Raspberry Pi goes back in time: Now it's running Windows 98 as a smartwatch

It's slow, ugly, and barely works, but this smartwatch running Windows 98 still has a lot of fans.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Time to put Windows 98 on your wrist?

Image: 314Reactor

Even Windows fans were glad to see the back of Windows 98 in 2006, but not redditor Lord_of_Bone who keeps it alive on a dream PC and has now got it running on a smartwatch.

Lord_of_Bone has a soft spot for Windows 98 and loves mobile tech, so he decided to marry the two by creating a touchscreen smartwatch out of a Raspberry Pi, which he then loaded up with Windows 98.

"It's ridiculous, it looks terrible, it's unusable pretty much, but it's a cool little project," he says in a YouTube video, which demonstrates the device taking 10 minutes to boot, and then crawling along once it does.

Still, it's attracted a lot of fans, and is capable of playing Minesweeper. He also intends to get Doom up and running on it eventually.

The inspiration for the project was an old Windows 98 machine he had as a child, and while that was "terrible, horrible, and slow", it left him with a nostalgic feeling towards it.

"I like to get back to it every now and then," he says, showing off his white time machine that features a 450MHz Pentium II processor and has 128MB memory, or double the RAM of the machine he used back then.

"I have always had somewhat of a soft spot for Windows 98, despite it driving me insane back in the day on my old Pentium II system with 64MB RAM and using some god awful on-board graphics," he explains on his blog.

"But these days I don't HAVE to suffer it as my only source of computing; which, somehow makes me want to go back and use it. I've built my own dream Windows 98 PC that I like to fire up every now and then and I love it.

"I also love emulation, the idea of running an operating system on virtual hardware. That's awesome. It's like the Matrix, or something. On top of this I love wearable/small tech and nowadays I have the ability to make things like this. So I thought, wouldn't it be ridiculous and awesome to have Windows 98 on my wrist?"

He's also considering coding up a hardware button to switch between Windows 98, 95, ME, and XP.

"Would be fun to have the ability to launch them all (non-concurrently). Although I imagine XP will run even worse than 98," he notes.

He offers instructions for others who want to build their own Raspberry Pi Windows 98 smartwatch.

Read more about Windows

Editorial standards