Windows 3.1 @ 20
Posted 10 April 2012 - 07:15 AM
Can say the same about my next PC, an IBM PS/1 which came with Windows 3.0. I wiped the hard drive after the first month because it was nothing but a waste of space. I was 15.
Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:29 AM
I still have an Amstrad PC6400 that came with separate floppies for MS-DOS and GEM, the CP/M GUI. I was a DOS guy and never felt the urge to complicate my life with a GUI.
Posted 10 April 2012 - 09:18 PM
Before that, people were saying the same thing about 20MB hard drives, and that was a luxury not many could afford either. Floppies also seemed quite large. I mean, you could fit several full games on one, and I'm not talking about 1.44MB floppies either! People have always said that. I almost wonder if people were saying that when cavemen were making drawings on cave's walls... And these days we have no problems filling drives of a few terabytes. These days online hosts have petabytes of data. Megaupload for example had between 25 and 28 petabytes of data -- that's over 25 000 000 GB. I'm not sure how much space Amazon's S3 has, but they have price breaks for customers that use more than 50TB... I don't see this trend stopping anytime soon, nor will people stop saying "this is more than we'll ever need".
All these years I thought GEM was an Atari ST-only thing... Not that I've ever used CP/M (I mostly used 8 bit machines before MS-DOS).
Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:11 PM
Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:18 PM
Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:28 PM
Me neither. But I remember seeing a lot of DOS menu systems back then, some of which used to be somewhat popular (but my memory fails to remember their names unfortunately).
The main problem with them is that they used memory, and it wasn't uncommon to require "at least" some amount of conventional/EMS/XMS memory to run some app (where we had fancy optimized config.sys menus, some with qemm), and the menu used enough for the program not to run...
Posted 10 April 2012 - 10:30 PM
Before that, people were saying the same thing about 20MB hard drives, and that was a luxury not many could afford either. Floppies also seemed quite large. I mean, you could fit several full games on one, and I'm not talking about 1.44MB floppies either!
I remember one time my dad and I were at the computer store, probably 1983. He turned to me, pointed to a wall display with 10-packs of single-sided, single-density (160K) 5.25" floppies, and said:
"What will I ever need ten of these for?!"
I replied, "Yeah, really!"
This post has been edited by JorgeA: 10 April 2012 - 10:39 PM
Posted 11 April 2012 - 12:05 AM
Yes, it's a photo of a monitor, but not mine. Alas, I don't have Software Carousel anymore! That photo is from a review of it at InfoWorld (Jan 05, 87). Read it, by all means, Software Carousel was much more than just a DOS menu system, since it instanced and swapped all memory above itself, and would run real great on a PC-XT clone having an AboveBoard or any other form of LIM EMS. And just required PC/MS-DOS 2.00+!
Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:33 AM
Thanks, that was a fascinating read!
It reminds me of a question I had a long time ago, which was whether it's possible to devise a CLI- or DOS-based system that addresses lots of RAM, such that you could dispense with Windows. (For the longest time, whenever the topic came up I would proudly announce that, "I don't do Windows!") I guess now that the answer would be that it IS possible.
Posted 11 April 2012 - 01:02 PM
At least we have the satisfaction, we who are sticking to w9x against all the ires and reprobation of webmasters, programmers and post WindowsXP fans, to remember that there was something *before* w9x.
w3.1 is our ancestor. A symbol of the w9x simplicity (even if it was useless). Something like a cult item. LOL.
I was interrested to read that w3.1 was mostly useless because there weren't enough apps designed for windows.
It's like 64bit apps today. Two years after 64bit windows version it's unclear whether you need it, and what's the advantage of it. We are still far from 100% 64 bit computers.
But we will come to it eventualy as we came to full windows app computers in the years to Y2K.
I'm sure that if we put as much effort to upgrade w3.1 as we put on w9x, we could have a suprisingly fonctional platform.
When was the last w3.1 service pack issued?
Posted 11 April 2012 - 03:29 PM
DOS extenders did let apps use loads of RAM easily (DOS4GW, Pharlap, etc). Also, DESQview used similar tricks (memory paging & swapping) to give us multitasking in DOS (yes, as in running more than one app at the same time under DOS). It was actually very easy living without Win 3.x -- the main disadvantage was that you had no solitaire or minesweeper
Win9x isn't special. Of course there was something before. And there was something before that as well, and so on (lots of things before MS-DOS too). I'd much rather "remember" MS-DOS which was quite a bit more useful, had far more software, was a lot easier and a lot of fun to develop for, was used a lot more and still is to this day... There's also a lot of nice old 8 bit and "non-PC" platforms worth remembering a whole lot more than Win 3.1 IMO.
Very bad analogy IMO.
How is it unclear in any way? If you want to make full use of 4GB+ of RAM (you can get 8GB of DDR3 for like $40) then you want a 64 bit OS, and that's also its main advantage (being able to use lots of RAM). It's really that simple. I'm not sure what you're not understanding there.
There were no such things as service packs back then. Or updates for that matter.
Posted 11 April 2012 - 04:27 PM
CoffeeFiend is right, there were no service packs ever issued for Windows 3.x, although there were several iterations, including 3.0, 3.1, 3.11, and Windows for Workgroups 3.1 and 3.11 (the one I have). One could argue that each of these successive editions served the function of a service pack, especially as some of them were issued not as standalone OS's, but as updates or extensions building on the previous version.
Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:18 PM
Sure there were!
The last update pack to Win 3.1 transformed it into Win 3.11 (do not confuse with Win 4 Workgroups 3.11).
It is WW0981, still available from MS, originally released Dec 31, 1993, and described more fully in this KB text: Win311. KB0032905 contains a full version history of the pre-9x/ME days. BTW, since the advent of 386-enhanced mode windows, it's not really correct to think about it as a windowing system running on top of DOS: it did in fact "possess" DOS, by patching it in-memory and replacing part of its functionality with its own VxDs, so the resulting OS was really a Windows/DOS gestalt. And that's how it worked ever since, up to (and including) Win ME.
PS: I finally voted in the poll today. I used Win 3.1 for about half again a year, then applied the upgrade to Win 3.11, just as it was released, and moved on to W4W 3.11 by the end of '94, and thence to 98 FE in mid-'99. So, considering the question applies to all variants of Win 3.1 taken together, all in all it's been about 7 years. ..
Posted 11 April 2012 - 08:44 PM
I didn't even really use win95 when it showed up....my existing biz dos programs were still fine through that era. I think I had windows 95 on only one computer and hardly ever used it. Things gradually began to change for me once win98 appeared.
This post has been edited by billyb: 11 April 2012 - 08:48 PM
Posted 12 April 2012 - 02:17 PM
Do you have a better one?
64 bit OS was the first important developement since coming from Dos to Windows.
And I remember that when 64bit came out, there was a while when poeple wondered whether it's worth it ot not.
Posted 12 April 2012 - 05:30 PM
It may not have seemed worth jumping to an x64 OS at that time, but it was a very important milestone.
This post has been edited by 5eraph: 12 April 2012 - 05:30 PM
Posted 12 April 2012 - 07:18 PM
Posted 13 April 2012 - 08:58 AM
No, the "World's most useless Microsoft operating system of all time" was what ran on the Hitachi Peach, an amalgam of machine language and BASIC. This thing ran so slowly that to duplicate a floppy disk (I can't remember the capacity, probably 1XX KB) took one hour, about 20m to format the new floppy, 20m to copy the tracks, and another 20m to verify. No joke, that's really how long it took!
BTW, I entirely agree with your views on MSW3.X, its only use was to run IE 3.02a on old hardware (best 'net performance I've encountered, although useless today).
but.. , win9x also sits on top of MS-DOS 7.x
i remember mucking with 9x settings (by accidents) that it would return to DOS instead of powering-down the computer, when you choose to shutdown.
win9x will gives messages something like: "You may shutdown the computer", but with C:\> prompt ready.
and, with BootGUI=0 in msdos.sys,
i loves type "win" to (re-)run the win9x,
just like i did on windows 3.x before.
Yeah, rename 'win.com' to 'gui.com' (and call it in 'autoexec.bat' if you wish), and "shutdown" will bring you back to DOS instead of shutting down.
Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:37 PM
The fact that it is "evicted" from DOS on shutdown just shows how cleverly written it is. It does not mean unmodified DOS was working under it all the while.
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