Sort of like an expansion pack to Windows 95, this adds additional features that enhance the Windows 95 experiences such as desktop themes, maintenance utilities and some bundled software like Internet Explorer which would be its debut.
Looks like your typical Microsoft installer of the era
The boot screen has changed!
A selection of themes from the Plus pack. Users of Windows 98 will find these themes look familiar as these themes later appeared in Windows 98 (Along with the Space and Underwater themes). These themes change everything, from the desktop icons to the toolbar layout and fonts (that carry over to the programs that you use), to the sounds and mouse cursor. Science and Inside Your Computer where my personal favourite, used to rock those a lot back in the day.
DriveSpace: Compresses the entire dis to allow for more efficient use of hard disk space at the expensive of performance, only works on FAT16 volumes
Internet Starter Kit: Designed to help get users online
Task Scheduler / System Agent: Allows you to schedule certain tasks, such as programs being run at a specific time. Useful for maintenance tasks like Scandisk or the Disk Drefragmenter but also for anti virus programs. Also useful if you wish to run a program at a reoccurring time.
These were designed for high performance systems of the time that supported graphics acceleration
High Colour Icons: By default Windows 95 only supports up to 256 colour icons, with the Plus! pack you can have icons with up to 65536 colours.
Window Dragging: The contents of the windows can be seen when the user drags the application window around the desktop. Previously only an outline of the window could be seen
Anti-Aliasing: Softens the edges of screen fonts and UI elements, similar to ClearType in Windows XP, using the hardware acceleration of the graphics card
Wallpaper Stretching/Scaling: Desktop wallpapers can be stretched to fill the screen if the image resolution does not match the display resolution, using the hardware acceleration of the graphics card
The multimedia catalogue, this isn’t installed onto the user system, instead its run straight off the CD-ROM. A showcase for other Microsoft consumer software and products.
Microsoft BOB, which was released from around that period.
Microsoft arguably made the most ergonomic mouses, and loved to show them off
The Pinball game was originally developed by Maxis (Yes, the SimCity and The Sims Maxis) makes it debut here although the actual retail game had a lot more levels/machines, in plus pack only one level is featured.
A racing game set across the USA, you play from point A to point B with a single lap, giving the impression you are travelling through (Cruising) the USA. Each track has unique scenery and opponents, with rival cars and traffic becoming a hinderance, thankfully the controls are easy to adapt although collision detection can be an issue.
All of these tracks are set around different parts of the USA, and vary in environmental scenery and difficulty.
Golden Gate Park: The first track in the game which features the golden gate bridge. Very easy with only slight bends and wide roads
San Francisco: Featuring rolling hills and an increase of traffic from the previous track, ends with a tunnel.
US 101: Set in a rural desert, the track here is narrower and features a lot more bends, there are also gaps in the road which your car must drive over
Redwood Forest: Continuing from the desert and into the forest, the road here is a lot more narrow which gives little space to navigate through opposing traffic and rival cars.
Beverly Hills: Featuring Bel-Air style houses and mansions along with the Hollywood sign. The scenery here can be distracting so try to focus and concentrate on the road.
LA Freeway: There’s a lot more traffic on this one
Death Valley: Sounds a bit morbid but is set in a rural desert area, this one also features a narrow road so watch for traffic
Arizona: Set in a rural desert in the first half, this one has powerlines as obstacles that can be knocked down but will impact your cars speed.
Grand Canyon: Drive through the Grand Canyon itself, again has powerlines as obstacles that can be knocked down, also features Mount Rushmore
Iowa: Set on rural green farm which looks more like an English countryside, has narrow roads and powerline obstacles and a toll booth which you have to be careful not to hit the hubs in between
Chicago: Features factories and an urban like environment with large buildings and an underpass. Be careful not to hit the overhead railway columns
Indiana: Very similar to Iowa
Appalachia: Track with a bumpy road and a lot of curves and hills, defiantly one of the more challenging tracks.
Washington DC: The final stage with a lot of nice scenery but equally as difficult as Appalachia, Ends with a money tunnel
Completing Cruse the USA mode unlocks a faster car, and the arcade features a very special ending FMV featuring the then current Present and the First Lady
Released in 1994 on the Midway V Unit arcade board, it was one of the early textured 3D racers alongside Ridge Racer and Daytona USA.
Not much is known about Midway’s V unit 3D hardware, originally believed to be based upon the Nintendo Ultra 64 that was in development at the time, however closer inspection of the specification revels the hardware to be very different. With the V Unit running a Texas Instruments TMS32031 CPU at 50Mhz compared to the NEC VR4300 MIPS CPU in the Nintendo 64. Whilst the N64 is complemented by the SGI Reality co-processor, the V unit uses an currently unknown 3D processor, which accelerates the 3D graphics used. As it was released in 1994, there are a few possible vendors:
A PC graphics accelerator like the Yamaha Tasmania 3D or Matrox Millennium
SGI (Possible the V Unit is a very early design of the N64? unlikely since SGI have always used MIPS CPU’s, unless they wanted to cut costs and use a TI CPI instead)
Or it could be an entirety custom chip Midway had designed…
The boot screen of the arcade version is interesting, the first seems to going into some hardware test routine, whilst the second looks like its downloading something off a remote server, or simulating it. OS-WMS is mentioned, and the next line reads WMS Satellite COMM, CHANNEL 42, which makes me think the game was capable of being distributed over the air via satellite? its not out of the ordinary since that’s how Nintendo’s Stellaview worked, and BSB’s data service allowed you to broadcast data in the early hours of the morning whilst its TV channels were off air. The last command looks like it’s trying to retrieve something off an external FTP server, despite the game being stored in ROM. These messages appear every time you start the game, so its not some first-time utilisation process.
Graphics-wise its similar in vein to the other arcade racers of the time, Ridge Racer and Daytona USA, however this is clearly running on lower-end hardware with the framerate and resolution being reduced. Winning first place nets you a free race (adjustable in the games test modes) otherwise you will need to add credit to progress onto the next track. Completing the game gives you an ending cut-scene set on top of the White House.
Nintendo 64 Versions
Released early in the N64 life, Cruis’n USA took a downgrade in the resolution and censored a few aspects of the game. The former caused critism since this was one of the first racing games on the Nintendo 64, and the game was promoted as being built on Nintendo 64 technology, so it was expected to be a perfect port of the game. Meanwhile the PlayStation enjoyed a satisfactory port of Ridge Racer, however by that point it was already two years old by the time it was released in 1996, had the N64 came out in 1995 as originally planned, the port may have been better received.
Graphics took a reduction in this version with the textures being downgraded to fit into the Nintendo 64 memory limitations. The framerate is also inconsistent, since having many cars and track objects on screen to reduce it to a crawl, which can frequently happen when you crash into another car, CPU cars will also crash into you and have no awareness of the track, often resulting in a slideshow when there are a lot of cars and track objects on screen. Saying that, the N64 does benefit from perspective correction, which means no warping polygons or textures, and there is also bilinear filtering for the textures, although for this game the arcade unfiltered textures look better.
The sound has also been altered, since the Nintendo 64 didn’t have a dedicated sound processor and had to render the sound on either the CPU or the reality co-processor, depending on how the game was designed, the arcade version has extra fidelity since it was done using the Midway DCS sound system.
One other thing to mention was the saving issues on the Everdrive64, as the game uses the gamepak in order to save data, but upon starting the game it complains about the pack being corrupted/invalid and will not start, removing the gamepak results in another error messages instructing you to insert the pak back into the controller. The only was to start the game was to boot without the controller-pak connected, which results in the game saving to the cartridge memory, which the Everdrive can emulate.
Left: Nintendo 64 – Right: Arcade, which has the indicator on the bottom
Textures are generally more detailed on the arcade release, but the Nintendo 64 makes use of texture filtering with the arcade being unfiltered.
N64 version looks more blurry, whilst the arcade version looks sharper.
Transmission select screen
Heads up display of both versions, the N64 compensates of the PAL/NTSC overscan by creating a buffer for the HUD design. The arcade cabinet has illuminated lights which indicated the games status which MAME emulated as an on screen display which can be seen at the bottom.
An example of censorship of the N64 version, either that or the woman must have felt cold. A nice feature with the arcade version was you got a free race if you came in first place (dependant on that feature being enabled in the games settings)
The Motorola V547 is based upon the V500, and has a similar feature set however the V547 is slightly lighter and adds support for video capture and improves the battery life slightly. The display is capable of displaying 65k colours.
Although the device can play MP3 files, it does not have a dedicated MP3 player function, also the phone only has 5.5Mb of memory that cannot be expanded, which is very limited for a phone that supports a VGA camera and video playback, you certainly cannot use it as a music player, barley having enough storage for one MP3 song
The four icons in a middle corresponds to the shortcuts than can be accessed using the phones directional pad buttons, and can be configured to the users preference. There is also a clock display at the bottom left, which can be set to either digital or analogue.
Unfortunately this phone has a lot of O2 branding (Phone provider in the UK), which results in a lot of O2 icons and link to online services.
List all contacts saved in the handset and the SIM card, when stored on the phone, additional information can be saved, you can also set a picture for the contact, save a voice name so you can speak to call the contact
Lists of received and previously dialled numbers appears here
SMS messages can be sent and view here, you can also send email’s and Multimedia messages (MMS).
My Service (SIM Application Toolkit)
If the SIM card inserted supports the SIM-AT, a list of applications can be accessed in the My Services menu
A basic calculator is offered, along with a currency converter which can be configured with the exchange rate
Basically a calander, can be set to a month or a week view. Events can be added and set to reoccur daily, weekly or on a specific date of a month. Timer events can also be set here.
New shortcuts can be added to the shortcut menu, and the list can be reordered
A list of recorder voice notes, and the ability to create a new one. To record, there’s a voice button on the right side of the phone that needs to be held in order to record, releasing the button stops the recording, and you are limited to 50 seconds per recording.
Multiple alarms can be set, each alarm can have have a unique ringtone set
Simulates a threaded style view of SMS messaging, messages from the sender and recipient can be seen in one view
Games & Apps
One game comes installed here, FotoFunPack2 and Wakeboarding Unleashed
The web browser can be used to access WAP and HTML sites using the built in GPRS modem
Saved pages and bookmarks, the bookmarks can be accessed here
Three themes are available here, Scarlet, Moto and Silver. Themes change the wallpaper and the phones colour scheme.
The handset uses a VGA camera, the viewfinder supports zoom and brightness adjustment. Annoyingly photos captured aren’t automatically saved, you have to manually select save. This ties into the phones design, since Motorola intend for you to take a and send photos without the intention of saving them, the phone having only 5Mb of memory adds weight to this theory and the fact the phones presents the option to send first, before saving.
Images captured by the camera are saved here, along with any pictures received by an MMS message or received by Bluetooth.
Ringtones are saved here, MP3 files are also stored here and the handset is capable of playing full length MP3 songs, but with only 5Mb of memory, you are limited to only one song, if that.
Motorola’s ringtone creating application
Video clips captured with the camera can be played back ere, the phone saved in the 3gp container format
Settings like the home screen layout, which include the function of the home shortcut keys, and the left/right soft keys. The clock type can also be set here.
The main menu can be configured as either an icon grid view or a list view, and the menu order can be reordered.
There are 3 themes that can be set, Moto (Blue), Techo and Neon, themes includes the colour of the menus and the background wallpaper screen
Greeting message can be set when the phone turns on
Wallpapers that can be set, either from the built in images or a photo taken by the phones camera. Like in Windows, if an images does not match the screen resolution, you can set the scaling method to either Centre, Tile or Fit-to-screen
Screensavers are similar to wallpapers but are animated, and can be set to displayed after 1 or 2 minutes of inactivity, when the handset being open.
Profiles can be set here, default ones to choose from are Loud, Soft, Vibrate, Vibrate and Ring and Silent. Pressing detail will let you customise the profile and set alert tones for various different features of the phone (Calls, IM, SMS, VoiceMail, Alarms, Data calls, etc) Ringtones are in MP3 or Midi format, and Motomixer created ringtones will also show up here.
Bluetooth settings, you can set up a handfree device and change settings like the phones Bluetooth name, set the device to be discoverable. External Sync can also be set for an external server, which allows contacts to be synchronised.
Call diverts can be set here
Basic settings can be changed here, date and time, one touch dial, display settings like the backlight duration and backlight timeout. The device can be set back to factory default settings from here using the security code (default: either 5 or six zeros, 00000)
Battery meter showing how much power is remaining, also software and firmware information versions is displayed here.
Settings for auto answer after a few seconds, which can be changed, and the ability to enter voice dialling .
Settings for when a handsfree device are connected, and a car charger accessory
View a list of available mobile networks and the bands the phone can connect to, when searching for networks, T-Mobile (Now EE) comes up in the list
Configure PIN/PIN2 and the phones security codes. Call barring ca be set here.
Configure internet access settings for Java applications
The purpose of the BIOS for the PlayStation was to provide an interface for the end user to manage their memory cards and the option to play an audio CD and was automatically displayed when the console was turned on without a disc inserted. Not all games provided a way to manage the memory card so the BIOS was often used for this purpose. Like the hardware, the BIOS went through various revisions and designs which we will look at.
SCPH1000 (Original Japanese launch)
The very first BIOS version, this one has a different cursor appearance and the CD player cannot be accessed unless an audio CD is in the drive.
SCPH1001 (Original US Launch)
Initial BIOS version for the NTSC lands
SCPH1001 (Revised US Model)
A revised version of the US model, the option colour has slightly changed
SCPH1002 (Europe Launch model)
In PAL-land we got this menu instead, using icons and symbols instead of text due to the different languages used in Europe and to reduce the ROM space. This is the BIOS I remember growing up with. Also the Europe Cd player can have different sound effect applied to it, which I couldn’t find in the NTSC BIOS?
Japans SCPH3000 is equal to our 1001/1002, with their 1000 being a different revision with a buggy GPU. Model numbers would be synchronized with the 500x series.
Sony would continue to revise each hardware
No visible difference from the 1002?
This model introduced SoundScope, this BIOS would remain the same for the SCPH9001 models
Seems like Sony wanted to unify the BIOS designs worldwide and change Europe to look like the US/Japanese versions
SCPH101 (US PSone redesign)
Or maybe not, since the NTSC versions used the PAL design albeit with different icons, you can briefly see the Soundscope effect in the BIOS before it fades to a black background
SCPH102 (Europe PSone redesign)
Same as the US version
This was a feature from the SCPH7000 models and up, and introduced a visualizer that appeared in time with the music by pressing SELECT on the controller.
Released in 2003, The e616 was one of the first generation of 3G capable phones for the Hutchinson 3 network in the UK.
NEC were not a commonly known manufacturer of handsets in the UK, the market previously dominated by Nokia, Ericsson, Motorola and Siemens at the time, with Samsung and Sony (Who’s mobile division would merge with Ericsson). In Japan they were known for their i-Mode handsets
Apologies for the poor image quality on some of these captures, since the only way to capture was using a camera pointed to the phone screen, which can yield in some weird effects on screen.
Bootup screen, there is a lot of 3 branding within the handsets firmware, it seems the handset was produced exclusively for Hutchinson 3G and was used in their international markets also.
The default home screen, the calendar can be set as the background, or the wallpaper can be displayed instead. The row of icons can be accessed by pressing the middle enter key, which acts as a shortcut bar or dock to access common phone functions. Items can be added here by pressing ‘Link this’ when you are in a menu.
There is also a task manager like function, which gives the impression that this is some sort of smartphone, perhaps Symbian based?
Menu scheme uses a grid like layout, shortcuts can be used by the number keypad. The quick menu is used to quickly access different phone functions without having to trawl through the main menu. Taskbar lets you select and reopen running background applications, a very smartphone like feature.
3Mail looks to be a remote email service provided by 3, to be an alternative to Blackberry push email that was offered at the time. Having email on your phone was still a high end feature that many phones were not capable of, and even the ones that did have severe restrictions in what emails could be displayed. Also many webmail email providers did not support third party POP3/IMAP clients, which these phones were classed as, so email would be part of the network provider.
Text messages can be composed and sent from here, the handset supports SMS and MMS Multimedia messages. There’s an option for a video message which is really a vieo clip attached to a multimedia message.
A full text editor is provided, with support for copy and paste and predictive text. An annoying feature is typing a message using the keypad, the phone makes DTMF sounds.
The phone also supports copy and paste, a feature that is rarely seen in feature phones.
Contacts can be created and saved to the phone memory or the USIM card
One of the big appeals of 3G phones was the advent of video calling, where you and the recipient could see and speak to each other in glorious CIF resolution. Here you can change the picture quality and the camera orientation mode
Set a greeting message and change the power on jingle
Here you can change the network selection, choose if you want the device to connect to 3G exclusively, and any access points settings.
Dial Lock – allows you to set a passcode that is entered via the keypad when the device is opened, when enabled you can only make emergency calls unless the code is entered
Side Key lock – prevents the side volume buttons from being pressed when the device is closed
Misc call settings, you can change the caller ID options, divers and waiting options.
Date and Time
Changes settings back to their default factory values
Access to multimedia features of the phone,
Capturing picture using the external camera. Both the front and rear camera can be used however both are limited to CIF resolution which is a bit low for this class of phone. Typically phones of this era use VGA resolution camera. Different effects can be applied. Both still images and video clips can be captured.
Sound can be recorded, up to 60 seconds in length and saved as an amr file
View images captured by the camera, or any images downloaded
Videos captured by the camera or downloaded videos from three can be played here, Videos are stored in the MPEG4 format.
Capable of playing the Midi ringtones, but can also play back MP3 encoded files, either on the built in phone memory or from the memory card, just be mindful of the 5Mb transfer limit. Music can be played though the headphones or through the built in speaker.
Same as the music player, but for the recorder voice clips stored on the device.
Add, set and remove reminders, and specify when the phone should alert you
Up to five different alarms can be set, with the option to set the reoccurrence to a selected number of days.
Similar to the Windows notepad, a text editor that lets you save up to 9 separate documents. Text is composed similar to an SMS message.
A calculator and a converter, the calculator is capable of simple sums, but scientific operations are not supported. The converter is cable to convert currency only, and has the option to specify the rate manually.
GPS and compass
Supposedly comes with a GPS feature built in, but I wasn’t able to get it calibrated, perhaps it’s dependant on the mobile network being functional?
The phone has the ability to run Java J2ME applications that are published and downloaded by 3. Unfortunately there seems to be no way to load the Java applications over USB or Bluetooth using the PC Software, so there’s not much to do here. I tried copying the Jad and Jar files over manually using the USB connection below but it didn’t work, seems the only way is to use the built in browser and download the games via the 3G network
This phone supports Bluetooth however it is very limited compared to other handsets, there’s no file transfer, only dial up networking and audio headset is supported.
The phone can connect to a Windows PC using a USB adaptor cable, and with the appropriate software installed. Here files can be transferred to and from the phone, and contacts can be synchronised using an external application
You can Sync contacts, calendar and To do lists from an external server, similar to how you can sync with Outlook or Gmail, only back in these days you had to use the Three server.
You can explore both the phone memory and the external memory card. Internally the device has 19Mb of available memory for use, and can support up to 128Mb of external memory, using the Sony Memory Stick Duo standard. You can also format the memory card, check its filesystem for errors and view the amount of space free for use.
Files can be copied or moved, or sent via the MMS if the file size is small enough, Bluetooth cannot be used to send or receive files.
When Three launched their 3G service in the UK, it was designed to be a walled garden where only 3 service could be accessed using the phones internal browser, and external web access was not supported. This meant it was not possible to browse WAP sites on the handset, the browser that ships with the phone is locked down to work with Three’s services only, and from the article below was supposed to be the Netfront browser.
One of the Beta 3 builds, closer to the final release build.
Despite being a beta 3 build, the boot screen used is from Beta 2.1
Initial installation, looks very similar to the released product. The welcome program comes with an extra item dedicated to the beta guide which details whats been added in this beta phase.
Booting for the first time
This build seems to have issues booting up in normal mode due to a botched device driver instillation when the OS was installed for the first time. To rectify this you will need to boot into safe mode and uninstall the corrupt device, in this case this was the network adaptor which was missing its hardware title. I’m not sure if this is an issue specific with this build or if its due to the hardware PCem is emulating (Could be with the emulator itself)
When Windows 98 boots for the first time, a welcome screen is shown giving the user an option to start a tutorial on showcasing the new features of Windows 98, and a section for users who are new to Windows itself. This is stored on the Windows 98 CD and is required to be inserted to run the tutorial. In this build there are some differences with the images and layout used from the final build.
Microsoft acquired WebTV and was intended to be used as an early precursor to the media centre applications as seen in Windows XP Media Centre edition. WebTV for Windows was to bring the WebTV guide interface to the desktop using the computers TV tuner. A TV Guide would be offered which delivers TV listings over the internet, whilst using analogue TV (Digital TV wasn’t widespread yet, US wouldn’t launch its digital terrestrial works from late 1998 onwards and cable slightly later)
Wavetop was a protocol to receive data from terrestrial broadcasts and was an early form of interactive TV. Web pages would be transmitted between the VBI of the analogue signal and would be related to the program being broadcast. A competing system was Intel’s Intercast
Internet Explorer 4 is bundled with the operating system and was integrated into the explorer shell.
Active desktop was a feature that allowed a webpage to be set as a desktop background, with clickable hyperlinks.
If explorer crashed whilst active desktop was enabled, an active desktop recovery page was displayed instead which gave the user the option to re-enable the active desktop, this was to prevent explorer from crashing repeatedly should the webpage be the source of crashing.
Windows Explorer was updated to be remodeled giving folders a web like view which was meant to be more visually appealing to the end user. In practice this made the explorer shell more sluggish and buggy, taking longer for the computer to rendered the explorer page. This could be toned down to a basic interface view, but the explorer shell would still be rendered in Internet Explore.
Channels could be opened within a web browser such as Internet Explorer. These acted as an earlier method of RSS where website updates are pushed to the user, rather than having the user checking the website manually
Using theoldnet.com, we can try to pull these websites as they appeared in 1998, which this browse should have no issues rendering. Unfortunately these links seem to be special active desktop links that load an exclusive page which the internet archive has not had a chance to index.
This build features a standalone DVD player application, however this requires a dedicated MPEG2 hardware decoder since CPUs of the time could not decode in real-time. Some video cards also featured partial MPEG2 acceleration and would feature their own DVD player software such as Cyberlink PowerDVD
No hardware MPEG2 decoder detected
Pressing F1 bring up the Windows help, which provides an HTML based help interface. Third party programs can also use this help system.
My Computer, with the channel sidebar enabled.
When Windows explorer crashes whilst active desktop is enabled, the recovery screen is enabled in the event of the web page being the source of the issues. The user can then manually restore the active desktop.
Motherboard: Intel Advanced/ZP
Processor: Intel OverDrive MMX 200Mhz
Video: ATI Video Xpression (Mach64 VT2)
3D Accelerator: 3DFX Voodoo Graphics 3D Accelerator
Sound: Aztech Sound Galaxy Pro 16 AB
Mouse: Intellimouse PS/2 (Allows scroll wheel to be used)
Bromley areas (former Cable&Wireless) were running this guide up until 2002, where it was replaced by Bromley CR3
Not all customers in Bromley were running this version of software, ex-Videotron customers were stuck on CR1 software due to the poor network conditions that meant the area could not support two way communication, meaning no interactive or broadband support. They received a rebranded version of CR1 but without the Liberate browser.
Now and Next bar, surprisingly its transparent
Viewing program information
Main TV Guide home screen
Main TV guide EPG, channels can be filtered according to their genre, and programmes can be filtered by the day and time slot.
Subject search, similar to the A-Z listings, allows you to find a program based on its genre
Ordering PPV events
The settings area, where favourite channels can be managed, and the picture output preferences can be changed
Interactive home screen, since this was a web page loaded from the server, it could be updated independently from the EPG. Interactive services were non functional in ex-Videotron areas (parts of London)
BBCi home screen, looks similar to the Kingston version
TV Email, each customer could have a selected amount of email address to use, and could be accessed from the TV service.
TV Internet, was the main interactive portal for other services hosted on the ntl platform
NT 5 was to be known as Windows 2000, the successor and replacement for Windows NT4. Designed to be an enterprise focused operating system with the consumer counterpart being Windows 98, and later Windows ME. Both of which use an updated Windows Explorer shell with a webpage like interface.
The first stage of the install is where you select the volume to install NT5 on, and you are given a choice of which peripherals your computer will use. The install disk is bootable so providing your BIOS supports CD booting, you don’t need a boot floppy disk
Second Stage Install
The second stage of the install details with personalization and uses a graphical interface which appears different in the final release. Windows will ask for both the User and the company/organization name. From here you can specify any additional components that need to be installed.
The login screen, very similar to NT4
BSOD already and we haven’t got to the desktop yet. This is typically a bad sign and searching online didn’t yield much. Still we can boot in safe VGA mode without any issues.
I first tried to remedy this by removing any additional devices from PCem, the sound and network card was removed, along with the 3DFX Voodoo card. This still resulted in a BSOD
Eventually I found somewhat of a resolution, which was to disable the motherboards onboard USB controller, which isn’t much use within PCem. Early motherboard that came with USB onboard were very primitive, and sometimes completely buggy. This combined with a beta operating system can spell trouble so its best to disable this. Funnily enough there is support for USB and 1394 devices in this build.
The actual desktop which enabled active desktop by default. Everything has a webpage like interface with folders and buttons being links, by default you only need to click a folder one to select it.
This build did pickup and install a few device drivers by itself, but did not pickup the soundcard since I had disabled it on the account of the BSOD earlier.
This is an early form of device manager that is used to display a list of hardware devices that interact with your computer. There are a few quirks in this build, with some random error dialog boxes popping up that seems to relate to the management console.
The My Computer window, with an early sidebar design. Also note the navigation bar design and spacing
Installing the drivers
This isn’t part of the operating system, but I figured I could show part of the 3DFX interface since I had intended to try running glide games on an old NT based operating system. Despite running the 3DFX install utility, games would refuse to detect the accelerator card, and looking in device manager indicated it had a problem loading the driver for the device.
Trying to add a soundcard, and failing. A new wizard like user interface is supposed to make device hardware instillation more easier but it seems to be buggy in this build.
Trying to format and mount a zip disk. At first I couldn’t get Windows to mount the disk image I already had until I released these old builds of NT lack FAT32 support of which the drive was formatted as.
Internet Explorer 4 is bundled with the operating system and is a major component providing the functionality of Windows Explorer. Like Windows 98 it has support for active desktop and channels.
Outlook Express 4 that is bundled with the operating system
Private Character Editor
Not sure what this is supposed to be, some sort of character map editor? Seems to crash a lot.
The printer interface has been slightly altered, using the updated Windows Explorer engine
The result of trying to change the background wallpaper when you have active desktop enabled, Windows explorer crashed
Add Program Wizard
Looks like Microsoft had also intended to simplify the program install process, like the hardware wizard this takes you through a set of questions to install new software.
Windows features a device removal option that would allow you to stop a device, ready for it to be removed. That was probably intended for USB devices
Whilst I had intended to do more with this operating system, I found it too be too unstable and unfinished for general use and with lack of the ability to install 3D graphics and sound drivers limited what would be installed.
Telewest redesigned their digital TV service in 2002, which saw the TV Guide software undergo a complete rewrite and redesign of the user interface, similar to what ntl undertook with their Bromley TV service.
Like ntl the TV guide was written entirely in Liberate TV middleware, and the entire interface is rendered using the Liberate browser. In contrast, the previous Telewest software used an EPG system developed by Pace, with the Liberate browser being added as a separate component what had to be loaded.
This meant the customer had to wait for the Liberate browser to load before they could access the interactive service, and on screen interactive prompt were not possible since the interactive stack was not running whilst the customer was watching TV.
Viewing TV on Demand listings
The Liberate middleware was upgraded to 1.2, which featured several programme and feature upgrades to the HTML browser used, one of which was the ability to use a mosaic style screen with different video feeds .As mentioned earlier, the Liberate intake now runs constantly, allowing for ‘press Red’ functionality to be used on TV channels, this was essential since Sky and ITVDigital had implemented similar interactive prompt features. These would also be instrumental for the upcoming Big Brother and Wimbledon 2002 interactive services, where customers could choose from different angles and feeds through the use of interactive, of which was not possible with Liberate 1.1 (The mosaic feature mentioned earlier)
A reminder alert for an upcoming program
Also new addition was the mini TV guide feature, where a small screen of the channel the customer was currently watching is displayed whilst the customer browses the TV guide or interactive. The exception to this is when they are browsing the On demand TV section, where the box changed to a Front Row preview channel, the reason being this was to allow the box to get up to date PPV listings rather than rely on cached data, and to do so it was necessary for the box to tune into a specific frequency that carried this data, preventing the use of mini TV.
A weird design decision since Telewest already had a functioning return path due to the internal DOCSIS modem inside the Pace box, why not use that to retrieve the PPV listings?
Adding Favourite channels
Viewing Favourite channels
Pressing reveals information on the selected program, and any program broadcast within the next 24 hours
View of the search and scan banner, known here as the Mini Guide like Sky you can view what’s on other channels
In 2003, a slight update was made to the interface layout, the Telewest Broadband branding is now in effect, and the layout is more square compared to the previous design.