As much as I love the security of desktop Linux, I still use Windows for certain things. And I’ve been using Windows since 1998. So I thought to myself “What the world really needs more than anything else, is Robotman’s thoughts on the different versions of Windows over the years.”
If you want to see this kind of idea executed far, far better, I suggest you visit a great old site called Toasty Tech. But if you’re interested in what Robotman has to say about his experiences with Windows, then read on.
In this first installment, I’ll talk about the first three versions. My experience with Windows 1, Windows 2, and Windows 3 and 3.1 ranges from none to very little, so this will be brief.
This one came out in 1984. I didn’t have an IBM compatible PC back then. Hell, I didn’t even have my Commodore 64. I was 10 years old, so it’s not like I could have been impressed by what Windows 1 could have done for me.
By 1987, I had my Commodore 64, and I was 13. I still would have had no use for the DOS shell that was Windows. But, I regularly use the version of Notepad that shipped with Windows 2.
I use this in a virtual installation of Windows XP running on my Linux desktop. And why don’t I just use the XP version of Notepad? I’m glad you asked. I have the XP version of notepad set to run in a specific location on my desktop and I don’t want to move it. This one I can move around and resize freely.
Windows 3 came out in 1990, but 3.1 is the OS that really became popular, and that was released in 1992. I do have a little bit of experience at my first job with Windows 3.1
And though it’s not as user-friendly as what would come later, I must admit I’m still enamored by the way it looks. It has a simplicity and a consistency to it that would slip and eventually fall into utter disarray with the latest versions of Windows.
I did try to install Windows 3.1 inside VirtualBox, but VirtualBox doesn’t support Windows 3.1, and it’s basically unusable. The mouse pointer moves very slowly and jumps to random points all over the screen too. But I managed to get the impressive Calmira II shell installed, so that’s neat.
If it weren’t for the problem with the mouse pointer, and considering the usability enhancements Calmira II adds, I could actually use Windows 3.1 daily for certain things. But I’ll talk about that in the next post.