C# in Windows 98 and Windows NT

This has been a hot topic on the dotnet newsgroups, and I haent seen any really clear articles/information about it, so I am submitting this.  Enjoy!

Using c# and VB7 on NT4 and Win98

Like a lot of others, I wanted to Compile and test C# programs on my Windows NT 4 box. But the setup.exe program checked the Operating System Version and barked that you needed Windows 2000.

It wasnt that I didnt have Windows 2000 boxes to test it on, I just wanted to do it!

I suspected that the setup.exe might be a self extracting exe which can be unzipped, so  I tried to open it with WinZip. And I was right! So I used WinZip to unzip the setup.exe into a temporary directory.

Here are the files I got:

comredis cab    12,622,355  06-23-00  1:00p comredis.cab
COMRED~1 MSI       500,736  06-23-00  1:01p comredist.msi
comsdk   cab    67,116,800  06-23-00  1:04p comsdk.cab
comsdk   msi     3,911,680  06-23-00  1:04p comsdk.msi
install  exe        28,735  06-23-00 12:44a install.exe
instmsi  exe     1,464,064  06-23-00 12:07a instmsi.exe
instmsiw exe     1,470,208  06-23-00 12:07a instmsiw.exe
prejit   exe        94,257  06-23-00  1:00a prejit.exe

I ran Installmsi.exe and after it was installed, I clicked on comsdk.msi and the SDK was set-up. Well it was sort of set-up. Not everything in the .net framework works. But more on that later..

Installation Hint: The install process did seem to stop about 1/3 of the way through the Installation. But after a period of minutes (depending on your hardware), it continued and complted the installation. So be patient.

After he installation was complete, I first checked it by moving a C#  Sample Console Application that was compiled on Windows 2000 Advanced Server. I tried running it. And to my wonder, it ran just fine.  Flushed by my success, I dragged an App with a Form over from the 2K box, and it ran too!

Wow! I could test my apps created that were created using the SDK on Win 2K!

But suddenly that goal was not good enough. I now wondered if I Could also compile C#, and VB7 on NT4?

The quick answer is yes. I took a couple of simple samples - file/screen i/o and Compiled and ran C# and VB7 on NT. And i have since also done the same on Win 98.

I am currently working through the languages and SDK to see what works on NT and Win 98, and what has no chance. Some are pretty obvious, on NT ASP+ isn't working yet. (But I did hear of a hack to run IIS5 on NT4, so I may have news on this in a bit) and there are other things on win98 that don't work.

But for now, it is pretty good news for Win NT4 and Win 98 folks who just want to get a head start and learn the languages.

At this point, my advice for most folks is that you don't spend a great deal of time trying to make things work that don't. If they work, be grateful. If they don't work, be thankful for the things that do work.  Betas are coming, and even Visual Studio.NET is coming some day. So we can now be patient since we have the baseline effort accomplished - compiling and running C# on NT and Win98. And we can wait for the later, more developed, more stable releases before spending too much time and energy on something will change dramatically (not the syntax, but the tools surely will)