During a recent swim, I happened to overhear a conversation between two other people in the pool that was distinctly Korean. I introduced myself and we ended up having a great chat that was probably 70% Korean. After that encounter, I came to the realization that I’ve learned enough of the language that I’m right on the precipice of basic fluency in Korean. To that end, I decided, to resume my Korean studies. One of the skillsets I wanted to work on was my ability to touch-type in Korean. I’m already reasonably OK at the task and can type in Hangul without looking at the keyboard. But I still make a ton of mistakes which of course frustrates the learning process. I decided the first thing I need to do was to obtain that last 15% and master Korean typing. I then went out searching for a Mavis Beacon style typing tutor for Korean. It turns out there is one that rises above all others called 한메타자교사.
Unfortunately, the application was written in 1999 and as such had two issues, one highly annoying and one show stopping. The first is that the application is hard coded to run at 640×480. The second is that it has a really clever game built in that for some reason doesn’t allow accept Korean input. I suspected this had to do with the fact that I was running the application on an English language Windows base OS with Korean language added as an additional IME. After much troubleshooting and trial and error trying to solve the symptoms, I decided to go for broke and fix the problem at the source.
I checked the build date on the executable and it was written in February of 1999. According to this Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Microsoft_Windows), the most recent version of Windows available at the time this application was written was Windows 98.
I then scoured the Internet to try to find an ISO for the Korean version of Windows 98. This proved to take a lot longer than I would have otherwise expected. But I did eventually find one and installed KO_Win98 into a virtual machine. (As an aside, holy hell I forgot how long Windows 98 takes to install. Even with the modern CPU, memory and SSD backend, it still took almost half an hour to install and *4* reboots! We truly live in the golden age).