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how useful is this mini install?


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#1 jamtat

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 08:50 PM

I've been following the winimze project for at least a couple of years. I've tried communicating with the developer but usually do not receive any response from him (think he responded only once). Maybe I can get some information through this forum. Basically, I'm wondering how useful this mini-installation will be for my purposes. I (Linux user) occasionally need to run some specialized Win progs that don't run well or at all under WINE. Currently, I run them in a Win2K or Win98 installation that runs in qemu or vmware. The mini Win idea appeals because it could give better performance under the emulator. But, since alot has to be stripped out the reduce size, I'm wondering whether I can expect the programs I need to use to install and run in this stripped-down environment. Should I expect that important components my programs may need will be missing under the mini Win, and that I'll have to get involved in alot of dll downloading to get them to work? Or should I expect to just install and run programs as under a normal Win98 installation? Input will be appreciated.

James

#2 Nuno Brito

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 08:59 PM

Hi James, welcome to our community!

This depends on the level of winimization and the need for certain components to exist or not - can you trace a more detailed profile of applications that you ocasionaly need to run?

:P

#3 MedEvil

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 01:02 AM

I've been following the winimze project for at least a couple of years. I've tried communicating with the developer but usually do not receive any response from him (think he responded only once). Maybe I can get some information through this forum. Basically, I'm wondering how useful this mini-installation will be for my purposes. I (Linux user) occasionally need to run some specialized Win progs that don't run well or at all under WINE. Currently, I run them in a Win2K or Win98 installation that runs in qemu or vmware. The mini Win idea appeals because it could give better performance under the emulator. But, since alot has to be stripped out the reduce size, I'm wondering whether I can expect the programs I need to use to install and run in this stripped-down environment. Should I expect that important components my programs may need will be missing under the mini Win, and that I'll have to get involved in alot of dll downloading to get them to work? Or should I expect to just install and run programs as under a normal Win98 installation? Input will be appreciated.

James

I have not tried Winminimize myself, but i'm pretty sure that, if your application is not working in wine it will also not run on a striped down W98 of 18MB!

PS: I would definitely not expect to be able to install and run software as under a normal W98. What do you think are those other 232MB for? ;-)

edit:
If you want smaller than w98 try w95a, it is only 50MB installed. But with your software, i would expect that you will have to install a bunch of updates, before they fly.

#4 was_jaclaz

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 03:37 PM

@jamtat
Unfortunately, my crystal ball is in the shop for maintenance, I only can use my Tarots, and they tell me that you have 6 or 7 specialized applications that you want to run and out of those, #1,#2,3 and #5 will work with mini-windows, while #4 and #6 won't.
:P

@MedEvil
Which method did you use to determine the type of software jamtat uses to be able to expect that updates are needed?
:P


Seriously, now:
1) mini-windows is a minimal windows subset, though larger that nano98
2) quite obviously something has been stripped off to be able to have 18 Mb, of the "normal" 232 Mb though a VERY LARGE part is UNNEEDED, some parts will probably be missing
3) It is the perfect BASE to do what jamtat needs (i.e. a "vertical" operating system with only a subset of the original one's functions, but in no way is a "ready out of the box" "one size fits all" solution. The user has to manually re-add what is missing or start the other way round, from a working environment strip-off what is not needed, using mini-windows as a reference for what CANNOT be stripped. I did something of the like a couple years ago, of which you can find trace here:
http://www.911cd.net...showtopic=12326
http://www.911cd.net...w...12326&st=29
http://www.911cd.net...o...2326&st=109
4) from a legal stand-point, you need BOTH a win95 AND a Win98 license.
5) the main speed difference is due, like in 98lite, by removing the 98 "chore" files (Internet Explorer linked) in favour of the much faster 95 ones.

Without info on the actual packages jamtat plans to use with it and their requirements, any further hypothesis appear unproductive....

jaclaz

#5 MedEvil

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 04:52 PM

@MedEvil
Which method did you use to determine the type of software jamtat uses to be able to expect that updates are needed?
:P


- jamtats software does not perform well in wine --> it does something fancy :P
- W95a without updates isn't capable of doing anything fancy :P


(Its hard to find anything in the windows API that doesn't at least require IE4 to be installed on W95a to work.)

#6 was_jaclaz

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 07:18 PM

- W95a without updates isn't capable of doing anything fancy


Yeah, sure, not even with them.... :P

jaclaz

#7 thunn

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 08:10 PM

@ jamtat

Take out all the obvious garbage, extra languages, but leave the core OS in tact. The VM will run much quicker and you will still have a fair representation of a normal XP, there are a few ways. I would shoot for something like a 150 - 200 MB. source (with all updates). Much smaller and issues crop up like wild grass. :P

#8 MedEvil

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 09:28 PM

@ jamtat

Take out all the obvious garbage, extra languages, but leave the core OS in tact. The VM will run much quicker and you will still have a fair representation of a normal XP, there are a few ways. I would shoot for something like a 150 - 200 MB. source (with all updates). Much smaller and issues crop up like wild grass. :P

Wow, one can strip XP down to 200MB without loosing functionality?
I tried about 4 years ago to create a light XP for a virtual machine. I've only got it down to 600MB, after that i started loosing functionality.

Could you tell me how to do it?

#9 was_jaclaz

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 09:07 AM

Well,
besides the fact that this was supposed to be Win9x related, it is possible to greatly reduce the size of XP.
Quite obviously again, "some" functionality will be lost, but not that much, and if you choose the "right" settings, you won't even notice any diffeence in normal use.

The "standard" way to do so is of course nlite:
http://www.nliteos.com/

for personal projects and xplite:
http://www.litepc.com/xplite.html

for commercial ones.

But there are quite a few other resources around, a very complete one is here:
http://www.bold-fort...p?showtopic=229
a derivative is here:
http://newmanoa.ath.cx/

Also look into the "Extra's" on gosh page:
http://gosh.msfn.org/

And into jdeboeck's home of the 185 Mb XP (currently offline):
http://web.archive.o...sfnhosting.com/
and related thread on MSFN:
http://www.msfn.org/...?showtopic=9478

A few searches on MSFN.ORG will give even more ideas/info.

jaclaz

#10 MedEvil

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 12:49 PM

Thanks for the links!
I will have a good look into the matter.
:P

#11 jamtat

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 07:43 PM

Systran translation software is one I could not get running under WINE. I've also considered trying to get Dragon Naturally Speaking running in an emulator, since it also does not work under WINE: but I'm not sure the problem there would be so much installing it on a winimized system as it would be getting the audio to work right (or at all) through the emulation layer. In principle, it sounds like I should expect to run into what we would call in Linux "dependency issues." I know how to resolve most of the under Linux: you use the ldd utility to find dependencies of a program, or your package manager will tell you when you try to install a prog that certain dependent packages are missing. But how does one find this information for Windows? And from where does one get missing files?

For what it's worth, the Linux distro I have in mind for running winimize under an emulator in (did I use enough prepositions there?) is not one for which installing WINE would be very easy. So, for running Windows software, one might need to rely totally on winimize running under qemu.

Thanks for your input, jaclaz.

James

#12 was_jaclaz

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 07:54 PM

But how does one find this information for Windows?

There are a number of tools for Windows, first check should be made with Dependency Walker, then using Sysinternals "mon" programs, Filemon, Regmon, Procmon, etc. you get a fair idea of what is missing.

And from where does one get missing files?

From a "parallel" full Win98 install where the program works.

jaclaz

#13 jamtat

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 08:05 PM

So, given the scenario I've been outlining (Linux user who needs to run some Win progs and wants to use qemu emulator), the following would be needed if one wanted to run winimize in the emulator: 1) a full Win installation testbed (either in another qemu instance or on an adjacent partition or drive in the system); 2) a winimize installation; 3) a set of programs to analyze dependencies for Windows programs; and 4) the desired 3rd party programs. It's sounding a bit less practical with the need for a parallel full installation of Windows.

Is there anywhere a list of programs known to work "out of the box" in a stock winimize environmentt?

Thanks, James

#14 MedEvil

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 11:07 PM

Not that i want to spoil your enthusiasm. :P
But for your purposes, it's not really worth stripping down W98 at all, imo.

I guess you have a computer with about 2GHz and 500MB Ram. How much do you think your Win98 Simulation will speed up by kicking out a few things? Win98 is not XP with a dozend of unneeded services running in the background and even XP does not improve that much upon stripping down.

PS: The speed of a OS does not depend on the space used on disk at all.
Disabling of a feature will speed it up just as much as removing the feature completely.

#15 was_jaclaz

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 05:30 PM

It's sounding a bit less practical with the need for a parallel full installation of Windows.


Well, the whole point of the winimizing is mainly to minimize the space occupied by files.

This carries two indirect consequences:
1) A faster system, as said mainly due to the faster Win95 IE-less core
2) The possibility of making a "vertical" system, i.e. one that has the minimal basic functionality + the ones needed to run a selected number of applications

The latter is particularly useful for "special" applications, a sort of "poorman's" windows embedded, just as an example a Winimized system on a CF card, where every byte is important or you could have a series of winimized installs, each with just the program you need, that should defy the "capabilities" of even the most idiot of the final users, though as Douglas Adams put it:

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.


The need to have a "parallel" fully working install is dictated more from the need to be able to "peek" in the Registry if needed than from the need of the additional files as source, that can be extracted from Win9x cabs allright.

Of course as soon as you have your apps working fully in your winimized environment, you don't need the parallel install at all.

jaclaz




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