The Old New Thing

An insight into the Windows 95 startup sound

Doo, dudududingggggg.... ding.... ding... ding... In an interview with Joel Selvin at the San Francisco Chronicle, Brian Eno explains. Q: How did you come to compose "The Microsoft Sound"? A: The idea came up at the time when I was completely bereft of ideas. ...

Why is there no programmatic access to the Start menu pin list?

We learned our lesson the hard way. In Windows 95, we gave programmatic access to the Start menu "Fast items" list - the items that appear at the top of the Start menu above the Programs list. This area was meant for the user to customize with their favorite links, but programs quickly ...

Hardware backwards compatibility

Backwards compatibility applies not only to software. It also applies to hardware. And when hardware goes bad, the software usually takes the blame. The HLT instruction tells the CPU to shut itself down until the next hardware interrupt. This is a big win on laptops since it reduces power ...

Windows brings out the Rorschach test in everyone

It seems that no matter what you do, somebody will get offended. Every Windows 95 box has an anti-piracy hologram on the side. The photographer chose his infant son as his model, since the human face is very hard to copy accurately. The baby sits next to a computer, and as you turn the hologram...

Why isn't my time zone highlighted on the world map?

In the original release of Windows 95, you could change your time zone by clicking on the map, and the time zone you selected would highlight. Similarly, you could change your Region Settings by clicking on the world map. This was one of those little touches that made Windows 95 that much more fun to use...

What is in the "Windows 95 Special Edition" box?

At the Windows 95 Launch and at various other marketing events, guests were given a copy of "Windows 95 Special Edition". What is so special about the box? Answer: The box. The contents of the box are exactly the same as a regular copy of Windows 95. The only thing special ...

Why does Windows 95 have functions called BEAR, BUNNY and PIGLET?

If you dig back into your Windows 95 files, you'll find that some internal system functions are given names like BEAR35, BUNNY73 and PIGLET12. Surely there is a story behind these silly names, isn't there? Of course there is. "Bear" is the name of the Windows 3.1 mascot, a stuffed teddy ...

Why can't I remove "for test/evaluation purposes only"?

"Why can't I remove 'for test/evaluation purposes only'? I know I'm running an evaluation edition, I don't need it rubbed in my face." This prevents unscrupulous OEMs from selling machines with the evaluation edition of the product instead of the retail version. (Yes, this has happened before. ...