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Developer Installs Windows 95 On An Apple Watch ( 98

An anonymous reader writes: Developer Nick Lee has successfully installed Windows 95 on his Apple Watch. It works, but it runs very slow. For example, it takes about an hour for the OS to boot up. In a blog post, Lee points out the Apple Watch features specs capable of running the old OS. To get Windows 95 running on the Apple Watch, Lee had to modify Apple's development software in "rather unorthodox ways" that allowed him to turn the OS into a Watch app, which also emulates an environment for the OS to run on, he tells The Verge. To deal with the fact that Apple Watch's screen is always turning itself off when not in use, he set up a motorized tube that constantly turns the Watch's crown, preventing it from falling asleep. In addition, Lee altered the Watch's software to let Windows 95 track a single fingertip, hence the constant swiping in his video.
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Developer Installs Windows 95 On An Apple Watch

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  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Friday April 29, 2016 @11:38PM (#52016971)

    For example, it takes about an hour for the OS to boot up.

    Man, I thought my PC had bad boot times.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Remember, it had to do some emulation to meet the windows 95 expectations. I think its awesome, who ever thought that it would be running on a watch, pretty incredible considering everything.

    • by dottrap ( 1897528 ) on Friday April 29, 2016 @11:53PM (#52017027)

      For example, it takes about an hour for the OS to boot up.

      Man, I thought my PC had bad boot times.

      That sounds about normal to me. Time to defrag the hard disk and do a fresh reinstall of Windows.

    • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Saturday April 30, 2016 @12:37AM (#52017199)

      An hour to boot up Windows? What's the boot time if you disable Norton?

    • I have no idea what emulator he's using, but it gets the prize for slowest x86 emulator of the year. Windows 95 is *lightweight* compared to anything modern, even under an emulator.

      Let's see, quick test here. Samsung Chromebook, which is a dual-core Cortex-A15 (ARMv7) at 1.7GHz. Let's set cpufreq cap to 500MHz (Apple Watch is 520MHz). Install Win95 on a PC under QEMU, copy it over to the Chromebook, compile QEMU (for some reason it's not in the Arch Linux ARM repo...), and boot it up.

      Boot time, from qemu launch to desktop and no "hourglass" cursor? 90 seconds. Emulating a PC on a 500MHz ARMv7.

      Okay, so the Apple watch probably uses a lighter weight core than the Cortex-A15 on the Chromebook, but still, that doesn't anywhere near account for this kind of discrepancy. Oh, and QEMU is actually emulating a full 64-bit CPU (which of course Win95 doesn't need).

      • by tyme ( 6621 )
        I wish I had mod points today: +Informative
      • Yeah taking that long to boot seems more like a broken hardware emulation. Like some driver misses dealing with an event and interferes with bootup.

    • by Megane ( 129182 )
      I think it's okay as long as it finishes booting before it needs to be recharged.
    • Reminds me of the time I did a fast Fourier transform on a HP calculator. It really redefined the meaning of fast.
  • Unix on a gameboy (Score:5, Informative)

    by inode_buddha ( 576844 ) on Friday April 29, 2016 @11:45PM (#52017009) Journal

    Anyone else remember this guy? [] Ancient UNIX on a nintendo gameboy.

  • awesome (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slazzy ( 864185 ) on Friday April 29, 2016 @11:58PM (#52017065) Homepage Journal
    Despite hating both windows 95 and the apple watch. This is some awesome hackery.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is some awesome hackery.

      Not really. With that much processing power and RAM, Win95 should fly.
      If it takes an hour to boot, he must be running it in an emulator inside Javascript or something.
      Just checked: a single emulator (Bochs). That doesn't really explain why it boots so slow. Maybe one of the drivers waits for something. He should try a stripped Win95.

  • ... had far too much time on their hands.

    Pun(s) intended.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 30, 2016 @12:46AM (#52017211)

    judging from the comments the core audience is long gone and the readers are just strays from Reddit

    There was a day when doing something purely for enjoyment, the sake of doing it and just seeing if it could be done were lauded

    On today's Slashdot such things are derided and despised

  • It looks like he installed Mac OS also. []
  • by Z80a ( 971949 ) on Saturday April 30, 2016 @02:08AM (#52017351)

    If he given the work to actually write a JIT x86 to ARM translator, but the project is mostly a "i compiled Qemu to X and became news" so, not expecting that anytime soon.

  • Put a Commadore-64 emulator on it

  • So basically he bypassed some security and fired up an x86 emulator.
  • And I masturbated tonight. Where's the news?

    I guess I can see how making an obsolete OS run on a modern device as something that would be fulfilling but I fail to see how that would be important news to anyone.

    • Re:Masturbation (Score:4, Insightful)

      by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Saturday April 30, 2016 @05:49AM (#52017711) Journal

      important news to anyone.

      I love this. If we get important news, we get a bunch of whiners complaining it's not nerdy enough. Now we have undeniably something which is news for only the mose dyed in the wool nerds and well, you know the rest.

      So yes, this is slashdot for heaven's sake. This is precisely the sort of story which should be here (along with others).

    • Yeah, but you didn't jack it while wearing an iWatch running Win95. Sometimes people do shit just to see if it can be done. Like cramming a full-blown system into a tiny device.

      • Sometimes people do shit just to see if it can be done. Like cramming a full-blown system into a tiny device.

        Cramming a "full-blown" system into an Apple Watch would be pretty cool. However, Windows 95 was never a "full-blown" system. It was a system that "fully blowed"; the difference is important. If someone could find a way to delete that piece of shit from the Universe, that would be time well spent.

        • LOL "fully blowed" thanks! :D w95/98 is the entire reason I switched to linux way back then, and I'm still on it.

        • Win95 was a DOS extender, just better disguised than Win3.1 and Win3.11
          The great thing about multitasking is that several things can go wrong at once.

      • by skam240 ( 789197 )

        Yes, but my point is that it's an accomplishment without any real effect. As I said before, it was probably a very fulfilling accomplishment doing that but at the end of the day it has no broad implications for anyone. My Thai cooking has really been fucking spot on lately but I don't think that's news worthy either.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday April 30, 2016 @06:24AM (#52017773)

    I can't be the only one who thinks that it's funny that he managed to run the most over hyped desktop OS of its time on the most over hyped wearable gadget of its time.

  • As much as i love messing around with emulators. It's much harder and more interesting when someone gets another OS working on the bare metal, obviously not gona happen with windows. I remember when there was a tiny linux port for my 3rd gen ipod, could play Doom2 on it and type in the cli with the wheel onion network style :P it was awesome... it also added a new feature which keeps your pocket uncomfortably warm.
  • I wonder how long before the reminder pop-ups appear to upgrade to Windows 10.

  • Someone has made Apple Watch do something actually useful!

  • I've always wanted a watch that demands I upgrade it to Windows 10 every time I look at it.

grep me no patterns and I'll tell you no lines.