back to article Chap runs Windows 95 on Android Wear

Enfant terrible Corbin Davenport, a 16 year-old coder who has in the past ported Minecraft to Samsung Gear and Doom to Android Wear has pulled off another stunt: getting Windows 95 to run on the wearable device. Davenport's had to speed up the video of Windows 95 booting by 25 times in order to make the film below palatable. …

  1. Cliff

    Enfant Terrible

    Sounds better than Terrible Child.

    But yay for him doing this truly pointless and rather cool trick, it speaks of good things to come for/from him if education doesn't knock the spirit out of him.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why would anyone want to spend time on something like this?

      I could think of 10 million more ways to use my time more constructively, the first being a trip to the pub for a pint.

      1. fruitoftheloon

        Ac,

        perhaps because they have more imagination than you and there idea of 'fun' is different to yours?

        Imagine if everyone on the planet was identical to you, there would be no-one to snipe at...

        J

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @fruitoftheloom

          imagination? So why not use it and then make something useful? Most people can put together an IKEA lamp stand but very few can make one from scratch.

          As for fun, the pint is only the start....

          1. fruitoftheloon

            Re: @fruitoftheloom

            It's fruitofthelooN, please pay attention when you are trying to insult someone.

            If everybody was designing/making lamps we would all freeze before we starved to death.

            Btw I like beer too!

            Now chill out a bit dear....

          2. DougS Silver badge

            @AC "So why not ... make something useful?"

            How do you think people who are able to make the really useful things learn? It sure isn't through playing by the rules, and doing only that which others deem "useful".

            I always thought the best way to learn how something works is to try to get it to do things it isn't supposed to do. Don't limit others just because it doesn't fit your pitifully narrow world view of how the creative process works.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Imagination?

          There would be no room in the pub and it would be so full of bores no one else would want to go there anyway!

          1. Nuke
            Holmes

            Re: Imagination?

            "There would be no room in the pub and it would be so full of bores no one else would want to go there anyway!"

            Already is.

            BTW, the "Guru" in the O2 advert on the right : isn't that Rolf Harris?

      2. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

        Why would anyone want to spend time on something like this?

        To quote George Mallory, "Because it's there".

        Sometimes, the challenge is the most important reason.

        It also minds me of my bosses attitude: "No time spent coding is wasted time". Of course he will be pissed off if we delay a project because something we did hasn't worked out, but we will have learned something in doing so.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Dr. Mouse

          To quote George Mallory, "Because it's there".

          And look what happened to him.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I can see it now

        "So you're the person that put Win 95 on an Androis smart phone? Wow that was so cool, well done, oh and can you put some salt and vinegar on the chips, thanks"

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Why the negativity? Surely many of us here have derived some satisfaction from getting something to work - even if it shouldn't? The end result isn't useful, but the process has been a challenge and has honed his technical skills and perseverance.

          You might as well not bother attempting a crossword in a newspaper today - y'know, 'cos it's easier to wait until the paper prints the answers tomorrow.

      4. wikkity
        Pint

        RE: Why would anyone want to

        Once upon a time I'd have disagreed with you like the rest. Now I'm a lot older, survived kids and far too much work, a pint now sounds like a much better option to me.

        1. proud2bgrumpy

          Re: RE: Why would anyone want to

          Of course it's pointless - and THAT is the point. Being able to show it working (badly) just demonstrates capability and possibilities, perhaps just succinctly shows how much computing has progressed in the 20 years since Windows 95. Here are some other things that you might think are meaningless / pointless / have no obvious purpose: Football / Personal Hygiene / Lasers / Politeness / Wasps / Music / Lists like this one

      5. David Webb

        I could think of 10 million more ways to use my time more constructively, the first being a trip to the pub for a pint.

        Am I reading this correctly, you're suggesting a 16 year old to go down the pub and have a pint? Maybe you should stop drinking so much, it seems to have destroyed one too many of your brain cells.

      6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Flame

        "I could think of 10 million more ways to use my time more constructively"

        I'm sure you could, but this kid is only 16 years old FFS. His idea of fun is just so different from yours it's on another planet. In a different solar system. In a Galaxy far, far away.

        At 16, he's probably more interested in showing off to his friends and saying, "hey, look at this shit. Just like grandad used to have but mine's in a watch instead of a huge beige box"

  2. jzlondon

    Not what it seems

    He says in the captions of the video itself that he's using "... ADosBox which is available on the Play store". So what he's done is load an app onto the watch, then load a Win95 vhd (probably downloaded neat off the internet) onto that, probably using the app's own UI.

    Interesting exercise, and points for originality, but hardly the display of virtuoso hacking you're making it out to be. Even for a sixteen year old.

    I'm not dissin', just sayin'.

    1. jzlondon

      Re: Not what it seems

      The real kudos goes to the people developing aDosBox in the first place, but they didn't install Windows 95 on it and attract your Mayfly-like attention :)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Similar thing happened years ago

    A program (called bochs, I think) allowed Windows to be run on WinMo smartphones. Cripplingly slow, but definitely possible even on the 400Mhz prcessors of the day.

    Well done to the kid for thinking of this, but running Windows badly on ARM isn't a new trick.

  4. Amorous Cowherder

    OK, kudos to him he's young and wants to do something cool with technology and fair play him, if he was my kid I'd be proud of him. However running Win95 inside DosBox is hardly groundbreaking, there's plenty of guides out there that will walk you through doing it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh god, if one of my kids tried to put windows on their devices I'd feel ashamed.

  5. JDX Gold badge

    I know it's a joke

    But W8 isn't a bad a touch-OS. It's a good touch-OS which is being sold as a non-touch OS.

  6. Carbon life unit 5,232,556

    Jeez,

    Computerised S&M

  7. Mint Sauce
    Thumb Up

    More of this sort of thing

    So what if it's 'just' running on DOSBox? W95 is older than he is and it's a bit of good old fashioned tinkering-for-the-hell-of-it fun.

    Then again, I am [very] easily amused - as the other day I RDP'd into my windows 8 work machine from my nexus 7 and showed everyone how I'd got TIFKAM running on Android ;-)

    Hey ho!

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: More of this sort of thing

      Likewise, running Windows 3.1 on an Amiga in an MSDOS emulator was fun, if ultimately pointless. It worked but was so slow I noticed that the windows 3.1 boot logo is drawn line by line from the bottom up :-)

  8. eJ2095

    nice

    Lol i like it fun to do....

    Reminds me when tried to get win98 to run on teh first xbox

    Wonder if could port RISC OS, or Amiga OS for fun

    1. Martin
      WTF?

      Re: nice

      Posts like this one give me a severe case of old curmudgeon.

      Honestly - is it SO hard to write in standard English? Is it necessary to miss out occasional words and punctuation? Do you have to use "teh"?

      Sigh.

      Kids these days, I dunno, standards slipping...(wanders off disgruntled to the pub...)

      1. Rabbit80

        Re: nice

        "Honestly - is it SO hard to write in standard English? Is it necessary to miss out occasional words and punctuation? Do you have to use "teh"?"

        yep

        Seriously though, not all keyboards are optimised for full, standard English - think phones, tablets etc..

        The whole point of English is communication and so long as you can get your message across intelligibly then what does it matter if a few full stops, capital letters or words are missing?

        1. ukgnome Silver badge

          Re: nice

          @Rabbit80

          You must me new around here.

          1. ukgnome Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: nice

            I wish I could down vote myself for the typo - I should know better to use my phone.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Angel

              Re: nice

              I wish I could down vote myself for the typo

              its the likes ov u that give dis forum a bad name - fuck off!

        2. Bloodbeastterror

          Re: nice

          @Rabbit80 - because if you don't use proper English then you're not communicating *properly*?

          As the book title so neatly put it - "Eats Shoots & Leaves" (a Panda) is rather different from "Eats, Shoots, & Leaves" (a murderer in a restaurant).

          (Ok, I admit it, I'm an old git too).

    2. AbelSoul
      Trollface

      Re: Wonder if could port RISC OS, or Amiga OS for fun

      Sensible Soccer and Cannon Fodder on your watch?

      That's the kind of wrist-action that would get my attention.

    3. Chika

      Re: nice

      Wonder if could port RISC OS, or Amiga OS for fun

      There are a few RISC OS emulators knocking about and at least one Amiga OS emulator that I'm aware of. Whether they'd scale down to a wearable is another matter, though.

  9. Daniel Bower

    the Rockbox MP3 player firmware

    Has Doom on it. Playing it on the tiny screen of a SanDisk Clip Zip is actually quite fun in a not fun kind of way.

    Runs surprisingly smoothly to be fair...

  10. DrXym Silver badge

    Hardly a major feat

    I assume he just compiled qemu or something similar and ran Windows as a guest over the top.

  11. wolfetone Silver badge

    At least if he stuck Windows 98 on there Microsoft would finally have a plasuible excuse for 98 being so sugar honey ice tea.

  12. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Pint

    Naw...

    I think Windows NT would be even worse as a touch screen OS. Maybe more stable than 9x, but no USB support, ever.

    As a side note, we have some very clever young teen programmers in our Robotics Explorers program at work. I worked on one of the laptops we'd given them and found some beautifully written utilities that they'd crafted. Naturally someone had decided to change the desktop background to something unusual, in this case, a Windows ME splash screen. They got it back with an OS2/Warp splash screen in its place :)

  13. GeezaGaz

    not that clever...

    "there's clearly some exotic re-platforming action going on to slow things down."

    errr no, he just downloaded a copy of dosbox and installed win95 on the sd card

    job done. he even says is much in the vid

  14. NogginTheNog
    Unhappy

    Win95 on a 386DX?

    Rather you than me sir!

    1. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

      Re: Win95 on a 386DX?

      I once talked to a guy who was running Win95 on a 25MHz 386SX with only 2MB of RAM. (Yes, I know the sysreqs said 4MB, and he knew it, too.) It was apparently a bit slow starting up, but once up, it would stay up and do whatever trivial task he had for it, but it made my software have to have a special timeout adjustment...

      1. monkeyfish

        Re: Win95 on a 386DX?

        That's what I was thinking, you wouldn't want to run that bugger on anything less than a P90, and even then...

      2. Chika
        Trollface

        Re: Win95 on a 386DX?

        Sounds like what we did to a manager who complained that he didn't have an up to date PC even though we knew that he never used it or powered it up. We had a spare old 386DX knocking about onto which one of my colleagues at the time managed to squeeze Windows 98SE! We then installed it and waited to see what happened. (For the record, it booted but it was veeeeeeeeeeery slow!)

        Suffice to say that he never even noticed!

        1. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

          Re: Win95 on a 386DX?

          "Sounds like what we did to a manager who complained that he didn't have an up to date PC "

          Ah, but in my case, he knew very well that it was ridiculously slow, but it was capable of doing some small task (no I don't remember what it was) stuck off in a corner somewhere. He even set it up on purpose...

          He worked at a client of the AV firm (that shall remain nameless) that I worked for at the time, and I had to talk to him when I released a new rev of the Win95 on-access scanner that included a timeout while something else happened. The machine was so slow that the process timed out. Fortunately, the timeout was adjustable, so he went away happy because he could stretch it to be long enough.

  15. MyffyW Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Oh bless him

    ... that's it. Can't think of anything more constructive.

  16. Deltics

    Yeah, Kudos for the XP Tablet Ed. mention, but ...

    -1 for failing to mention Windows for Pen Computing.

    I had my hands on an actual, working (not prototype or POC) Windows tablet 20 (TWENTY) years ago.

    I forget the full specs, but it was a horrific, hefty slab of a thing with a 20 MB (yes 20, yes MEGAbyte) flash drive in a PCMCIA form factor. The monochrome LCD display was so poorly lit that never mind using it outdoors, even using it indoors it was advisable to draw the curtains and dim the house lights.

  17. HildyJ

    Deltics makes me feel young

    Deltics has me beat by almost a decade. I didn't get into tablets until 2003 (and I haven't gone back).

    Still, I would correct a misconception - Tablet Edition was designed for a pen driven through an active digitizer, not for touch input.

  18. nanchatte

    I once managed to coax System 7 to run on my Sharp Zaurus using sheepshaver or something. It was a glorious waste of time, but boy was it fun... I still have a working image here... somewhere.

    Good on ya lad! Keep up the modding spirit.

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