windows 95 in 2014
Nerdy nostalgic computer time...
I keep an installation of Microsoft Windows 95 that I sometimes periodically launch in a VMWare virtual session whenever I need a nostalgia fix.
It is amazing to think this OS is almost 20 years old. It's also amazing to consider how we did internet stuff then compared to now.
Can Windows 95 still be used now?
Yes. With the right hardware and software, it can be used for all the normal stuff except online video.
In my '95 setup, video is the only thing I can't get it to do. For browsing I purposely set the K-Meleon browser to act as a mobile browser so I can view most web sites with it. Email hasn't changed and Outlook Express 5 connects to POP3 and IMAP4 stuff without a problem. For social media stuff, the browser uses mobile versions of that so that's not a problem.
I have no intention of using Win95 regularly, but if I had to, I could - but only if wired.
Two things that makes '95 unusable more than anything else is lack of USB 2.0 support and lack of wireless support. Win98 does do USB 2.0 and from that you can seek out older USB wireless stick hardware that can make '98 connect to Wireless G. I know because I have done it.
There are people out there to this day who keep a Windows 98 box and use it regularly because it does do USB 2.0 and wireless. But since '95 can't do that (not beyond USB 1.1 anyway), that's what makes it too old to use.
The only way to get '95 wireless is to purposely buy a cheap wireless router and have it act as a wireless access point, where you plop the router on top of the computer box, plug in a wire from the '95 PC to the router and access the network that way. It's a bit of a ridiculous setup, but it can be done.
Win95 is cool to use, and usable if you know how to outfit it correctly. But for regular use? Nah. 🙂