Windows 3.1

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Old 04-05-05, 05:01 PM
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Windows 3.1

I was thinking just the other day about my first PC, it was an IBM Aptiva, at the time it was the top of the line, it was loaded, it was a 486 SX 25 MHZ, 4 M.B ram, VGA, hard drive was 40 M.B,came pre-loaded with Windows 3.1 which finally gave us multitask capabilities.
Remember the program manage, by default Windows 3.1 would save your settings each time you would exit windows which would cause users to need to organize their Program Manager each time that Windows would load. You could arrange your Program Manager exactly how you wished for it to appear each time Windows loads. Once everything was the way you wished you would just click Options and to make sure there was a check on Save Settings on Exit.
Windows 3.1 was released April, 1992 and sold more than 1 Million copies within the first two months of its release., way to go Bill Gates, I thanks you man for Windows.
Now look where we are today, Windows XP, the best operating system yet, wonder what the future holds for us...
I hope I didn't bore you guys and gals with this but wanted to share it with you, I guess you now know I'm somewhat of an older dude
 
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Old 04-05-05, 05:09 PM
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Sorry, Windows 3.1 is not multitasking. Surprise, neither is Windows 95, 98, or NT.
 
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Old 04-05-05, 06:04 PM
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Released in 1990 Microsoft Windows 3.0 was a revolutionary operating system for the PC as one of the most used GUI operating systems.

Later Windows 3.1 was released in 1992 by Microsoft and was one of the first major PC GUI operating systems widely used. Windows 3.1 allowed users to utilize several features previously not available in MS-DOS. Some of these new features were the use of a mouse which allowed the user to navigate and manipulate data on the computer with one hand simply and easily and now did not have to memorize MS-DOS commands. In addition to the mouse Windows now allowed the user to multitask, meaning the user could now run multiple applications at once without having to close out of each program before running another. Windows along with other GUI operating systems are one of the many reasons computers have become easier and more widely used.
 
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Old 04-05-05, 09:24 PM
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WOW, 486 was advanced back then! LOL remember The tandy TRS-80? LOL Cobal,Basic,etc? LOL Goes back even furhter! Hooray for us old timers! We get to experience the technoolgy changes!
 
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Old 04-06-05, 04:31 AM
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Hiltontech,that is marketing hype. Don't believe everything you read. Multitasking means actually running several things at once. Windows does not do this. It run something for a while, then swaps it out and runs something else, then swaps it out and runs the third task, etc.

To really multitask takes either multiple processors or take a processors that can do more than one task at a time. This behavior does not describe a 486 processor.
 
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Old 04-06-05, 07:55 AM
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GlassesRx,

Did you say Cobol?

I saw a video presentation by Grace Hopper (mother of COBOL). She said, "I brought a nonosecond with me today, to show all of you". Of course, we were intrigued! She then showed us a piece of copper wire, about 20" long (whatever) and said here it is. She said this is how far electricity will travel in 1 nanosecond. I thought it was pretty cool.
 
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Old 04-06-05, 08:12 AM
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Hi Bob,

Basically, you are correct about multitasking. However, Windows does allow time-slice sharing and multi-threading (several event loops within an application) which means essentially the same thing. This procedure allows each task to use a time slice for it's needs and with today's processor speeds, that means that many tasks can be working "simultaneously". At least that's true from the user's point of view. Within a single application, multi-threading allows the programmer to give a portion of that application's time slice to a particular set of events. In this way, it's possible to monitor certain things external to the main event processing and allow specific changes in the computer to be acted upon.

For example: If a bitmap suddenly appears in the windows clipboard I (as a programmer) can immediately cause the Windows printing routine to spring into action and print the bitmap to a printer. A bitmap is placed in the clipboard when you press either the PrintScreen or Alt-PrintScreen key. These keystrokes are normally intercepted by Windows(c) and are not otherwise visible to an Application program.

Take a look at the task manager and you will see that there are many tasks and processes "running". I know this isn't quite the same as a multi-processor system where each processor can be dedicated 100% to a given task, but for other than huge number crunching applications, it's irrelevant.

Other great examples are Virus scanners, Pop-up blockers, Email and Message programs.
 
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Old 04-06-05, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by hiltontech
Windows XP, the best operating system yet
What kind of flamewar are you trying to start here?
 
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Old 04-06-05, 12:21 PM
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Not trying to contribute to a flame war, but I have to agree that after experiencing Win 3.x through XP, I am enjoying XP! It runs a close second to Linux and doesn't require a lot of configuration on my part. My son runs NT/2000 on his box, but I personally haven't used it.

XP is the first version of Windows that doesn't require me to reboot after every change I make within the system. A lot of the software that I install also doesn't require a reboot, which is nice. It also seems to work well with my antivirus program (Panda).

One of these days I'll try Unix (when I get lots of free $$ lol).

Kay
 
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Old 04-06-05, 02:19 PM
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Joe, Thank you for your post. As an engineer who has programmed true multitasking machines (as well as Windows machines), I think I have a good handle on the issue.

Microsoft likes to call what they have multitasking, but it really isn't. What they offer is certainly better than straight DOS, but to call it Multitasking is a stretch.

As for the ability to run multiple programs at once, that capability was around long before Windows. I used to run a program under DOS that allowed multiple programs to run, and my old Franklin Ace computer (Apple 2 clone) had a CPM board installed on which I could do the same thing.
 
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Old 04-06-05, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by hiltontech
In addition to the mouse Windows now allowed the user to multitask, meaning the user could now run multiple applications at once without having to close out of each program before running another.
I think the word 'user' in the quote above is what is meant by multitasking. Maybe the computer isn't multitasking, but it sure allows me to multitask. I can check emails while working on a spreadsheet, etc.
 
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Old 04-06-05, 03:32 PM
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Since some of you are dating yourselves pretty badly, I can remember just ACHING to upgrade to a 9600 modem! How about dot-matrix printers?

TG
 
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Old 04-06-05, 03:54 PM
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OMGosh! I remember that I had one of those, too. Wow. My first computer was pre-386. Would not run Windows! I thought it was hot stuff since I had a 64M hard drive, a dot-matrix printer, but can't remember the memory amount. I ran Geoworks on it since it wouldn't handle Windows. Wasn't Geoworks the first company to do AOL's program? I vaguely remember AOL being in co-hoots with Geoworks at some point.

Way back when, there also wasn't forum boards and message boards like yahoo & msn. You dialed up someone else's computer directly for their BBS!

I just felt lucky to be able to own a computer period. Most people couldn't, or didn't want one since they had never used one before. My kids are lost without a computer! Guess I am today, too.

Kay
 
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Old 04-06-05, 04:46 PM
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hhm.. since we are getting all nogalstic..

My first computer was a Tandy MC-10 (I think that was it's designation, this was even before the TRS-80 with it's way cool 5.25" floppy drives!).

It used a TV as a monitor, and a cassette tape (yes, remember those?) to save data to. It would run BASIC programs and let you write in basic as well. That's about all it would do, and there was never a guarantee that your data would be saved or recoverable.

Next came the IBM 8088. With a whopping 14" B&W monitor, 640k (640k should be enough for anybody - bill gates), a 20 MEGABYTE hard drive on a card a modem and a mouse!

I used another machine somewhere in here, I don't even remember what it was, but it had a green display (like the old TRS's) and used a tape drive about the size of a VHS tape.

Oh, then I went high tech and got the 386SX16. I forget the memory on it (around 1mb I think) and it had the 80mb monster drive! A color monitor, floppy drive, I even had a 4 CD-R drive array on it at one time!

Let's see, what else.

Windows was not the first to allow use of the mouse, many many DOS apps used the mouse, my IBM used a mouse, and it was before Windows.

Windows was not the only 'OS' (which for some reason, still ran on top of DOS until Win95B) that would let you time slice. Who remembers DesqView? How about OS/2 ?

I used desqview to run a 3 node BBS for a while.

Man, I thought I was hot stuff and would never run out of drive space when I got my first 500 mb drive!

What about Turbo Pascal? That was easy to learn, too bad the DOS version didn't keep up with windows new LFN stuff, I might still be writing apps in it.

And of course, who can forget when the internet became 'public domain' and anyone with a modem could get on it.

How about AOL, before it was AOL, when it was AOL, Promenade and some other chat service, back when they were JUST chat services, no internet and it was $10 an HOUR to get online with your 2400 bps modem and AOL's graphic intense pages!

Oh and wow Kay, I remember GeoWorks, it was the windows alternative!
 
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Old 04-06-05, 05:16 PM
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2400 BPS, that didn't exist. Try 300 BPS.
 
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Old 04-06-05, 05:55 PM
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300 was ancient! At least I came in at 2400! Although I did get to use the old 'handset' modem a few times!

Man, I remember when I got 9600, and then 14.4 and then 19.2 then 28.8 then 33 and then 56 (well, 53.2 or whatever).. being on USR's sysop program was a pretty awesome deal back then, we always had the fastest modems available.
 
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Old 04-06-05, 06:51 PM
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Talking

I called all my friends when I got my first 14.4 modem, but when I put in my 28.8 modem I thought it wouldn't get any better than that, and now today look how far we have come, I wonder where we will be 1o 10 years from a computer stand point, scary..

The reason that I became so involved with computers and ended up being A+ certified is all because of my second PC, you guessed it, a Packard Bell, I worked on it 1-2 twice a week, then people started calling me to work on their Packard Bell's because their PC was always broken.
Thanks P.B for what I am today, I owe it all to you guys.
 
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Old 04-06-05, 06:56 PM
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Hmmmm, 10yrs from now? Cable will be a dinosaur, how about fiber optic connections? Woooohooooo.......just my fantasy!

:mask:
 
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Old 04-06-05, 07:08 PM
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Don't be silly Glasses, some new neigborhoods are already being built with fiber. Question is, when will bandwidth no longer be an issue?

What good is a super fast, way cool fiber optic line, if you can only transfer 2gb a month on it?
 
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Old 04-06-05, 07:08 PM
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Ok, got me thinking now.

I remember having a sewing machine sized portable. lol. It had not one, but TWO 5" floppy drives. wow! And No hard drive. Boot DOS from floppy, remove disk, insert application disk, run app, remove disk to change to new application and so on.

And the first time I saw a 3" floppy! It just seemed impossible! Now my current pc does not even have a floppy drive.
 
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Old 04-06-05, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Pendragon
some new neigborhoods are already being built with fiber.
All the data & communication cable my husband installs is fiber. VERY few companies opt for anything less now. Even the hospitals out here (Memphis, TN area) are having them come in and replace all their lines with fiber. Definitely a reality today and becoming affordable, too.

Kay
 
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Old 04-06-05, 09:47 PM
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My BAD. Thanks for the correction Pendragon. Duh my, I have fiber optics networking at my office Glad you know what I meant....lightspeed transmision is what I was fantasizing about! Warp speed Scotty!
 
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Old 04-07-05, 12:56 AM
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My first computer was an 8088, with 2, 5 1/4" floppies. I think it was running at 4.6 Mhz. I remember adding another chip, to boost it up to 8Mhz. I think the chip was a V20 or something like that. It had 256K memory and I added 18 more memory chips to get it up to 512K. Then I went out and paid $300 for a 30 MEG hard drive. I thought that I was really something when I didn't have to boot from a floppy.

Nashcat
 
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Old 04-07-05, 05:06 AM
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Think I paid something like $1200 for my first (a Packard He!!) 486SX-33 (upgradeable to 66mhz - WOOHOO!) 4mb ram 108mb harddrive (which was HUGE at the time) 1 - 3 1/2 floppy & 1 - 5 1/4 floppy, 14" monitor (color!). Had to add the cdrom later. On-board 2400 modem and audio.

Compare that to what you can buy/build for $1200 today.

Everybody remembers that Norton Commander was the hot ticket for accomplishing the DOS-type functions, right?
 
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Old 04-07-05, 05:16 AM
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your young guys here

hi
I work on keypunch card.
there where some floppy disck the size of a lp record.
i had a 80286 4 meg memery and 2 meg hhd.
and a yellow screen monitor and was playing sierra boxing and chess

see ya young guys
 
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Old 04-07-05, 05:36 AM
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We had a Commodore VIC-20 when I was a kid, which was pre-Commodore 64. You saved data on tapes. It had a cartridge slot, and you could buy games and other stuff to use with it (mostly games ).

Our first "real" computer was an Apple IIe - a real powerhouse with something like 128kb of system memory, and amber monitor, and a dual 5 1/4" disk drive, which was a pretty big rarity back then. Again, we mostly played games on it (in my defense, I was just a kid ).

Finally broke my parents down and got them to go out and get a brand-spankin new 386sx PC running at 16MHz, and a 256-color VGA card . We bought it at Soft Warehouse. Remember them? They're now called CompUSA.

After that, I built my first computer - a 486 SX-25. From then on, I've never bought a computer - always built my own.

I still use the keyboard from that first 386sx. Works like a champ, even if it is a bit dingy.

BTW, the future of the Internet can probably be found in grid computing. Check here for some info. Pretty neat stuff:

http://www.gridcomputing.com/gridfaq.html

From what I've read, once our data connections are no longer our biggest bottleneck, people will be able to "upgrade" their computers by simply purchasing the additional resources from the grid. Computing power will be less dependent on the kind of hardware you have.
 
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Old 04-09-05, 06:15 AM
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Came across an article in an old magazine the other day on "Gifts for Dads & Grads". Here's the text:

"The Olivetti M 20 personal computer is a handsome all-in-one unit with the capability of displaying both alphanumeric and graphic images [Wow!] on a 10"x13" screen. It features a basic 128k bytes of memory which can be expanded to a brain-busting 512k with options, a 72 key alphanumeric keyboard for programs, commands, and data input, plus a mini floppy disk [side note: the picture shows disk drives that look like 5 1/4; guess that was considered "mini"]. A second mini-floppy disk unit - or a 5 1/4 inch hard drive with 11 megabytes [I can scarcely contain myself] - is available as an option. $2965 for the basic M20; an optional color display monitor, as shown, with an eight-color pallete [double-Wow!] and characteristics identical to those of the monochrome version, $1850."
 
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