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The old and the new — 5 Comments

  1. I can remember your former employers using Windows 3.11 right up until 1999 or so. 

    And they used windows mail with Microsoft’s Mail post office. I still shudder at the thought of seeing that setup the first time I had to call to the Cork offices.

  2. If I remember correctly, Offices down the bogs were given 3.11 while the Mother House progressed to NT.  As for the mail – that was always a bit of a mess!

  3. Windows 3.11 was 16bit. As too was DOS upon which it relied.

    CPU’s at the time would have been 80386 (1985) series with the 80486 (1989) just entering market. These were 32 bit processors. But Windows (And DOS) were 16bit for compatibility with the many 80286 powered PC’s out there. But the 286 was limited to 16Mb of RAM, the OS could theoretically support more but it was limited by hardware.

    The first truly 32bit Microsoft OS was Windows NT 3.1 in 1993. Windows 95/98/Me were 32bit but kind of as they still relied on DOS. 

    Windows NT 4.0 was the start of the fully 32bit revolution in 1996 followed up by Windows 2000 (in 1999) and ultimately Windows XP which is now 10 years old believe it or not. 

    Windows 3,1 appeared in 1992 and was succeeded in 1995 by Windows 95 just 3 years later. Windows 95 gave way to Windows 98 which in turn gave way to Me and then XP. 

    Over the past 5 years almost all processors in all PCs are 64bit capable but still 32bit computing still dominates.

    Windows 7 and Vista come in both 32 and 64 bit flavours, as to does Linux, FreeBSD etc.  Windows 7 will apparently be the last 32 bit microsoft operating system.

    It’s interesting to see that now the software is playing catch up to the hardware. W

  4. Aha!  The old 386! Happy days indeed!

    I installed DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.1 on the VM and it runs remarkably well.  The only problem I had with it was that the mouse driver wouldn’t work properly, and the curser would skitter all over the place.  It was only an experiment and a drop of nostalgia anyway.

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