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 PostPost subject: Windows Neptune Only Running in 16-color Mode        Posted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:01 pm 
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Hello, Beta Archive. This is is my first post.

I have just installed Windows Neptune (the de-timebombed ISO version) on VirtualBox. I have managed to install Firefox 12, but I am stuck in sixteen-color mode. I tried to install the drivers found within vbempg.zip and videomp3.img, but it did not work. However, I am not entirely sure if I am installing those drivers correctly. This is the first beta operating system which I have tried, and thus I am not experienced with how these beta operating systems work. If anybody knows how to fix this, their help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

EDIT: I was able to get it working on VirtualBox using Guest Additions. I don't know about VMWare, which I also have, but it is fine for now.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Windows Neptune Only Running in 16-color Mode        Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:46 am 
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FYI, when it comes to the VirtualBox Guest Additions, Neptune behaves exactly like Windows 2000.

Offtopic Comment
What's the distinction between Neptune and Whistler?

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 PostPost subject: Re: Windows Neptune Only Running in 16-color Mode        Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:32 pm 
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For VMware the VM additions for Windows 2000 should work.

TuneableSumo876 wrote:
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What's the distinction between Neptune and Whistler?

Neptune and Whistler are two completely distinct projects coming from two radically different roadmaps for NT.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Windows Neptune Only Running in 16-color Mode        Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:33 am 
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Aren't NepTune and Whistler both based on Win2K? And are there other NepTune builds besides 5111 in existence?

And is there a way I could extract the HTML source for NepTune's full-screen logon page? I'd like to see how it's designed.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Windows Neptune Only Running in 16-color Mode        Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:32 am 
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TuneableSumo876 wrote:
Aren't NepTune and Whistler both based on Win2K? And are there other NepTune builds besides 5111 in existence?

And is there a way I could extract the HTML source for NepTune's full-screen logon page? I'd like to see how it's designed.


They are and they were both to become the first NT release also tailored at home users, but with radically different goals in mind. Neptune was sort of a "hippie" project due to all the new UI concepts based on HTML that they tried to do. Some very interesting ideas that didn't resurface until Windows 8 I'd say. Obviously back then it didn't work out the way they intended, so it got canned and replaced with Whistler, which was more conservative in its UI approach - sure, they added themes and all the other minor bits but it was not a complete redefinition of a UI like the Activity Centers were. Though early Whistler builds still included some of Neptune's (and Millenium's) HTML stuff - the login screen and Help Center come to mind - these were later replaced with DirectUI based solutions IIRC.

There were obviously builds earlier than 5111.1, considering that this is already milestone 2, but there's no proper evidence for their existence. As far as later builds go, it's safe to assume there weren't many since 5111.1 was an early-December build and the project was shut down in early January next year. However, we do know 5111.6 exists, as its CD was briefly shown in a Microsoft video.

The login screen is contained within logonhta.dll. From what I recall (it's been a while since I last looked at Neptune) it's just basic HTML, CSS and JavaScript rendered through Mars.exe. Installing IE6 will break the login screen and activity centers IIRC, so I would advise against that.

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Last edited by Overdoze on Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Windows Neptune Only Running in 16-color Mode        Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:01 pm 
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Overdoze wrote:
However, we do know 5111.6 exists, as its CD was briefly shown in a Microsoft video.
The login screen is contained within logonhta.dll. From what I recall (it's been a while since I last looked at Neptune) it's just basic HTML, CSS and JavaScript rendered through Mars.exe.


Which Microsoft video was it spotted in? Is there a link to it?
And what is Mars.exe? Is it a trimmed down version of IE's rendering engine?

Thanks for the help.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Windows Neptune Only Running in 16-color Mode        Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:14 pm 
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TuneableSumo876 wrote:
Overdoze wrote:
However, we do know 5111.6 exists, as its CD was briefly shown in a Microsoft video.
The login screen is contained within logonhta.dll. From what I recall (it's been a while since I last looked at Neptune) it's just basic HTML, CSS and JavaScript rendered through Mars.exe.


Which Microsoft video was it spotted in? Is there a link to it?
And what is Mars.exe? Is it a trimmed down version of IE's rendering engine?

Thanks for the help.

Searching is a pretty useful activity.

There is some information on our two wikis:
Mars: https://www.betaarchive.com/wiki/index. ... F_Mars.exe
5111.6: https://betawiki.net/wiki/Windows_Neptune_build_5111.6

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 PostPost subject: Re: Windows Neptune Only Running in 16-color Mode        Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:43 am 
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Overdoze wrote:
They are and they were both to become the first NT release also tailored at home users, but with radically different goals in mind. Neptune was sort of a "hippie" project due to all the new UI concepts based on HTML that they tried to do. Some very interesting ideas that didn't resurface until Windows 8 I'd say. Obviously back then it didn't work out the way they intended, so it got canned and replaced with Whistler, which was more conservative in its UI approach - sure, they added themes and all the other minor bits but it was not a complete redefinition of a UI like the Activity Centers were. Though early Whistler builds still included some of Neptune's (and Millenium's) HTML stuff - the login screen and Help Center come to mind - these were later replaced with DirectUI based solutions IIRC.

There were obviously builds earlier than 5111.1, considering that this is already milestone 2, but there's no proper evidence for their existence. As far as later builds go, it's safe to assume there weren't many since 5111.1 was an early-December build and the project was shut down in early January next year. However, we do know 5111.6 exists, as its CD was briefly shown in a Microsoft video.

The login screen is contained within logonhta.dll. From what I recall (it's been a while since I last looked at Neptune) it's just basic HTML, CSS and JavaScript rendered through Mars.exe. Installing IE6 will break the login screen and activity centers IIRC, so I would advise against that.


Neptune and Millenium were both developed around the same time, so Neptune wasn't replaced by Whistler. Neptune was instead replaced by Millenium (yes, I am aware that Millenium wasn't NT-based). This is evidenced by the twenty-nine files shared between Neptune and the first leaked build of Millenium. However, I do agree with you on the fact that it did have many interest user interface mechanisms, but it was ahead of its time. I think if Microsoft developed Neptune a bit more, we would be praising Neptune instead of disliking ME. All very interesting topics indeed.

Thanks to the user who suggested I install VM guest additions in VMWare. I will try that. I might also do a bit more personal research on how Neptune, Millenium, and Whistler were different. Cheers!

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 PostPost subject: Re: Windows Neptune Only Running in 16-color Mode        Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:54 pm 
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There's no point to this thread as it's getting way off topic from the original subject. It should be locked.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Windows Neptune Only Running in 16-color Mode        Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:07 am 
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geminiman112 wrote:
Neptune and Millenium were both developed around the same time, so Neptune wasn't replaced by Whistler. Neptune was instead replaced by Millenium (yes, I am aware that Millenium wasn't NT-based). This is evidenced by the twenty-nine files shared between Neptune and the first leaked build of Millenium. However, I do agree with you on the fact that it did have many interest user interface mechanisms, but it was ahead of its time. I think if Microsoft developed Neptune a bit more, we would be praising Neptune instead of disliking ME. All very interesting topics indeed.


Saying Millennium replaced Neptune makes little sense. They were indeed in development at the same time, but the Neptune project was started about a year before Millennium. So instead from going Windows 98 and Windows 2000 --> Neptune, they decided to make another 9x release before Neptune. The plan was later Windows ME and Windows 2000 --> Neptune, before Neptune being replaced with Whistler.

If you read the antitrust documents, you can clearly see that they pushed some of the Neptune features into Millennium once it became apparent Neptune was behind schedule. One document specifically says they were to introduce Activity Center in Millennium and further refine them in Neptune. So while Millennium was likely started because of delays with Neptune, it's purpose was to precede Neptune, not replace it. Neptune wasn't originally meant for release before Q4 of 2000, and even that got likely pushed back later. Even as far as the features go, Millennium ultimately didn't ship with Activity Centers (except the Help Center), the login screen, different user account types, etc. and Whistler became the first consumer NT release in 2001.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Windows Neptune Only Running in 16-color Mode        Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:13 pm 
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If I recall correctly from the channel9 video (showing Neptune 5111.6) the guy there explains that he was working on Windows Millennium and that Neptune was indeed developed at the same time.
Features were shared between the two (not only after Neptune was behind its schedule).

When it became clear that the activity centers won’t be ready in time they started to remove them from the Millennium build line and pushed Me out with minor improvements over Windows 98
(better driver support, system restore, improved file protection, more restricted DOS access, new TCP/IP Stack, improved plug and play, generic USB driver, movie maker, inbuilt zip support, windows update)

With the intention in mind to ship all the new enhanced features later with Neptune. Which we all know never happened.

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The guy in the interview stated that he was first in the Neptune team and then voluntary joined the Millennium team as they needed more manpower to get it out in time. That's why he missed the Neptune development but got as a gift this 5111.6 build. He also tells something about the activity center concept

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 PostPost subject: Re: Windows Neptune Only Running in 16-color Mode        Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:00 am 
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Maybe you could ask the guy who has the build to upload it here? There's little chance that it would work out, but no harm in asking...

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 PostPost subject: Re: Windows Neptune Only Running in 16-color Mode        Posted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:40 am 
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I had the same problem and found no way to fix it.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Windows Neptune Only Running in 16-color Mode        Posted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:23 pm 
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Either get back on topic, or this thread will be locked. Any further off-topic discussion vis-a-vis the development of Windows Neptune + Windows ME will be met with warnings.

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