IBM OS/360 to Windows 3.1: Software that Changed Computing Forever



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Ultima but no Wizardry?

AmigaOS but no GS/OS?

Where's Oregon Trail? 



There are a few minor omissions in the article.  PC-DOS 4 was written, under license, by IBM.  It was the ONLY version of DOS that IBM wrote.  It was not the commercial success IBM had hoped due to pricing.Next, Internet Explorer was released several months after Windows 95, both of which are outside of the time frame discussed.  At the time Internet Explorer was released, it was only as a component of Microsoft Plus for Windows95. Internet Explorer did not become popular until it was made a free download in late 1996. Internet Explorer was not intergraded into the operating system until version 3.0, about the same time as Windows98 hit the market.

To address OS2 and WindowsNT question posed above, both are outside of the time frame being discussed and are irrelevant to this article.  However I do find it interesting that the original kernel for OS2 was written by Microsoft for IBM under a mutual marketing agreement.  An agreement IBM terminated.  Originally both WindowsNT and OS2 shared many features and were actually compatible with each others API.



I have to second that question. Without OS/2 Microsoft would probably still be running around calling Windows 3.1 an operating system, and Windows 7 would likely have DOS 22.2 running underneath of it in MAYBE 16 bit mode.

Not that stabbing IBM in the back wasn't the smartest move MS ever made. But come on do you really think MS would have hired Dave Cutler, of DEC VAX/VMS fame which is also notably absent, to build NT if they didn't have pressure to build a modren O.S.?

If you disagree then why are we still in 32 bit computing, why is 64 bit a red headed step child, and why does Windows still have all the stability of an alchohoic at his first A.A. meeting?



American by Birth, But Southern by the Grace of God.



If you are going to put all of this "classic" software in there, where is OS/2?

 And for that matter, perhaps I missed it, but Microsoft Basic should be in there, along with Turbo Pascal, and 123.  123 revolutionized business in the 80's, and how many people learned programming with Turbo Pascal?


Looking at people talking about their first computer - my personal first PC was the Radio Shack Color Computer (still have it in a box after 27 years).  But the first system I used was a TRS-80 Model 2.  Our school's PC had 4 500kb 8" floppy drives, and I used it to store our school's football stats on, back in 1981.



The first computer i got was packard bell that came bundled with windows 3.1 and later i upgraded it to windows 95 and then i upgraded to the Compaq presario in 1998,  the packard bell although it was old was a great computer up until its death just after getting the compaq, to this day i still dont know why it stopped working, the compaq on the other hand was much faster and was bundled with windows 98, later upgraded to ME (that was a mistake and went back 98 with much relief!) the computer was much crappier when running games but surfing the internet and writing CD's and playing music was great on it, i later upgraded it to windows xp just to see how it would run, the computer had a pentium 3 and it ran xp well and i upgraded the video card and it was finnaly a great computer and with more ram with the maximum of 768MB SDRAM and a upgraded 40GB IDE HDD it was a badass of its day, but i had already upgraded to a DELL Dimension 2XXX something it had a pentium 4 and it was a great computer that ended up dying right after the warranty ended.. a quick buy after that was my first AMD Computer which was a HP Pavilion, i was going to go with a Compaq but found out they had become crappy and taken over by HP, the HP works today as a Media center pc with a 512mb AGP graphics, vista, 1gb ddr ram and a 500GB Hard drive and a wireless card, i then upgraded to my first APPLE, it was a macbook, intel, i had used at work an ibook g4 but it really wasnt mine, i loved using it but didnt think it would work with my gaming, video editing, drafting... the new macbook or was new macbook had proved me wrong by letting me run windows for my drafting and gaming... on the desktop end i have now a gateway DX4200-09 a second AMD computer with a quad-core processing power... my next upgrade will be to a mac pro in a year thats if thats its name a year from now, i'm moving to mac because its becoming easier to use and i dont like the way windows is moving and i wont dare to use linux again, my media center is due to change to a mac mini in a month or two... i like windows 7 and am using it now because i couldnt stand the vista it came with and dont really want to go back to xp....



My first box was an Acer 486SX running at 20MHz (33MHz if you pushed the "Turbo" button). I forget how much RAM I had but the HDD was 83.5MiB and had MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows for Workgroups 3.1 running on it (a configuration I emulate in VirtualPC for nostalgia).

.: vires et honos :.



How much did this hardware, software, and OSes originally cost?



My first computer was a Heath H89 with a 2 Mhz Z80, 32k of RAM and a SSSD 5-1/4" Floppy disk drive that held 100K per disk. I built it from a kit that was much more complicated than the component level builds I do today. Soldering skills were an absolute necessity. I eventually upgraded it to a 4 Mhz Z-80, (again soldering skills required), 64K of RAM and a different floppy controller with external drives that allowed me to store 720K per disk. This upgrade allowed me to run CP/M 2.2 rather than the proprietary HDOS that came with the system. Heath eventually came out with a 10 meg. hard drive upgrade that cost $3000, which was way too pricey for me. I built the system in 1981 and used it until 1990 when I donated it to a church in Iowa. But before doing so I played the game Adventure through to the end several times. Not to mention Dungeons and Dragons.

One of the annoyances of CP/M was that any time you swapped disks, you had to do a Ctrl-C or you would get an error when you tried to read the new disk. But if you were interested in writing custom applications you had everything you needed to do so. It came with an assembler, Microsoft BASIC and there was also a Pascal compiler available for $$49.95 called Turbo Pascal. I did several programs in Turbo Pascal and wrote several articles for a magazine entitled Sextant Magazine sharing my software gems. Using Turbo Pascal I could include in line assemby code that would access directly video memory directly. This increased execuation speeds exponentially.

But alas I am rambling too far down memory lane. I find myself on a maze of twisty little passages all alike. Or is it a twisty little maze of passages all alike?



Wow.  In 1994, when I thought I wanted to be an engineer, I had a TurboPascal course.  Fun times...



This is a hybrid. This is a cross, ah, of Bluegrass, Kentucky
Bluegrass, Featherbed Bent, and Northern California Sensemilia. The
amazing stuff about this is, that you can play 36 holes, take it home and just get stoned to the bejeezus belt



Wow, I still have my original Windows 3.11 install floppies to this day. Gosh those were the days!





When I was in the Air Force in the early years of the 80's, I worked with CP/M, using WordStar as a text editor to write programs using DBase II.  Later, used Clipper to compile the code to create stand along executables.  And when we received PC clones, using MS-DOS, we used the DBase III and ported our code over to run on those systems.



This may be too much information but when I see pictures of an IBM PC I have to reminisce back to my computer camp days in Modus Connecticut.  I spent two sessions (i.e. 4 weeks) at a computer camp when I was early teens.  That computer camp occupied a retreat for a few months that was patronized by dignitary's children from world wide countries.  At that camp we learned to program IBM Basic and Apple Pascal on apple II, II+ and IIe.  What was it...Zork the narrative game of choice back then?  Our camp wrote a game for that as a project.  Lightning did strike a tree right out side of my cabin.  In any case, I may have the original IBM manuals shown in the article in addition to the Lotus manuals from back then.  Ah, childhood days.

Yikes how lame...I even have a fully functional Summit K08 LED digital calculator from 1971 that my dad gave to me.  You turn the dial to increase the significant digits.  And it is rechargeable, even back then. 

If you liked the Elegant Universe by Brian Greene, you'll love the Endless Universe- Beyond the big bang theory by Paul Steinhardt and Neil Turok.


The Relic

A very good series of articles, but as for Wolfenstein 3D... Did ID popularize the FPS? Undoubtedly. Did they create it? Undoubtedly...not. Battlezone (for the arcades) predated Wolf 3D by 11 years in the arcades, and I don't think even that was the first (gaming from a first-person perspective has existed since at least Atari's Night Driver).



There is a difference, Battlezone was just some green lines and you were in a tank.  It's still a first person shooter, but to me (and probably not to everyone) a First Person Shooter is spent more on foot.  Like I said though, if it is a first person viewpoint AND you're shooting things or projecting something it's an FPS.  I just never really think of Mechwarrior as an FPS is all.  Wolf really brought the FPS into the limelight because it was done right.  They used ray casting for developing the game that really changed the face of it all.  If you're going to get all technical about it you could pick out Flight Simulator and even some earlier games that were FP viewpoints.  Though Wolfenstein, by the way they had developed it, really did enhance and popularize the FPS.



so thisNight Driver was a First Person SHOOTER as well?


Coming soon to --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.


The Relic

Didn't say it was...I just said it was gaming from the first person perspective. Battlezone WAS an FPS, however. But I recall hearing about an earlier FPS (I just don't remember the name of it, however).



more visually sexier

That sentence couldn't be more wronger.

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