More Operating System Nostalgia

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Moving forward with the screen shots I posted the other day of CPM and Windows 1.01 - here are a few more:

Windows 2.03:

This was the first version of Windows that actually displayed its UI in a 'window' (odd - isn't it?).  Windows 2.03 runs just fine under Virtual PC 2004 - with no specific configuration needed.  Also - it had what is quite possibly the hardest computerized version of Reversi that I have ever played (and in an odd fact of life - I happened to have played a *lot* of computerized Reversi games):

Windows 2.03 running under Virtual PC Windows 2.03 running under Virtual PC

Windows 3.0:

Windows 3.0 will always hold a nostalgic place in my memory - for it was the first version of Windows that I ever used (running on my 286 with a CGA screen).  Now don't get me wrong - I did hate it - but it was the first version that I used none the less :-).  An interesting point about Windows 3.0 is that there is a drastic difference between Windows 3.0 and Windows 3.1.  The drivers for these operating systems are incompatible - and there are a whole set of applications that were written for Windows 3.0 that will not run under Windows 3.1.  Windows 3.0 was also the first version of Windows to ship with the now infamous 'Solitaire' - it did not, however, have Mine Sweeper.

Windows 3.0 running under Virtual PC Windows 3.0 running under Virtual PC

As you can see from the screen shots - there is a palette bug with running Windows 3.0 under Virtual PC.  As Windows 3.1 does not have this problem - and pretty much no one actually runs Windows 3.0 these days - I have not been able to convince anyone that this is worthwhile fixing (myself included).  If you keep up to date on my blog - you will probably get used to me saying 'This is a bug - and as I am one of the three people in the world to ever hit it - it has not been fixed yet'.  This is one of the downsides of being an uber-geek - and don't worry - each one of these bugs do sincerely annoy me - and I open up bugs on each release of Virtual PC for these items (of course - these days I am usually also responsible for making the call that they should not be fixed this time around - sigh).


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  • Just wanted to say that I'm enjoying your blog. I hadn't considered Virtual PC for retro gaming, but now I'm convinced. The only problem is finding my old DOS and Windows disks! Maybe MS could offer some standard retro images when you purchase VPC. Looks like I'll have to see what I can find on ebay.

    Thanks for the ideas!
  • I'm enjoying your blog too. I use VPC to run a game called Amber: Journeys Beyond. It was designed for Windows 95 but works fine on Windows 98 running on a virtual PC. It's one game that just will not run on Windows XP.

    VPC has also been a great way to sample Linux without having to commit to a dual boot scenario!
  • Hey Ben,

    I am a fan, nay a *fanatic* of Virtual PC, and have been using VPCs in all shapes and sizes at work. Like, when I wanted to setup a Win2k3 domain with ADSI which our base n/w didn't support because it was still NT based, I used the shared networking option and setup a network - NEAT!
    Your post really made me jump out of my seat! For the past couple of weeks, even I have been following the same idea! I have been downloading all the archaic OSs from the MSDN
    subscriber's site and setting up VPcs with them. All went fine with the OSs of the past
    decade. Then, waxing eloquent about the fun I had during the Win311 days, I decided that my
    colleagues would want to admire some of the finer nuances of the xyzzy cheat in the Win311
    Minesweeper(remember? the top row pixel changing color depending on whether you are hovering over a mine or not. Cool!)
    I decided to try something different for the mix, and loaded FreeDos beta 8. Then I copied the Win311 setup and ran setup.exe. But when it reached the completion stage, the setup exits with a GPF. Every single time.
    Still haven't been able to resolve this one. Lemme know if you are interested in the VPC.

    One of my grudges is the unavailability of the VHD to Raw Disk Partition and vice-versa
    tool! How much of a timesaver that would be! <SCREAM>Tommy,When is that coming out?!</SCREAM>

    Finally, could there be an easier way to trickle the Windowsupdate to the VHDs. I know this is a weird query, but our IT guys now simply disable my host machine on the n/w till I don't patch my VHDs (its a pain to patch so many VHDS! And sasser and blaster haven't been life any easier)

    An amazing product, kudos to the team! :)
    vinilm[.a.t.]yahoo dot com
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More Operating System Nostalgia