Windows is 21 years old, jeez I feel old now… I remember that my PC-AT wouldn’t run Windows 1.0 well because I didn’t have enough memory, but nothing ran Windows very well leading to the joke:
Q: how do you crash Microsoft Windows?
A: start Microsoft Windows
I later had a PS/2 with a mighty 80286 processor and a 120mb (that’s MB mind you!) hard drive that cost me $1,300 at the time – an enormous quantity of cash then, absurd when you realize that 512mb memory sticks are given away at conferences now. That computer ran Windows okay, v3.1 at the time, but damn it was slow. My pirated copy of Pagemaker would take 10 minutes to render a page… and Wordperfect was still a much better application.
Multitasking? Who would want to do that? The other popular – insanely popular – program was Quarterdeck’s memory switching program, I can’t even remember the name of it now? Back then there was the 640k memory limitation so programs that could use the memory beyond 640k were pretty popular. I think my first real homebuilt hot rod computer had 16mb of memory – loaded to the gills. Quarterdeck later became infamous for receiving one of the first patents for computer software and daring to enforce it.
Also in the pack at the time was Digital Research with their GEM windowing environment, which was actually pretty cool. Of course, the Macintosh was what everybody was trying to be like and Apple kept threatening to sue anyone who dared. Microsoft called their bluff knowing full well that Apple needed Microsoft to sell applications for the Mac and we’re all better as a result.