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Microsoft Windows Technology

Windows 1.0: the Power of DOS, Plus Tiled Windows 249

Posted by timothy
from the end-of-time-has-arrived dept.
jbrodkin writes "I'd always wanted my own working copy of the elusive Windows 1.0, and after a few failed attempts I got one working in a virtual machine (I had to downgrade from the latest version of Windows Virtual PC to an earlier version to get it started, but that's another story). With 416K free memory, we were able to cruise through Reversi, take a look at the first version of Notepad, as well as the now-defunct Microsoft Write, and create a 'masterpiece' in Microsoft Paint. Eventually, applications started crashing, but a simple reboot got it working again. All in all, a nice tour through computing history. Anyone have a copy of the first Macintosh OS they want to send me?"
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Windows 1.0: the Power of DOS, Plus Tiled Windows

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 26, 2011 @02:03PM (#36254318)

    What's the deal with Slashdot still using that Bill Gates Borg icon to represent Microsoft? That icon is so dated on both levels these days. Bill Gates hasn't worked at Microsoft in years, and the Borg reference just is no longer current or relevant. Anyone under 25 would hardly get the references.

    You guys just had a redesign, and you still can't deign to use the real Microsoft icon? For gods sake you have the real ones for Facebook and Twitter, it's not like its that hard. If anything, it makes slashdot just look so horribly unfunny and irrelevant.

    This is an on-topic meta comment.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 26, 2011 @02:09PM (#36254432)

      The point is that it's now passed beyond satire into meta-satire; the satire is mostly on the fact that so many Slashdot commenters bemoan their portrayal as you do. The very reason it's still being used is probably because of that. Honestly, I see more comments complaining about how Slashdotters are always biased against MS than I see comments which are genuinely biased against them.

      • "Meta-satire?" Really?

        I say never attribute to satire that which can be explained by sheer laziness.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I could go for a Ballmer Zombie instead.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by freedumb2000 (966222)
      /. should just use a chair. *ducks* (literally)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192)

      They're keeping it solely to piss people like you off. It seems to be working.

    • Anyone under 25 wouldn't know what the Borg are? First, you're overreaching as I'm 26 and easily get the reference. Someone as much as 5-6 years younger than me would probably get it just fine. Second, even if they're younger than that, if they have never even heard of the Borg they probably aren't the type that comes here in the first place. Third, most people alive are 25 and over. I think it's fine.
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Because a sweaty Ballmer throwing chairs will not fit in a icon.

    • by Muros (1167213)

      What's the deal with Slashdot still using that Bill Gates Borg icon to represent Microsoft? That icon is so dated on both levels these days. Bill Gates hasn't worked at Microsoft in years, and the Borg reference just is no longer current or relevant.

      Methinks the Borg reference will be more relevant in the future than it has ever been. As for Bill working in Microsoft, some of the issues many people have had in the past with MSFT were related to money Bill Gates made from work other people did.

    • by FridayBob (619244)
      Too late. That just means that the Bill Gates Borg icon is becoming part of Slashdot lore. Newbies may not understand immediately, but they will if they stick around long enough. Besides, if we didn't allow for this sort of thing, how could we ever expect to develop our own culture? If instead Slashdot just followed whatever was trendy, then I think our days would be numbered. Of course, this may also mean that we will eventually die out, our sizable membership finally dwindling to a small number of old koo
    • by Simon80 (874052)
      No! The borg reference is still quite relevant. Just because they can't EE&E anymore doesn't mean their mentality has changed. Look at OOXML or their Android patent extortion scheme. Same old Microsoft. Sure, their assimilation glory days are over, but they're still trying :)
      • by Simon80 (874052)
        Oh, and I forgot about the fact that they basically assimilated Nokia. What a tragedy that was.
    • by FlyingGuy (989135)

      Given that Gates was pushing the purchase of Skype with the board I think it is still appropriate.

    • by ProppaT (557551)

      The sad thing is that this Borg Gates icon was actually updated in the past few years. They went through the effort to redraw the icon even after its outdated. If they want to recycle a bad joke, do a Steve Jobs on for Apple. At least that would be relevant and actually make sense.

    • by PNutts (199112)

      What's the deal with Slashdot still using that Bill Gates Borg icon to represent Microsoft? That icon is so dated on both levels these days. Bill Gates hasn't worked at Microsoft in years, and the Borg reference just is no longer current or relevant. Anyone under 25 would hardly get the references.

      Resistance is futile.

    • Shills are bad enough. Whining shills are just pure lose. Billy Boy Goats - errrr - GATES left a legacy that will be memorialized in the history books. And, that legacy includes the borg icon. Don't like it? Don't read Microsloth articles on Slashdot - problem solved.

  • Huh, I wonder what broke it with the newer version of Virtual PC.

    • Not enough bugs.

    • by SharpFang (651121)

      probably emulation of modern CPU too different from old XT/AT.
      They did away with some of the oldest "features".

      BTW, Dosbox would likely be better suited.

      • by tverbeek (457094)

        About 15 years ago I tried installing Windows 1.0 on a then-current computer (probably a 386 or 486) and couldn't get it to work. My guess at the time was that the VGA chipset of the machine was doing a poor job of emulating the EGA graphics modes that Windows 1.0 was trying to use for (but even already in those days no one actually cared enough to test), but it could have been any of a hundred devitations from the then-current "IBM PC/XT compatible" standard that Microsoft assumed it would be running on.

      • by KiloByte (825081)

        Here's a screenshot [angband.pl] from an accurate emulator.

        The oldest machine I had at the time I took it was a 486 (in a corner of a cellar), but it crashed the same way as the emulator did. There was some error reading the 5 1/4 installation floppies, after several tries it finally claimed success, so it might have been data corruption rather than a problem with Windows, though. Still, it had the correct colour :p

  • I still have a complete set on 5 1/4 floppies for the Windows 2-86 version. No idea if they are even still readable at this point.
    • by Hatta (162192)

      The 5.25" floppies probably are. I have a number of vintage computers. In my experience you can pretty much count on properly stored 5.25" floppies to work. 3.5" floppies are almost entirely unreadable on the other hand.

      • by slick7 (1703596)
        I keep my 5.25 floppy drive just to screw with people by using an obsolete media format that fewer people have heard of let alone use.
    • by sconeu (64226)

      Have Windows 1.03 on 5.25" floppies.

  • by OglinTatas (710589) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @02:05PM (#36254350)

    ...after a few failed attempts I got one working.... Eventually, applications started crashing, but a simple reboot got it working again.

    Sounds like you have it working as designed. Bravo.

  • Yep. (Score:5, Funny)

    by wcrowe (94389) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @02:06PM (#36254372)

    Eventually, applications started crashing, but a simple reboot got it working again

    Yep, that's Windows all right.

  • BTW didn't the other guy upgraded from windows 1.0 to 7 making this even less relevant?
  • by sumdumass (711423) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @02:09PM (#36254422) Journal

    If you liked that experience, you should check out the windows really good version

    http://www.deanliou.com/WinRG/ [deanliou.com]

  • Errors (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kamiza Ikioi (893310) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @02:15PM (#36254526) Homepage

    It's amazing. The error dialogs and calculator have lasted on, virtually unchanged.

    • by zoney_ie (740061)

      Last time I checked, calculator in Windows 7 has a "programmer" mode as well as scientific and basic, that on first glance is helpful (swap between bases) but doesn't really allow you to do much calculation. If I'm not mistaken, they've also removed the functionality to switch between number bases in the scientific mode. And finally it doesn't keep your current calculation up when you swap modes.

      Typical Windows; in theory helpful, in reality some special version of hell.

      Although I'm fairly convinced at this

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Last time I checked, calculator in Windows 7 has a "programmer" mode as well as scientific and basic, that on first glance is helpful (swap between bases) but doesn't really allow you to do much calculation. If I'm not mistaken, they've also removed the functionality to switch between number bases in the scientific mode. And finally it doesn't keep your current calculation up when you swap modes.

        Unless they changed it in 7, it works just fine in XP calculator. The base is settable from binary, decimal, octa

      • by g253 (855070)
        I haven't tried it but apparently the OSX calculator has an RPN mode. Pretty awesome imho.
  • But has Netcraft confirmed Windows 1.0 is dead?

  • by Kamiza Ikioi (893310) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @02:23PM (#36254630) Homepage

    I wonder where someone could find and run QDOS (DOS 1.0 that Gates bought and sold to IBM). "The "Microsoft Disk Operating System" or MS-DOS was based on QDOS, the "Quick and Dirty Operating System" written by Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer Products, for their prototype Intel 8086 based computer.

    QDOS was based on Gary Kildall's CP/M, Paterson had bought a CP/M manual and used it as the basis to write his operating system in six weeks, QDOS was different enough from CP/M to be considered legal.

    Microsoft bought the rights to QDOS for $50,000, keeping the IBM deal a secret from Seattle Computer Products." - About.com [about.com]

    • Re:QDOS? (DOS 1.0) (Score:5, Informative)

      by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @02:36PM (#36254776)

      Here [86dos.org] you go ! It's 86DOS but as wikipedia explains [wikipedia.org] :

      "86-DOS was an operating system developed and marketed by Seattle Computer Products for its Intel 8086-based computer kit. Initially known as QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) the name was changed to 86-DOS once SCP started licensing the operating system."

      • by Scoth (879800)

        The amazing thing is the programs in the archive run just fine on XP. Some of them I didn't let do much (like chkdsk and initlarg) because of what they might do, but they run fine.

  • Not hard to find. My first Mac OS was 2.1 I think - it was a Mac 512k. Here's a link to get the image. http://www.nd.edu/~jvanderk/sysone/ [nd.edu]
  • The curse will never lift. They are doomed to UI fail forever. (it's verb/cancel, for youse unaware folk. always verb/cancel)
  • wanted my own working copy of the elusive Windows 1.0

    It's not elusive. It's dead (good riddance).

    My first Windows I ever came to use was 3, but of course I had to see and try previous versions as well back in the days. May them all rot in peace together.
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      The first version of Windows I used was win95. I was happy with DOS, 6.2 was a good OS (I upgraded to that from 3.3 because of doublespace). It also came with an excellent text based shell, DOSShell. MS used to make pretty good stuff, but about the only MS program I don't loathe these days is Excel (even though I hate spreadsheets in general).

      I got Win95 because of Road Rash. I just HAD to have that game!

  • by kevinmenzel (1403457) <kevinmenzel@noSpam.gmail.com> on Thursday May 26, 2011 @02:33PM (#36254740)
    I'm not sure that I've ever seen a copy of Windows 1.0, and I was REALLY in to old versions of windows at a point. 1.01, yes. 1.02, yes. 1.03, yes. 1.04, definitely (had that running native on a P4 though I forget how easy or difficult that was...) - but not the original 1.0. Apparently there was some sort of major bug with 1.0, or memory leak, or something. If anybody actually finds a copy somewhere though... that would be amazing. I've seen things claiming to be 1.0 that are just resource hacks of 1.01 or 1.04, (usually 1.04) so I know you can "find it on the google" but I have yet to see a confirmed 1.0 disk image anywhere on the net....
  • by morningstar8 (234758) on Thursday May 26, 2011 @02:35PM (#36254768)
    The original Write might have gone away...but there is still a proxy in its place.

    If you look in Windows 7's \system32 directory, you will find good ol' write.exe. I believe the icon is the same one it had in the Win 95 days. If you look at the property dialog for the file, and click over to the Details tab, you'll see that the "File description" is "Windows Write". Even in Windows 7, one can invoke "write hello.txt" from the command line.

    However, the executable is tiny, and it appears to simply invoke WordPad. The executable that shows up in Task Manager is "wordpad.exe".
  • I really liked it until you found that most apps wont run...

  • by ecotax (303198)

    To run an old version of MacOS, you can use vMac:
    http://www.vmac.org/ [vmac.org]
    You'll also need a Mac ROM file and a disk image with the MacOS version you'd like to run, but you should be able to find those as well.
    I don't have version 1.0, but I do have version 1.1.

    • I don't have version 1.0, but I do have version 1.1.

      Admittedly weird to reply on my own post, but I just checked: I have a System 1.0 / Finder 1.1g version of MacOS running under vMac.
      It appears to run just fine under the latest version of MacOS X.

  • At the risk of unwanted attention or appearing as flamebait, I will say it again: MS-DOS was not all that bad.

    Had MS-DOS been truly useless/horrible, it never would have caught on. And survived/persisted. Sure, it has deficiencies. But not so bad the Apps (which people buy hardware to run) couldn't be compelling.

    MS-DOS is actually a pretty good program loader / boot environment plus filessystem and is still used as such and for BIOS flashing. Just please don't call it an Operating System, which it is no

    • Before getting to the PC in the very early 90s, I came from a Commodore Amiga background where you'd always been encouraged to fiddle with the OS due to the sheer amount of shareware and freeware that you could get for it. At the same time I started to cut my teeth in UNIX which has ended up with me being a mostly Linux guy these days, again as an OS fiddler.

      I've also been through the MS-DOS and Windows iterations from Windows 3.11 to Windows XP (can't see a reason to go beyound XP at the moment) and fiddle

  • Windows 1.0 is the start of the beginning of the end. This is not a tour through history, it's a tour through modern history. It's like if a history buff went to the Clinton library and then proclaimed he had a tour through presidential history. Windows 1.0 is just the start of the tiny offshoot of computing known as Windows. Even on the micro computer offshoot of history you could be looking further back at S-100 bus computers with CP/M. What about mini computers, mainframes, Smalltalk-80, Multics, U

  • OK, off topic.

    I don't have an OS or even the original Mac anymore, but I hung on to the two original cassette tapes that shipped with my 128K Mac. They're audio cassettes with some New Age music playing in the background describing all the neat stuff this new computer will do. I haven't listened to them for a while.

    I wonder what they're worth.
  • by binkzz (779594)
    You'll have more luck running Windows 1.0 on DOSbox. [google.com]
  • Think of it a MS Windblows 0.90! Actually it was fun to use, I liked it!

    • by bedouin (248624)

      You beat me to it.

      Tandy's Deskmate was more useful than Windows at that time -- and that wasn't a very significant feat.

  • calculator, clock, calendar, notepad, print spooler, paint program, a primitive word processor and, of course, Reversi [...] Although Windows applications have evolved and expanded in the past quarter-century, Notepad and Paint survived all the way up to Windows 7.

    I'm not sure whether he forgot to say Calc survived, or if he meant "survived unchanged" and deliberately left Calc out since it got a major revision in Windows 7.

    If it's the latter case, he really shouldn't have included Paint either since that also got a major revision in Windows 7.

  • The first Macs were very hardware dependent. With only 128K RAM to work with, a lot of the OS was in ROM (and remained there throughout much of the MacOS 1-7 evolution). Not sure of the copyright on that, whether Apple would allow such a ROM dump. With so little RAM/ROM I'm sure there were a lot of techniques to save bytes, some that undoubtedly made the code very hardware dependent, and therefore harder to emulate. Also, they were Motorola 68000 machines, not Intel.

    Any emulation of it would have to overc

    • by ecotax (303198)

      You're right about the ROM, and yes, the copyright is a legal issue. But AFAIK it's legal to make a ROM dump of an old Mac you own and use that yourself. Also, although technically not legal, I doubt anyone at Apple would care if you would use a ROM file obtained otherwise, given how long MacOS X is deprecated now.
      The vMac website I mentioned in my earlier post also has a download link for a tool to create a ROM dump.

  • No, to make a fair comparison we'd have to go back to Apple II days. But then again Apple fanboys always keep forgetting the details.
    • by ecotax (303198)

      No, to make a fair comparison we'd have to go back to Apple II days. But then again Apple fanboys always keep forgetting the details.

      Comparing Windows 1.0 to the Apple II would hardly be fair to Windows. The Apple II had a pretty mature OS at that time.
      Furhtermore, straight from Wikipedia:

      Windows 1.0 is a 16-bit graphical operating environment that was released on 20 November 1985

      On January 24, 1984, Apple Computer Inc. (now Apple Inc.) introduced the Macintosh personal computer, with the Macintosh 128K model, which came bundled with what was later renamed the Mac OS, but then known simply as the System Software.

      When your fairness criterium is the release date, you'd have to compare Window 1.0 with MacOS 2. Which is a sure way of becoming an Apple fanboy.

  • You really need to put this context. Windows 1.0 came out in 1985 with non-overlapping windows. Very odd, since to anyone who was paying attention then, the very word "Windows" mean the overlapping windows developed at Xerox PARC and embodied in machines like the Alto, the Star, the Three Rivers PERQ, etc. To have a system called "Windows" without overlapping windows is missing the point on a grand scale.

    IBM's TopView was a multitasking, "character-mode GUI" version of DOS that came out in 1984. DESQview no

    • by SETIGuy (33768)

      GEM, a genuine full-fledged, GUI with overlapping windows, shipped in 1985 for the 8086. I don't remember it having much success as an OS or user environment, but there was one faintly successful product--was it a desktop publishing program? that actually incorporated GEM as an integral part of the program.

      I think you're thinking of Ventura Publisher. There may have been some other programs that shipped with a GEM runtime. It wasn't actually that odd at the time. A usable CAD program called In-A-Vision shipped with the Windows 1 runtime. You could also run it under Windows 2 and Windows 3 (real mode only). And, of course, the original AOL clients shipped with the GEOS runtime.

    • by yelvington (8169)

      GEM was picked up by Atari for its Motorola 68000-based system, which ran a rewrite of CP/M called GEMdos. Early versions were disk-based but it was quickly moved into ROM. It primarily competed with the Commodore Amiga (which was much more sophisticated), also launched in 1985, for the home market. I think I paid $800 for my Atari 520ST. PCs, including the Amstrad, were much more expensive back then.

      Very little commercial software was developed for the platform.

      GEM implemented a cooperative multitasking mo

  • Windows 1 would multi-task DOS applications. It would give up a time slice for each DOS call. There were dummy calls to give up a slice without doing I/O. I used to run compile or run C-ROBOTS in the background on an 800x600 super-EGA display. Of course Windows 2 killed that. Was overlapping windows a big enough deal that we had to give up DOS in a Window?
    • by dunng808 (448849)

      I walked Windows 1.4 on my IBM Portable, 8088, 512KB RAM, monochrom CGI screen. Logitech three button serial port mouse. I did write "ran" but it felt dishonest.

      I remember MS sales material -- Byte magazine ads? -- that extolled the virtues of tiled windows. Seems they believed users would find overlapping windows confusing. Then 2.0 came out with overlapping windows and all was forgotten.

      I remember how an Apple Lisa salesman had to preset the spreadsheet and word processor windows because they took so long

  • I wanted to see my first dead bird but my dog ate it. Fortunately, he threw it back up. I would post the pictures, but unlike jbrodkin, I don't believe in posting pictures of things that are ugly and broken.

  • OK, it only goes back to 6.0.3 for the Mac (but also has some newer ones), and has Apple IIGS and other downloads.. but some of the "newer old" Apple System Software is available at: http://support.apple.com/kb/TA48312 [apple.com]

  • by bloosh (649755)

    This isn't really that difficult.

    Here's a screenshot I just made of DOS 3.3 / Windows 1.01 running under QEMU under Ubuntu 11.04.

    http://i.imgur.com/lrEf3.png [imgur.com]

    It may even run under DOSBox, but I've not tried anything earlier than WFW 3.11 in that environment.

    I was rather impressed with myself recently getting this running:

    Ubuntu 11.04 > VirtualBox 4.0.something > OS/2 Warp4 FP15 > WinOS/2.

    That was a challenge!

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