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Windows 95 Forever

Swarthmore College: populated by the brilliant, competitive, and eccentric. The quiet of the library is disrupted by a lively discussion.

Pam Harris, librarian: Did you know that The Rolling Stones extorted millions of dollars from Bill Gates to market Windows 95?

Kate Carter, librarian: What?!

Keith Richards, rock star: Mick hated the idea. But I had lost a lot of money in the collectibles market. Beanie Babies. They’re my heroin. 

Pam: And that focus groups helped shape Windows 95?

Gail Kelly, engineer: We’d ask people to think out loud while they used the prototype. People would say things like, “This engineer is very attractive. Hello, Nurse!” And then we’d tell them to stop thinking out loud.

Pam: Or that Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston from Friends starred in the instructional VHS cassette?

Wayne Riley, videographer: Microsoft originally suggested we use Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt from Mad About You, but Helen Hunt had an existing relationship with Linux.

Kate: Where are you getting this?

Pam: Restart Me Up: The Unauthorized, Un-Accurate Oral History of Windows 95 (Devastator Press) by Lesley Tsina ’96. Clearly, she put her Swarthmore degree in theater to good use. It reads like a movie script, but with jokes about X-Files fan fiction and Comic Sans. 

Kate: You had me at Mulder and Scully.