Tech News and Tips with Mike McCormick
September 19, 1999

Should you upgrade to Windows 9.5?

If you're like me, and most computer users are, you're still running Windows 3.1 on a 386SX your mom bought from Radio Shack back in 1992. You probably don't use the computer for much, maybe playing Oregon Trail every now and then or typing book report for school. You don't have email and you don't have a web connection. You prefer your porn delivered to your house in a plain brown wrapper. You don't have a color monitor and you think sound is a fad. You don't have a credit card and you live with your mom.

Well, I'm going to tell you something that'll kick you're socks off. I have recently heard from a friend in the technocracy business that there is a new operating system out there called Windows 9.5 that can make that old 386 of yours hum like a brand new Saab. An operating system, usually abbreviated OpSy, is the software that you use to type letters. Windows 9.5, made by a small Seattle-based computer company called MicroSoft, costs $89 and comes on 36 5 inch floppies for an extra $10. But before you upgrade, there are several questions you have to ask yourself to make sure both you and your computer are ready for the new Windows:

1. Will mom be mad if I upgrade her computer? If you're like me, then your computer isn't technically yours, it's mom's, and she gets really mad when you change anything on it. If you're unsure how she'll react, I suggest sitting down with her, talking about it, listing the pros and cons, and figuring out how to fit the cost of the software into your budget; perhaps by doing extra chores around the house or waxing mom's car.

Should I upgrade it myself or let a professional do it? If you're like me, then you've ruined more than one floppy drive by trying to shove a 45 into it. You've probably broken the door of the CD-ROM drive by using it as a seat for your cat Mingus. You've probably shorted out more than a few keyboards by dropping them in the toilet or bathtub. And yes, you've probably gotten the mouse all sweaty by keeping it in your undershorts. If this sounds like you too, then you're better off letting a professional perform the upgrade for you. You can ask Best Buy or Circuit City to do it for a modest charge.

Do I have enough Hard Disk Memory to hold Windows 9.5? Hard Disk Memory is what your computer uses to store data. I have 2MB of Ram, but MicroSoft suggests upgrading to 4MB before performing the upgrade. You can find 2MB memory modules at Computer Renaissance.

Is my monitor big enough? My 10-inch monochrome monitor provides more than adequate screen area for Windows 9.5.

Will it run on my Kaypro? Yes.

What if it wears out? You can order another copy from MicroSoft for $89.

Does it print in color? According to the MicroSoft tech rep I spoke with, yes, but you need something newer than the daisy-wheel dot matrix printer you're probably using. My friend suggests the Apple ImageWriter 450C.

Does it have a modem? No, Windows 9.5 doesn't have a modem, but from what I've heard, the Internet is just a collection of hackers and child pornography anyway, so you're best keeping yourself out of that altogether.

What will my friends say? Well, it's just like my mom says, if they laugh at you, spit on you, beat you up, steal your clothes and force you to walk naked across the school's football field during half-time, then they're not your real friends.

I hope you find this list useful in your decision to upgrade to Windows 9.5. I have to cut this short because my mom is calling me downstairs to watch Felicity, but I'll be back next week with more of the latest Tech News at Tips from Silicone Valley.

Until then,

-Mike McCormick

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