For those too young to have developed a weird Pavlovian arousal to the sound of a modem booting up, know that for many, Windows 95 was the first foray into the new cyber age of computers. It's the foundation upon which much of our modern computing experiences were built. And finally, we've given this piece of history the highest honor of our time: There's an app for it.
As of yesterday, we can all return to the glory of Windows 95 at the click of a trackpad. Felix Rieseberg, a Slack developer, has released Windows 95 in electron, a new and comprehensive app version of the ancient software. Taking up a mere 128 MB (or 92 floppy disks) of space, the entire OS now runs smoothly on Windows, Mac, and Linux (there's no word yet on an IBM OS/2 release). And booting up the ol' nag, it surprising how much it still resembles our modern Windows experience -- though an experience that looks less like a shiny slice of futurism and more like an old piece of accounting software wearing one of Guy Fieri's shirts.
But that doesn't answer the most important question: Will this app run your old Age Of Empires save file? Amazingly, Rieseberg's Windows 95 has almost all of the original OS's functionality. You can doodle in Paint, play Solitaire or Minesweeper, and even write your Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fanfic in WordPad. It even runs old DOS classics like Doom (though there are more stable and more ridiculous ways to play the shooter). The only issue is that Internet Explorer refuses to connect to any web pages, but that just makes it a 100 percent authentic experience.
Rieseberg's app is by no means the first attempt to drag Windows 95 into modern hardware. Developers have even managed to launch neolithic software on several smartwatches. But while those ports felt like the gimmicks they were, this Windows 95 is more like a curated museum-like reflection of the past, the digital equivalent of visiting a Renaissance faire. So if you're in a nostalgic mood, or want to walk for a day in your ancestor's Air Jordans, strap on a pocket protector and head over to GitHub.
For excerpts from Cedric's Star Trek fanfic, "Elim & Dax's Bogus Journey," you can follow him on Twitter.
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