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Win16fan

Anyone else like Windows 3.1?

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Hello all,

 

I recently joined the forum, though I've been browsing for awhile, and was curious to know if anyone else likes this vintage OS? I've been interested in old tech ever since I was a kid. I got into old console gaming first back in the early '00s, then in the mid-'00s I got an interest in old computers too. I discovered Win 3.1 while looking for old computer operating systems and liked what I saw in the screenshots I could find. I've used it on both real hardware and virtualization and the experience was similar, though I never ran the OS on an early '90s PC (oldest PC I had was from 1999). My first OS was Win 98, so 3.1 was completely different to me, which is what I liked about it. I like using the Program Manager interface and I've never installed any of those "make win 3.1 look like 95" programs, since, in my opinion, if I wanted 95, I would install 95. My biggest complaint with 3.1 is finding games. It seems like PC game developers focused more on DOS back in the day and once 95 came out they all shifted to that OS. I try to buy 3.1 software when I can find it, my most recent pickup being Microsoft Works 3.0. I know it's office software, but it's better than nothing.

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Yes there weren't to many games for 3.11. I used to just go to the command prompt for everything. I remember when Win 95 came out, it seemed very revolutionary! Looking back, Windows 3's interface was a lot like a smartphone interface with all the folders of apps and such.

 

My parents used to get mad at me because we had a Packard Bell with all this crap like Packard Bell Navigator on it that was meant for total computer rookies. They liked it but I hated it! I'd always leave the computer in Windows 3.11 or on DOS. My dad finally read the manual and started learning DOS commands because of me. I figure I did him a favor.

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I recently joined the forum, though I've been browsing for awhile, and was curious to know if anyone else likes this vintage OS?

i wasn't a fan personally, coming to it from Workbench on the Amiga felt like a backwards step at the time; the machines of the day made it feel less responsive and i think mine spent most of it's time in DOS anyway.

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I was never a fan of windows 2.x or 3.x. I always wound up back in Dos, or later on mostly in DosShell. Windows 3.11 (the last of that series) Ran slow on era hardware and ate up Lower ram making it hard to run many of the legacy Dos games or programs of the time. Now windows 95 was VASTLY improved and its where I finally left the command prompt behind.

 

Over the years I've tinkered with windows 3.11 on more modern equipment to see if the greater ram and cpu power would help it move along, but found it is still a awkward and bloated piece of M$ software. I still find the simple (mouse driven) DosShell that shipped with DOS 5.0 to 6.22 to be superior in almost everyway.

/s

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I used to sell and support Windows 2.x and 3.x back in the day. The one issue you'll find with it is that it's not really a complete O/S in and of itself. To use it fully, you'll end up going back to the DOS command line quite a bit. However, if that doesn't bother you then enjoy playing around with it.

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i wasn't a fan personally, coming to it from Workbench on the Amiga felt like a backwards step at the time; the machines of the day made it feel less responsive and i think mine spent most of it's time in DOS anyway.

Exactly my feeling and view and why I simply stuck with Amiga / Workbench until Windows 98 when I actually felt it might be worthwhile, still not sure it was lol. Seriously though I am glad I waited, I watched friends and relatives endure Windows from 3.1 - Win95 and I just kept thinking NOPE I will happily just stay where I am thank you very much.

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3.11 was 'fair', but like others, it was not my main environment, besides all the cool stuff still ran under DOS. I used Direct Access 5.0 as a menu loader and XTree PRO Gold for most of my maintenance activities. I only loaded Windows when I needed it.

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I was never a fan of windows 2.x or 3.x. I always wound up back in Dos

 

same here unless a program required windows I didnt load it, ton of lost resources just for a fancy program launcher :)

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Win3.1 + MS Word 2.0a + 486DX2/50 was a killer setup for word processing. And a great upgrade from the Apple II which I'd been using since the 70's. With it I entered into a new era of computing.

 

I tried things on the ST, the Amiga, and other 8-bit machines but they felt cheap and limiting. And none gave me the ability to import my previous work. Each was a nice little self-contained nightmare when it came to that.

 

I couldn't afford anything from the TRS-80 business line or anything "Mac". But Microsoft and Intel came through with a dynamite combo that worked for me!

Edited by Keatah
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I was and still am a big stickler for being able to read and handle a large variety of file formats. This not only applies to word processing, but audio and graphics too.

 

I had files in like 5 or 10 different formats scattered through billions of disks on the Apple II. And Win 3.1 supported all the necessary protocols and converters to complete the import task. Now I'm standardized on .DOC and .PDF. I'd say .TXT, too, but that's not necessarily a standard is it?

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The only App that Windows 3.1 had that was better than any DOS program I also had was a music notation program. It was similar to Activision's Music Studio or EA's Music Construction Set. I think I used the MIDI interface on my SoundBlaster to input music. It wasn't a fantastic sequencer, or notation program, but it was adequate, and shareware, and if I remember, fairly inexpensive. The fact that I don't remember what it was called (Winsong?) is telling.

 

Once Win32 rolled around, application development got so much easier, and as such, software quality improved a lot. I respect the work that went into some Windows software, but the DOS software that was around at the time was extremely good.

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Fun to set up CD Drive drivers and such

 

HP%20Vectra%20386%20PC_zpsg7inycux.jpg

 

My lovely old HP Vectra 386 with the 1-speed CD Drive (Matsui? Matsumi? something like that).

Edited by high voltage

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I had some old Windows 3.1 games I liked so I stuck the EXE on a floppy and carried it home. Sadly, I found one of my old favorites on some backed up hard drive, Klotzki, does not run on 64-bit OS. Were all Windows 3.1 apps 16-bit? :?

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a lot of programs will run if you shove them in compatibility mode for windows 95, otherwise yea you can run it from dosbox

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...we had a Packard Bell with all this crap like Packard Bell Navigator on it that was meant for total computer rookies.

Ha, Packard Bell Navigator. I remember that. I thought it was pretty neat at the time, but I was 10. Being able to click all kinds of random crap and make it do stuff was cool to me, and I liked having my own "room." Of course, once I got a little more experience I could see how it was basically worthless as an operating system and that all that cutesy interactive stuff only bloated it.

 

IIRC it wasn't long before my dad installed Win95 on that system.

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Windows 3.11 was pretty much used for word processing with AmiPro. Normally I'd be in DOS workin' the Autoexec and Config.sys to run games.

 

Seeing the aforementioned Packard Bell Navigator- anyone use Microsoft Bob? I had to demo that when I used to work retail. Oy....

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I kept going with DOS and Desqview at home until Win 95 came out. I had Win 3.x, but didn't use it for anything more than experimenting. Desqview was much better for multitasking (running a multiline BBS while programming in Borland C, for example). I did use Windows 3.11 "for workgroups" at work, though.

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a lot of programs will run if you shove them in compatibility mode for windows 95, otherwise yea you can run it from dosbox

Many apps/games on Windows 3.1 were in fact 16-bit proggies. Microsoft chose not to support 16-bit instructions on Windows 64 due to security issues with protected mode. It also affects various 32-bit software for 95/98 that used 16-bit installers. You need either virtualization or an x86 emulator running on x86. Stupid yes.

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That's nice. Whoever decided that stupid idea to stop supporting 16 bit programs should've been fired. This means I have to go through the painful process of using Windows 3.1 just to run them!

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This is enough Windows 3.1 for me.

http://www.windows93.net/

 

I was a Mac person back then and condescendingly shook my head at the nasty, transitional mess that was Windows 3.1. It got a lot better with Win95, of course. Especially when plug and play 3D games were everywhere!

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