Author Topic: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???  (Read 5683 times)

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Offline Tac Eht Xilef

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2019, 11:41:47 pm »
… but I think Windows 1x existed before GEM.

GEM (released Feb 1985) predated Win 1 (Nov 1985) by a few months.

Walking back, you have Apple Mac, then Apple Lisa, X-Windows on Unix systems, then you get to pretty much the first commercial GUI which was Metaphor Systems (1982)

From most recent to earliest:
GEOS: 1986
MS Windows v1: Nov 1985
Gem: Feb 1985
X Windows System: Jun 1984
Apple Mac: Jan 1984
Apple Lisa: Jan 1983
W Windows System: c.1983
Metaphor Workstation: 1982
Xerox Star Workstation: Apr 1981
Xerox Alto: Mar 1973, the famous GUI demo in Dec 1979
Control Data Plato IV touchscreen demo: 1972
 

Offline Nusa

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2019, 12:32:00 am »
… but I think Windows 1x existed before GEM.

GEM (released Feb 1985) predated Win 1 (Nov 1985) by a few months.

Walking back, you have Apple Mac, then Apple Lisa, X-Windows on Unix systems, then you get to pretty much the first commercial GUI which was Metaphor Systems (1982)

From most recent to earliest:
GEOS: 1986
MS Windows v1: Nov 1985
Gem: Feb 1985
X Windows System: Jun 1984
Apple Mac: Jan 1984
Apple Lisa: Jan 1983
W Windows System: c.1983
Metaphor Workstation: 1982
Xerox Star Workstation: Apr 1981
Xerox Alto: Mar 1973, the famous GUI demo in Dec 1979
Control Data Plato IV touchscreen demo: 1972
Control Data didn't demo the touchscreen in 1972. The correct attribution would be the University of Illinois CERL labs, run by Don Bitzer. CERL also developed the plasma graphics panel that the touch screen was designed for. CDC bought commercial rights from them in 1976 if I remember correctly.

Most people can be forgiven for not remembering the Apple Lisa. There were never that many of them, being commercially eclipsed by the Apple Mac the next year. I can only think of one person I knew that owned one.
 

Offline rrinker

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #27 on: August 13, 2019, 02:36:28 pm »
 I don't recall anyone I knew owning a Lisa, but they were on display at the Hess department store near me. It looked interesting, but then I would see the price tag. Given a TRS-80 Modle 1 was out of reach for me, the Lisa certainly was.

 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #28 on: August 13, 2019, 03:02:27 pm »
My recollection is that everyone (Apple, Microsoft, GEOS) were all based on the Xerox ideas and developed nearly in the same time frame.

I'm pretty sure Apple was the first one to implement Xerox ideas on a personal computer, and the others followed. As I've read, despite innovative and visionary ideas, Xerox was having a hard time getting people interested in their GUI systems. Contrary to what has been sometimes said, Apple didn't steal anything from Xerox. Xerox executives at the time decided to actively transfer the concepts to Apple because they were not seeing any future of those for Xerox itself.


 

Offline coppice

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #29 on: August 13, 2019, 04:35:19 pm »
My recollection is that everyone (Apple, Microsoft, GEOS) were all based on the Xerox ideas and developed nearly in the same time frame.

I'm pretty sure Apple was the first one to implement Xerox ideas on a personal computer, and the others followed. As I've read, despite innovative and visionary ideas, Xerox was having a hard time getting people interested in their GUI systems. Contrary to what has been sometimes said, Apple didn't steal anything from Xerox. Xerox executives at the time decided to actively transfer the concepts to Apple because they were not seeing any future of those for Xerox itself.
I think Xerox was only struggling to get people to take their cost performance balance seriously. Apple had the same problem. The Lisa was unaffordable and a dismal failure. The Macintosh started with a price target, and they built the best thing they could within that price target. The first Mac also didn't take the world by storm, as its functionality was so badly compromised to meet its price target. The thing that made the GUI world take off was not Apple, but components getting cheaper and more powerful.
 

Offline helius

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #30 on: August 15, 2019, 12:51:38 am »
The Macintosh started with a price target, and they built the best thing they could within that price target. The first Mac also didn't take the world by storm, as its functionality was so badly compromised to meet its price target.
The original 128K Mac was so compromised that it could not support its own development environment. Software for it had to be built on a Lisa!
As you say, downward trends in component prices (especially DRAM) enabled more powerful machines that were eminently useful. The "Fat Mac" (512K RAM) came out a year later and was able to run developer tools.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2019, 01:34:05 am »
While stolen is a strong word, ideas flowed freely back and forth among these early leaders.  And the lawyers did their best to nail down IP rights.  Remember all the arguments about overlapping vs non-overlapping windows, nesting windows vs non-nesting and other such minutia?  The whole concept of "obvious to a practitioner of the art" seems extremely murky to the legal profession.

I actually liked GEM better than the Mac128, but GEM died almost before it got started.
 

Offline andersm

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2019, 09:31:54 am »
From most recent to earliest:
GEOS: 1986
MS Windows v1: Nov 1985
Gem: Feb 1985
X Windows System: Jun 1984
Apple Mac: Jan 1984
Apple Lisa: Jan 1983
W Windows System: c.1983
Metaphor Workstation: 1982
Xerox Star Workstation: Apr 1981
Xerox Alto: Mar 1973, the famous GUI demo in Dec 1979
Control Data Plato IV touchscreen demo: 1972
Ivan Sutherland's Sketchpad: 1963. The program ran on a Lincoln TX-2.

Offline ggchab

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2019, 05:43:03 pm »

There will always be Microsoft Windows!

However one day Microsoft Windows will be indistinguishable from Linux apart from the name and the price.

Windows 10 is almost free (https://selected-software.de/shop/microsoft-windows-10-pro-oem-3264bit-product-key/?mc_cid=cc8e5e2913&mc_eid=3142428367) and you can often get it for less than €10.
There shouldn't be any new version of Windows. Updates only.
Software runs more and more on virtual machines (Java, .net, ...) that hide the OS details.
 

Offline RetroSwim

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2019, 06:53:10 am »
I wouldn't say Sketchpad counts as a GUI much more than preceding minicomputers with light-pen inputs.

OP, the modern GUI can indeed be traced back to Xerox, and a famous demo in 1968:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mother_of_All_Demos
 

Offline ebastler

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #35 on: August 21, 2019, 07:48:36 am »
OP, the modern GUI can indeed be traced back to Xerox, and a famous demo in 1968:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mother_of_All_Demos

Except that the demo had nothing to do with Xerox?  :-//

Engelbart was working at Stanford Research Institute, and to my knowledge his project had no affiliation with Xerox at all. Some of his team members ended up at Xerox a few years later, and continued to work on GUIs.
 

Offline eugenenine

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #36 on: August 21, 2019, 11:49:56 am »

There will always be Microsoft Windows!

However one day Microsoft Windows will be indistinguishable from Linux apart from the name and the price.

Windows 10 is almost free (https://selected-software.de/shop/microsoft-windows-10-pro-oem-3264bit-product-key/?mc_cid=cc8e5e2913&mc_eid=3142428367) and you can often get it for less than €10.
There shouldn't be any new version of Windows. Updates only.
Software runs more and more on virtual machines (Java, .net, ...) that hide the OS details.

The initial cost is only part of the cost, windows costs too much time keeping it working.
 

Offline RetroSwim

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #37 on: August 22, 2019, 04:05:28 am »
OP, the modern GUI can indeed be traced back to Xerox, and a famous demo in 1968:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mother_of_All_Demos

Except that the demo had nothing to do with Xerox?  :-//

Engelbart was working at Stanford Research Institute, and to my knowledge his project had no affiliation with Xerox at all. Some of his team members ended up at Xerox a few years later, and continued to work on GUIs.

Yes, you're right, poorly worded on my part.

It should have read "back to Xerox, and further to a famous demo..."
 

Offline shawty

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #38 on: August 22, 2019, 07:18:07 pm »
Everyone in the software sector I know has moved or is moving to macOS X or Linux.

Gosh, that would suggest that pretty soon there will be no more software for Windows -- I'm scared!! Or wait, maybe it suggests that you only know people in a certain, narrowly defined slice of "the software sector"?  ::)

I can't give you actual details, I can only tell you what I know to be public knowledge, but I work as an external developer with/close to or in advisory to a LOT of Microsoft beta and testing teams (I'm currently working along side the .NET core 3 and Blazor folks) - however...  this does put me in a position that I do often find out "stuff", which for obvious reasons I'm not allowed to repeat.

Public knowledge (No matter how thinly spread it is) is allowed...

Right now, if you are a business with less than 1000 employees, AND you have an enterprise site license, AND your moving to windows 10, you can NO LONGER get physical media to install Windows 10.

Instead, you get a log in to the Microsoft network, which allows your I.T folks to create a bootloader on a USB key, this bootloader is then booted on the PC to be installed, that PC then installs a secure UEFI bootloader on the device (Read secure as in, once it's installed it's locked down and cannot be removed [or changed/edited] - bye bye multi booting OS's) .

The entire device then boots directly from Microsofts Azure Cloud systems.  From that point on, that device can no longer have any other OS installed on it, and it can ONLY boot over the network to load W10 and/or Office 365.

MS are not making any qualms about this, and have openly admitted that they are moving towards a future where windows will be a service.

If you have over 1000 employees, or are a large corp, you can get some physical install media, but in most cases, the baseband OS that is installed is still a cloud booted version.  MS WILL supply a version to be installed directly on a hard drive, but you need to go through special channels, and prove why you need an offline version, which if MS decide to refuse, you won't be allowed to use "Windows as a service".

Also, if you have over 1000 employees and/or deployed OS's, you must sign up for "Windows servicing as a service", and yes that's exactly what it sounds like.  ALL of your I.T. upgrade, management, servicing, patching, installing of apps... basically everything your internal I.T folks would normally do, WILL BE delegated to MS technical staff (For a monthly fee of course) this is a requirement to getting an enterprise license, and businesses using W10 in any shape or form (Unless your a little 1 or 2 man band) will NOT be allowed to license anything other than an Enterprise version.

MS Office, the current "Office 2019" version will be the LAST ever version of MS office that will ship as an install-able product.

There's still a good few years to go yet, but they will eventually roll these things out to the consumer versions too.  The reason they are trying so hard to eradicate all copies of "Installable Windows" is because they want everyone eventually on "Windows as a service".  For those who write software, right now is a golden time, with them giving away free copies of visual studio left and center, but it's all a ploy to get you hooked, they are slowly moving visual studio to the cloud.

And .NET core is not all nice and cross platform for the hell of it, it's heading that way, so it'll run in whatever you throw it at, when your forced to move all your software development activities to Azure too.

We'll leave it there for now......

Suffice to say, it's gonna be a fairly lengthy time before we get there, but that's the direction MS are heading, and there not making it a secret...
Meh....
 

Offline shawty

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #39 on: August 22, 2019, 07:45:45 pm »
So anyway, back on track to the subject of the thread.

The one thing that ALWAYS tickles me and makes me LOL, are the Raspberry PI crowd with "RiscOS Open" (https://www.riscosopen.org/content/) it's new, it's shiny and it's ooooo soooo fast compared to anything else.

And it was originally doing the rounds in the late 80's early 90's when MS-Dos 6.22 and Windows 3 where just starting to become popular.  :-D

I love RiscOS, always have, I still have a FULL set of dev tools, for both the older ROS3.11 and lower versions, and the newer versions such as ROSOpen, the programming model is great, they have something called "The Toolbox Libs", which guess what?

Is graphical drag and drop, of widgets and such like, with properties and events..... just like, hmmm Visual Basic 6, and VB/VC .NET and even Delphi, the "Toolbox" and it's software development model pre-dates all of them.

Of course, you didn't have to use C and the Wimp/TB Libs if you didn't want to, because all 32 bit Acorn machines as well as a desktop in rom, also had a Basic interpreter and ARM assembler built in too, so while you may not have had the Drag and Drop stuff, it didn't cost you anything to get started writing software either, the only thing that did cost if you wanted it was the official "Programmers Reference Manuals" (All of which you can get online as PDF's for free now : http://www.riscos.com/support/developers/), back then the whole set cost you £150 and came in 5 volumes of about 500 pages each!!!  Delivered by the UK royal Mail...  I still fondly remember the morning mine where delivered and the look on our post mans face...

Many folks however don't realize, that the Archimedes range was NOT the first of Acorns computers to have a desktop.  The 32k BBC Model B had an add-on called the "AMX Super Mouse" which plugged into the 8 Bit parallel user port and that had a desktop environment that came with it in a sideways ROM chip, that you plugged into a spare ROM socket on the BBC's motherboard.

Many of the emulation sites still carry a ROM image, which can be soft loaded into the existing BBC B emulators enabling you to use the wonderful, AMX art painting program (For which I still have a user guide on the shelf behind me) and other mouse based software.  It was single tasking (What else would you expect on a 32k machine with a 2mhz CPU :-)  )  but it worked incredibly well for 1981/82.
Meh....
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #40 on: August 24, 2019, 06:05:56 am »
The Macintosh started with a price target, and they built the best thing they could within that price target. The first Mac also didn't take the world by storm, as its functionality was so badly compromised to meet its price target.
The original 128K Mac was so compromised that it could not support its own development environment. Software for it had to be built on a Lisa!
As you say, downward trends in component prices (especially DRAM) enabled more powerful machines that were eminently useful. The "Fat Mac" (512K RAM) came out a year later and was able to run developer tools.


The aftermarket also contributed hugely to the success of the Macintosh. While it was designed to be an appliance with no internal expandability at all, that didn't stop 3rd parties from developing RAM upgrades, accelerators, graphics cards to drive external monitors, hard drives, networking, etc. 3rd party upgrades allowed the Macintosh to be central to the development of desktop publishing and graphic arts.
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #41 on: August 24, 2019, 12:26:46 pm »
Oral History of Lee Lorenzen
"His early career included positions at Xerox, where he developed the Lone Star graphical user interface, and Digital Research, where he developed the GEM (Graphic Environment Manager) operating system."
Who logs in to gdm? Not I, said the duck.
My fireplace is on fire, but in all the wrong places.
 

Offline xmetal

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #42 on: August 25, 2019, 11:32:27 am »
I remember using GEM on the Atari ST in the mid 80's. The first version of MS Windows I used was Windows 3.0.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #43 on: August 25, 2019, 12:42:01 pm »
I remember using GEM on the Atari ST in the mid 80's. The first version of MS Windows I used was Windows 3.0.
Hardly anyone touched Windows before 3.0. Even 3.0 wasn't that widely used. It was 3.11 that really made things take off.

I had a copy of Windows 1.0 and a copy of the SDK for it, bought before we realised just how much 1.0 was merely a work in progress. That wasted us some time finding out.


 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #44 on: August 25, 2019, 01:52:24 pm »
Hardly anyone touched Windows before 3.0. Even 3.0 wasn't that widely used. It was 3.11 that really made things take off.

Absolutely!
 

Offline xmetal

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #45 on: August 25, 2019, 01:56:44 pm »
I remember using GEM on the Atari ST in the mid 80's. The first version of MS Windows I used was Windows 3.0.
Hardly anyone touched Windows before 3.0. Even 3.0 wasn't that widely used. It was 3.11 that really made things take off.

I had a copy of Windows 1.0 and a copy of the SDK for it, bought before we realised just how much 1.0 was merely a work in progress. That wasted us some time finding out.

I had a copy of Windows 2 but never installed it. I had and used Windows 3.0, 3.1 and then 3.11 in that family. Windows For Workgroups (3.11) was the best out of the three though.
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #46 on: August 25, 2019, 02:51:16 pm »
IIRC, my first Windows station was a computer I built from a couple spare parts, based around an AMD 5x86 and 4MB of RAM, Windows 3.11. Upgraded it to 8MB shortly after. That was in the mid-90s, after several years of using MacOS. This machine was more powerful than the Mac I had back then, and for a very humble cost at the time. The OS looked definitely less polished than MacOS at the time, but the machine was just much faster.

 

Offline eugenenine

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #47 on: August 26, 2019, 01:25:00 pm »
I remember windows 3.1 was the popular.  the patch to 3.11 was so small you would never notice it.

Anyone ever use the dos client for windows 3.1?

I setup dos 6.2 (or maybe 6.22 i can't recall for sure which) on an 8088 with a 10M hdd and an intel nic that could work in 8 bit mode and then the dos client for windows and got that ols xt to actually talk to the rest of my network.
 

Offline guenthert

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #48 on: August 26, 2019, 04:48:18 pm »
I remember windows 3.1 was the popular.  the patch to 3.11 was so small you would never notice it.

[..]
  In corporations, 3.11 was huge.  Before that, MS Windows was an also-run at best, but 3.11 rang the death-bell for Novell's Netware.

Edit: I meant Windows for Workgroups 3.11 of course -- I didn't know that there was a MS Windows 3.11 (I never used either, I played in the Unix adventure land instead).
« Last Edit: August 26, 2019, 05:17:58 pm by guenthert »
 

Offline eugenenine

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Re: Precursor to M.S. Windows ???
« Reply #49 on: August 26, 2019, 07:10:58 pm »
Yeah there was windows 3.1, and WFW 3.1
as well as Windows 3.11 and WFW 3.11


I can't even remember what the 3.11 patch was for anymore but I'm wondering of the issue was found when used in workgroups so the association of 3.11 with WFW.
 


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