From the AMI Archives: PC Care for Windows 95
For today's post we have dug deep into our extensive AMI Archives for a look at another product from several years back that some of our readers may be familiar with: PC Care for Windows® 95.
Given the tight hardware-software integration and ease of use found in today's computers, it's easy to forget some of the challenges and limitations we faced with PCs a little over a decade ago. They definitely required more work to keep them running properly, and updates were not an automated process as they are now because network usage was not as prevalent.
To help make that task easier, over the years AMI developed and released a number of diagnostic software products for home and professional computer users. Many of these were marketed to home users via popular computing enthusiast magazines and sold in computer retail stores.
One such example was "PC Care for Windows 95", the packaging of which is shown in the picture below. As the box indicated, it was billed as "The Complete Windows 95 Problem Solver" and contained a number of diagnostic and disk management tools, similar in a way to the Disk Management Utility that Apple used to bundle with its Macintosh® computers years ago.
Looking at the back of the product packaging, we see some of the features of PC Care and the user interface in that familiar Windows 95 style. Part of the "wow factor" of this product is that it used animations of system components like the hard drive or floppy drive to "fly inside" the hardware as it performed the diagnostic test and give a visual approximation of what was happening. Perhaps not so exciting today, but for a time when computers only had 8 to 12 MB of RAM, perhaps it was a little more exciting?
From the back of the box, we see that the main functions of PC Care were to assist the user in doing a system-level health check and hard disk maintenance. Many of the diagnostic tests were grounded in technology used internally by AMI at the time for hardware testing during BIOS development and quality control. Notably, there is no mention of checking for malware or viruses because security threats were not as widespread at this time - in fact, many home computers were not connected to a network or the internet at this time. This is certainly worth mentioning and a little hard to believe in this age of constant connectivity!
In closing, we would be curious to know if any readers ever had the opportunity to use one of these diagnostic products from AMI? If so, how did you find it? Reach out to us via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and let us know! Hope you enjoyed today's peek into the AMI Archives!
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