Adding to Windows 98 Enjoyment-- MS Plus 98
by Alan Zisman
(c) 1998. First
published in Vancouver Computes,
Microsoft Plus! 98
So you?ve upgraded to Windows 98, but you still have
the nagging feeling
that something?s missing? If that?s the case, Microsoft doesn?t want
to start looking at alternatives?certainly not Linux, or a Mac.
the company would like to sell you something more?in this case,
It?s a strategy that worked before. Along with Windows
gave us Plus! 95. That included utilities like a task scheduler, eye
like desktop themes, a fancy pinball game, and the very first version
Internet Explorer web browser.
Most of Plus! 95 was included in Windows 98, so
Microsoft needed to
come up with a whole new set of add-ons for Plus! 98.
A desktop theme includes wallpaper, sounds, icons, and
a screen saver
all around a single theme. Windows 98 includes the set of desktop
and the theme manager that originally came with Plus! 95. In case you
it, you can add them after the fact from the Control Panel?s Add-Remove
Programs icon. Go to the Windows Setup page, and put an [x] next to
Themes. Double-clicking on that line lets you select individual themes.
Plus! 98 includes 18 additional themes, including
licensed cartoon themes
like Peanuts and Doonesbury, a jazz theme, a sci-fi theme, and more.
not a big fan of pre-packaged themes at best, and none of this new set
seemed especially interesting to me.
Also cute is the Deluxe CD Player. While Win 95 and 98
include a basic
audio CD player, this version looks a lot neater. As well, like a
of shareware programs, the first time you insert a music CD, it
onto an Internet site, and automatically downloads a list of the
Fun and Games 98!
Three games come in the package: Lose Your Marbles is
designed by SegaSoft?a
very addictive little game. You?ve been warned. As well, there?s
Golf 98 Lite and a nice little card game, Spider Solitaire.
Serious Stuff 98!
There?s a registered copy of McAfee VirusScan 3.1.6,
along with a six
month supply of free updates. Some added features for utilities already
included in Windows 98?the Maintenance Wizard and Disk Cleanup, to do a
better job of removing junk from your drive, and automatically cleaning
up the Start Menu. (File Cleaner is licensed from Cybermedia?s First
Another program-Lite?Microsoft Picture It Express, an
editing program. Finally, a nicely implemented zip-file utility:
Folders. It makes zipped, compressed files appear as folders (with a
on the icon). Open the folder, and drag and drop files in or out of it.
Like some of the other features, there?s nothing new
about this. X-Tree
for Windows did this, back in 1993. The same idea showed up in PC
File Manager and Norton Navigator, as well as a host of shareware
And in this case, if you already have another zip program installed,
won?t get the Compressed Folders option in Plus!
The full package eats up 193 MB of drive space?but
most of this is in
the various desktop themes. It?s easy to tailor an installation that
much less space.