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Author Topic: Old Windows nostalgia  (Read 2172 times)


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Old Windows nostalgia
« on: September 25, 2007, 02:31:19 pm »

The oldest machine I own is a 486 at 50 MHz with 8MB of RAM. I loved that machine. It's the computer I learned to use computers on. It had DOS and Win 3.1. Well, I hate Windows today, but I used to love it. At that time, Win was only a program and the best thing about it was that YOU controlled the software, not the other way around. At that time, there was no Internet and therefore fewer security issues, but I used to catch a virus from time to time. Usually, I could track it and delete it. Or maybe, just copy my stuff, a few config files, and reinstall everything from scratch.
Yes, for back in the old days, computers used to sell with a blank hard drive and some original floppies which you could copy and use all the times you wanted. Win 3.1 knew who was the boss. You told it what to do: it did it. It took no initiative. Word was serious and fast too (no yellow jumping dogs). It did the same things it does today, but it charged faster on that old box than today's version on a machine with ten times the RAM.
Win 95 was the beginning of the end for me. I used my old box the way it was for as long as I didn't need the Internet, and then I switched to Apple and later to Linux as well, without ever looking back.
Today, you buy a Windows box, and what do you get? A hard drive with a cumbersome and memory-hungry GUI-only OS already installed on it, which takes control of everything from the moment you hit the power switch. Say you hard disk breaks (it happend suddenly on my 3 years old Apple): what will you do? Call the shop, bring them a bunch of original documents and pay them to have the system reinstalled? Or have a friend download a nice Linux distro for you and start a whole new life (after, alas, you have thrown away the money for the license) with your new OS?

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Re: Old Windows nostalgia
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2007, 12:52:31 am »

I used to keep a 486 dx2 66 MHz around, but it failed some time ago so I had to replace it with a 100 MHz dx4. It's lovely to see that old computer play my old games that modern computers choke on. Some of those games are so nice, it's hard to believe it's just a 486 (for instance the first C&C, and my personal favorite "Nova Storm" ).

I always had Dos + win 3.11 on it, and even though it usually worked fine, installing everything was a pain (a couple of disks for DOS, then a couple for win, a couple more for the sound blaster, one for the cdrom drive, and then you have to figure out why the games don't work... usually something with ems / xms (still don't quite understand that).

At that time, Win was only a program and the best thing about it was that YOU controlled the software, not the other way around.
That was lovely.. it was also very small.
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Re: Old Windows nostalgia
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2007, 06:07:14 am »

Good times, I remember me spending hours trying to get more lower memory. IIRC, my record was 608kb. I used to have 1mb of ram, so a lot of high mem available  ::). I made a batch file with a bucle calling Norton Change Directory (ncd.exe) and the main executable in the dir, that was my first gui. If you quited an app, ncd.exe used to be executed again by the batch and so on...
I keep my hard for long times, so I jumped from the 286 to a pentium s at 200 mhz and 32mb of ram (the ones just before mmx). I still own both computers, may be I will put them to work these days. The HDs are death though, so I losted my batch files  :'(.

My first computer was a Sinclair (english, like the ZX Spectrum) . An 8 bits box with a 3.5mhz cpu and 16k of ram. I used to store hundred of basic games and programs in audio tapes (yes, audio tapes). The basic language used to be very friendly. I made a program to assign one sound pitch to each key, using the BEEP command (god, my memory is still good!) with a lot of stuff stealed from a basic book my Granny gave to me when the computers used to be inexistent here.  I have the book, its The Computers World by Peter Bramhill. It has some words from my Granny at the first page:

"Dear Rodrigo: I know a book is not too much for a kid in his birthday, but I think this topic is from your interest and may be you will find something useful for your future. With love, your Granny, Victoria."

Today I love the two things, books and computers.
Oh guys, you are making me cry!!  :D
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