boot (November 1996)

November 1996 brought a feature heralding the brave new world that DVD was going to usher in…although it was a very long time before many software titles would be released on the format. As for video, the systems of the era were not powerful enough to decode and display DVD-Video, so in addition to the expensive DVD-ROM drive you’d need a hardware MPEG decoder board as well.

Other headlines include a story about dualbooting Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0, a review of Photoshop 4.0, early digital cameras from Kodak and Olympus and the first 3Dfx graphics accelerators.

The cover of the November, 1996 issue of boot promises lots of goodies.

First, the cover story is about DVD. In an era when hard drives were measured in the single digit gigabytes, the promise of cheap 4.7GB of removable optical storage was enticing. Even if you couldn’t yet write to it. Computers were still slow enough at this point that you could not even watch a DVD movie without an add-on mpeg decoder board to go with your DVD-ROM drive and it would still be a long while before much software was distributed on DVD.

Next up is an article on dual booting Windows 95 and Windows NT. It would be hard to overstate how much of an improvement was from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95 but it still didn’t have the stability of NT. If you planned to use your machine as a server or do serious database work or certain other tasks then Windows NT was desirable. For most people Windows 95 was good enough but we are talking about power users here.

Next up is a review of the Pentium Pro 180. The Pentium Pro was originally meant to be the successor to the Pentium line. However, it was expensive and didn’t offer that much of a performance improvement, at least relative to the cost difference. Later on the Pentium II, which was basically a slightly modified Pentium Pro, would be released that was cheaper and clocked higher. The Pentium Pro (and P2) were not much faster, clock for clock, with 16-bit code which was still most common at the time. For 32-bit code it was much better.

Also included was a review of the first MMX game and also, if you look down in the bottom left corner, you can see that they review the first 3D cards from a new company called 3dfx which would soon dominate the 3D card market (but not for long).