Jesus n' Jim


picture of me

Jim Michaels


CompTIA A+ Certified for life (HW+OS) 4/2005 (use code 71GZ36DDDP1QKERG)

CompTIA certifcation logo
Note: this site can have downtime during upgrades and debugging, in which the menus disappear etc.
I am using a breadcrumb menu from O'reilly Publishing's CSS Cookbook. it's a good starting reference book.
-----Right now, site is down for upgrades-----.

Vancouver Time

This is a 0-page PC-oriented site, though I do have places for Mac tidbits. I am learning bits more about the Mac and ios/macos as I go along. macos uses objective C the last time I checked. ios might use obj c or it may use (fill in name of its current scripting language). mingw-w64 has such a compiler, but its runtimes may not be compatible. I have found out that for me.

having problems right now

Windows EOL Schedule

This is the Windows End-Of-Life (EOL) Schedule. this means that updates will be cut off after times listed below for given OS, and recovery discs will no longer be availbel for sale (means you must buy a new machine if you don't have discs). Windows 7 retail is no longer for sale, only windows 8.1 is left Windows 10 is left and it's somewhere between 7 and 8.1 for productivity and not quite as user-hostile as 8.1 (I hear it's faster than 8.1, but is it faster than 7? what about XP?).

98 last End-Of-Life(EOL) dates:
Recovery Discs
service packs
last updates
98SE last End-Of-Life(EOL) dates:
Recovery Discs
service packs
last updates
ME last End-Of-Life(EOL) dates:
Recovery Discs
service packs
last updates
2000 last End-Of-Life(EOL) dates:
Recovery Discs
service packs
last updates
XP last End-Of-Life(EOL) dates:
Recovery Discs
service packs
last updates
XP Embedded last End-Of-Life(EOL) dates:
Recovery Discs
Service Packs
last updates
Vista last End-Of-Life(EOL) dates:
Recovery Discs
Service Packs
last updates
7 last End-Of-Life(EOL) dates:
Recovery Discs
Service Packs
last updates
8 last End-Of-Life(EOL) dates, same as 8.1:
Recovery Discs
Service Packs
last updates
8.1 last End-Of-Life(EOL) dates, same as 8:
Recovery Discs
Service Packs
last updates
10 preview expires:
10 last End-Of-Life(EOL) dates:
Recovery Discs
Service Packs
last updates

See XP EOL table, Vista EOL Table, 7 EOL Table, 8 EOL Table, 8.1 EOL Table, 10 EOL Table, .

-----I was using HTML manifests on some of my calculator apps on this site, which made it possible to run the app locally, even on a plane, which sounded like a nice feature, but the browser made it sound so horrible to visitors that I decided to take the feature off. "This site wants to store files locally, are you sure you want to allow this?" firefox would say. from now on, my browser apps don't use this feature.----

This site is simply here for informational purposes, but visit the fun section anyway. You will find a lot of information on computers. I update or create some page pretty much weekly. I just fixed a REALLY ANNOYING bug in my time library, this should fix the browser hang problems some of you may have been experiencing. yay! it was in 2 lines of code, 1 in error detection logic...

Windows 8.1 does not have a start menu. it has a start button. this was not what we wanted. some people groups like win8.1 and some don't. I still don't like where this is going - I don't like having to logon thru the internet to use the box. I know people who want the machine offline. I need a nice powerful desktop, not a toy tablet to work on (may still get one for platform-target testing purposes), I develop programs and do number crunching. so I bought the desktop equivalent of a workstation.

Critical Fixes

Parts availability Notices - what you and I can't get

  • windows xp and xp recovery media. updates will be unavailable in 2014 it looks like - product is EOL (End Of Life). (I kept old service packs) - you can still use yours if you have a set of recovery cds or an original windows disc. recovery discs are no longer avaiable.
  • windows 2000 and service packs are no longer available (I have service packs I have kept)
  • windows NT in any version and service packs are no longer available (however, I have an official disc for NT4 SP6a with IE6 SP1 you can use on win98/me to upgrade the browser)
  • windows 98 and me and their updates are no longer available (however, I have an official disc for NT4 SP6a with IE6 SP1 you can use on win98/me to upgrade the browser)
  • windows 3.x is no longer available, although on a pentium motherboard with the max 32MiB it just pops!
  • motherboards no longer offer real floppy controllers as of 2012. apparently, there are no analog floppy controller chips available that work on the PCI-e bus. there is a kind of workaround you can do, a bus conversion from ISA to PCI and then from PCI to PCI-e. it requires 2 extra chips, but no manufacturer is willing to do it because it's probably not going to generate a lot of cash inflow, and floppies are considered a dead product right now anyway. their only use would be fore software preservation. for a usb-to-analog floppy controller, google kyroflux, you may have to make your own pried circuit board, it's open source hardware.
  • cdrom/cdrw drives - dvd burners are now the thing. you might be able to pick these up at a computer recycler
  • as of 2/2013, IDE/ATAPI/PATA DVD burners are no longer available on the market - except 1. WORKAROUND:
  • Distributed File System (System Services for the Windows Server 2003 Family and Windows XP Operating Systems): this file for most users should have its outgoing ports blocked in your firewall (e.g. Norton, mcafee, ca antivirus, etc.).
  • teac USB Floppies mitsui or matsushita I think which are the best models are no longer available through any means I have looked at. don't worry about mislabeling if you find one. these permit formatting. the USB makes it act like a digital device, not analog like floppies usually are, so you really can't use one of these for Spinrite well for data recovery on floppies.
  • as of 2012-2013, motherboards no longer offer 3.5" minidiskette/floppy drives. you can get new drives here.
  • as of 2012, motherboards no longer offer IDE/ATAPI/PATA
  • 30GiB, 120GB, and probably soon 500GB drives are no longer avaliable for windows 9x/me/NT4 machines. do not use and SSD on these OS's (no support for TRIM). you MIGHT be able to try NT4 and an 8GiB memory card (max disk size limit NT4) or SSD preferably SLC and this OS is so small it should "pop" as far as speed goes.

As per Microsoft regulations, XP Recovery Media can no longer be sold. sorry folks. if you didn't make recovery discs or you lost yours, you have several choices:

  • buy a new computer and get used to the new OS (maybe buy a book on it)
  • buy a used computer that DOES come with recovery discs (very little chance of this, people are in the habit these days of wiping the machine before selling, which removes the OS recovery partition), and 99% of the time you don't get recovery discs
  • buy a used computer that has a recovery partition
  • buy a new Windows Retail (full) OS for $119-$199 - most of the drivers you need are built-in. 32-bit XP Mode is available in Pro and Ultimate, requires Microsoft Virtual PC (get latest version) and is licensed for 1 cpu - you have to manually install it. Maybe buy a book on it. upgrade your CPU, mobo, RAM first while you have the chance for something that supports virtualization!
  • if necessary, get help from a techie friend and install a favorite distribution of linux I usually think of
    • OpenSuse linux (not all that great for installing software)
    • Fedora linux
    • Ubuntu linux
    • edubuntu for college students and kids
    • reactos (windows clone still in alpha stages)
    • linux mint
    • turnkey linux (for business servers)
    • zentyal linux (for business "office" servers)
    • debian linux (comes on a blu-ray-DL disk)
    . in fact, linux live cd's like gparted can be used to fix and repartition and backup windows systems...
  • see if there is a trade-up/trade-in program for your machine via the manufacturer
  • recycle the machine at a local computer recycling shop
  • if your system is running, use it till it drops.

Software hosting at 2TB@25¢/GB which is max $500/2TB pay for what you need (3/16/2016) is the only anon FTP hosting place around except for maybe akamai. also check out they I think have global software delivery (FTP?) and e-commerce hosting with PCI Compliance and software/content delivery and content streaming. and are for open source software.

about win9x/NT4

30GiB drives are no longer avaliable for windows 98/me machines. try for refurb 120GB drives (a larger drive like 500GB-1TB should work, but have possible wasted space), those should work. you will need to partition them into 30-32GiB partitions.
do NOT use an SSD on win9x. only win2k and above can use SSD's because of lack of support for TRIM.
browser limitations for win98 are: ff 3.x, IE5.5-6.0
one problem with larger drives than 120GB is that the BIOS may not see beyond 127GiB due to a BIOS limitation, and motherboards circa win2k had that limitation. a larger drive may work fine except for that. win98 browser can use firefox 3.22 I think. see the table below for how to partition an existing drive into chunks windows 98/me can use (no more than 24 letters!) - nobody said you have to use the whole disk! and you can put another OS on it too!:
Windows 98/me maximum-sized FAT32/vfat partition partitions for up to disk IF mobo supports >127GiB barrier. and allowing for reservation of drive letters for Optical drives and Floppies
partition number Drive Letter partition size in GiB sum of size (disk size in GB)
the maximum size usable by most windows 9x boxes will be about 127GiB due to the old BIOS and possibly the chipsets. NT4's limitation is 8GiB. usually it's the BIOS. if you are fortunate enough to have a BIOS update which fixes the problem, then you have a chance to fix the problem and use a bigger disk like a 500GB. extra space cannot be usedI think would be ignored. WORKAROUND: a refurbished 80 or 120GB drive might work just fine. motherboard which have the old 127GiB/137GB limits you can mitigate by installing a SATA CARD that has a BIOS.

what programming is like for me

about my programming

The languages I currently use for development are:

  • NSIS installer
  • C++
  • PHP
  • SQL
  • Per
  • 386 Assembler
  • 6800 Assembler (easy to relearn)
  • 6502 Assembler (easy to relearn)
  • JavaScript
  • BASIC-like languages
  • flex
  • bison
  • Java (re-learning, have book, only look up info I need at the time)
  • minimal stuff with Flash.
  • Tcl (have a book though)
  • whatever is thrown at me pretty much... - except LISP - it ties my mind in knots.

Languages I used in College

  • Actor (dervative of Smalltalk)
  • Modula-2
  • C
  • C++
  • Pascal
  • 8086 Assembler
  • P/byte-Code interpreter
  • languages we wrote/compiled/ran with specifications given by the instructor

Certifications have not benefitted me and seem to be a waste of my resources. I know basically what I can do.

Windows GUI programming I've been trying to tackle using only the Win32 API. Now I would like to work with combo boxes and list boxes without using a resource editor, and using mingw and mingw-w64. I might end up using a GUI toolkit to make everything easier because the message passing system of windows is a pain.

I think I could do embedded systems given some practice.

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useful stuff for windows