“The Windows 95 kernel team got kind of jealous of all the attention the shell team has been getting from its PowerToys, so they decided to polish off their own personal toys and make their own web page.
Mind you, the kernel folks aren’t experts at intuitive user interfaces, so don’t expect to see jumping icons and friendly things to click on. (These are the people who do their taxes in hexadecimal.)”
That’s from the README.TXT file that comes with Kernel PowerToys, with a good dose of humour.
Similar to PowerToys, the Kernel PowerToys was the smaller sibling adding a few other enhancements to your Windows 95 system. This pack however was aimed at power users.
Here’s an overview of the enhancements:
Conventional Memory Tracker – Use CONVMEM.VXD to track and break down the amount of memory being allocated by virtual device drivers (VxDs) in conventional memory. An output file is created providing a table of the memory usage.
MS-DOS Mode Configuration Wizard Customization Tool – Absolute handful of a name, though the purpose is to assist configuration of the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files primarily for playing games in MS-DOS mode.
The humour continues with: “The fact that you’re running doswzcfg in the first place demonstrates that you are a hard-core super power user who believes that fancy GUI help files are for namby pamby mouse-addicted beginners who think you need exact change to get onto a PCI bus. Plain ASCII text files, that’s what real hackers user (use) for documentation.”
Windows Time Zone Editor – Create and change time zones. You may wonder why you’d ever want to change a time zone, however if you live in a country such as Australia that observes Daylight Saving Time during the warmer months the dates can get adjusted over the years. Back in 1995, it would appear the end of October was the start of Daylight Saving Time, though these days it now starts in early October and ends early April here.
You may have noticed it actually says it’s for Windows NT, though was fully compatible with Windows 95.
Windows 95 Keyboard Remap – Adds the Remap tab under the Keyboard Properties in Control Panel. Allows you to customise how the function keys on your keyboard behave. So if you really wanted to you could change the Left Ctrl key to behave as the Caps Lock key annoying some other user in the process.
Windows 95 Program Monitor (WinTop) – If you’ve used Process Explorer on Windows XP or later, this is a simpler implementation of it. Allows you to see what’s running in memory, CPU load, and force processes to close.
Windows Logo Key Control for MS-DOS Programs – Use DOSWINKY.VXD to allow you to have the Windows key ignored when playing DOS games. Handy when you were really wanting to press Control to shoot demons in DOOM.