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RetroSonicHero

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"Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should".

It's a valid question, regardless. Why? What's the purpose in spending the time to set something like this up? Why would I do this?

 

It's fun.

 

A lot of my computer knowledge came from experimentation. I messed around with whatever machine I had in that moment, and played around with it. Even my earliest PC memories as a four year old playing around on my dad's XP laptop started like this. I'd surf the web, visit sites I thought were interesting (while being unaware of Windows XP's lackluster security measures), and download random crap that caught my eye. Inevitably, something went wrong, and we'd restore from his latest backup. Cheers, dad; its because of you that I have the backup etiquette I have now.

 

This ties into where I am at in my life presently. Knowledge is power, as they say, and the more I know about retro PC hardware & software, the better. I became very familiar with the Windows 9x operating systems over the years thanks to my experiences working on my dad's retro gaming PCs - lot's of hours were spent on his 500Mhz Pentium III he built for me, in particular. It didn't matter that I was a 2000s kid with no actual nostalgic attachment to these operating systems beyond some very faint 240p YouTube videos. The earlier days of computing, specifically in the 90s with the rise of the internet and much more powerful hardware, has always been infinitely interesting to me.

 

It's recently occurred to me that I've never really looked into NT 4.0. It often takes a backseat behind the much more home-accessible DOS-based Windows operating systems of that era, and this can be attributed to a number of things. I imagine the primary factor in its somewhat forgotten nature is its lackluster game support. Although, that's really a bit of an over simplification - OpenGL games work rather well under NT, but perhaps that's for a later blog entry. In any case, even my dad didn't have much to say on this matter. Most of his experience came from working in IT, as the business was almost entirely on NT 4, both Server & Workstation. This is to be expected: NT was praised for its vastly superior security and stability, which is precisely what you need in the workforce. It didn't matter that the system requirements were much higher - security came first in my dad's organization.

 

And so, with no knowledge of NT beyond its logical progression into becoming the heart and soul of every modern Windows environment, I saw an opportunity to experience it just like it was all those years ago. I like trying new things and having new experiences, and NT is the definition of a new experience if all you've used in the 90s era of Windows is 9x. It's similar, but different at the same time. It's basically like a more technical-focused Windows 95 in terms of how it treats the user. It assumes you are a more technical person, and comes bundled with several useful administrative tools for this exact purpose. Not to mention the vastly superior NT filesystem (NTFS). It was a massive upgrade over FAT16, and even the later FAT32 - which was oddly not officially supported in NT 4.0.

 

This of course begs the question of what exactly would best symbolize a mid-late 90s NT workstation PC. That way, I could feel like I truly got the most out of the OS and experienced everything it had to offer. Will this newfound information be any useful one day? Probably not beyond some potential YouTube likes and subscribers, and maybe some blog engagement from people similarly interested in this incredibly niche subject. But, that's enough to keep me going.

 

If any of this sounds interesting, I recommend reading my next entry; I'll be going into the precise details of the project and describe exactly it is I'm aiming to do. Thanks for reading.

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