Monthly Archives: April 2023

Lindows 5

The next release of the popular Linux distro. The Lindows name flew too close for Microsoft’s likening, and after a couple of legal BS, Lindows was rebranded as Inspire. Should have renamed it to Linsta instead as Windows Vista was due for release next year.


The OS has also received a slight makeover also, bringing it closer to Windows XP Luna style of interface.

We are also treated to a redesigned installer which aims to make it even more user-friendly. Here it explains the different elements of Inspire

After a reboot, we are presented with a new splash screen.

Another EULA with a few more options to configure like the time zone.

After the installation has been completed a tutorial is then shown which guides the user on how to use various elements of the OS.


The Linspire 5 desktop. The Launch button to the bottom left acts as a Start menu of sorts and shows applications that are currently installed on the system, with recently used programs being displayed at the top section of the menu.

As with the previous versions there are dedicated buttons for the help center, file manager & internet applications.

Right-clicking on the desktop, the create new menu lets you create a new document from here. But this seems limited and does not include links to office applications that you would expect. Still, you can create shortcuts to applications.

The icon set for Lindows, also includes some Microsoft-inspired logos with the MSN logo.

The Mozilla-based browser

Sometimes we run into this error, the only fix is to reboot the virtual machine. 

Password prompt when a screensaver is currently running, by default the user account is root.

The mini calendar that appears when you click on the clock is located in the taskbar. This predates the Windows 7 calendar by around 4 years.

KDE Control Center

This serves as the Control Panel of sorts, various settings in relation to the user experience can be changed here but anything advanced will require the use of the terminal.

As in the previous versions, you select an option from the left panel which will open up its page.

A look at some of the included screensavers

Changing your user icon, they seem styled by the ‘smiles’ design that was popular of the era, they also seem to vary in size compared to the Windows XP account pictures.

You can change the appearance of the splash screen that appears upon boot.

Also here’s what happens when a program crashes or quits.

Installed Software

OpenOffice 1.1 – The default Office productivity suite, designed as a replacement to Microsoft Office and is compatible with most of its file formats.

LSongs – Music and media player that looks a lot like iTunes

LTorrent – A Bittorrent client

Lassist – A collection of organizer-like applications that include a calendar, reminders and an address book. Not sure if pronounced as L’assist or L-Assist

Lphoto – Organise and view photos imported from a digital camera

Trying to play a DVD video using the built-in media player turned out to be near impossible out of the box. Additional software will most likely be required since DVD is a protected format (MPEG2 was still patented). VirtualBox seemed to have a problem accessing the disc, as the Vm would frequently freeze and become unresponsive. Since DVD was in its prime when this operating system was released, not having native support was a serious setback for many casual users.

Additional Software

Additional software can be installed, but it’s difficult to locate them once installed as they do not appear in the Launch menu. I don’t know if there’s a launcher that I’m missing or if they are being installed in a separate location but whichever software I install cannot be opened using the Launch menu. The only thing I can do is locate it through the file manager and create a shortcut to it.

So after messing around in the launcher settings, there is a program group that exists in the Launch menu, known as the KDE menu. This is hidden by default but you can drag this to the Run programs menu which will allow you to run older applications or applications that don’t conform to Linspire’s menu structure.

Maybe this was to push users to use their CNR store/packages?

Firefox 1 can be installed and works fine but the install sets the location by default to the desktop?

SimCity 3000 failed to install which gave an error. Chances are the libraries used in this distro version are too new and we need to apply the fix that was done in Ubuntu 4.04. The text installer only seemed to work instead of the GUI install that came up in Mandrake.

Alpha Centurai was installed and worked fine but had no sound. Postal was also installed and worked fine, but still no sound. I guess the sound libraries had changed in this version, breaking compatibility,

Windows Chicago Milestone 5 (Build 73g)

Install was started in a similar fashion to the earlier build from DOS.
Setup looks similar to the earlier build, only we are prompted to agree to a few NDA’s, there are four in total that we have to accept.

Once there aps that we are prompted if we wish to install plus pack components, which consist of additional utilities. These would later come was the Windows 95 Plus! Expansion which added utilities like DriveSpace and high colour icons, kind of like a n expansion pack for Windows.

We are given an opportunity to add additional components, or amend the system configuration if we have any specific hardware that setup needs to know about. The Network Options is redundant as a message box is displayed informing us we can only configure network options later in the setup process.

The Chicago directory is used by default instead of the Windows directory, possibly to enable dual booting or too leave the previous install intact. This would be renamed to just the Windows directory once development had been finalised.

Additional component that can be added.

Machine configuration, we can see the setup utility detected the InPort mouse that 86box supports. VGA card wasn’t detected however, but our Tseng ET4000 can be selected s and used with the driver that comes with the install.

A weird message that came up, clicking cancel is recommended here since I started setup from the Windows 95 bootdisk. I think setup requires you to start it from a currently running MS-DOS session from the hard drive instead of a floppy boot disk which is why this happened.

Network configuration where you can setup the network card, the Novell NE2000 was used, though I had to amend the IRX to 10 instead of the default settings, 3.

Boot up screen with the windows logo dotting about.

The logon screen, from here you can enter a name and a password if you wish and Windows will create it for you. Pressing the cancel button will log you in regardless.

After the initial login we are prompted to setup a printer.

Setting up the VGA driver, at this point I realized the IDE CD-ROM drives were missing, leaving only the floppy, hard drive. I did try to used the MSCDEX driver to get them to appear but this did not seem to work.
The only workaround to get CD drives to appear was to use the SCSI CD ROM drive, which required be to repeat the install process. The Adaptec seems to be recognised and installed during setup.

Post Install

The Desktop, this build still has the separate start menu buttons, with the others being find and help.

The find button kind of mirrors Windows 10 in a way, that you can search directly from the taskbar. Chicago M5 just simply opens a menu to launch the find feature but does make it more accessible, later Windows versions would move this to the Start Menu itself.

Copying a file using the explorer interface. In this build this was still referred to as the File Cabinet

Disk drive properties window, this gives access to the capacity and used space of the drives present in the system.

Colour scheme settings, many of the Windows 3.x schemes are still present and can be applied, though some of the windows and buttons remain grey.

Advanced System, an early version of the Windows Device Manager which shows the current devices present in your system. The Properties button opens a separate window that lists the Manufacturer, Model, Device ID and Plug/Play capabilities. There is also a Resources tab for IRQ, DMA Channels and Address spaces. Many of the information strings are non functional and do not yet yield any information.

Microsoft changed the way printers are now configured, moving them to a separate folder in the Main program group.

Some applications in the Accessories group have change, and are now in 32bit flavour. The existing versions are still included.

The size of the taskbar can be changed by clicking and dragging the edge of the bar,. at a certain height the clock will shift to the left of the taskbar, likely to make room for further tasks and applications, something that later Windows versions do not do.


32bit software will be hit or miss, as the API has not been fully implemented, if at all. Windows 3.11 era software should work but anything multimedia-rich appears to have issues.

Microsoft Works: Installs and works fine, this was a lightweight office suite intended for home users.

Microsoft Encarta 1993: Installs fine but complains about the soundcard not being detected towards the end of the install. Runs fine.

Internet Explorer 3: This was the Windows 3.1 version of Internet Explorer 3, Installs but fails to run, revealing the error message ‘Call to Undefined Dynalink’ Rebooting after install revels a weird error message to press Ctrl+Alt+Del to reboot your mac?

Acrobat Reader 2.0: Installs and runs fine

Netscape 1: The setup installers complains about a dialog box that it cannot display? Also fails to launch after install.

Microsoft Entertainment Pack (Best of): Works just fine

Pressing Ctrl + Alt & Delete will show this message, this is replaced by the End Task dialog box in later builds.

Shutting down Windows

Lindows 4

Lindows 4, the next installment in the line of Windows-inspired operating systems and is an easy-to-use Linux operating system, designed to appeal to your typical Windows user of the era. 

This time I will be using VirtualBox 5, as the OS is a bit heavy for 86Box to handle. We should have some luck with the emulated hardware that VirtualBox uses and supports. Host machine uses an Intel Core i5 2500.

Install is pretty much the same as previous versions, simply choose the hard disk you wish to install and away you go. No need to optionally configure packages, though power users might prefer this to optimize their installation and remove stuff they do not see.

After installation we are greeted with a first run box that reminds us to set the time zone of our computer, along with the option to set an administrator password if one wasn’t set using the install. The screen resolution can also be set here, by default it’s 1024×768.

After this we are treated to a tutorial that explain the basics of navigating the operating system. This reminds me of the tutorial that would launch when you first started Windows 98, along with a slideshow list of features included in the operating system. For first-time Linux user this is a welcome addition and lets them feel comfortable using their new operating system.

The user can mouse over the different desktop icons and taskbar items to find more information on their purpose and how they are typically used.

Exiting the tutorial prodded to be problematic, despite clicking on the ‘Go to the Real Desktop’ link, the application froze. I waited a couple minutes but nothing happened, the OS become unresponsive.

A quick reboot brought the OS back to life, through the damned tutorial started again. I even saw a browser window showing a SWF file, proving the tutorial was made in Adobe (Macromedia) Flash, Luckily I was able to exit it this time.

For whatever reason Lindows Internet Suite decided to load, this serves as the default email client of the OS, along with the browser. From the looks, it’s just a rebranded version of Netscape Navigator. I believe this was the era when Netscape was purchased by AOL and began reimagining their web browser before making it open source, though the about box mentions Mozilla so maybe that already happened.

The Windows-like user interface

Click-N-Run is still at the forefront of the OS and was the preferred way of installing software rather than using a package manager. This was aimed at making easy-to-install software by mimicking the Windows way of installing via the use of a setup wizard.

The file manager of the OS, you can see a lot of inspiration from the Windows XP silver Luna theme via the button bar and the style of the icons which mimic Windows Explorer, yet the taskbar still has the Windows 2000 feel to it.

Two MP3 files come bundled with the OS, showcasing the multimedia capabilities. One is a typical pop song of the era, and the other is an audio voice thanking you for choosing Lindows. Kind of similar to how Windows ME included that Beck song, or that David Grey song in Windows XP

XMMS still looks like an OS X Aqua program with version 1.2.7 is used here. Also, our sound drivers are working! (AC97)

Images can be previewed within the file manager itself

Right-clicking can bring up a context menu that lists the different actions available

File properties window

It’s also possible to split view the file manager, like an earlier version of Windows snap though this gives it a total commander feel to it.

Clicking on the icon that looks like a lifeboat jacket brings a menu with a list of tutorials, and link for further help online. Like the earlier tutorial, it’s all drivers in Macromedia Flash 6.

Printers control panel, which uses the KDE Control Module. Here print jobs can be managed and canceled for physical and virtual document printers.

There are a few printers supported, but I don’t own any of them to test. It does give a few options for the type of printers, including SMB network-connected printers. USB is also supported, with the list corresponding to the amount of USB ports the machine has?

Quite a few options here, I guess the user has to trial and error them to see what works best? There are further options remaining for setting the borders of the page, the option to share the printer on the network and setting a page limit quota.

The Control Panel has had a slight redesign, let’s see what’s changed.

A few themes are included, with some mimicking your favorite OS. The default Lindows theme has been altered compared to previous versions.

I’m sure this was the wallpaper used on some Sony DVD players when they were idle (Powered on without a disc inserted)

A few of the included screensavers, the Virtual Machine one made me think the OS was self-aware in how was being run

One of the benefits of Linux is every element can be customized, and that trickled down into KDE and Lindows itself. Different aspects of the UI can be tweaked to your benefit. This won’t apply to most users who would rather pick from a default theme or style and use them, but is a nice option for power users.

Not much change has been made to the bundled applications, in-fact the only notable addition is the Wifi utility which is based on KWifiManager. I guess this only supports 802.11b networks using WEP, anything beyond that is unsupported.

A readme file written and left for us by Jack Donaldson explains some of the elements of their start menu and the file directories. Thanks Jack! 

I wonder if he’s still involved with Linux?

An extended look at the control panel, here we can find information about our system like the memory usage, I gave the OS 512MB which seems to be plenty. Information about the installed hardware can also be viewed in a similar manner to the Windows Device Manager

Shutting down Lindows

The Sims Superstar

Sims get their 15 minutes…

The sixth expansion pack where sims can get famous by following specific careers such as Acting, becoming a Model or a musician (Even though careers for these existed in the base game, and sims in those existing careers already do not gain any fame) It also introduced a new studio town community lot and a set of new objects.

Studio Town and Fame

Studio Town has a very 1950s Hollywood theme to it, since this was considered the golden era of Hollywood on which Studio Town is based on. Many lots consist of shopping sections, but will also cater to various different types of fame, with some being geared towards music, acting or fashion/modelling. Even if your sim is not part of the fame career, regular sims can still visit lots as guests and can interact with most of the objects.

To get to Studio Town, your sim will need to call for transportation, which will take them to Studio Town, from the lot select screen, you can highlight lots that cater to either fashion, acting, music, shopping or spa locations. Like other commercial lots, studio town can he customized by the player by entering a lot directly from the neighborhood view. Objects are grouped by the type and function of studio town lots (Food, Shops, Studio and Spa)

Also if you’ve played The Sims Bustin Out, some of the buy mode music will sound familiar 😉

Fame is measured through a level represented by stars, with sims staring out at level 0. Higher levels let your sim have access to further opportunities and will change the vehicle used to transport you to Studio Town, eventually being transported in a custom limousine.

At 0 stars you will only have access to karaoke or open mics which makes sense for the musician or acting paths, but not for modeling. As you level up you will have access to photo shoots and print adverts.
Getting 1 star lets you record Jingles at a recording studio, and 1.5 stars let’s you record a TV commercial. As you progress, more fame objects will become available for your sim to use. You will also notice your sims name in the Who’s Hot section of the Superstar leaflet.

The maximum is 5 stars, which will give you access to all fame objects and opportunities on the Studio Town lots.


DSTS Satellite Dish – Adds a few extra channels to all televisions on the lot, increasing the fun rating depending on your Sims personality and interests. Its appearance is similar to the old BUD C-band dishes that were huge (around 3m in diameter) that was common in the 80s, compared to the smaller satellite dishes that can fit on your house.

Ponce de Leon Tub – Increases your sims hygiene and comfort but is very time-consuming to use. It takes nearly a sim hour for them to get out, with is bad to use it before they go to work.

Whisper Steam Personal Steamer – A steamer for your sim, increases hygiene and comfort.

Flatscreen TV – a television that can be wall mounted to save space, and gives the same motive increase as the plasma screen does.

Uncle Roger’s Culinary Offerings – A buffet table similar to what was included in House Party or On Holiday, your sim just needs to set it for a fee and sims can grab a variety of meals from it.

The Face of Shakespeare – A high end bookcase that has an additional option to practice soliloquy which increases the charisma skill

Scuba Tank – Sims can enter this tank, although it takes some time for them to enter it. Increases their fun score.

Galileo’s Free-For-All – A mini skydiving simulator

Energize! Oxygen Bar – A bar that sims can sit down on, increases comfort and fun, and social if multiple sims use it

Movie Posters – These can be purchased in Studio Town and then can be decorated into your sims home when they return. Your sim will place them on the nearest surface, which you can then placed in build mode.


Butler – Alternative to the maid, although he does much more (gardening, greeting and preparing meals) and stays for a lot longer.

Obsessed Fan – Appears after your sim gains two or more stars, these will follow your sim around studio town and will appear randomly on your lot. They may also rummage through your sims trash and leave black roses on their lot. Having a butler helps shoo them away.

Lana -A helper NPC that your sim can use to find out different aspects of Superstar like the fame system, fans awards and name dropping to boost social.

Celebrities – A few real life celebrities appear int he game like Marylin Monroe, Avril Lavigne and . Additional celebrity NPCs could also be downloaded from The Sims website and have been archived. Andy Warhol also appears as one of the fashion set managers.


Studio town was a nice addition to The Sims but was lacking in several places, especially with the residential lots. Where are the mansions, studio apartments and condo’s for the sims to live in? The fame careers could have been integrated better as the base game already features a musician and actor career paths, neither of these have any effect in studio town.

The Sims 3 Late night is considered the spiritual successor for The Sims 3, the closest for Sims 2 would be Nightlife, but that’s more geared with Hot Date.