Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 5th Nov 2008 16:12 UTC, submitted by Michael
Windows I collect manuals. I have so many of them, that I'm starting to wonder where on earth I'm supposed to put them all. Somewhere in the back of a closet, I keep all my manuals in three huge boxes, with manuals dating from the early '80s to just a few days ago when I bought a new mouse. However, none of them are as dear to my as my extensive, fully illustrated Dutch manuals for Windows 3.0, which accompanied my parents' first PC in 1990. An enormously detailed manual covering every aspect of Windows 3.0 - with special sleeves for the various floppy disks that held the Windows 3.0 operating system. I still have those original floppies, and they're still fully functional. Last week, the era of Windows 3.x finally came to an end when Microsoft ceased to give out licenses for the operating system.
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R.I.P.
by Andre on Wed 5th Nov 2008 16:54 UTC
Andre
Member since:
2005-07-06

R.I.P. Windows 3

Reply Score: 2

The Good Old Days
by ferrels on Wed 5th Nov 2008 17:01 UTC
ferrels
Member since:
2006-08-15

I liked Windows 3.11 for the most part. But I didn't like being restricted to 8.3 file names nor the tweaking one had to do to with system memory to get DOS drivers and Windows to co-exist. Glad those days are over.....

Reply Score: 1

RE: The Good Old Days
by Stephen! on Wed 5th Nov 2008 18:23 UTC in reply to "The Good Old Days"
Stephen! Member since:
2007-11-24

I liked Windows 3.11 for the most part. But I didn't like being restricted to 8.3 file names nor the tweaking one had to do to with system memory to get DOS drivers and Windows to co-exist.


And still quite large compared to the Amiga Operating System, which could be run from a single 800k floppy disk.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: The Good Old Days
by Rugxulo on Thu 6th Nov 2008 21:30 UTC in reply to "RE: The Good Old Days"
Rugxulo Member since:
2007-10-09

And still quite large compared to the Amiga Operating System, which could be run from a single 800k floppy disk.


Rumor has it that you could squeeze Win 3.0 on a 720k floppy. Never tried, but then again, I don't have any crucial Win3x apps. ;-)

Reply Score: 1

RE: The Good Old Days
by helf on Thu 6th Nov 2008 02:55 UTC in reply to "The Good Old Days"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

I liked 3.x, actually. ran well for me on my old computers. for a long time i was stuck on a 386-sx 25mhz with 8mb of ram for YEARS... It is amazing what all you can do with 3.11, still. ;) even use WiFi with it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: The Good Old Days
by niemau on Thu 6th Nov 2008 07:16 UTC in reply to "RE: The Good Old Days"
niemau Member since:
2007-06-28

I liked 3.x, actually. ran well for me on my old computers. for a long time i was stuck on a 386-sx 25mhz with 8mb of ram for YEARS... It is amazing what all you can do with 3.11, still. ;) even use WiFi with it.


oh, gosh... that would've been an absolute dream! haha. i was stuck with a 386sx 16mhz machine with ***TWO*** megs of ram for what seemed like an eternity. luckily i had a 387 math coprocessor. but, upgrading to more ram was absolutely horrible! my motherboard didn't support simms, which were fairly standard, even then. i needed to track down these crazy 64k naked chips and press them into the motherboard!!! it was insanity! and, after that, there was all kinds of goofy config i had to do in the bios. i ended up with 4 megs total. windows 3.1 actually ran pretty well on that, by my standards at the time.

i eventually tracked down a cyrix 386->486 accelerator. sadly, that fried my motherboard, somehow. and that, my friends, is when i realized that if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.

anyway, more on topic... windows 3.1 seemed sooo very futuristic to me, with its system sounds. 'TADAAA!!!' i bought a cheap disney sound source (parallel port soundcard) *JUST* so i could listen to the .wav files installed with windows. the pc speaker had been sufficient for my DOS games, at that point.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: The Good Old Days
by helf on Thu 6th Nov 2008 15:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The Good Old Days"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

ouch, you board probably couldn't handle the voltage draw of the 486 upgrade. I had that happen before.

And by "naked" chips, do you mean the ones with the pins on the bottoms? I had a 286 with that ram, sucked. I forget what it was called.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by beosguy@gmail.com
by beosguy@gmail.com on Wed 5th Nov 2008 17:08 UTC
beosguy@gmail.com
Member since:
2008-07-17

Fun OS to tinker with ...

not to mention Desqview and Geoworks.
There was plenty of competition back
then (88-91) and no one was sure who
would dominate the desktop. As I recall
there was high hopes for Unix to come
out as leader in desktops with motif GUI.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by beosguy@gmail.com
by sakeniwefu on Wed 5th Nov 2008 20:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by beosguy@gmail.com"
sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26

As I recall
there was high hopes for Unix to come
out as leader in desktops with motif GUI.

UNIX could barely run in PCs at the time, and if X is slow now imagine it on a 386, so the high hopes must have come from interacting with illegal substances. Moreover, X was used to multitask xterms and only long bearded gurus were using UNIX at all and they needed no stinkin' GUI.
Then again, besides the privileged few, most people ran Windows to multitask DOS applications for most of the Win3.11 era. The only non-bundled windows application I recall using before getting Win95 is Microsoft Word for Windows.

Reply Score: 1

sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26

I know, I know, I am full of merda bovis. Then how does your (I might add rich if you could run any of those on contemporary systems) fanboy brain explain this?

386BSD:

The basic 386BSD system binaries (excluding X Windows) require at least 40 MBytes of free disk space in a free DOS partition. If you wish to load X Windows as well, you need at least 80 MBytes.


X for Linux:
The only major caveats with X Windows are the hardware and memory requirements. A 386 with 4 megabytes of RAM is capable of running X, but 8 megabytes or more of physical RAM are needed to use it comfortably.


Motif:
MINIMUM HARDWARE / SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS
----------------------------------------

Coherent 4.2: 15 Megabytes Available Hard-Disk Space, 12 Megabytes RAM, gcc
2.3.2 for development, Answer Software & Consulting or MWC
X11R5.

Linux 0.99: 12 Megabytes Available Hard-Disk Space, 8 Megabytes RAM, libc
4.4.4, Linux 0.99pl13 or higher, XFree86 2.0

BSD/386 1.0: 15 Megabytes Available Hard-Disk Space, 8 Megabytes RAM, X11R5

FreeBSD 1.0.2: 15 Megabytes Available Hard-Disk Space, 8 Megabytes RAM,
XFree86 2.0

NetBSD 0.9: 15 Megabytes Available Hard-Disk Space, 8 Megabytes RAM,
XFree86 2.0


Compare that to:

80386 or higher processor
2MB + RAM
8MB Hard disk drive space


or even better to Windows 95(By that time comfortable use of X in Linux is listed on 16MB):


Processor: 386 DX or higher
Memory: 4MB RAM
Drives: 35MB Hard disk drive space

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by beosguy@gmail.com
by Doc Pain on Thu 6th Nov 2008 05:19 UTC in reply to "Comment by beosguy@gmail.com"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

not to mention Desqview and Geoworks.


Still have them on the shelf. Both of them. :-)

Especially GeoWorks Ensemble was very straight forward at its time, ran much faster than "Windows" on those days' machines, and had GUI functionalities even today's "Windows" lacks, such as detachable menues and an appealing Motif GUI. Sadly, there weren't much additional programs for it, but without wanting to go too far, you could use it even today for everyday simple work (e. g. text processing). Of course, the Web wasn't a topic at this time, so it would be stupid to expect something in this direction.

DESQview/X introduced usable multitasking to DOS, as far as I remember; my DOS era didn't last for very long because I had the chance to quickly turn towards UNIX. Allthough there was DOS/ES on the mainframe... :-)

If you want to have a look at it, see the GUI gallery:

http://toastytech.com/guis/geos12.html

http://toastytech.com/guis/dvx.html

(BTW, I had the german 1.3 version of GWE that looked much better. I still have a 486 laptop running it that I sometimes use to program Motorola mobile radios - because you can't do that with today's PCs.)

Addition: GeoWorks allowed you to use filenames longer than 8.3 without breaking any compatibility.

Edited 2008-11-06 05:24 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Rugxulo Member since:
2007-10-09

DESQview/X introduced usable multitasking to DOS, as far as I remember


I've never used it, but from what I can tell, it lost to Win3x because the latter was much cheaper. Anyways, don't forget DR-DOS 7, which had true multitasking also. Win3x (on my old 486) was never very good at multitasking, but probably because machines of that era had too low RAM (e.g. my 8 MB). DOS' biggest advantage is probably lighter resources than pretty much anything else. Then again, a lot of DOS apps (or apps in general) aren't nearly as efficient as they could be.

Reply Score: 1

Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Anyways, don't forget DR-DOS 7, which had true multitasking also.


In Germany, DR-DOS was called "Doktor DOS" (Dr. is the abbreviation for Doktor). On some humoristic computer site I read that somewhere in the US "Miss DOS" and "Miss Backup" were invented by some smart user. :-)

Win3x (on my old 486) was never very good at multitasking, but probably because machines of that era had too low RAM (e.g. my 8 MB).


The interrupt occupation of some hardware operations were reasons, too. Just try to format a disk and do something else in parallel. The formatting process would slow down or stop, or the other program would stop. The same thing could be observed when copying files from / to a floppy. Strange, but I never had such observations with OS/2...

DOS' biggest advantage is probably lighter resources than pretty much anything else.


It's just a few hundred kB - IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS, COMMAND.COM, that's all, at least if you're just considering the OS and the primary CLI.

Then again, a lot of DOS apps (or apps in general) aren't nearly as efficient as they could be.


Well, assembler wasn't everyone's forte. :-)

Reply Score: 2

End of an era...
by Fennec_Fox on Wed 5th Nov 2008 17:37 UTC
Fennec_Fox
Member since:
2006-10-30

Well, technically the era of Windows 3.x has ended when OEMs have stopped bundling it with their PCs... But it definitely was a step up from DOS. Like it or not, for all the shortcomings it had (MS practices aside), and being decidedly inferior to OS/2 at the time, it had a tremedous advantage in "user friendliness" over DOS, which earned it lots of brownie points with end users...

Reply Score: 1

RE: End of an era...
by B12 Simon on Wed 5th Nov 2008 17:46 UTC in reply to "End of an era..."
B12 Simon Member since:
2006-11-08

Windows 3.11 lived on long after the OEMs went on to '95 and NT4. I was working at a reseller shoving Win 3.11 images onto (then) modern hardware for a major UK company as late as 1999/2000.

I doubt they're still buying Win 3.11 PCs but I bet it carried on for a few years after I left.

Reply Score: 1

oh, the memories...
by niemau on Wed 5th Nov 2008 17:41 UTC
niemau
Member since:
2007-06-28

i was an OS dork even in those dark days... yet, i only had a 40 megabyte hard drive. i had windows 3.1 (on top of various versions of DOS), OS/2 2.1, and even very early linux distros that i got from various BBSes later in the mid-90s.

of course, there was only room for one at a time, if i wanted enough leftover space for all of my games, etc. my parents were strictly "if you want computer stuff, you have to save up and buy it yourself!" so i was always a little behind the times, hardware wise.

needless to say, there was lots of reformatting and reinstalling going on whenever i got bored. i remember being really excited to have installed windows... only to be disappointed that i didn't have any windows apps. same for OS/2.

i spent a lot of time running DOS and qmodem, trolling the BBSes for windows shareware!

Reply Score: 1

RE: oh, the memories...
by flanque on Thu 6th Nov 2008 01:04 UTC in reply to "oh, the memories..."
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

Yeah, I can relate to your comments.

You're bringing back many fond (and some not so fond) memories.

Reply Score: 2

RE: oh, the memories...
by frood on Thu 6th Nov 2008 06:32 UTC in reply to "oh, the memories..."
frood Member since:
2005-07-06

I remember installing Window 3.1 mainly because it was one of the few apps that supported my B&W Hercules graphics card at its highest resolution. I was really impressed with Write because of fonts.

However, I didn't have any applications either so it was just a toy really. My PC booted up into the ascii menu "MiniOffice" with StarOffice as my main WP and a handful of Hercules supporting games like Kings Quest 3 and Golden Axe (played using a CGA emulator).

Good times.

Reply Score: 1

RE: oh, the memories...
by valnar on Fri 7th Nov 2008 18:13 UTC in reply to "oh, the memories..."
valnar Member since:
2006-01-17

Qmodem FTW! I miss the BBS days.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: oh, the memories...
by fretinator on Fri 7th Nov 2008 18:31 UTC in reply to "RE: oh, the memories..."
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

My favorite was RipTerm. It enabled a truly graphical BBS experience via the RIP protocol. I loved the graphical "Door" games. Unfortunately the GIF crap from Unisys combined with the rise of the Web killed the company. Only now is the the "Web 2.0" approaching the glory of those days.

P.s., I'm old!

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: oh, the memories...
by niemau on Sat 8th Nov 2008 03:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: oh, the memories..."
niemau Member since:
2007-06-28

...I loved the graphical "Door" games...

but, seriously... RIP was pretty cool. sadly, it had some troubling limitations, and was painfully proprietary. the classic, too-little-too-late scenario.

Edited 2008-11-08 03:07 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: oh, the memories...
by valnar on Sat 8th Nov 2008 13:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: oh, the memories..."
valnar Member since:
2006-01-17

This may be OT, but this is a great documentary for those who want to relive those days.

http://www.bbsdocumentary.com/

Reply Score: 1

Running great
by Anonymo on Wed 5th Nov 2008 17:44 UTC
Anonymo
Member since:
2005-07-06

Running good on my 3800+ AMD X2.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Running great
by B12 Simon on Wed 5th Nov 2008 17:47 UTC in reply to "Running great"
B12 Simon Member since:
2006-11-08

Blimey I can't decide if that's impressive or barking mad!

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Running great
by Anonymo on Wed 5th Nov 2008 18:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Running great"
Anonymo Member since:
2005-07-06

he he

Reply Score: 2

RE: Running great
by flanque on Thu 6th Nov 2008 01:05 UTC in reply to "Running great"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

How'd you get the driver support?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Running great
by helf on Thu 6th Nov 2008 02:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Running great"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

generic standards.

I had windows 3.11 running on a 3ghz p4 machine. It would only see 64mb of the 1gb of ram, but man did it scream! ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Running great
by frood on Thu 6th Nov 2008 06:37 UTC in reply to "Running great"
frood Member since:
2005-07-06

It never ceases to amaze me how active the Windows 3.1 forum on computing.net is, still to this day!

http://www.computing.net/forum/windows31/1.html

I guess if it works...

Reply Score: 1

They Should Open Source it
by Gryzor on Wed 5th Nov 2008 17:51 UTC
Gryzor
Member since:
2005-07-03

… so some bored hacker can do something about it. There's always a hacker looking for something useless to do ;)

RIP !

Reply Score: 2

RE: They Should Open Source it
by A30Guy on Wed 5th Nov 2008 23:35 UTC in reply to "They Should Open Source it"
A30Guy Member since:
2005-07-06

... or at least release it for free download.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: They Should Open Source it
by Michael on Thu 6th Nov 2008 01:02 UTC in reply to "RE: They Should Open Source it"
Michael Member since:
2005-07-01

By my reckoning, this qualifies it as abandonware ;)

Reply Score: 2

Wait... what?
by rexstuff on Wed 5th Nov 2008 19:05 UTC
rexstuff
Member since:
2007-04-06

They were still giving out licenses for Windows 3.X?

So you mean to tell me that they quit giving licenses for their most popular OS, XP, which is only 7 years old -before- they shelved their 18 year-old OS that no-one has used in a decade, 3.X. I might be missing some detail, or tripping over some technicality around 'giving out licenses', but that makes absolutely no sense.

3.X was available for 18 years, why was XP shelved so soon?

I am having an increasingly hard time believing that it wasn't to force users to upgrade to one of their least popular OSes, Vista.

But then what do I know?

Reply Score: 8

RE: Wait... what?
by poundsmack on Wed 5th Nov 2008 20:26 UTC in reply to "Wait... what?"
poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

3.1 was avalible due to the amount of embeded systems that were/are still running it. much like lots of ATM's and bank software still uses 0S/2.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Wait... what?
by PJBonoVox on Thu 6th Nov 2008 14:21 UTC in reply to "Wait... what?"
PJBonoVox Member since:
2006-08-14

What do you know? Not a lot.

If you think no-one uses Windows 3.11 or MS-DOS, you need a reality check. Try doing IT in manufacturing.

Reply Score: 2

Time to leave
by siki_miki on Wed 5th Nov 2008 19:18 UTC
siki_miki
Member since:
2006-01-17

I keep 3.11 WfW around, installed in Dosbox.

3.x succeeded because it ran on top of DOS (unlike OS/2). Microsoft was selling a popular MSDOS at the time and succeeded in pushing this to people. Simple OS, but a leap forward from DOS shell. And much less buggy than the 95 version.

MS should just give it for free now, even if it's against their philosophy. Releasing source also wouldn't harm, although I don't want to see yet another ancient OS revival.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Time to leave
by Laurence on Wed 5th Nov 2008 22:16 UTC in reply to "Time to leave"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I keep 3.11 WfW around, installed in Dosbox.

3.x succeeded because it ran on top of DOS (unlike OS/2). Microsoft was selling a popular MSDOS at the time and succeeded in pushing this to people. Simple OS, but a leap forward from DOS shell. And much less buggy than the 95 version.

MS should just give it for free now, even if it's against their philosophy. Releasing source also wouldn't harm, although I don't want to see yet another ancient OS revival.


But is Win3.x technically an OS considering it just sat on top of DOS?
And, more importantly, would any programmers really be interested in reviving a GUI for DOS given how irrellevent DOS OS is these days*?


* irrellevent in the 'pure OS' sense. Sure people use DOS shells in NT for speed / scripting or DOSBOX on *nix for backward compatability with MS-DOS applications, but that's hardly the same as running DOS as purely as an OS (thus demanding a need for a windows front-end).

Edited 2008-11-05 22:34 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Time to leave
by poundsmack on Wed 5th Nov 2008 22:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Time to leave"
poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

DOS is still plrenty relivant in the embded world. http://www.datalight.com/products/romdos/ datalight's ROM DOS for example is used in certain markets where i have worked. I run into DR Doss every now and then as well. DOS is still around, it will likely never truly die. (flash to 30 years in the future: SkyNet it powered by MS DOS 6, that somehow became sentiant). "C DOS RUN, Run DOS Run"

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Time to leave
by Laurence on Wed 5th Nov 2008 22:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Time to leave"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Yeah, but the embedded DOS world already has specialised software written. They don't need clock / calc / winfile / pbrush / sol / etc. And even if (huge 'if') they did "need" Win3.x - even if they did have 16bit applications that couldn't be run under WINE or on Windows 9x or NT, even if all of that was true and porting the software to 32bit wasn't an option - they wouldn't need a special hacked win3.x fork project when they already have fully functional licences for the working vanilla 3.x.

So I stand by my original statement - who would possibly want or need the source to fork windows 3.x?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Time to leave
by rexstuff on Thu 6th Nov 2008 05:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Time to leave"
rexstuff Member since:
2007-04-06

Who? No idea, but I can certainly imagine the why: for fun, of course ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Time to leave
by hollovoid on Thu 6th Nov 2008 01:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Time to leave"
hollovoid Member since:
2005-09-21

We still use dos on our touchscreens that control alot of equipment where I work, and they only were put on a couple years ago (all toggle switches before that) and I suspect we will continue using it because its so easy to write the software for it, unlike the proprietary Allen Bradley systems (not that dos isnt, but AB stuff makes microsoft look like OSS) that cost a fortune. Its actually very stable, and best of all runs on our siemens simatic plcs extremely underpowered processors with no issues.

Edited 2008-11-06 01:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Time to leave
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 6th Nov 2008 02:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Time to leave"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

But is Win3.x technically an OS considering it just sat on top of DOS?


It's been argued that DOS wasn't truly an OS either ;)

The line of reasoning that I tend to agree with is that the combination of the two (Win3.x and DOS) formed something that vaguely resembled an OS, but neither were truly OSes on their own.

And, more importantly, would any programmers really be interested in reviving a GUI for DOS given how irrellevent DOS OS is these days*?


There are still people working on FreeDOS, so I expect there would be at least one or two crazy folk who would be interested in the source code (even if just to critique/criticize the quality of the code).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Time to leave
by helf on Thu 6th Nov 2008 02:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Time to leave"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

you could compare it to the likes of Gnome or KDE... neither are OSes, but both provide their own world for programs to live in.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Time to leave
by Doc Pain on Thu 6th Nov 2008 06:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Time to leave"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

It's been argued that DOS wasn't truly an OS either ;)


At least when applying some common criteria, DOS lacks means to install / delete / update programs (this is what the programs do have to on their own), means for diagnostics and maintenance, and program execution control (well, you could only run one program at a time - TSR programs aside).

Being impolite, you could say that DOS = FAT file system + COMMAND.COM CLI. Taking this into mind, it's obvious what DOS + "Windows" would be: FAT file system + COMMAND.COM CLI + GUI. :-)

The line of reasoning that I tend to agree with is that the combination of the two (Win3.x and DOS) formed something that vaguely resembled an OS, but neither were truly OSes on their own.


That's a good statement. But finally, most things would depend on the user to do. Of couse, DOS and "Windows" belong to an era without Internet connection, so most considerations about today's OSs would not apply here.

There are still people working on FreeDOS, so I expect there would be at least one or two crazy folk who would be interested in the source code (even if just to critique/criticize the quality of the code).


Many years ago, I even build a video editing system running on top of DOS: three VCRs (two players, one recorder), a relay interface controlled via a DOS box (I think it was an 80286, no hard disk, just a floppy). So it wasn't that useless. :-)

Edited 2008-11-06 06:44 UTC

Reply Score: 2

BBC's constant dumbing down
by Laurence on Wed 5th Nov 2008 22:28 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

Interesting article, however they'd have been better off not interview Agent Quang. His comments were neither on topic (as he mutters more about Windows 98 than 3.x) nor makes any sense to those of us who actually understand computers:

"Agent Quang's personal favourite operating system was Windows 98 because, by the end of its life, the software was so solid."

More solid than 2000? XP? Linux? OS X? Even MacOS 8 struck me as more stable than 98.
Personally I'd rate 98 as one of my all time least favourite OSs in terms of stability.

[Quang] said anyone running an ageing operating system might face problems as they try to find a web browser that could run on it and display the latest online innovations.

I'm sure online "innovations" would be the least of your worries when trying to run defunted OSs on modern hardware.

"We had a case a while ago a customer with a Windows 98 machine trying to view her website and the pictures were just not coming up," [Quang] said. "Eventually we had to install Netscape Navigator to get it working."

Surely installing an alternative to IE would be the first thing you'd do rather than an "if all else fails" solution?

Reply Score: 4

RE: BBC's constant dumbing down
by poundsmack on Wed 5th Nov 2008 22:35 UTC in reply to "BBC's constant dumbing down"
poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

Win98 SE2 was rather stable, by that time the technology under it was tried and tested. when properly mantained it was rather good, quick, and stable. much more so than Mac OS 8 (a decent mac OS release but 9 was much more stable and 7, whel having far less features, was also considered more stable, though much more simplistic)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: BBC's constant dumbing down
by helf on Thu 6th Nov 2008 03:00 UTC in reply to "RE: BBC's constant dumbing down"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

I had much better stability luck with windows 95c than I ever did with windows 98se... but that is just my experiences.

Reply Score: 2

UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

My first Windows-based OS was Windows 95. I actually liked it, despite all its flaws (which I was oblivious to at the time, having only played with DOS before and nothing else really)... and back then, saw a future where it would continue to improve. Well, that future never happened, as I sit here typing from a non-Windows OS altogether, but I decided to... err, "get" a copy of Windows 3.1.1 just for the hell of it, to find out what I was missing out on (installed in DOSBox). Turns out that I wasn't missing anything.

Okay, yeah, this was from the early 1990s, when GUIs were still starting to gain traction and improve, can't hope for everything. And I didn't, but still, I couldn't help but laugh the whole time at how bad it was. Virtually everything about it. I won't bother to try any earlier versions, 3.x was enough... needless to say, it remained on my drive for a record-short time. I'll take plain DOS any day.

In the end, I'm glad I didn't even bother with Windows until 95.

Reply Score: 3

RIP Win31
by WorknMan on Wed 5th Nov 2008 23:21 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

I first got into computers back in the Windows 3.1 days. I had figured out how to make PCs with Windows 3.1 play audio CDs, and computer novices thought I was the sh*t ;) I can't even remember how to do it anymore, but I think you had to load a driver or something off of one of the setup floppies. (MCI something?)

When I first saw Windows 95, I kinda freaked that there were only like 2 icons on the desktop... where the hell did all my programs go? ;) Although I eventually went on to like Win95 much better and couldn't even imagine going back to Win31 now, I still have a lot of fond memories of those days.

Reply Score: 3

LFN
by mmu_man on Wed 5th Nov 2008 23:23 UTC
mmu_man
Member since:
2006-09-30

Actually you could use long file names in 3.x to some extend with Calmira, with an updated look too...
http://www.calmira.de/
http://calmira.co.nr/

Reply Score: 2

best game...
by mmu_man on Wed 5th Nov 2008 23:25 UTC
mmu_man
Member since:
2006-09-30

my farourite game was actually Reversi. It shipped with 3.0 at least, not sure about 3.1.

Reply Score: 2

Manuals...
by StephenBeDoper on Wed 5th Nov 2008 23:30 UTC
StephenBeDoper
Member since:
2005-07-06

Despite its limitations, I think many of us will look back on Windows 3.x with a bit of fondness (Stockholm Syndrome-induced or not). As I was reading through the manual during the writing of this news item, I encountered many things that we take fro granted now - the manual explains icons, windows, dialog boxes, menu bars, cursors, everything.


If nothing else, we look back with fondness on the days when comprehensive manuals were standard (at least, those of us perverse enough to RFTM for fun).

Admittedly, though, I do have a few fond memories of Win3.x, since the first PC that was truly "mine" ran Win3.1. I remember upgrading to a P100 with Win95 and missing several features from 3.1 - the inability to switch to the Desktop via alt-Tab (which you could do with the program manager), the old "copy to/move to" keyboard shortcuts that were in File Manager but not Explorer, and the Win3.x "Recorder" macro app.

Reply Score: 2

Good Riddance
by tristan on Thu 6th Nov 2008 02:55 UTC
tristan
Member since:
2006-02-01

I'm a great one for computer nostalgia, but the simple fact is that Windows 3.1 was utterly terrible.

In those pre-Win95 days, I was a just a kid, using Acorn RISC-OS machines at school, and an Amiga 500 (later 1200) at home. I remember my dad splashing out hundreds of pounds on a powerful PC for work -- a 486SX/25, I think, with all of 4MB RAM -- and being utterly disgusted by how terrible "Windows for Workgroups" was compared to what I was used to.

*sigh*.

Those were the days...

(On the plus side though, it didn't take me long to work out how to play Doom on it!)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Good Riddance
by google_ninja on Thu 6th Nov 2008 02:58 UTC in reply to "Good Riddance"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

I was using MacOS back then, I thought win 3.x was a joke, and could never figure out what the big deal was with 95.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good Riddance
by Athlander on Thu 6th Nov 2008 10:19 UTC in reply to "Good Riddance"
Athlander Member since:
2008-03-10

I was using Acorns and Amigas at the time too - Windows 3.x was terrible in comparison.
Unfortunately, even up until about 1998, my university only supported Win3.11 on their network (Netware, no less). Every now and then, they would send out emails telling people not to connect using Windows 95.
The best memory I have is of being able to dual-boot between Windows and Linux from a 1gb drive!

Reply Score: 1

I miss Microsoft Write
by Johann Chua on Thu 6th Nov 2008 03:43 UTC
Johann Chua
Member since:
2005-07-22

Best part of Windows 3.1 for me was MS Write. All the wordprocessing power I needed for home/school use. WordPad in Win9x and up is retarded. Was there any anti-trust reason for dropping Write, or just MS wanting people to buy Office?

Edited 2008-11-06 03:43 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: I miss Microsoft Write
by Doc Pain on Thu 6th Nov 2008 05:36 UTC in reply to "I miss Microsoft Write"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Best part of Windows 3.1 for me was MS Write. All the wordprocessing power I needed for home/school use.


If I remember correctly, "MS Write" was able to format text in column mode / paragraph mode / block mode. "Wordpad" wasn't able to do so anymore. Maybe this is because MICROS~1 wanted people to buy their "Word" and "Office" programs? You mentioned:

WordPad in Win9x and up is retarded. Was there any anti-trust reason for dropping Write, or just MS wanting people to buy Office?


I would think it was the last one...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I miss Microsoft Write
by Johann Chua on Thu 6th Nov 2008 08:15 UTC in reply to "RE: I miss Microsoft Write"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Write could also do variable line-spacing (1, 1.5, 2).

Oh, well. There's always Abiword for when I just want a word processor.

Reply Score: 2

Booting
by REM2000 on Thu 6th Nov 2008 09:00 UTC
REM2000
Member since:
2006-07-25

The only thing i really miss about Win 3.x was the boot speed, getting to the desktop only used to take a few seconds on older technology.

I remember doing OLE between Word and Excel on a 3.1 machine with 4 or 8MB RAM and had to wait literally 30 mins for it to complete.

Windows 3.1 was ok, however i tended to only use it now and again for work purposes, a lot of the time i remained in DOS. The real revolution came with Windows 95, i remember having a dos box open most of the time as i wasn't used to doing file operations through a GUI.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Booting
by Doc Pain on Thu 6th Nov 2008 17:34 UTC in reply to "Booting"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

The only thing i really miss about Win 3.x was the boot speed, getting to the desktop only used to take a few seconds on older technology.


As I usually say: The averge usage speed of software stays the same over the years. The better the hardware gets, the more ressources are required by the software. In the end, you end up with the same feelings about speed. It's a quotient where nominator and denumerator constantly increase, the result stays constant.

But you're right. Booting into something that simple like DOS snd then launching "Windows" didn't take much time, even when run on a 386 system. The applications of those days weren't that big, too (e. g. WinWord 1.1a fitted could be run from one 1,44 MB disk), so launching them was no problem. This changed when MICROS~1 introduced their "Office" suites.

I remember doing OLE between Word and Excel on a 3.1 machine with 4 or 8MB RAM and had to wait literally 30 mins for it to complete.


You didn't try GeoWorks? :-)

Reply Score: 3

Collect
by PortResi on Thu 6th Nov 2008 13:10 UTC
PortResi
Member since:
2008-10-06

"I collect manuals. I have so many of them, that I'm starting to wonder where on earth I'm supposed to put them all."

Recycle or donate them to a computer museum.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Collect
by PJBonoVox on Thu 6th Nov 2008 14:24 UTC in reply to "Collect"
PJBonoVox Member since:
2006-08-14

...and stop telling us all about your life in news posts. It's boring. I don't care if you collect manuals, just post the news.

Reply Score: 1

Win3 fun but not the best...
by beosguy@gmail.com on Thu 6th Nov 2008 22:59 UTC
beosguy@gmail.com
Member since:
2008-07-17

but from what I can tell, it lost to Win3x because the latter was much cheaper.

What actually happened is Quarterdeck was aquited by Symantec... instead of sending the code to Symantec the QD Engineers deleted it. Lost forever!
Therefore the product was never released. QD was cheap! and actually did perform multi-tasking which I havent seen for a very long time since. Back in the day QD ran several of Dos boxes (lotus PFSwrite and mainframe programs in the background) real multi-tasking while W311 couldnt. It also ran more than one instance of an application.

Win3 was the first platform where Microsoft started to kill off their competition in spreadsheets, wordprocessing, Data Base and later in Browers.
I had limited success multitasking with W31

Detailed veiw of Desqview...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DESQview

Reply Score: 1

RE: Win3 fun but not the best...
by Doc Pain on Fri 7th Nov 2008 07:02 UTC in reply to "Win3 fun but not the best... "
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Back in the day QD ran several of Dos boxes (lotus PFSwrite and mainframe programs in the background) real multi-tasking while W311 couldnt. It also ran more than one instance of an application.


The WP article you pointed to mentioned that DESCview/X had an X server. An X server in a DOS environment! I remember having toyed around with a DOS box, DV/X and a Slackware Linux over an RG-58 cable network. This was quite interesting, allthough we consider it "usual stuff" today.

Of course, MICROS~1 products are not compatible to X, even today you can't run standard X applications in a "Windows" environment out of the box, you're forced to install third party software. So much for interoperability. :-)

Reply Score: 2

Memory management
by valnar on Fri 7th Nov 2008 18:17 UTC
valnar
Member since:
2006-01-17

While this makes most people shudder, my favorite DOS past time was running 386Max or QEMM386 just to see how much stuff I could cram into upper memory. It was the best "game" of that era, with your "score" being how much conventional memory you could free. ;)

sigh.... good times.

Edited 2008-11-07 18:17 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Bringbackanonposting
Member since:
2005-11-16

Quantas? Qantas, the spirit of Australia.

Reply Score: 1