Windows is 27 years old today

It’s Tech Tip Tuesday. It’s November 20th, 2012. 27 years ago today, Windows 1.0 was shipped. For just a geek trip down memory lane, here is the official version log / change log for versions 1-3 (essentially, anything before Windows 95). It’s too bad that the official Microsoft “history of Windows” page hasn’t even been updated with relevant Windows 7 or Windows 8 information, yet. Still, I thought it would be fun to read through the official “change log” of the earliest versions of Windows that only some of us even remember!


Version Date Requirements
------- ---- ------------

1.01 11/85 - MS-DOS version 2.0
- Two double-sided disk drives or a hard disk
- 256K of memory or greater
- Graphics-adapter card

1.03 8/86 Requirements

- MS-DOS version 2.0
- Two double-sided disk drives or a hard disk
- 320K of memory or greater
- Graphics-adapter card

Changes:

- MS-DOS version 3.2 support
- Enhanced keyboard support
- AT&T 6300 and AT&T 6300 Plus support
- 14-, 18-, and 24-point sizes added to
TimesRoman and Helvetica fonts
- Generic/Text Only printer driver added
- PostScript printer driver added
- .WRI extension used for Windows Write files
(version 1.01 used .DOC extension)
- Support for all features of the international
version

DDL 1/87 Windows Device Driver Library Volume 1

Additional support for display devices,
printers, and pointing devices added

1.04 4/87 Requirements

- MS-DOS version 2.0
- Two double-sided disk drives or a hard disk
320K of memory or greater
- Graphics-adapter card

Changes

- IBM Personal System/2 support
- COMM.DRV revised to support ept port for IBM
3812 Pageprinter
- HP downloadable soft font support

2.03 11/87 Requirements

- MS-DOS version 3.0
- Two double-sided disk drives or a hard disk
- 512K of memory or greater
- Graphics-adapter card

Changes

- Overlapping windows instead of tiled windows
- LIM Version 4.0 expanded memory support
- Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) support
- SMARTDrive disk-cache program included
- Revised .FON format for screen fonts
- NEWFON.EXE included to convert 1.x font
format to 2.x font format
- Revised Paint file format
- CVTPAINT.EXE included to convert 2.x
Paint file format to 1.x format
- About command moved to File menu from System
menu
- Printer Timeouts option added to Control
Panel
- Mouse Acceleration option added to Control
Panel
- Warning Beep toggle added to Control Panel
- Notepad About command reports
- Remaining Free Space
- 3812 Pageprinter no longer supported

2.10 5/27/88 Requirements

- 512K Memory
- MS-DOS version 3.0 or later
- One floppy-disk drive AND one hard disk (note
that a hard disk is now required)
- Graphics adapter card (the box notes: IBM
EGA, IBM VGA, IBM 8514, IBM CGA, Hercules
Graphics Card, or compatibles)
- Use of the Microsoft Mouse is optional
- Packaged with 5.25-inch 1.2 megabyte
disks OR 3.5-inch 720K disks, plus an
order form for free 360K 5.25-inch disks

Changes

- New HIMEM.SYS driver allowing the use of the first
64K of extended memory to store part of Windows,
giving approximately 50K additional conventional
memory inside Windows
- Support for approximately 65 more printers than
version 2.03, bringing the total supported
printers to approximately 127
- Support for additional computers
- Support for additional display devices

2.11 3/13/89 Requirements

Same as Version 2.1

Changes

- Accounts for memory freed by XMS when computing
the maximum swap size allowed
- Increased minimum bankable memory required for
large frame EMS
- Setup program no longer terminates when
incompatible driver is encountered
- Setup corrected to permit set up on 512K machine
with MS-DOS version 3.3
- Updated COMM.DRV to solve handshaking problems at
9600 bits per second (BPS)
- Updated HPPCL.DRV driver that supports LaserJet
series IID, Olivetti LP 5000, Toshiba
- PageLaser 12, and Intel Visual Edge
- Updated PSCRIPT.DRV driver that supports
Olivetti LP 5000 in PostScript mode
- Printing speed increased
- Windows/386 WINOLDAP.MOD modified to support high-
resolution displays

Additions

- AppleTalk library (must accompany the new
PostScript driver)
- Toshiba 24-pin printer driver
- 8514/a driver for Windows/386
- /E switch to adjust large frame EMS threshold

3.0 5/22/90 Requirements

2.11 requirements plus the following:

- MS-DOS 3.1 or higher
- 640K Conventional Memory
- 256K Extended Memory

Changes

- Windows runs in protected mode -- direct extended
memory access
- 386 enhanced mode virtual memory provides more
memory than physically in RAM by swapping blocks
of RAM to the hard drive.
- Color palette managed by Windows 3.0
- Device-independent color bitmap support
- Improved network support
- New dialog boxes, system fonts, and menus
- Graphical environment
- New HIMEM.SYS XMS (spec. 2.0) driver. 16 MB
support
- EMM386.SYS expanded memory manager
- 32 printer drivers supporting 170 different
printers -- including HP LaserJet III series
- MS-DOS programs run in a window
- Three mode operation (real, standard, 386
enhanced).
- Icon-based Program Manager
- Tree-structured File Manager
- Asymetrix Daybook 1.0a bundled

3.00a 10/31/90 Requirements

Same as Windows 3.0

Changes

- Maintenance release of 3.0 focusing on very
specific problems with:

Networking
Dynamic Data Exchange
Low-memory conditions
Setup
Extended character support for printers

- Retail package shipped with Windows Q&A booklet

3.00a
Multimedia Fall
Extensions 1991 Requirements

Multimedia PC (MPC) Specifications:

- 80386 sx or dx IBM compatible
- 2 megabytes RAM
- VGA or higher (16 color minimum)
- 30 Megabyte hard drive
- CD-ROM (with audio output support)
- 2-button mouse
- Audio hardware

Changes

- Available only through hardware OEM
- New device drivers to connect with specific MPC
hardware.
- Introduced Media Control Interface (MCI)
- Enhanced Control Panel includes screen saver,
video driver icon (Drivers), joystick control,
driver installer, event based sound control,
and MIDI mapping control
- New Accessories: MPC Alarm Clock, Media Player,
- Sound Recorder

3.10 4/6/92 Requirements

- MS-DOS 3.1 or later
- IBM compatible 80286 or higher (386 recommended)
- 640K Conventional memory
- 256K extended memory (XMS v 2.0 or higher)
- 1024K extended memory recommended on 80286
- 2048K extended memory recommended on 80386
- 5.25-inch (high density) or 3.5-inch floppy
drive
- Fixed drive with 6 megabytes free (10 megabytes
recommended)
- EGA, VGA, SVGA, XGA, 8514/A, or Hercules video
card or 100% compatible card, and monitor
- Mouse recommended

Changes

- Available in upgrade or full package (upgrade
does not require earlier version)
- Improved Setup program offers express, custom,
network, and troubleshooting setup
- Computer-based Windows 3.1 tutorial
- Consistent dialog boxes
- Improved online Help
- OLE Drag and drop, OLE support in many applications
- Improved File Manager
- Improved printer support through use of
UNIdriver
- New video drivers support MS-DOS graphics in a
window
- WD1003 virtual hard drive controller
- Virtual memory changeable in Control Panel
- Standard and enhanced mode operation only
- TrueType scalable font support
- Includes multimedia extensions (inclusions)
- Includes new SMARTDrive version 4.0, HIMEM XMS
manager 3.0, new EMM386.EXE
- Standard mode can now run with EMM386.EXE running
- Documentation includes "Getting Started" manual
- 266 different types of printers supported

3.11 12/31/93 Requirements

- Same as version 3.1

Changes

- Certificate of Authenticity
- More sophisticated hologram and an MS (3M) sticker
on box
- An 800 number to call (in the United States &
Canada) and check for product legitimacy
- Updated drivers
- Five updated core files
- NetWare support files (from Novell)

2008 – Rehab – Graffiti the World

No, we’re not talking about physical therapy with the Wii, we’re talking about Rehab, the band. Many people know the band from their single, SittinÂ’’ At A Bar, but if you want music that’ll put you in a good mood, you need to listen to Graffiti The World.

Tracks like Bump literally paint a beautiful picture of “black trees / silhouetted against an orange sky” as you drive down the road with your music blasting. Every time I hear it in the car I go a little bit faster. Other songs like Bottles and Cans tell an interesting story about the cost of being the life of the party. Other songs like Red Water and Walk Away slow the album down and make you take a deeper look at your life, whether it’s from the perspective of someone who appears to have it all, or someone about to lose their marriage. There are several more good songs on the album, and this is one of those rare few I really enjoy beginning to end. This Town is a fantastic song about life in a small town, which always reminds me of where I grew up in Pennsylvania. I would, without a second of hesitation, tell anybody to listen to Graffiti The World.

Even if you’re opposed to the language on the album, you can’t come away from it without understanding that these guys have been there – or they know someone who has. Dealing with everything from suicide, to drug addiction, to struggling with their career in music, and even religion, on an alternate pressing of this album (a song was cut from this release, entiled “This I Know” which puts a modern spin on the children’s Sunday School song “Jesus Loves Me, this I know…”). I’m really a big fan of Rehab and enjoy most of their stuff, but this album finds its way in to my rotation over and over again!

Xbox 360: No picture on TV and controller not syncing? Try this…

Recently, a friend turned to me with a problem with his Xbox 360. When we started talking, he said that the lights on the console weren’t doing anything strange, but there was no picture on his TV. So I walked him through resetting his display settings by starting the console and pressing a certain combo of buttons on his controller. No luck – it turned out his controller wasn’t syncing. So, then, I told him how to sync his controller to his Xbox 360. No luck. He then plugged in a USB controller – still no change, the light on the controller never came on to show it was connected.

In the end, it turned out that he had recently rearranged his living room and the HDMI cable wasn’t snug in the back of the Xbox 360. He had gotten to the point that he had worked with Microsoft’s phone support and they weren’t able to help him, he was about to send the console off for repair – until he decided he could try another HDMI cable. When reaching to unplug his current cable, he realized it was loose.

I would suggest that you check both ends of your HDMI cable (Xbox 360 console and TV), and even use the HDMI cable of another working device such as a DVD player or a PS3, just for testing purposes. Even though the controller issue seems strangely unrelated, it seems that the Xbox 360 must detect that it is connected to a display source before it starts the controller up. Now, even if you have the incorrect display resolution selected, it will at least finish booting up. Not having a video out cable of any kind connected must stop the boot sequence. We learned something new today! And I hope it helps you!

It's Wii U Weekend!

The Wii U launches on Sunday. The Deluxe Model includes Nintendo Land. Of course, I’ll be buying New Super Mario Bros. U, and feeling like a kid on launch day (and then remembering exactly how much I hated having to turn my game off so my dad could have the TV to watch football, as I have a “prior engagement” for Sunday Night Football). And although I don’t have stars in my eyes and I’m not excited for this console as a gaming console, I’m excited to see it as someone who has owned every console Nintendo has ever released – I’m excited to see it Nintendo mature, to see what is going to come next. I’m excited to see if, this generation, firmware updates will be for more than combating piracy (and failing miserably at even that).

I’m almost anxious, but the feeling, with a little more than 48 hours to go, is nothing like 1996 when I knew there was a Nintendo 64 in the house, but I couldn’t have it until Santa delivered it. It’s certainly not like 1992, when I DIDN’T know there was a Super Nintendo in the house and was blown away to open my Super Mario World / Mario Paint Super NES Super Set. It seems like a life time ago.

To prep myself, mentally, I read up on the latest offering from Nintendo: Iwata Asks: Wii U: The Console. I have to say I’m not floored – we’ve already seen how the hardware barely holds up against the Xbox 360 and the PS3 – it basicall brings the Wii in to the HD era, but it is still sweating itself to be that much more than the Gamecube. Perhaps there is hidden potential to unlock, and I think I’ll have more to say on that next week – but I still have that “new console” buzz going through my mind. I wonder if I’ll get any sleep Saturday night?