The debug log was mystifying: the app was successfully creating the project directory but then failing to open it because the Win32 API to enumerate `C:\.` was returning an empty list and it hit the error handler when the expected directory name wasn’t in the empty list.
Naturally, we couldn’t reproduce this on any system we had access to and the customer could only reproduce it on Win95, not NT. I remembered that the Win95 networking stack was a deeply-invasive kludge and on a hunch tried disabling network file sharing, which immediately made the problem reproducible even though the local C: drive hadn’t been shared.
The IDE developer was able to side-step the big by changing the existence check to use a different API and shipped on-time. Our theory was that Microsoft’s QA team had missed the bug for the same reason we had: everything in the test environment was networked to have access to the shared builds and testcases.
"FAT32 was introduced with MS-DOS 7.1 / Windows 95 OSR2 in 1996" 
OSR2 fixed many nasty problems with the orig. Windows 95 which was released in the summer of 95. The next Windows 9x version was 98.
When I see people talk about Windows 9x I feel like they don't remember the negative. BSOD were common in Windows 9x. The first Windows version with which I've had a stable, satisfying experience was Windows 2000 (at work I did use some version of Windows NT 4; it could've been the network but it had quirks and was slow. Had to be early 10 min just to fire up computer).
Now everyone is reinventing wheels. poorly.
We could have way better than fat32 on cards. Ms and apple just don't want to make that any easier for you.
In other words, even if only Linux existed you couldn't have a universally R/W usb stick without FAT or NTFS.
But honestly i would be fine with ms making ntfs a free open standard so we can get better support for it.
Storage vendors are going to use the lowest common denominator because of all the older hardware out there that wouldn't work with a newer filesystem.
And most of the people buying USB thumb drives and whatnot are just going to use whatever the drive comes with.
Far worse is it that there is no good, unencumbered (looking at you CDDL license) version of UDF fsck.
It might be useful to have said which bit of this is most interesting.
I see nothing on the O'Reilly site or the host site that gives them the right to redistribute this freely, but please let me know if I'm wrong.
OTOH, the company I work for has a customer that uses some ancient automation software to run an industrial plant, and that software uses dongles attached to the parallel port, and I mean the parallel port. Using USB-to-parallel-adapters does not work, and finding motherboards with parallel ports has become rather difficult. :-|
Have you tried modifying the Device Manager configuration for the USB-to-parallel adapter to assign it the I/O port and IRQ traditionally associated with LPT1 (I/O port 0x3BC, IRQ 7)? Changing exactly those kinds of mappings are the whole (original) purpose of the Windows Device Manager :)
The other thing you could do, though, is just run the automation software in a VM, and map the USB parallel port to the VM's LPT1. It's the IBM z/OS philosophy :)
But as far as I recall, the software runs on DOS (for real!), and attempts to run it inside a VM have not been very successful, because the link between the software and the PCL is very timing-sensitive or something like that. FreeDOS did not work, either; I got to install MS-DOS 6.22 on a few machines two or three years ago for that reason. It was fun actually, but finding three floppy disks for the installation media was ... challenging. ;-)
> mkisofs -b dos622_1.img . > \temp\dos6.iso
something like this, will get you a bootable CD that'll emulate a floppy and get you onto that first disk... It's probably easier to do a dump/restore set of whatever it is you need to install, or just make a boot floppy to load up MSCDEX & friends so you can xcopy as another solution.....
Parallel ports aren't too hard to find, there is PCI cards you can find with parallel ports.. Now ISA slots on the other hand....
On the upside, installing MS-DOS 6.22 from floppies took less than 15 minutes, and the freshly installed system booted withing 15 seconds. ;-)
These won't work either?
And yes, those parallel port dongles were even worse. I suppose you might be able to find a PCIe parallel port card?