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144 votes
Accepted

Why does part of the Windows 98 Setup program look older than the rest?

Basically, because it is running under Windows 3.1 at that point. Windows 98’s setup process goes through three main phases, in three different operating environments; each one installs the operating ...
  • 98.3k
74 votes

Why did fonts in Windows 1.01's Write application look so poor?

Your images appear to have been generated via emulation, with heavy anti-aliasing that doesn't show what it looked like in reality. Here's Windows 3.1 Write in native VGA resolution without any image ...
  • 5,851
62 votes

What did AOL use for pre-web GUI client?

In addition to Stephen Kitt's answer, you can go back even further from Windows 3.1 to the Apple II version of America Online, circa 1989. Certainly not as popular or long-lived as the MS-DOS and ...
  • 14.4k
60 votes
Accepted

What did AOL use for pre-web GUI client?

AOL provided (and still provide) their own client, which — at least back then — was called “America Online”. This was available on a variety of platforms, including DOS: (based on GeoWorks) and ...
  • 98.3k
55 votes
Accepted

Who invented the clipboard?

According to Richard Dale, copy & paste was invented in '73 - '76 by Larry Tesler for Smalltalk-76: Copy and paste in a modeless editor was invented by Larry Tesler at XEROX Parc for the ...
  • 596
45 votes

Why did fonts in Windows 1.01's Write application look so poor?

Because those were low-resolution bitmap fonts. In Windows 1.01, most fonts were monochrome bitmap fonts, and not particularly high-resolution at that. (There were CONTINUOUSSCALING ‘plotter’ fonts ...
  • 17.7k
43 votes
Accepted

Does the first version of Linux developed by Linus Torvalds have a GUI?

Note, Linux is only a kernel, like msdos.sys in DOS or krnl386.exe in Windows. No. It had no GUI, it was purely command line. In Linus' initial statement, roughly with the release of the Linux ...
  • 1,679
35 votes

Who invented the clipboard?

Honorable mention should be given to TECO, a text editor from the early 1960s. It had a set of containers called Q registers that functioned much the way the clipboard does. Cut and paste operations ...
  • 4,538
28 votes

What windowing system had the first size-proportional scroll bar?

Can't say I know for sure. But I'll ante up Smalltalk 80 (or even earlier, ST-72, 76, 78).
  • 11.1k
25 votes

What windowing system had the first size-proportional scroll bar?

The MIT CADR Lisp Machine, developed in the late 1970's, had proportional scroll bars. I haven't been able to find a screenshot of an actual Lisp Machine that shows this -- I can only find images and ...
  • 1,565
23 votes

Hardware assisted Graphical User Interface?

In the early 1990s, with the rise in popularity of Windows 3, the PC world got a number of "Windows Accelerator" video cards. These were 2D fixed-function GPUs with command-sets that ...
  • 3,966
20 votes

What windowing system had the first size-proportional scroll bar?

Smalltalk-80 is the earliest that I'm aware of. The following emulator1, 2 screenshot shows how it displayed them: This emulator3 screenshot shows how the earlier Smalltalk-78 displayed them ...
  • 9,030
19 votes
Accepted

What did Prodigy use for pre-web GUI client?

Prodigy used NAPLPS (North American Presentation Level Protocol Syntax) to encode its graphical displays. This is a vector-based graphics originally intended for videotex and teletext services (in ...
  • 98.3k
19 votes

Hardware assisted Graphical User Interface?

I imagine the TMS34010 could have handled all of that, to beyond the standards of an ‘80s GUI; it is a combination CPU and GPU for the mainstream consumer market first released in 1986. It and its ...
  • 32.6k
15 votes

Who invented the clipboard?

It was certainly around in vi (Unix text editor) that I first used in 1985. Vi is a visual front end to ed, which presumably pre-dates it. The cryptic ‘y’ would yank a line into the clipboard and ‘p’...
  • 739
15 votes

Hardware assisted Graphical User Interface?

Silicon Graphics started to provide dedicated graphics terminals and workstations in the 80s. So the technology was definitely there, even for 3D. In 1991, they put this technology on a PC expansion ...
  • 22.1k
14 votes
Accepted

Xerox Parc and the three-button mouse

On the Alto, the buttons’ functions vary with the program currently being used and the location of the cursor. The Users’ Handbook describes the functions in the default applications, using colours ...
  • 98.3k
14 votes

Who invented the clipboard?

Did it exist on any non-graphical environments? I remember when I worked for Canon in the UK, someone (hi, Dave!) had the idea of a mouse with memory. If you cut something (text or a small file), it ...
14 votes

Hardware assisted Graphical User Interface?

A simple form of this was embodied by the BBC Micro of all things, when paired with a Second Processor. The two were connected by a remarkably simple interface known as the "Tube". In this ...
  • 16.1k
13 votes

Hardware assisted Graphical User Interface?

The Amiga GUI was using the hardware's custom chipset (the 'GPU', if you will) to assist in drawing lines or blitting rectangles. That was back in 1985. I'm not sure any functionality beyond that ...
  • 1,409
13 votes

Why did fonts in Windows 1.01's Write application look so poor?

It isn't. The examples are comparing apples and oranges. As they cover three different situations/usages: Bitmap Emulation vs. Native Usage vs. Character Emulation The results are based on what ...
  • 178k
12 votes

Where can I get icons for Windows 3.1/95-style GUIs?

I remember there being a folder installed with VisualBasic 4 or 5 that was full of those icons... I remember there being all the stock new, open, save, print, cut, copy, paste, etc. and some more ...
  • 8,476
11 votes

Why did fonts in Windows 1.01's Write application look so poor?

Windows 1.0’s Write application doesn’t care about how the text it displays is rendered — it relies on its operating environment to display it. As such, it supports smooth fonts, even though Windows 1....
  • 98.3k
10 votes

Who invented scrollable screens in Amiga?

R.J. Mical, the primary author of the Intuition GUI built into the Amiga OS firmware, is most likely responsible for the concept, but certainly responsible for the detailed design and coding. The ...
  • 57.6k
9 votes
Accepted

How do programmers take advantage of programming languages to make graphics?

On the IBM PC under DOS, using the original CGA card, one would typically invoke a routine in ROM to invoke graphics mode. Once e.g. 640×200 black and white graphics mode was established, the display ...
  • 29.5k
8 votes

Why does part of the Windows 98 Setup program look older than the rest?

I haven't double-checked, but here's my understanding of how it works. The first half of the installer is a DOS application, with all the limitations therein and then, once it's installed a base ...
  • 4,933
7 votes

Looking for a multiline text gadget for Intuition on a 1.3 Amiga

I used Intuisup by Torsten Jurgeleit for my application when running under WB1.3 to provide the same functionality as was available with gadtools in WB2.x I think V4.5 is the version I used and a ...
7 votes

How do programmers take advantage of programming languages to make graphics?

Ultimately, it's all the same - there's code that manipulates hardware. If there are no convenient libraries where someone else has written that code, you write it yourself. For systems with (...
  • 28.5k
6 votes
Accepted

Did Xerox engineers really develop the first graphical user interface?

I suspect this is going to degenerate into an argument about what words mean, but back in 1965 the IBM 2250 graphics terminal had the equivalent of a mouse (actually a light pen) and a keypad with 32 ...
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5 votes
Accepted

What algorithm does Windows 98 use to decide whether to show or hide menus?

I checked on Windows 98, and the behaviour I saw didn’t match your description (or my earlier answer). Basically, whether you hold down the mouse button or not, menus stay open as long as you don’t ...
  • 98.3k

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