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Windows 3.1 @ 20

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Poll: Windows 3.1 Poll (47 member(s) have cast votes)

How long have you used the operating system for?

  1. Never (12 votes [25.53%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 25.53%

  2. Less than 1 year (10 votes [21.28%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 21.28%

  3. 1 to 5 years (14 votes [29.79%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 29.79%

  4. More than 5 years (11 votes [23.40%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 23.40%

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#51
dencorso

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I'm not arguing your conclusions in the slightest, I'm just having a little trouble with the math.


:wacko: I had made a quite botched calculation, which now I've fixed, thanks to you. :thumbup

If the Brazilian yearly income at minimum wage is really just "US$4810.00 per year", then the comparative situation is even worse that you were portraying it, especially after you factor in the Big Mac Index and the Gini Coefficient.

It is. Yes. :(

So, to get back to the start, people earn 1/5 and the hardware costs twice to thrice.


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#52
dencorso

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Here are two real life examples:

San Disk 32GB Extreme Pro 45MB/s SDHC Card (at memorytec, Brazil) R$427,49 == US$266.19 (at amazon.com: US$89.99)

USB 3.0 Transcend PDU3 PCI-e Add-On Board (at memorytec, Brazil) R$56,99 == US$30.15 (at amazon.com: US$17.99)

In this context, it's no wonder people takes much longer to dump an older machine for a brand new one, and that upgrading existing boxes and repairing hardware (like changing for tantalum all caps in a graphics card with some bust caps) makes sense.

#53
os2fan2

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Windows 3.1 came out in Easter 1992. I got a copy when i bought my first computer at that time. It was a 486 DX 33 with 8 MB of ram, and 120 MB of fixed disk, a 5.5 floppy and a 3.5 floppy, and vga graphics. Except for the graphics, it was a pretty mean machine in its day. The usual fare was a 386 with 4 MB and 40 MB disks were just going out of supply, but were still being sold.

When you look at it, it looks pretty much like Windows 3.0, except a lot less grey. The shell program is 'progman' , which was considerably less potent than say, the DOS menu the computer came with, or even the program manager in DOSSHELL. You can't put groups inside groups. You look over the shell, and see what's missing.

I really did not get use to the shell. Shell replacements were one of the largest classes of Windows 3.x apps. I think i tried 15 or so. TakeCommand, Praxim, WPSShell, Norton Desktop Windows, Bubba, Command Post, Becker tools shell, MS-DOS Executive, Spider, even Solitaire.

The usual sport was 'program thinning'. DOS and Windows took up something like 20 MB, but you could thin out the rubbish to 10 MB or so. Norton Desktop (8 disks = 20 MB), and Becker tools (2 disks = 4 MB), were thinned down to 1 disk 750 KB. Five versions of Civ1 was thinned from 10 disks 15 MB to 3 disks 4 MB. Even DOS was culled.

After 4DOS, Rexx, one sinks into OS/2 and multi boot, and then multi-multi-boot, and then even using one copy of windows in multi-boot with network-like install. OS/2 is a wonderful system to learn about Windows, and Windows is a wonderful system to learn about OS/2. About themselves, not so good.

I rewrote the Windows install about 86 times, i suppose. I even replaced the tutorial with something useful (a welcome help system). It is still being developed. You could fix up most of the bugs in Windows by using the Win-OS/2 files, but i wasn't all that game in replacing things like winoldap.mod, etc. But the rest works.

#54
Fredledingue

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CoffeFiend,
What I mean is the phenomenon (rather than the thechnical evaluation) of poeple facing something new, which looks great and promising but without real application.
Other important innovations like SATA, USB2, etc had immediate use.
Why w3.1 if it's to launch only DOS softwares?
Why x64 if it's to launch only 32 bit softwares?

The move forward took much longer than merely a new piece of hardware which comes with a driver.
In these two cases, the entire software and hardware industry had to update their products to make the innovation fruitfull.

The concept of windows was not a hardware advance, but it forced the software industry to completely rethink the way interfaces are designed and adapt to a wide range of new possibilities, notably the use of a mouse.
While not new when w3.11 was released, it was new for MS-DOS users, most "home users" at the time, GUI enabled computers were still rare high-end machines.
At least for the PC world, there was a huge albeit gradual shift from DOS-launched, often mouseless and 2D apps to 3D windows apps.

The x64 was not as visualy spectacular because an x64 PC looks like a 32bit one, but it was the first time in almost 10 years MS made a core change in the OS, along with a core change in the hardware (processor).
32 bit was so much the norm that you would be yawning at the mention of it. Today it's more exciting.

Interresting link: A Short History of the GUI and the Microsoft vs Apple Debate

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#55
os2fan2

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One must remember that DOS programs were designed to run on stand-alone machines, one at a time. Windows, and pretty much any multitasker, has to deal with shared use, such as spooling printers, file resources and other things which a computer needs to share.

It's interesting to note the only way i could get DOS games (like DOOM) to run on some boxen, was to run it in a winoldap session: a DOS box under Windows. This is because Windows can provide more memory than raw DOS could.

Likewise, in restricted memory systems, one might run windows games under DOS, by setting eg 'shell=spider.exe' in a copy of Windows 3.1,

#56
os2fan2

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When you run something like DOS under WINOLDAP (win 3.1/9x) or DOSKRNL (OS/2) or DOSVM (WinNT), the DOS code does not run in the VM.

Run for example, MSD under Windows NT or OS/2, and you will see that things like MSCDEX and Mouse take up a lot less code than under native DOS. This is because the calls are reflected out of the VM down to the host. Even functions of DOS could be reflected down to the kernel. OS/2's DOS emulation gives something like 630 KB of ram, with DOS loaded low, because the DOS calls are not dealt with in the VM. The 10 KB is the DOS data. All dos needs to do is update the data tables, not be present itself.

Likewise, a newer OS can introduce things that the old OS does not know about. Running things like WP and Lotus 123 in Windows VM's allows the prints to be spooled even if they start printing together. Running 32-bit proggies in 64 bits might allow each 32-bit system to run in its own space, even if the underlying 32-bit OS is shared. In other words, you run the base 32-bit OS in one VM as a DLL, and then run each application in its own VM, with a very tiny bit calling the master VM in the way that proggies in the main system calls DLLs.

#57
dencorso

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You could fix up most of the bugs in Windows by using the Win-OS/2 files, but i wasn't all that game in replacing things like winoldap.mod, etc.

Would you please kindly elaborate? I hadn't heard of using OS/2 files in Win up to now. :blushing:

#58
Fredledingue

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Yes, finding new updates off non-MS OSes, would be awesome.
But is it realistic beyond a few DOS tweaks?
______________________________

Edited by Fredledingue, 17 April 2012 - 03:26 PM.

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#59
os2fan2

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You could fix up most of the bugs in Windows by using the Win-OS/2 files, but i wasn't all that game in replacing things like winoldap.mod, etc.

Would you please kindly elaborate? I hadn't heard of using OS/2 files in Win up to now. :blushing:


Most of what's in \OS2\MDOS\WINOS2 is an IBM compile of Microsoft's Windows 3.10 code. It has a handful of DOS files in it, and some icon changes (including winoldap).

It's pretty easy to work out the hacked files, since OS/2 for Windows adds such files to a Windows 3.1 setup. These have different names, and use different functions to the standard DOS features. There are proggies that can add files from MS-Windows to Win-OS/2 to have the same effect.

Some of the files, like write.exe are identical. Others like progman and calc.exe, are different (the OS/2 version does not have the bugs). Winfile works quite well under both, i suppose. The help about dialog lives in 'shell.dll', so when you call this up, you get 'win-os/2 3.11' under my Windoze soup.

After 1994/01/01 the IBM/Msft joint agreement went into another stage, and Wfw 3.11 was brought out with some modification that adds incompatibilities to OS/2 for Windows. IBM did fix this up, in a later release. In any case, you can run Wfw 3.11 under standard mode, (since wfw 3.10 does), but you have to lift some files from win 3.11 or 3.10 to do it. On the other hand, setup in wfw 3.11 does not handle standard mode things, even though space exists for it. You have to manage these adjustments manually.

Still, nearly all of the utilities from OS/2 i have used under DOS, Winfile and Printman comes from Wfw and other files lifted elsewhere. If you put shell.dll and the two ole*.dll files, Windows will tell you that it's win-os2.

Note in the picture it says 'win-os2 version 3.11'. It's running under DOS, there never was a win-os2 3.11.

Attached Files


Edited by os2fan2, 18 April 2012 - 04:43 AM.


#60
jds

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This is because Windows can provide more memory than raw DOS could.

Not true! Back in the day, I had a very memory-demanding application, whose needs could only be met in "raw DOS" as you call it, not in Windows.

What you say may apply only if you compare to an un-optimized DOS system, or perhaps one optimized with the 'MemMaker' utility. However if you are skilled, it is possible to achieve up to 120K more available memory than what 'MemMaker' can achieve. With DR-DOS, even more is possible, for example, I had a CD-ROM driver, mouse driver, LAN card driver and the bloated MS network client drivers [edit: and a disk cache] all loaded, and still almost 640K of available conventional memory.

Joe.

Edited by jds, 18 April 2012 - 09:02 PM.


#61
os2fan2

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It depends on which memory is being talked about. DOS does not page XMS, so this is limited to RAM by himem.sys. On the other hand, Windows does page XMS, so ye have access to more memory than is installed on the box. It's this trick i got DOOM to work in less than required memory.

#62
aurgathor

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I installed it, then I spent an hour or two to figure out how it works, and how I can use it, and then I uninstalled it. That was it. :rolleyes:

I was using PC-Mix at that time (anyone remember that nifty multitasking shell?) and while it didn't have a GUI, it simply worked much better for my use.

#63
ZortMcGort11

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I used Windows 3.1 back when I was like 10 years old. I thought it was pretty neat at the time. Now that I think about it, it really was an important milestone in computing.

Several ground breaking programs that come to mind are LView 3.1, Word 6.0, and early versions of Winzip. (It was much faster and easier than using PKunzip)

I would never use Windows 3.1 or DOS ever again. There's no point. The only way to get media on/off those computers is by using floppy disks. In today's world of 4Gb flash drives, trying to get by with floppy diskettes would be impossible. It would be torture.

If I had to pick the greatest Windows 3.1 program of all tme, it would definitely be Word 6.0. That thing practically was Windows 3.1

#64
JorgeA

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If I had to pick the greatest Windows 3.1 program of all tme, it would definitely be Word 6.0. That thing practically was Windows 3.1

Yeah, Word 6.0 -- with its native fonts and WYSIWYG feature -- is what made the switch over from DOS worth it for me. Otherwise I'd have been just as happy to keep chugging along with WordStar in MS-DOS 3.25...

--JorgeA

#65
shae

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I chose "Never", but that depends on how you define "use". I did have it installed for some time, and did occasionally use it, but it was never used as an OS per se. I used it more like you use a software, running it when needed for specific things.

DOS was my main OS, which also continued as a dual boot option with Win95, and maybe even Win98 for a while.

Edited by shae, 25 August 2012 - 08:39 AM.


#66
dencorso

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(Which compares well with the more realistic 52.14 weeks per year,40h per week of work and US$7.25 per hour, which gives US$15120.60) .
Now, with Brazilian 13 months and Sao Paulo's US$370.00 per month, we'd have US$4810.00 per year. Then the buts begin: but the Big Mac Index (by applying it, the US$4810.00 is reduced by 35% to account to the higher costs here, becoming US$3126.50), but the Gini Coefficient and but the unemployment rate (6.0% in 2011). And Brazil has about 2/3 of the US population.

Just to keep up to date, the situation here has remained about the same (or improved minimally, if one wants to be optmistic): What then were US$3126.50, now became US$3589.50... (about 15% real gain after two years, that's not bad you'll say!)... I'll check the new Gini Coefficient and the unemployment rate and add that info later. Also it's really worth it to give a look at the new, interactive, Big Mac Index page at The Economist's. :yes:

#67
JodyT

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I wrote one to five years for my vote. To be honest though, three of those years were using Windows 3.1 as a Win-OS/2 session. 16-bit apps ran great under OS/2.

(Edit: Apparently from reading the thread, I'm not alone. There are other Win-OS/2 users too.)

Edited by JodyThornton, 08 April 2013 - 07:44 AM.

Cheers,

Jody Thornton

(Thornhill, Ontario)

 


#68
dencorso

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At US minimum wage of $7.25 /hr x 40hrs/week x 52 weeks/year = US$15,080.00 per year gross income, assuming no vacation. [...] If the Brazilian yearly income at minimum wage is really just "US$4810.00 per year", then the comparative situation is even worse that you were portraying it, especially after you factor in the Big Mac Index and the Gini Coefficient.


Just to keep this up to date (not that it has changed that much since then), the Sao Paulo State Minimum Wage (the highest in Brazil) is, since 01/01/2015, US$ 2.05 per hour (using 2.82, the jan 2015 the Big Mac index as the exchange rate). It also means US$ 4275.48 per year, so there has been a loss of real purchasing power to it of about 11%, as compared to 2012...  



#69
submix8c

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In addition yearly inflation rate does not equal purchasing power.

 

National News inviariably suggests how great everything is (if only min wage was raised) but don't take into account purchasing power.

 

Compare $.50/gal gas / $.25 loaf of bread in 1972 to $2.80 gas / $1.20 loaf of bread today.

 

Pretty sure if inflation rates were APR "compounded" (like banks do for savings accounts) people would be shocked.

 

Also pretty sure this has floated OT...

 

On-Topic - DOS/Win3x is great for really old games -if- you can get a slow enough CPU / low enough RAM. Been saveing a couple of old dinosaurs back for grand-kids. Just haven't got around to re-assembly. Win95/98 are ok too, except for some old games (like PacMan) run -way- too fast even on a P-133mhz (AFAICR).


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#70
dencorso

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Also pretty sure this has floated OT...

 

You bet! :)

 

jaclaz posted elsewhere on MSFN about running Win 3.1 on DOSBox... while I'm not quite keen on using VMs, it sure seems a good option for games requiring very slow hardware (read 4.77MHz 8088 like). It's also the best option for running DOS executables and Win 16 protected mode executables on x64 NT OSes... So maybe we should open a thread dedicated to it, shouldn't we?


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#71
CamTron

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Wow, I feel young! :w00t:  My first experience with a computer was when I was about 4 or 5 years old, and we had Windows 95, so I pretty much skipped the whole Win16 era. I do seem to remember seeing a small number of machines at my elementary school that had the 3.x look, and they may have been Windows 3.x or Windows NT 3.x, but all we ever used there was Windows 98, 2000, and XP.

 

It does look like an interesting OS, but there doesn't seem to be much software that was made for it besides Word, Internet Explorer, and DOS games.


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#72
jaclaz

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It does look like an interesting OS, but there doesn't seem to be much software that was made for it besides Word, Internet Explorer, and DOS games.

Sure :), until Windows 95 came out everything manufactured by mankind,  including cars, bridges and buildings was designed by hand on paper, Adobe and Autodesk only exist because of Windows 95, a Lotus 123 was just an extremely small British car :w00t: and your dad's accountant used an abacus to calculate the taxes.

 

Not that this did not actually happen in recent enough times, but you are some 10-15 years off in the dates.

 

To be fair a fairly good (but not exceptional) PC, something that would have been called an "Engineering Workstation" at the time, circa 1985 would have easily costed 8-12 monthly wages of the actual engineer, the PC and DOS was a (costly) device used at work, not something that was in every home.

 

jaclaz



#73
Dave-H

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Brings back memories this talk about Windows 3.1!

I got my first PC in 1993, well after many people here I'm sure, and I never had the pleasure of working on a pure DOS machine, but I can certainly remember when PCs were purely considered to be office work tools, and it was rare to find one in the home.

My first machine had no sound facilities (why would you need it on an office machine in those days?) and a 120MB hard drive!

This failed quite quickly, and under warranty it was replaced with a (gasp!) 150MB hard drive.

This was more than you could ever imagine filling up in your whole lifetime in those days!

The machine had Lotus office programs on it, Lotus Organiser address book, Lotus 123 for spreadsheets, and Lotus AmiPro for word processing.

It didn't have much else!


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#74
JorgeA

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I remember thinking "Wow!" the first time I slid a CD into the tray of my WFWG 3.11 machine, and hearing music come out of the speakers. I didn't even have to get up from my chair anymore to play music as I worked.

 

--JorgeA



#75
JorgeA

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Also pretty sure this has floated OT...

 

You bet! :)

 

jaclaz posted elsewhere on MSFN about running Win 3.1 on DOSBox... while I'm not quite keen on using VMs, it sure seems a good option for games requiring very slow hardware (read 4.77MHz 8088 like). It's also the best option for running DOS executables and Win 16 protected mode executables on x64 NT OSes... So maybe we should open a thread dedicated to it, shouldn't we?

 

 

If we may be permitted to float further back than 3.11, my father once had a DOS machine that had a switch to toggle the CPU between 4.77 and 8 MHz, precisely for the purpose of playing games that didn't work well on the faster setting.

 

--JorgeA






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