<CT> Re: Microsoft discontinuing support for Win3

  • From: JGrossklass@xxxxxxxxxxx (Stephan Grossklass)
  • To: calmira_tips@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 19 May 2001 21:47:12 +0200

[No fullquote please!]
Okay folks, I haven't been showing up here for awhile, so I guess it's time
to write something ;). I still have 3 of 4 exams left, plus we now have DSL
(hehe) - I wouldn't call setting up a mini network with two machines (my
main box and my parents' new Athlon box with 'doze ME [not my idea]), a hub
and a DSL router straightforward (and not exactly cheap either), but now it
WORKS! :) Now I don't only have one of the fastest WfW machines in the
world, but also one of the fastest Internet connections among those :)...
(My dad is surfing al the time now <g>) I haven't experienced any sound
problems with Calmira and network DDE - I wonder why some people do? (I've
recently changed the sound card, though - now it's a Soundblaster 32 PnP;
PnP is the wrong term though, it was more like PnFHTGIW [Plug 'n fight hard
to get it working].) Installing TCP/IP was a bit of a hassle, though -
Network Setup strictly wanted to have Program Mangler for groups and hung
up otherwise (some install programs still create only empty groups btw
[1]). In addition, I've upgraded my 486 box - it now has a reasonable
graphic card (ELSA WINNER 1000AVI VL, 2 megs of DRAM, S3 868 w/ S3 SDAC -
nice for tweaking with MCLK
<http://www.geocities.com/liaor2/myutil/mclk.html> btw -, running at
1152x864 in 16 bits and 77 Hz at the moment), a Toshiba 8X CD-ROM, a
multi-I/O controller with 2 IDE connectors and 16550A UARTs, the sound card
from my main system and a pretty fast 350 meg hard disk instead of a 240 MB
one (with one platter instead of two, and without any bad sectors). I've
also been able to connect both the 3.5" and 5.25" floppies by rotating the
5.25" one by 180 degrees (it's installed vertically anyway, and the 3.5"
floppy is mounted overhead - don't we just love those old desktop cases?).
Another 420 meg hard drive is waiting to be installed, I still need a power
connector duplicator though. WfW configuration should follow soon after, 60
megs of free disk space still aren't that much now. Probably I'll also get
an original IBM keyboard, these have the reputation to be excellent, though
cleaning is more than necessary in most cases now...

Insert [snip] where appropriate:

>Date: Thu, 17 May 2001 22:21:04 +0200
>From: Michelle Konzack <wfw.mailinglists@xxxxxxxxxx>
>Subject: <CT> Re: Microsoft discontinuing support for Win3

>Am 17:06 16.05.2001 +0800 hat Joshua Brannon geschrieben:

>>>I'm not sure exactly what it means by them dropping support, but I am
>>>sure it means that MS will pull down the DOS and Win3 sites that they
>>>have by the end of the year.

>>I know this has been discussed before, but could this mean that it's
>legally abandonware?

>...and we can use a smp-kernel with real 
>multitasking insteed of preemtiv ones  ;-))
>Who like to program a new kernl386.exe ???

With heaps of 640KB each, of course ;). I guess that would be too
difficult, besides a display drives which uses the VESA modes would be far
more necessary. Still nobody with a DDK around?

>Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 10:24:45 +0200
>From: Michelle Konzack <wfw.mailinglists@xxxxxxxxxx>
>Subject: <CT> Re: Microsoft discontinuing support for Win3

>Curently I am learning to program under Linux because I 
>like to make a calmira4linux (WindowManager plus Desktop) 
>but not like KDE which is a littlebi to heavy...

Sounds like an interesting project - good luck with that.

>Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 09:39:37 -0400
>From: Alan Grimes <alangrimes@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>Subject: <CT> Re: Microsoft discontinuing support for Win3

>> Who like to program a new kernl386.exe ???

>I thought about it for a while then came to the conclusion that it Just
>Isn't Worth It. =( Better to start from scratch and build totally
>re-designed computers.

Not a bad idea - I recently read that if we continue the strategies for
more computing power we'll reach the critical level of 200 watts of CPU
power dissipation in a few years. Perhaps Transmeta is going to be the
future #1 CPU producer, who knows? (Anyone tried Win 3.1 on a Transmeta
based device yet, such as the Sony C1VE? I had a look at the predecessor
with a PII-400 CPU once - cuuuute, and the 1024x480 display was brilliant,
though a bit small for my 20% vision, but you could only upgrade the RAM to
128 megs, which could turn out as the bottleneck in not too many years.)

>Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 08:21:43 -0600 (MDT)
>From: "Brian L. Johnson" <blj8@xxxxxxxx>
>Subject: <CT> Re: Microsoft discontinuing support for Win3

>Now consider this: My box is running a web, mail and FTP server, and
>runs X-windows with a rather heavy desktop setup, with Netscape going,
>and has been up, GUI and all, for over 15 days now. Can you say that of
>your Microsoft-based OS?

You'd need Win2k to achieve the necessary stability, but with dumb consumer
grade Windows - no chance. For the servers only, I guess WfW 3.11 would be
more stable than Win9x/ME ;).

>As to ease of use, I admit that was once an issue, but nowadays Linux
>with X is actually easier to use than Windows, and it's getting easier.

Does this also apply to the combination of mouse and keyboard operations?
Many GUIs I've come across were too mouse oriented (I want to start
Netscape with Ctrl-Alt-I instead of clicking through the menus - the latter
would be a PITA with that tiny and always disappearing mouse pointer)
and/or had no possibility for using system fonts as large as I'd need them
(Desqview/X, BeOS).

About thinking: I think (<g>) that when using a fully configured computer
you should not have to think a lot so you can concentrate on getting things
done (that's why batch files are so useful - "editcfg" is much easier to
remember that "edit config.sys autoexec.bat", and faster to type for people
like me who are no 10-finger typists; the same is true for DOSKEY). When
setting up a system, some more thinking can be involved (I mean, why are we
fans of Windoze 3.1x? ;). What a good OS/GUI should not be: intransparent.
In Win9x there are far too many strange problems which cannot be traced
back to anything...

>From: "John" <spyder@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>Subject: <CT> Re: Microsoft discontinuing support for Win3
>Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 13:43:44 -0400

>> less actual) GUI UNDER LINUX!
>If you really believe DOS is so much better something is wrong because DOS
>is a flaky unreliable single tasking OS that truely is the reason Windows is
>so unstable.

Actually DOS is a pretty simple OS that IMO is quite reliable since it
boots under almost any circumstances. Concerning the stability - it depends
a lot on the applications used, so in that way it is not reliable. BTW
DR-DOS is more advanced that MS-DOS here, since it offers multi-tasking and
at least a bit of crash protection. Concerning the instability of DOS-based
Windows versions: This is more likely due to backwards compatibility - a
DOS-based protected mode GUI built from scratch could be as fast as any
highly stable OS, IMO.

>Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 12:38:52 -0600 (MDT)
>From: "Brian L. Johnson" <blj8@xxxxxxxx>
>Subject: <CT> Re: Microsoft discontinuing support for Win3

>Another ultra-minimal distro that may be interesting is Toms RTBT at

>It is a super-small compressed distro that fits onto one diskette. 

Which is formatted in a 1720 KB format BTW.

>boots, uncompresses the filesystem into a ramdisk, and operates from
>there. Everything is in memory, and doesn't touch your drives at all
>(unless you tell it to). Disk space needed is -0- bytes.

>Takes a minute or two to boot,

On my 386SX notebook, it takes "a bit" longer ;)...

> but makes a very nice ultra-mini setup
>that I use for system administration and such. I can't get it to make a
>dialup net connection (it only supports network links), but it's still
>fun to play with.

I'm also using it sometimes, and IMO it's pretty nice for learning things
about Linux (comprehensive manpages, for example). I had to read an
introduction to Linux for beginners, though. I was pretty impressed by what
you can already do with this tiny version (though including fsck.minix
would have been a good idea - for tomsrtbt's floppy!), however Linux is
still too complex for me at the moment (here I am where I was with DOS 5 or
6 years ago - but back then I still had a lot of time). Perhaps I'll learn
more when studying...

Now back to Calmira: Due to the problem with Netscape I experienced with
beta 3.11 (hangup in start menu with open mail/news composing window) I
haven't upgraded from 3.1a yet. Should I try the newest version now? I
mean, what's a nice Explorer look worth if the shell crashes? BTW when
opening the "Connect network drive" dialog from Calmira the 3D look is not
applied by All3D, while it is when calling that very same dialog from File

BTW: What about transparency in Win16? A version of Calmira with
semi-transparent icon windows that can be seen while they're dragged
(MOD4WIN can do that) and with other such fancy stuff would be really k3wL
*gg*. Okay, it would most likely be awfully slow and you'd need a color
depth of 15 bits or higher (do I see a big increase in the demand for good
graphics accelerator cards for ISA and VL here? [2] *g*), but it would
still be nice to look at, plus not even Whistler (now called Windows XP)
has that :). Just dreaming? Well, a few years back Calmira would have been
considered impossible, too...


Foot notes:
[1] What about removing that 40 character limit of the command line of
start menu items? It's quite a severe limitation.
[2] While we're at accelerator cards: The favorite one for my main PC would
be an ELSA WINNER 2000PRO/X-8 (PCI only) - this was a $899 card five years
ago (and even more expensive before; it was primariy intended for CAD and
the like), which is based on the S3 Vision968 chip and uses 8 MB of VRAM
and a 250 MHz RAMDAC to achieve a maximum refresh rate of 86 Hz at
1600x1200 in TrueColor (actually 32 bits, since the graphics chip has no
24bpp mode, so the RAM bandwidth is even more impressive). I know a Matrox
Millennium G200 could do the same, but imagine a PCI graphics card the size
of a Soundblaster AWE 32 (full length) :). In addition you can run up to
four of these beasts in one machine and do multi-monitoring in Win 3.1
(yep!), NT, Nextstep and other systems/CAD programs.
Stephan Großklaß's new old box:
DX/2-66, ELSA WINNER 1000AVI VL, 20 MB, 350 MB, Win95a
Home: http://jgrossklass.bei.t-online.de/
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