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)

Why does my IT guy always tell me to reboot?

Because it works. I wish I could say that more often. But the reality is, it lets us start with a clean slate. Your computer has a lot going on, even when you are only running one or two programs. When a Windows XP computer boots up, around 100 programs and services load with it, and that is on a new PC without a lot installed on it!

Continue reading “Why does my IT guy always tell me to reboot?”

FTP for Windows RT

Update 1: if the idea of the command prompt doesn’t appeal to you, read Clive’s comments below this post for using the Windows Explorer FTP feature, or see my new article about mFTP, a free app from the Windows 8 Store.

Some things we just take for granted. Maybe you’ve used CoffeeCup FTP, FileZilla, or CuteFTP – well whatever you’re used to, it’s not in Windows RT. You just had to get a Microsoft Surface, didn’t you? Haha, it’s okay, so did I. But, since you can’t go back to old familiar stand-by FTP clients, I asked this week what option you have when you need to upload a file to an FTP server in a pinch? Relax, Microsoft has had you covered for over a decade!

Windows RT has a command prompt. It’s true! From the Start Screen, just type three letters: cmd and a command prompt icon will appear. Click that. Look familiar? Good. Now you can type ftp exampleservername.com – and away you go! Perhaps, in yourcase, it’ll be ftp.exampleservername.com, whatever… you should know your own server. The point is, once logged in, you can upload and download files through the command line!

The two biggest things to know: first, by default you’re in ASCII mode, which is for transferring text files – to transfer a binary file, you should switch to BINARY mode. Just type the word “binary” and you’ll switch modes – then you can upload MP3s, JPGs, PNGs, EXEs, and so on. Second: if you are trying to upload or download files to the server, they are coming from and going to whatever folder you were in before you started the client. You can use the “lcd” command to change your local directory, but by default you start out in C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\.

More commands and important sub commands are available on Microsoft.com, though a simple HELP command will present you with some helpful information.

How to clean that cluttered Windows 8 Start Screen

So you just got a new Windows 8 PC, and you installed a few programs. For instance, Office 2010 was just installed to your new computer. Now your Windows 8 Start Screen has a ton of icons on it that you don’t want to see or use. How do you clean the clutter? Here’s the quick, easy way to do it:

Hold CONTROL and click on the icons you want to get rid of. This will allow you to click multiple icons, one at a time. As you do, you’ll see a checkmark appear in the upper left hand corner. Once you have the items you want to remove selected, simply click Unpin from Start in the bottom left corner of the screen. Poof. The icons disappear. Another option is to browse to the Start Menu Folder, where you can easily manage the items on the Start Screen as if it were a folder.

Also, don’t forget that you can right click on an icon and click the smaller or larger button to make it a single square or a wider icon, which can help you truly customize your Start Screen and make it your own.