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Subject: Windows before Windows 95

Written By: d90 on 09/13/18 at 8:30 pm

What memories do you have of Windows before Windows 95  came out?

Subject: Re: Windows before Windows 95

Written By: AmericanGirl on 09/13/18 at 11:30 pm

I'll start by rehashing this old post:

...In 1986 I took my permanent job (where I still work) and at the time we used VAX computers.  During this time I'd interact with some of the secretaries - who began using this strange contraption made by IBM that we called a "PC".  Now this "PC" used those big 5 inch floppy disks and had little or no hard drive space - and memory to match.  We techies laughed at the "PC" as little more than a toy - it was mostly used for word processing and very light computing (small spreadsheets, etc.).  On the other hand, my first supervisor brought his personal "Apple Macintosh" computer to work.  Contrary to the "PC", this computer was a thing of beauty.  We used it to draw some diagrams.  Now at this time none of the dissimilar computers talked to each other - a characteristic we were used to.  But I remember thinking the Macintosh was a pretty cool little computer...

...The PC didn't catch on in a major way until around the end of the decade, when Windows 3.1 surfaced.  Windows 3.1 was really the first operating system that made PCs useful for the masses and not strictly a toy.  However it wasn't really widespread until the early 1990s.

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Adding to this, my mom purchased a Compaq desktop computer (93ish?) and it was equipped with Windows 3.1.  It wasn't a bad little computer overall.  Since I no longer lived at home I didn't use it a lot, but helped her at times with software for it.  I think she mostly played games on it (not the original idea, but oh well).  Windows 3.1 was a fine operating system for the time - although it didn't seem overall as robust as the network-centric computers I used at work.  (For me, my first personally owned PC ran Windows 95.)  At work, my company didn't fully embrace PCs for serious heavy duty (engineering) work until after Windows NT arrived in the mid 90's.

Subject: Re: Windows before Windows 95

Written By: nally on 09/13/18 at 11:39 pm

Well... I think I may have used a primitive version of the Windows operating system at someone's house in June of 1994. (At that time, I was well-accustomed to using the Mac family of operating systems.)

Subject: Re: Windows before Windows 95

Written By: 90s Guy on 09/14/18 at 1:54 am

My family's first computer, which we bought sometime in early 1995, used Windows 3.1 and I remember Packard Bell Navigator (it was a program which helped you use the system) and I also remember many of the pack-in games which came with the computer like Ski Free and 3D Dinosaur Adventure. It was very simple and very primitive but for me as a 5 year kid who had never seen a computer before it was like a whole new universe.

Subject: Windows before Windows 95

Written By: Dude111 on 09/14/18 at 8:58 pm

I started with Windows on 95b so I dont have any Win memories before that.....

I started on 95b then got 98se and I love it :)

Subject: Re: Windows before Windows 95

Written By: yelimsexa on 09/17/18 at 8:06 am

It didn't have Internet capability (or if it did, it was VERY primitive) like you had with Windows 95 and up, and just felt like a glorified calculator with some CD-Rom games and programs, which seemed cutting edge at the time compared to primitive '80s floppy disc programs. There were still occasions though where you'd have to change the disc though. That said, you also had to depend on DOS a lot more than you did with Win 95, and that required memorizing various command prompts to access certain functions and programs. At least you didn't have to worry about pop-ups from online yet, and the thought of an encyclopedia on CD-Rom (including Encarta) also seemed very cool and affordable compared to either an expensive set or a trip to the library. I'd say that Windows XP is the first system that feels reasonably contemporary to me since I'm still using Windows 7 at work and on my home desktop, but in a matter of months I'll be shifting to Windows 10. Windows Vista is now about as old today as what 95 was then. I've never witnesses Windows 1 and 2 though, and honestly would have just had either an Apple or a Commodore for the '80s.

Subject: Re: Windows before Windows 95

Written By: bchris02 on 09/19/18 at 12:57 am

Windows 3.1 was actually a major step forward at the time and was the version that pretty much made Windows the standard for PC operating environments.  Prior to Windows 3.1 there was a lot of competition in the market for GUIs that run on top of DOS.  It was during the Windows 3.1 era that Windows really became dominant and the other players started to disappear.  Windows 95 would finally finish most of them off.

Internet did exist back then but it was very different.  It was the heyday for bulletin board services.  Most people who got on the Internet did so through services that offered their own proprietary content such as AOL.  It was always dial-up, with speeds like 14400 bps being common in the Windows 3.1 era.  The world wide web was at the height of it's true wild west era.  It was an infinite web of mostly text-only websites with small GIFs at the most and sometimes it was hard to find stuff.  You didn't have Google yet but you did have several other search engines which all returned different results.  They say the dark web today functions a lot like the 90s-era Internet.

In some ways I really miss the tech of that era.  I miss how fast everything changed from year to year and the element of excitement there was to that.  You literally had to buy a new computer every two years or you would be completely behind the curve.

Subject: Re: Windows before Windows 95

Written By: wsmith4 on 09/19/18 at 3:21 pm

Since Windows 95 was the first version, I'll recount my memories of it.

Subject: Windows before Windows 95

Written By: Dude111 on 09/20/18 at 12:06 am

You didnt list your memories buddy!!

Subject: Re: Windows before Windows 95

Written By: d90 on 09/22/18 at 10:10 pm

I remember sitting on my dad's lap when I was 3 years old and playing Busy Town this was two years before Windows 95 came out. It was an IBM PC and it had both a 5 inch floppy drive and a 3 in a half inch floppy drive.
My first computer was a IBM pc model 330 made in 1994 that my dad used at work and gave it to me when he got a new one. It had Windows 95 on it when he gave it to me but it probably originally ran Windows 3.1.

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