walker or importpatcher to check the dependencies.
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Re: win9x demoscene : Upgrade your Windows version.

Postby ElBrunzy » 2019-10-11 @ 00:13

Yeah some demos just work but crash the computer after uncrunching, like the excellent Conspiracy Chaos Theory. But so many complain about that specific error message, so I though it could be something generic, like .net or such.

If nobody know I'll try to figure it out with the tools you suggest, thanks.
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Re: win9x demoscene : Upgrade your Windows version.

Postby xjas » 2019-10-11 @ 00:29

ElBrunzy wrote:I was in the impression that the demoscene passed from dos to windows early as soon as win9x was available. This allowed them to quickly take advantage of opengl acceleration and offload the 3d tax from the cpu.


Haha, not even slightly. There was a LOT of animosity against Win9x when it came around because it abstracted direct access to the hardware, and there was huge Scene brou-ha about whether 3D acceleration should even be "allowed" in compos or whether it was "cheating". A lot of demoscene prods stayed on DOS right up until the 2000s and even in 2001 it wasn't uncommon to see DOS demos recommending 600MHz+ CPUs and 128MB of RAM. (These weren't 'retro' prods back then either.)

The transition from 9x-compatible demos (although there certainly were lots of those, eventually) to ones that required 2K/XP was probably a lot faster than the transition from DOS to 9x. I'd say you roughly have a window from ~1998-2003 for Win9x, with some outliers on either side, and some stuff that will run on 9x anyway even though it was intended for 2K/XP.
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Re: win9x demoscene : Upgrade your Windows version.

Postby ElBrunzy » 2019-10-11 @ 00:56

xjas wrote:I'd say you roughly have a window from ~1998-2003 for Win9x, with some outliers on either side, and some stuff that will run on 9x anyway even though it was intended for 2K/XP.

Thanks xjas for answering so precisely to my question!. I'll try to concentrate my d/l around that era on pouet.net now.
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Re: win9x demoscene : Upgrade your Windows version.

Postby leileilol » 2019-10-11 @ 01:02

Even cracktros for Win9x games held back to DOS for a long while as well
by the way, DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x
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Re: win9x demoscene : Upgrade your Windows version.

Postby ElBrunzy » 2019-10-11 @ 01:25

since you bring it this way leilleilol, aint anyone have demo packs to share ? Packs around the 98~03 era :dead:
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Re: win9x demoscene : Upgrade your Windows version.

Postby ElBrunzy » 2019-10-12 @ 03:28

dosfreak I had some times on my hand today and I ran this program you suggest, "dependecy walker". I dont really know what to make of it, it look like a debugger. Maybe kernel32 is responsible to manage windows version ?
error.png
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Re: win9x demoscene : Upgrade your Windows version.

Postby DosFreak » 2019-10-12 @ 04:08

Dependeny walker is useful for troubleshooting but it won't fix your error message. There are many programs to modify the OS version in the PE header but importpatcher is likely the easiest.
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Re: win9x demoscene : Upgrade your Windows version.

Postby ElBrunzy » 2019-10-13 @ 18:19

ImportPatcher told me that error : "OptionalHeader is not PE32". This give me a bit more meat to do some searching on the web. I dont think it's something I can fix easily by patching a file, but my interest was more about the source of that cavalier attitude error message.
With the help of you three, DosFreak, leileilol and xjas I think I have all the information I need to gather a good collection of demos (and cracktro) circa ~98-03 for that prescott 478 3.4ghz machine with an radeon 9600 fanless and sblive.
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Re: win9x demoscene : Upgrade your Windows version.

Postby xjas » 2019-10-13 @ 19:06

Here's a few recommendations to get you started! BTW 2003 is probably a little early for an end cutoff, try ~2005. You'll start finding stuff that requires XP & DX9 by that time, but it still wasn't the norm.

Anything by Sunflower - these are all great, they had this chillout-industrial style that really works. I think Zilog is my favorite, but it's a tossup.
FR-08: .the .product - if you haven't seen this yet it's a good watch. This one really kicked off the "second" 64k scene and blew everyone's minds when it came out. It's a bit directionless & long, but still fun.
FR-020: In Control - another classic Farbrausch. I like this better than FR-08 personally.
Project Genesis - it took three years for someone to answer FR-08 properly, but here it is.
Mikrostrange - lives up to its title.
Live Evil and Dis - two incredible jazz-themed demos from an underappreciated group, IMHO
Sunflower by Pulse (not the group Sunflower) - this is a DOS demo but it has a Win32 port. All-time favorite for me. Also, you probably won't see this in the Win32 version, but the DOS one has one of the best VGA fakemodes I've ever seen.
GL Excess - this is sort of a benchmark, but also a demo. I really like this one, especially when you consider everything (music, graphics, effects) was made by one dude.
Virhe - cool Glide-only demo from the 3DMark guys (who were all demosceners before founding Futuremark anyway)
Fall Equals Winter - great example of the chillout/ambient style that really kicked in around 1999.
7D0 Millennium and 604 - at the complete opposite end of the spectrum, you have these gems from one-man powerhouse AND: coder colors (aka all the colors), happy hardcore/psytrance music, effects out the pie-hole, painfully nerdy scene choices, no theme, and "throw it all in!" school of design. I won't pretend either of these are "good" demos, but I find them highly enjoyable, so maybe you will too. ;)

I'll stop now, part of the fun is going through the massive list of prods and finding stuff you like. (I'd actually recommend browsing Demozoo instead of Pouet, due to the much better screenshots & working tag system, but Pouet's been around far longer and probably has a few gems that DZ is still missing.)
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Re: win9x demoscene : Upgrade your Windows version.

Postby ElBrunzy » 2019-10-13 @ 20:51

wow that was ... unexpected. I dont know how to thank you enough for that. Of course I downloaded every of your suggestion (except the benchmark and I did not watch the youtube link and two or three I already had in my collection). I think zilog is also my favorite, but maybe it's just because it's the first I ran. I also found it funny that 7d0 crashed in the computer scene and I decide to pass on to 604 and it started into a computer with similar music. Felt like they oversee it and integrated that into the experience.

I remember when win9x came by, I only had a 386dx40 2mb, and a trident 512kb isa vga card I could afford so I was with those against it. I didnt feel that coding in c with glut32.dll was really sceneworthy. But when I see good win9x demoscene production I dont feel it's cheating at all. Also I'm a bit intrigued about when you say that win9x bring hardware abstraction, I was in the impression that it was the last bastion of defense for win9x, to allow direct hardware access while using shared dynamic library.
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Re: win9x demoscene : Upgrade your Windows version.

Postby Scali » 2019-10-13 @ 21:12

In my recollection, Cubic Team & $een were one of the first to move from DOS to Windows.
One of them was a port of their Lasse Reinbong intro: https://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=1141
It includes a text file, which speaks volumes about how the scene thought about Windows at the time, and how Cubic were going against the stream with this port:
Q: Why does $eeN port the old ¯Lasse Rein B”ng® Intro to windows95?

A: Well, I read a lot of stuff in the comp.sys.ibm.pc.demos newsgroup
why it would be never possible to write a demo/intro under windows95.
(Same applies for DEMO.GER (fido echo in germany))

The most funny sentence I read was: "Ask a windows programmer why it
would be impossible". Since I earn my money writing windows95 software,
I always wondered why noone tried to write an intro. After the release
of DirectX 2.0 I spend a whole day downloading this stuff, reading
all those documents and began coding the 1996 version.

My humble oppinion about windows95: It's a nice environment to work
with. There are a lot of cool programs and with the release of
DirectX it's now possible to do all the stuff we do under DOS even
for non win95 profis.

Do you think the new generation of computer-freaks will use the
command prompt to start programs, know how to tweak the configuration
to make demos/intros runable? I think in the next few years only
hardcore freaks will know how to do this.

It's making me sad to think that our productions will be only enjoyed
by such a small audience. Therefore it's nessesary to take a look at
the new technology and make viewing an intro as easy as possible.

This is the best way to make new folks interested into the scene.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Win95 sucks! It eats all your processor power, restricts you,
doesn't let you access your hardware, blah blah blah...

A: Wow! You have to be a real windows95 specialist to know all these facts.
I guess you are a great coder. Hey, I guess you write the best-selling
applications. You even write books in your freetime. I'm so honoured
that you spend your worthy time to read this crap. Please let me kiss
your shoes...


Is it really so restricted? Does it really makes everything slow?

¯ I ask you: Which programming language do you use?
¯ Visual Basic? ...

I guessed it, you lamer. Think before your speak. Know what you
write. Don't write such bullshit only because you've read it somewhere.
Know what you're talking about.

Windows95 restricts you. That's true. But there's nothing that can't
be changed. You still have to know your environment. You can get all
the processor power available on your system..

Use SetThreadPriority (THREAD_PRIORITY_TIME_CRITICAL) and your
program will run fast as light. Even the disk-cache will freeze.

Use the 16-bit Lock/Unlock functions. Shut down the whole windows stuff
and make everything on your own. You can access everything this way!

Write VXD-drivers and make your program enter the highest level of
system-control. You can fucking do everyting you want to do.

THERE IS NO RESTRICTION THAT CAN'T BE DISABLED!

THERE IS NOTHING THAT CAN'T BE DONE UNDER WINDOWS95.

Ok, you lamers, I never wanna read such crap about windows95 again.
If you can't do something under windows95 you simply don't know enough,
about it, ok? Stop writing such crap and play games.

Isn't this intro proof enough?
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