Linked by David Adams on Tue 30th Mar 2010 12:07 UTC
Windows "Windows XP became the most effective Microsoft Bob deployment tool ever developed. And if you go way back into your closet, dig out your copy of Windows XP, and can somehow channel the right spirits to mash your hands on the keyboard in exactly the right way, then out of your encryption program will come a copy of Microsoft Bob."
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I love...
by thavith_osn on Tue 30th Mar 2010 13:47 UTC
thavith_osn
Member since:
2005-07-11

...these kinds of stories, the interesting trivia that makes the OS industry what it is today. I can't remember peoples phone numbers, but I can remember things like this, go figure...

I wonder if anyone will bother to work out what the encryption key was for Bob. Only 30Mb too, wow...

I think Bob is a better name than Utopia by the way, only because the app is defn. more like a Bob (no offence to any Roberts out there) - LOL

Reply Score: 2

Comment by DaaT
by DaaT on Tue 30th Mar 2010 14:09 UTC
DaaT
Member since:
2005-10-21

I attended last year's Techdays here in Portugal and on the last day there was a talk given by Raymond. One of the stories he told (something he's great at) was precisely this one with MS Bob being included in each XP.

Reply Score: 1

Hmmm
by Drunkula on Tue 30th Mar 2010 14:34 UTC
Drunkula
Member since:
2009-09-03

Though I knew of Bob I didn't know it was also on the XP CD. Interesting. Out of curiosity was it worse than Win ME?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Hmmm
by bhtooefr on Tue 30th Mar 2010 14:41 UTC in reply to "Hmmm"
bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

For its intended market, it wouldn't have been TERRIBLE, except it was an insulated, limited environment (and Windows 3.1 apps weren't at all integrated.) Also, it seemed to spend more time being cute than actually being intuitive.

However, it had very high system requirements for the time, so the only computers that could run it were enthusiast systems.

Add in the fact that the security was a JOKE, and...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Hmmm
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 30th Mar 2010 17:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Hmmm"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Are you really ragging on Bob for security? Have you no decency? Its like complaining about the lack of down force on a model T.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Hmmm
by bhtooefr on Tue 30th Mar 2010 17:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hmmm"
bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

Normally, I wouldn't, but getting the password WRONG three times should not automatically bypass the password.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Hmmm
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 30th Mar 2010 19:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hmmm"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Still better than win 95's password protection.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Hmmm
by bhtooefr on Tue 30th Mar 2010 20:32 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Hmmm"
bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

While there weren't any filesystem protections, you at least couldn't log in as a user that wasn't the default user, without a password. Bob, you could actually log in directly as a certain user that way.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Hmmm
by darknexus on Wed 31st Mar 2010 04:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Hmmm"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Still better than win 95's password protection.


Now aint that the truth? I don't know how many times I explained to people that even though they put a password on their Win9x system anyone could just press escape or click the cancel button to login anyway. A few times I even had to prove it since they didn't believe me. Of course then they'd ask me why it was even put in if it was so useless, and I just had to shrug and say it was Microsoft and no one really knows what their programmers and marketing people are thinking.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Hmmm
by Bending Unit on Wed 31st Mar 2010 08:00 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Hmmm"
Bending Unit Member since:
2005-07-06

That was probably the network login. Passwords for local users wouldn't do any good anyway with no filesystem security.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Hmmm
by darknexus on Wed 31st Mar 2010 18:46 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Hmmm"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Nope, it was user passwords. Win9x did have those though as you rightfully point out there were useless. The network login and user password dialogs worked the same way and even looked the same for the most part, and both were about as insecure is you can get.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hmmm
by kedwards on Tue 30th Mar 2010 18:20 UTC in reply to "Hmmm"
kedwards Member since:
2009-04-25

MS Bob and Windows ME are really two different things. Windows ME was an operating system, where as Bob was just an operating enviroment that ran on top of the OS.

On my first computer I had something like Bob called Packard Bell Navigator.

http://toastytech.com/guis/pbnav35.html

Reply Score: 1

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

By smashing their little engineering minded hands against the keyboard, randomly, without regard to process or practices. In a hurry to get a result, in a reactionary manner.

This was for encription and one of the best ways to create an encription key is to randomly smash your hand against a keyboard.

You see, a humans random seed is much more random than a binary transisters random seed.

Reply Score: 2

I figured out the Encyption Key
by allisonaaronb on Tue 30th Mar 2010 15:49 UTC
allisonaaronb
Member since:
2010-03-30

I figured out the Encryption key.
4, 8, 15, 16, 23, & 42

Reply Score: 3

randy7376 Member since:
2005-08-08

I figured out the Encryption key.
4, 8, 15, 16, 23, & 42


If you don't get this, then you are truly LOST!

Reply Score: 2

Fond memories
by fretinator on Tue 30th Mar 2010 16:21 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

I never ran BOB, but I did donwload a shareware program called BUBBA. It had a guy in overalls. I remember if you clicked somewhere that made no sense, he would say something like, "Why fer you doin' that?"

And, the Mac version, Bob for Apples...

Reply Score: 2

Bob
by TaterSalad on Tue 30th Mar 2010 16:31 UTC
TaterSalad
Member since:
2005-07-06

I know Bob gets no love, but when I bought my first PC which was a Packard Bell, they had similar software to Bob on it. At first I kept it on there because I didn't know any better and it was a way to navigate to the system. Then when I started poking around more and installing games and needed the memory it soon came up. It also gave me a faster boot up time with it disabled. I wonder if it was the same code as Bob or if they just coded it themselves and took the Bob idea.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Bob
by Kroc on Tue 30th Mar 2010 16:44 UTC in reply to "Bob"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Packard Bell Navigator?
http://toastytech.com/guis/pbnav35.html

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Bob
by Feanor on Tue 30th Mar 2010 18:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Bob"
Feanor Member since:
2006-12-21

Wow, I used that program on my first computer back in '95. Thank you for reminding me of the name! I thought it was the coolest thing when I was a kid.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Bob
by phoenix on Tue 30th Mar 2010 19:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Bob"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Windows 3.1 had a lot of third-party shells available for it. My favourite was Xerox Tabworks. Instead of Program Manager with all the windows inside of another window, it used a tabbed notebook look. Each progman window was a tab. And there was a strip down the side where you could put your fave apps for quick access. Made things so much nicer and easier.

There was a Windows 9x version, but it didn't work nearly as well. This is the one thing I miss about Windows 3.1. ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Bob
by fretinator on Tue 30th Mar 2010 23:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Bob"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

Windows 3.1 had a lot of third-party shells available for it. My favourite was Xerox Tabworks. Instead of Program Manager with all the windows inside of another window, it used a tabbed notebook look. Each progman window was a tab. And there was a strip down the side where you could put your fave apps for quick access. Made things so much nicer and easier.

There was a Windows 9x version, but it didn't work nearly as well. This is the one thing I miss about Windows 3.1. ;)


My favorite Windows 3.1 shell replacement was the IBM Workplace Shell for Windows. You got a nice OS/2 desktop with right-mouse dragging, etc. Very nice, and a free download.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Bob
by allisonaaronb on Tue 30th Mar 2010 19:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Bob"
allisonaaronb Member since:
2010-03-30

I remember that.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Bob
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 30th Mar 2010 20:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Bob"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

never had the full experience. Later they kept part of the navigator just for tech support. You were presented with a picture of a computer and a book shelf above it. The books were the computerized manuals of the computer and the computer was clickable to "diagnose" the computer if you were having problems.

I thought it was pretty funny that you could click on the mouse to "diagnose it". Yup, you clicked on the mouse picture with your mouse. It works. Andy yes, if you click on the monitor, it probably means the monitor is at least partially working.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Bob
by TaterSalad on Wed 31st Mar 2010 16:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Bob"
TaterSalad Member since:
2005-07-06

I believe that is what it was called, screenshots look semi-familiar.

Reply Score: 2