Urgent: Q about W98 v. XP.

I started with computers back in 1981 and went through DOS, Win 1.0 and every version up to W98SE, which now use on my two desktops and old laptop. I have used XP, but as I have vision problems, there does not seem to be any way to tweak at as can with W98 to enlarge the icons, type, change colors, and make menus and dialog boxes larger and bright colors. Even on a 19-inch moniter everything is too tiny. I’ve got W98 exactly the way I like it and XP annoys the hell out of me. Everything take more clicks and keystrokes to do the simplest things.

Anyhow, ranting aside, I just ordered and recieved today, a really neat subnotebook with the 10-inch screen that only weighs a couple of pounds. I will have no problem reading a tweaked W98 on a screen that size. It has everything I would like, but of course like all computers (curse you, Bill Gates), it came with XP.

**I still have the W98SE installation disks for my old laptop which have to junk. What do y’all think about my formatting the HDD, and installing my 98? **

Can you even DO that with the damned XP? If so, how? All the stuff on the old Start menu has changed, the Windows Explorer must be hidden somewhere that have not been able to find, and most of the other useful programs that Win has had for years are either gone or well hidden.

I’ve got to decide by Monday, and if can’t do that, will have to return it, so will really appreciated any advice or suggestions. Other than biting the bullet and using XP, which cannot with my poor eyesight. I assume it has some programs that let you read larger type, but am sure it does not enlarge everything. Most of the dialog boxes that come up now not only have itsy bitsy tiny type, but it is in a pale blue color can’t read even with a magnifying glass. Bummer!

I regularly reinstall XP by booting with a Win98 floppy and using Fdisk.
You might have a problem with drivers.

Right-click the desktop and select properties
Click the Advanced tab
In the Item dropdown, select Icon
Change the size with the size spinbutton, or type in a new size directly.

Start - Programs - Accessories - Accessibility Wizard

Start - Programs - Accessories - Windows Explorer

Such as?

What’s the native resolution of that 10-inch screen? (And if you’ve got bad eyes, why did you buy such a tiny one in the first place?)

An LCD will be ugly at anything other than its native resolution. I’m sure you can select 800x600, but if the native is 1024x768, the display will be blocky and blurry.

There are some high-contrast color schemes in XP specifically for people with low vision - have you tried them?

I’m not trying to make light of your vision problem - I’ve got a co-worker who’s running their PC at 800x600 on a 22" CRT, so I have at least a little understanding of what you’re dealing with.

As for reverting the thing to Win98 - it may or may not work. As carnivorousplant said, drivers will be the biggest problem. You can get the video to work with the bog-standard Microsoft SVGA driver, but things like wireless (or even wired) networking, and USB devices that didn’t exist in 1998 will give you fits.

Windows Explorer is most easily invoked by holding down the Windows Logo key and hitting E

What he said.

The fact that XP is loaded won’t keep you from booting off a Win 98 startup disk, deleting any partitions, re-partitioning, re-formatting and installing 98. XP isn’t some magic monster; it’s just another operating system.

IIRC the standard Win 98 license agreement allows you to move it to a new machine, as long as it’s taken off the old one. Some OEM versions, however, could be different. You need to check those.

Some things to think about, however:

As carnivorousplant notes, you may not be able to get drivers for the newer hardware that are compatible with 98. That would be a show stopper.

XP is a much more stable OS than 98. MUCH more stable.

XP has built in support for things like USB devices, and on a laptop I find myself using lots of USB devices. Most require no special drivers, or install automatically and so quickly you hardly notice it. These kinds of things are usually much more hassle under 98.

More and more software is being written without regard to backward compatibility with Win 98. You may one day find that 98 will not run current versions of your favorite software.

As both Mangetout and Askance point out, there are ways to set XP for folks with vision impairments. As far as I know, there are more options in XP than there were in 98, not less.

So you may be doing yourself a disservice by going back 98. There is a learning curve with XP, but it’s fairly small, and with even a little time using it, most people find it easier to use than 98. Food for thought.

Click Start

About halfway up the right hand column of items, just below the “MY whatever” folders, where the color changes,

Click Control Panel

On the top left, Click the underscored Switch to Classic View

Find the Display icon and Click it

Click the Settings tab

From there it should look enough like 98SE for you to choose 800 x 600 if you really want to.

Thanks for the Accessibility Wiz info. I’ll spend tomorrow trying to read that with my magnifying glass and see if can get things looking larger. Just went through it on my desktop, and it looks promising.

More thanks to all for the other suggestions and ideas. Will spend some time trying to get it to work better.

As I said in my post, I can handle a 10-in screen if only the type and icons are not microscopic. :slight_smile: I got this size notebook so can be carried and easily used where a full size won’t work for me. I can even cope with my PDA screen with a magnifying glass. It’s just odd that XP has so much space on the desktop, yet makes everything so tiny. I think the Wiz may fix all that.

I playing around with the owner’s manual in Adobe, magnifying the type made it very readable for me, so have hopes.

Will see what can accomplish. Thanks again, everybody.

Ha, success! The Accessibility Wiz did the job, and now have a desktop, menus, dialog boxes, etc that can be read by a human.

Even found a larger cursor.

This little Panasonic R4 is a marvel, only 2.2 lbs, battery life up to 9 hours (probably 4-5 realistically), and only 9x7x1 inches. Only sold in Japan, but one outfit, Dynamism, buys them, installs English Win and sells them here.

Huh? The screen is bigger than the outside dimensions?

Sounds like a nifty device, even with the magic screen! Do they make a 17" version? :smiley:

The screen’s measurement refers to the diagonal; 9x7 would have a diagonal of the squareroot of 112, or nearly 11 inches. Sadly, technology has not progressed far enough yet to keep a bigscreen TV in our pockets. :slight_smile:

Depends on how big your pockets are.


You know, I knew that, but my brain mustn’t have been working.

Teaches me right for trying to be a smartass.