It’s kind of annoying when a project you think can be done in a few hours isn’t even complete in a full day. And yet that’s what happened with this week’s project.

I have two computers, the old Vista desktop I bought when I still had a decent paying job and the older XP laptop I received as a gift. I have plenty of software that was made for Windows XP and below, the last decent operating system for backwards-compatibility all the way back to the old DOS (short for disk operating system, which is really the heart of the computer; even today Windows is just an interface really). So even if I got something new I wouldn’t miss Vista if I can get 7 or 8 (until Microsoft and the various browsers stop supporting them as well) but I would miss XP. As it turns out I have a lot of Windows 95 software.

This week’s project was to get all of my software together and organize it for easy locating. I have a lot of games and some productivity software, and while much of it can run on Vista some of it can’t. My goal was to separate that, see what I might want to get rid of, and better organize the rest between my two computers. I was partly successful.

It turns out the software I can’t use anymore is surprisingly low. A restore kit for a computer that went out of service years ago and couldn’t even upgrade, which led to my last two desktops. I think it ran Windows 95. There’s some drivers for monitors long since dead. I’m going to assume I don’t need those any more than I do an internet service that no longer exists. I’m going to see if anything on the restore disk is worth bothering with or if the driver CDs are going for anything with the retro PC community and what I can’t sell I’ll toss out.

The next step was to take all the software I could use–games, productivity, demos, drivers–and organize them based on the operating system. My next step, and the one I thought I would get to, is to organize these piles further, first separating them into games, drivers, and productivity and then alphabetically within each subcategory, like I do with my comics. However, it took most of the day to find them all and I still have at least one game, Sonic Heroes, missing. Yes, I like that game. I know I’m a rarity but that’s nothing new for me. This is only for my CD-Roms since the floppy disks have to be organized on their own due to how I have to store them. The software I know won’t run on my Vista computer will eventually have a go on the XP laptop and if that still doesn’t work then I won’t be able to play them and I might be sad.

The DOS games might run on Vista thanks to an emulator called DOS Box that runs DOS games. I have one old game called¬†Rampage Wrestling I can play that way on the Vista but I might move to the XP since I don’t need DOS Box on that computer. XP does a decent job playing DOS. With my 95 computer I would have to exit out of Windows at least temporarily to play a DOS game. Vista’s DOS interface doesn’t always work so I have DOS Box. Other games I know Vista won’t play and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to again until I got the XP, although oddly I never installed the games on there, and that’s not just due to how scrambled this collection is. I won’t have all the games loaded because the hard drive only has so much space and the XP is also my art laptop.

There were a few however I had to look up online because it doesn’t immediately say what operating system it was created for. If they can’t run on Vista for some reason the XP would be my only option. There were a couple I couldn’t find what version of Windows it ran on for whatever reason so I made my best guess.

This is where I’d show you the final result but between the tracking down, the looking up, and the sorting by system I didn’t finish. The final sorting will be the next step and I’ll report on that next week. I also have to figure out where to put all the stuff. I may put the games back where they were and then still have to find a place for the back-up disks, drivers, and everything else, and they all have to remain sorted based on which computer I can run them on. This shouldn’t take as long as the comic organizing project did and hopefully I’ll find any lost software soon so I don’t have to reorganize if I find a lot.¬† I’ll report my progress next week.