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Win95 FAQ Part 3 of 14: Usage
Section - 3.6. Should I buy these new fancy utilities for Win95?

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Top Document: Win95 FAQ Part 3 of 14: Usage
Previous Document: 3.5. Some MS-DOS utilities are missing. Where can I get them?
Next Document: 3.7. Top ten mistakes running Windows 3.x programs
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     * 3.6.1. ...Norton Navigator (TM) ? 
       
   If you used Norton Desktop you'll instantly miss FileAssist and those
   cool toys. I suppose it's OK, but a system running Navigator requires
   more RAM than Win95's Explorer does by itself. Expect additional disk
   swapping after installing this.
   
   New users should just try Explorer for a while first. There's no real
   point to buying a shell extension when you don't know how to use the
   default shell. After all, <soapbox>why would Microsoft spend so much
   time developing this interface, only to have you buy enhancements for
   it?</soapbox> Such shell extenders are really for power users only.

     * 3.6.2. ...uninstallers? 
       
   A must-have, if you run many old Win 3.1 programs. Make sure you
   obtain a Designed for Windows 95 version; Win 3.1 uninstallers
   don't recognize the Registry, where Win95 stores most of its
   configuration info.
   
   Be very careful of installing Win95 programs with such an uninstaller
   active. Designed for Win95 apps include their own uninstaller, and if
   you use the utility's uninstaller instead of the program's own, the
   uninstaller can remove more than it's supposed to. It could also
   remove less. CleanSweep 95 (TM), for example, warns you to this
   effect. Heed that warning!
   
   The publishers of uninstallers are preying on the fear of new Win95
   users that they HAVE to use a "professional uninstaller" for even
   Designed for 95 apps. Get serious. If a program can't uninstall itself
   it doesn't deserve the logo. Complain to them, or to Microsoft, who
   awarded the logo rights to them.

     * 3.6.3. ...anti-virus programs? 
       
   Again, Designed for Windows 95 is the key. Otherwise, run the
   anti-virus software outside of Win95.

     * 3.6.4. ...Microsoft Plus (TM) ? 
       
   Also a must-have, if you have a fast machine. System Agent makes up
   most of the purchase price by itself, running maintenance programs
   like ScanDisk and Defrag unattended.
   
   The other cool stuff that comes with it are for power users only,
   though its web browser will get you started on The Internet with
   minimal fuss. Later on you can install Netscape Navigator or MS
   Internet Explorer 2.0, or even NCSA Mosaic like me, to replace
   this cheap web browser.
   
   4.00.950B users should turn off the DriveSpace 3 and Internet Tools
   from MS Plus's setup, because the 950B versions are newer (MSIE 3.0
   and DriveSpace 3).

     * 3.6.5. ...RAM compression programs? 
       
   Yeah right. Build Washboard Abs in three weeks. "I was a 98 pound
   weakling until I installed SoftRAM 95." RAM compression only works
   when there's a defined API for accessing data RAM, as there is a
   defined API for accessing disks, and there is no such thing in Win95.
   At least, there's no way to regulate how the program accesses any RAM
   it allocates.
   
   Save yourself the hundreds of dollars of invested time and buy more
   RAM instead. These programs were great for Win 3.1, where they fixed
   inadequacies in the operating system. Win95 has considerably more
   horsepower by itself, but it thrives on a 16 MB system for running the
   big mainstream apps. MS Works 4.0, however, will run on an 8 MB system
   effortlessly. Try the techniques in Swap file & caching theory to
   speed up the system and run more programs.
   
   If you really need the power to run 100 programs at once, buy a big
   computer and install Windows NT, which will run all the Win95 apps
   anyway. Then you'll have no resource limitations, no swap file
   limitations, in fact, no DOS limitations.

     * 3.6.6. ...crash-proofing utilities? 
       
   Fear mongering fuels the sales of utilities that promise to keep your
   system crash-proof. Here's my own analysys of some of their claims:
    1. "Stops programs from crashing so you can save your work." OK, I
       can buy this one. Only trouble is, what state is your work in
       during mid-crash?
    2. "Warns you in advance of HD failures." So can ScanDisk if you run
       it daily (Buy MS Plus for 1/2 the price of some of these utilities
       and get a lot more!)
    3. "Takes the risk out of adding new programs and cards." So does the
       Designed for Windows 95 logo. Speaking of which, how many of
       these crash-proofing utilities bear the logo? I can count them
       without any fingers. :-)
    4. "Your personal 24-hour a day expert." Just read this FAQ and
       others.
       
   I can also refute a lot of these claims with two words: "Broken
   Computer." If your computer is in such a state that it's constantly
   crashing, your HD's failing, and you can't add new cards or software,
   it's probably broken. A visit to your service centre with warranty
   slip in hand will probably cost a lot less than one of these packages.
   

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Top Document: Win95 FAQ Part 3 of 14: Usage
Previous Document: 3.5. Some MS-DOS utilities are missing. Where can I get them?
Next Document: 3.7. Top ten mistakes running Windows 3.x programs

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM