Don't Throw Out Windows 3.1!

 Some of those old programs still have a life under Windows 95! You may not have realized how many little-used (but handy) features were abandoned in the rush to '95.

WRITE : This is still the only format other than straight text that you know can be viewed under 3.1 and 95. What's more, Write makes a passable binary editor. You can open executables, search for, copy or modify data, and resave the executable without any unintentional side effects. I love reading the passwords in old Word 2 files, checking the versions on old DLL files, changing prompts in programs... Windows 95's new WordPad flat out refuses to open executables for all this fun.

TERMINAL: I do not want to choose from a cheesy list of icons every time I use the new "HyperTerminal" program.  I just want to start typing. Besides, Terminal lets me create up to 24 on-screen "hot keys" I can click.  HyperTerminal won't do that. When I need advanced features, I use an advanced program. When I need simplicity, I use Terminal.  HyperTerminal is neither.

EDIT : How many ways can you garbage a plain text file? Try reading a UNIX (linefeeds, but no carriage returns) file. Try saving an HTML file whose source you've hijacked from Netscape. Try reading a text file that has been in a "binary/text" FTP upload/download fight and lost. You'd be surprised how many text file problems can be fixed by simply opening the file with EDIT and saving it. EDIT converts LF to CRLF, and does it without telling you. The "without telling you" part must've upset some people, because the new '95 DOS 7 EDIT won't do all this. Old DOS 6 EDIT is still handy!

PAINTBRUSH : It isn't much, but it can at least save files to PCX format. Both PCX and BMP can be read under the new '95 "Paint", but PCX takes up a lot less room on a disk due to the RLE file compression. This compression only works on pictures with blocks of the same color, but "Paint" has no native compressed format at all! Okay, let's be fair. Microsoft did put out an update to Paint for Windows 95 that gives it support for several compressed formats (GIF, JPG, etc.). But the instructions for installing the update are poor.

RECORDER : Okay, you never used it back when you had Windows 3.1. But you're a power user now and you find yourself performing repetive tasks. The same keystrokes and mouse movements for updating files or something. Mind numbing. Don't you wish you could "script" the whole thing and play it back with a single keystroke? Recorder does that. It records mouse movements and keystrokes, then plays it back. Windows 95 has nothing like it and Win98 says you have to be a programmer to use it's built-in scripting.

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