Nostalgia Alert: Windows 95 in the Browser

Do you miss the nineties and the early days of visual interfaces for the mass market? If you do, I have a functional version of Windows 95 that doesn’t need to be installed for you.

I’ll admit it, this is an article for the lunch break, but this project made me feel nostalgic. The execution is actually impressive from a technological viewpoint, even though the project is two years old already.

20 Year Old Developer Recreates 20 Year Old OS

The Scottish developer Andrea Faulds, who’s younger than Windows 95, managed to bring a nearly fully functional version of the ancient OS to your browser. No plugins or other tricks are needed here. This Windows 95 runs via Javascript in the browser. For the execution as a browser app, Faulds used the runtime compiler Emscripten, that compiles C and C++ to the runtime in JavaScript.

Win95: As Much of a Puzzle As Ever

You should be aware that “working” with this emulation is more of a puzzle than anything, as the image buildup and the reaction times are very slow. This might actually match the performance from back then. After all, humans don’t have a good memory for pain. Maybe, we’ve simply forgotten the slowness of the ’95 Windows.

One thing that I like a lot is that the feeling of nostalgia will vanish pretty quickly, once you realize what modern OS actually have to offer in comparison. I don’t think anyone actually wants Windows 95 back. Everything was better in the old days, my ass. More like “We had nothing”.

Even the Unstable Internet Explorer is Here

The perfect match with the original is the fact that the Internet Explorer crashes all the time. Faulds did a great job with that :) Microsoft Pain is available too, allowing you to keep creating awful graphics if you want to.

Oh boy, Minesweeper looked horrible back then, and I won’t even talk about Solitaire. It impressed us nonetheless. I can still remember dozens of lunch breaks spent with Solitaire.

Go Ahead, Waste Your Time

Windows 95 for the browser is still a veritable way to waste your lunch break, and to follow nostalgic emotions. Of course, this implies that you have been able to use a computer in 1995. Otherwise, you won’t care about this Win95 emulation at all.

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