Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 10th Jul 2008 01:47 UTC
Windows Microsoft recently announced that effective November 1st, 2008, OEMs will no longer be able to license Windows for Workgroups 3.11 in the embedded channel. It's the end of an era.
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It's about time!
by shiny on Thu 10th Jul 2008 02:08 UTC
shiny
Member since:
2005-08-09

They should all migrate to Vista ;)

Reply Score: 5

Wow!
by ohxten on Thu 10th Jul 2008 02:10 UTC in reply to "It's about time!"
ohxten Member since:
2008-02-17

Wow, so soon?

Reply Score: 3

Still around...
by theTSF on Thu 10th Jul 2008 02:15 UTC
theTSF
Member since:
2005-09-27

I haven't seen windows for workgroups seriously installed (some joke installs) for about a decade.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Still around...
by stabbyjones on Thu 10th Jul 2008 02:36 UTC in reply to "Still around..."
stabbyjones Member since:
2008-04-15

and here i was thinking that finding a windows 95 machine still in everyday use was an achievement.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Still around...
by t3RRa on Thu 10th Jul 2008 02:48 UTC in reply to "Still around..."
t3RRa Member since:
2005-11-22

If I remember correctly, few years back -probably 2~4 years- I saw some kiosk/bank ATM machines booting Windows for Workgroups 3.11 (I saw the logo)! ;) Yeah, I saw some others booting Windows 2000 and XP though. But I didn't know that Microsoft was still selling the copies of Windows for Workgroups 3.11 ! Wow.. What about DOS? Anyone knows of companies using DOS in the embedded space around you? ;D

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Still around...
by jebb on Thu 10th Jul 2008 06:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Still around..."
jebb Member since:
2006-07-06

Not so long ago, I dealt with a small austrian company specializing in online titration equipment. The central piece of kit was a DOS-powered box, controlling various pumps, valves and probes, showing trends on an LCD display, and outputting data via 4-20mA analog channels to the DeltaV system.

Speaking with the owner, he was contemplating switching his system to linux, but there definitely was no rush. Of course the whole thing needed updating (think about it, computers exchanging process data over an analog channel which needed calibrating...), but it did the job.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Still around...
by sorpigal on Thu 10th Jul 2008 11:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Still around..."
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

DOS is actually pretty widely used in small/single-purposes embedded systems. It's pretty small, well known and lets your application do whatever it wants.

DOS will be around a lot longer than WFWG or Win95.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Still around...
by Windows Sucks on Thu 10th Jul 2008 13:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Still around..."
Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

Actually Blockbuster Video still uses Dos 6 for all their Cash register / Check out machines. So does Hollywood video.

Scary. LOL!

But if it works, it works.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Still around...
by Aeko on Thu 10th Jul 2008 16:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Still around..."
Aeko Member since:
2007-10-20

Using DOS ?

Us. Thanks to Cobol and having the sources. Of course, they run on XP and have checked on Vista, where it also runs load-highing our language keyboard.

These programs are fast, really fast, and does that no other do, no other.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Still around...
by yakirz on Thu 10th Jul 2008 20:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Still around..."
yakirz Member since:
2006-05-11

I'm gonna automate my life with CP/M!

Reply Score: 1

Truly
by _LH_ on Thu 10th Jul 2008 02:16 UTC
_LH_
Member since:
2005-07-20

This is truly the end of an era. Window for Workgroups 3.11 was the first version of Windows which me and many other people used. It was once widely available de facto operating system which was later replaced by 95. It took me at least till early '97 before I moved on to 95 SR2.

I haven't used it since then but there must have been embedded uses such as (but not including) ATM's long into the 21st century.

Edited 2008-07-10 02:18 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Truly
by flanque on Thu 10th Jul 2008 03:34 UTC in reply to "Truly"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

The first major Windows I used was Windows 2.0. I even found the original floppy disks two days ago, from 1988, and they still work!

Why is it 20 year old single density disks last longer than than 20 day old double sensity disks??!

I then upgraded to Windows 3.0, but couldn't go to Windows 3.11 because I didn't have a 286 or higher - it was an Amstrad 80286, 8Mhz, 640k, vga.

Ah the memories.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Truly
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu 10th Jul 2008 04:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Truly"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

disks back then were made well. today they are tossed together because no one uses them.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Truly
by el3ktro on Thu 10th Jul 2008 07:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Truly"
el3ktro Member since:
2006-01-10

Haha, 8Mhz, yeah I can remember those times. Today, even mobile phones have up to 600MHz!! I can remember that it wasn't long ago where Intel announced the 1Ghz-breakthrough for desktop computers! Now it won't be long until mobile phones run at 1GHz or more! This is just breathtaking.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by aent
by aent on Thu 10th Jul 2008 03:32 UTC
aent
Member since:
2006-01-25

My orthodontist uses a 3.11 and DOS software setup. Nothing has anything past 3.11 yet. My schools phone dialer runs DOS as well.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by aent
by Moredhas on Thu 10th Jul 2008 04:17 UTC in reply to "Comment by aent"
Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

A fine example of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" (regardless of your opinion of Windows or DOS). It's good to see there are some people who refuse to run on the upgrade treadmill when there's no reason to.

Reply Score: 5

Agreed
by thavith_osn on Thu 10th Jul 2008 04:27 UTC
thavith_osn
Member since:
2005-07-11

If it does the job you need it to do, then why "upgrade"...

I had no idea MS still sold it either, wow... It must have been a "specific" market surely?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Agreed
by wrocic on Thu 10th Jul 2008 23:15 UTC in reply to "Agreed"
wrocic Member since:
2008-07-10

A local solicitors firm I know runs an old Amstrad 1512 with Dos 5 and Wordperfect. It has been running this since around 1990. It still works, and they have no need to replace it.
It does look and sound like something from a 50's B-Movie, but every time I visit the office, I glance at it and it makes me feel young again lol

Reply Score: 1

Windows 3.11 ...
by Isolationist on Thu 10th Jul 2008 07:31 UTC
Isolationist
Member since:
2006-05-28

use to run like a dream on my 486 DX2/66

Reply Score: 2

Ancient OS'
by HappyGod on Thu 10th Jul 2008 08:17 UTC
HappyGod
Member since:
2005-10-19

It's normally banks that hang on to these ancient OS's long after their expiration date.

When I worked for BankWest (a HBOS subsidiary) a couple of years ago, they were just upgrading their ATM's and teller machines from WindowsNT.

The only reason they did it was because the keyboard/card-reader manufacturer finally stopped providing an NT driver!

They were so tight with IT spending. All the branches were still on ISDN 128k internet, which was used for all ATM, teller and software update traffic. It did make us pretty economical with our updates though :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Ancient OS'
by mallard on Thu 10th Jul 2008 15:33 UTC in reply to "Ancient OS'"
mallard Member since:
2006-01-06

It's normally banks that hang on to these ancient OS's long after their expiration date.

When I worked for BankWest (a HBOS subsidiary) a couple of years ago, they were just upgrading their ATM's and teller machines from WindowsNT.

The only reason they did it was because the keyboard/card-reader manufacturer finally stopped providing an NT driver!

They were so tight with IT spending. All the branches were still on ISDN 128k internet, which was used for all ATM, teller and software update traffic. It did make us pretty economical with our updates though :-)


Apart from the ISDN thing, I see nothing wrong with that. Why spend money on upgrading ATMs when they work fine as is? What benefit is there to it?
Not upgrading ATMs just because they are old isn't being tight, it's being sensible.

Edited 2008-07-10 15:34 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Ancient OS'
by HappyGod on Thu 10th Jul 2008 19:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Ancient OS'"
HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

Um no actually.

We often had cases of ATM machines crashing, or rebooting at inopportune times.

And thanks to the ultra slow connection they would do things like take an eternity to spit out money, so the frustrated users would go into the branch while the ATM meanwhile spits out the cash to another user.

As for the tellers, they were even worse, as we constantly tried to work around the ancient OS.

In short there comes a point where even if something appears to be "working", in actual fact you are spending far more in wasted man-hours of support time fighting all the grassfires.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Ancient OS'
by mallard on Fri 11th Jul 2008 08:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ancient OS'"
mallard Member since:
2006-01-06

Um no actually.

We often had cases of ATM machines crashing, or rebooting at inopportune times.

And thanks to the ultra slow connection they would do things like take an eternity to spit out money, so the frustrated users would go into the branch while the ATM meanwhile spits out the cash to another user.

As for the tellers, they were even worse, as we constantly tried to work around the ancient OS.

In short there comes a point where even if something appears to be "working", in actual fact you are spending far more in wasted man-hours of support time fighting all the grassfires.


Given that extra information, upgrading now sounds more sensible. The previous post made it sound like the upgrades were happening simply because the hardware/software was old.

BTW the ATMs crashing/rebooting sounds awfully like the consequences of failing hardware, rather than any software issue, but as you said, the manufacturer no longer provides NT drivers, so replacing the hardware necessitates the software upgrade.

However, the slowness of the connection seems to me to be a bit of a red herring. ATMs don't need to send/receive vast amounts of data. Here in the UK it is fairly common to see stand-alone ATMs in stores that connect to the bank over a dial-up modem, and they still don't take that long to work.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Ancient OS'
by HappyGod on Fri 11th Jul 2008 12:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Ancient OS'"
HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

You're right, ATM's don't use that much bandwidth on their own.

But when added to the branches emails, software updates and teller transactions, it was too much for the connection and we the issues I described.

Reply Score: 2

Windows for Workgroups
by B12 Simon on Thu 10th Jul 2008 08:35 UTC
B12 Simon
Member since:
2006-11-08

A company I worked for in the late 90s used to configure 100s of Windows for Workgroups PCs for a huge UK PLC. I expect a lot of them are still in use today.

As has been said elsewhere: if it ain't broke...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Windows for Workgroups
by Gryzor on Thu 10th Jul 2008 09:32 UTC in reply to "Windows for Workgroups"
Gryzor Member since:
2005-07-03

There are many Clipper/DOS systems out there (Medicine, Dentists). I see 'em from time to time.

Reply Score: 2

3.11
by bolomkxxviii on Thu 10th Jul 2008 10:49 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

Ah, the good old days. No DRM on anything. You anyone could easily hack the OS. Anybody could write a program that would run. The OS would fit on a few floppies. The worst part of that time period was the crappy, fuzzy, 60 hz monitors. Amazing more people didn't go blind!

Reply Score: 3

But, but...
by fretinator on Thu 10th Jul 2008 13:46 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

How ever will I run my copy of Bob??

Reply Score: 2

RE: But, but...
by umccullough on Thu 10th Jul 2008 14:54 UTC in reply to "But, but..."
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

How ever will I run my copy of Bob??


On Windows 9x...

Reply Score: 2

imagine how fast
by Bounty on Thu 10th Jul 2008 16:52 UTC
Bounty
Member since:
2006-09-18

imagine how fast old dos or 3.11 systems would run on modern computers. I remember running special programs to slow down games on 500mhz systems. Of course no multi-core support... but hey, most apps don't suport it either.

Reply Score: 1

3.11
by frood on Fri 11th Jul 2008 10:11 UTC
frood
Member since:
2005-07-06

I remember have Windows 3.11 installed more of a gimmick than anything useful because it was one of the few programs that supported my hercules graphics card! But even then I would just play with mspaint. Any real work was done in DOS within StarOffice, and all games were played in DOS through my trusty CGA emulator.

Reply Score: 1

Nasa
by FunkyELF on Mon 14th Jul 2008 03:33 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

What does this mean for Nasa? I read about them buying up all the old 386 processors out there because shuttle crap runs on it and they can't re-QA it on newer hardware / software.

Reply Score: 2