I figure that most of the things I like about Windows 95 were not invented by Microsoft.
It only works as long as you work at Microsoft.
I have mixed feelings about Windows 95. For what I do (I'm a programmer too) Windows 95 was an improvement. I was writing C/C++ using Windows 3.1 on a '486/66. I'm now writing Java/C++ using Windows 95 on a Pentium/233. I have wasted more time in the last two years rebooting and re-installing other people's software than at any other time in my career. And that is unacceptable.
What about reinstalling Microsoft Windows 95 for the 25th time? Every time I have a problem with it, the eventual technical support answer is to re-install windows. Last time, it took non-stop 72 hours to re-install Windows 95 with patches, network, compilers, applications, e-mail, backups, restoring, menus, and tweaking it all over again. If it wasn't stable the first 24 times, what makes tech support think it will be stable this time? Give me Linux or give me JOS.
What about upgrading from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95? Following the instructions from Microsoft, I upgraded. Later, I learned that the "upgrade" didn't result in anything like the real Windows 95 installed from scratch. The difference in options, performance, colors were startling. Whatever you do, don't upgrade!
What about installing Windows 95 from diskette vs. CD-ROM? When you install from diskette you get a different behavior from Windows 95 than when you install from CD-ROM. For all of you that bought the diskette version, you didn't get the real Windows 95 and had no way to know. Whatever you do, install from CD-ROM!
Have you ever tried to restoring Windows 95? I have software that backs up everything, including the Windows registry to tape, but, so sorry, can't restore Windows 95 itself from tape, without Windows 95 installed. And even then, restoring the registry didn't actually put the machine back the way it was.
What about rebooting the computer two, three, four times to install each application? I believe there must be something terribly wrong with the OS if it has to be restarted to install an application.
What about reinstalling TCP/IP drivers from diskette every time I change my computer's machine name or workgroup? What do the TCP/IP drivers (code) have to do with the TCP/IP configuration (data)?
About reinstalling applications: I want to spend my time getting my work done, not wasting time installing and reinstalling poor quality software. Why can't software installation detect the corruption of program files? Why aren't all program files marked read-only when installed?
What about un-installation? Is that a word? Applications can check out, but they can never leave. Under Linux, un-install is called...delete.
What about putting all of the shared DLL's in the Windows directory? It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the deadly 8.3 files names.
What about a single system registry for the OS and all your applications? A public registry and a private registry for each application should be supported, so that I re-store a regisry if (when) it gets corrupted.
What about one tool associated with double-click and each file extension? Install programs associate a file extension with the last program installed. Associations are made without regard to existing associations.
What about Notepad? Notepad, you'll agree, is useful for all kinds of text files, not just files that end with .txt. Even after all these years, Notepad only supports Text [.txt] and All files (.*) in File/Open.. dialog box. I would like Notepad to support all kinds of text files.
What happened to the current directory? Windows 95 can't 'remember' the current directory on each and every drive, although there is a current directory for each drive. MS-DOS and Windows 3.1 programs running on Windows 95 can use the current directory on each drive.
The single most difficult thing to eliminate is all of the problems created by calling the bin directory by the name "Program Files", with a space in the middle. Why the space? It seems to be there just to prove a point. It is not found in "mydocuments" nor anywhere else for that matter.