16-bit installer workaroud

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16-bit installer workaroud

Post by jdboller »

I am still very much an amateur as a programmer, not capable of much beyond shell scripting and a little front-end web development, but I’ve wanted to get involved with this project for a long time—if only because of its incredibly ambitious goal. For the moment, though, since my skills in C are so lacking, I find myself limited to testing. One of the first things I did after installing React on a VM was to try to install some stuff targeting Windows 95: Microsoft Works 4.0 and Office 97.

Both of these were released in that sweet spot between 1995 and 1997 where a 32-bit application would still have a 16-bit installer, and React still doesn't have 16-bit support. I found a thread in the tutorials section explaining what to do, and I was happy to be dealing with Micorsoft products, which have such a simple work around. I ended up writing a utility in VBScript to automate the process, but it got me thinking about trying to write a publisher agnostic work around. I'm trying to get my hands on more Microsoft stuff from the time to make sure my utility will work on all of them, but I would prefer to make something that could potentially work on anything where this was an issue (I'm thinking it might be a good project for the first non-trivial thing I write in C++).

I wanted to ask, though, if anyone was aware of publicly available documentation and/or specifications dating to that time about how installers, per se, worked. I have a suspicion that the vast majority of the time, with software in this situation, it will be some version of InstallShield I would be dealing with, but I'm trying to be thorough and would like something that could deal with that, Microsoft, and some bizarre proprietary scheme that some obscure publisher only used once.
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Re: 16-bit installer workaroud

Post by binarymaster »

There is existing thread: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=18510
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Re: 16-bit installer workaroud

Post by PurpleGurl »

From what I understand, Windows parses it out and runs its own, at least on the newer ones.
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