56

The I/O model on "Cutler systems" -- RSX-11M, VAX/VMS, Windows NT -- is an asynchronous packet-driven I/O model, rather than the fundamentally synchronous I/O model of Unix. At its core, you fire off an I/O request, and get a notification of when it's complete. Meanwhile, execution continues. Of course, it's trivial for the system to provide synchronous I/...


50

Yes, Windows 95 really was released on August 24, 1995; I still have the special issue of The Times that heralded the event. But I distinctly remember thinking that it was late, back at that time. That’s not surprising: Microsoft had been trumpeting the release of the next version of Windows for a long time, and there was widespread coverage in the media ...


49

TL;DR: It was IBM's idea. IBM never intended to buy any of the software they acquired for the PC - and MS never intended to supply any OS beside Xenix. But MS (Paul Allen) soon recognized the potential business and acted accordingly. The Long Read IBM had no interest whatsoever in setting up a basic software development for the PC. The strategy was to ...


44

They didn't share any source, no. However, the TITLE directive twenty lines or so down from the top in both XENIX.ASM and XENIX2.ASM explains what this is: TITLE XENIX - IO system to mimic UNIX Pre-2.x MS-DOS was somewhere between heavily inspired by CP/M and a complete rip-off of it. But with 2.x they decided to go in a quite different direction, and ...


25

MS-DOS was indeed originally known as QDOS. The change in name occurred as a result of a change in ownership — from Seattle Computer Products to Microsoft. Tim Paterson, QDOS’ author, has documented this: The first versions of the operating system, called QDOS 0.10, were shipped in August 1980. QDOS stood for Quick and Dirty Operating System because it was ...


22

While I am sure that the merits of Cutler's stated "low opinion" could be debated, I'm interested to better understand exactly what he was referring to here. There's no citation, and I haven't found a good explanation critiquing his criticism. Honestly, at face value, it's a naive criticism. Cutler was not naive, so, it's likely just a sound bite poke ...


21

My wife began work at MSFT in the downtown Bellevue office in late 1981 (approx employee #90-ish) just a couple weeks before the company's move to the highway 520 building next to the Burger King on everyone's speed-dial. She worked with Jeff Raikes and Trisha in CorpComm. Though not software developers, CorpComm people interfaced with many departments and ...


19

At the operating system level – as seen by applications – files in VMS are very record oriented. Guide to OpenVMS File Applications (336 page, 2MB PDF) probably goes into far more detail than anyone should be expected to know, but you can get a feel from the Introduction (emphasis mine): 1.1 File Concepts A computer file is an organized collection of ...


18

For a long time (starting late 1992/ early 1993), what was to become Windows 95 went under the name of "Chicago". Only in september 1994 (beta 1.4 / build 189), did it become Windows 95. Microsoft must have been reasonably sure they were going to release in 1995 by then. Early Chicago Usability Testing builds - 1992/93 Last Chicago labeled build - ...


16

Microsoft Excel was originally written for the Mac, and released in September 1985 (see Wikipedia article here). It was released for Windows 2 in 1987 (and was in fact bundled with a version of Windows). Also, according to Wikipedia, Microsoft Word was released for the Mac "in 1985". It had previously existed as a DOS program, being released for the first ...


15

The source code files in question appear to have the implementation for the MS-DOS 2.0 'XENIX-style' APIs to open/close/etc. files without a File Control Block used in MS-DOS 1.0 and CP/M. I strongly suspect the authors used 'XENIX' as a shorthand for 'those new-fangled IO methods'. Nowadays, of course, everyone uses the 'new-fangled' APIs and the FCB APIs ...


13

Is there a way to connect the 1983 Microsoft "Green-eyed" mouse to a modern PC or preferably Mac (running Windows on virtual machine)? That depends a lot on the type of green-eyed mouse and OS to use it with (or not). If it's a bus mouse (DB9 or mini-DIN connector (*1)): No - as that would need a way to plug in the controller card (*2), which was only ...


12

TL;DR: It seams as if the Question implies that there was some kind of fiendship between Microsoft and Apple. Such never existed. Microsoft was a major supplier of applications for all ranges of Apple computers and during all time. Details Is it really the case that there was a port of Microsoft Word and Excel that was one of the first really successful ...


12

These are OMF libraries; you can analyse them with Agner Fog’s object file converter. It probably only makes sense to work with those libraries if you intend to build software with Microsoft C 5.1, in which case you’d use the tools provided with the compiler (LIB.EXE in particular). The OMF format is described in detail in OMF: Relocatable Object Module ...


10

Here's a BBC News article describing the midnight retail availability of Windows 95 on 24th August 1995. This Mashable article claims to show a photograph of a buyer at the Australian launch on the same date. It gives a November date for Japan.


10

The major relationship between MS-DOS and Xenix is that both were Microsoft products. MS-DOS was originally 86-DOS, from Seattle Computer Products, and was licensed by MS to develop PC-DOS. Xenix was a version of Unix which Microsoft licensed from Bell Labs (which was legally prohibited from selling software to consumers) and re-sold.


10

I'm not sure you can get much earlier than Microsoft supplying Applesoft BASIC for the Apple II series in 1977.


7

At that time, computing model was very rich API, complex CPUs, complex tools, etc. Filesystem were almost structured files oriented, etc. UNIX came with its "uniform" vision of I/O, everything is a file, a file is just a stream of bytes. That wasn't so easy for people trained on former OSes to understand why UNIX is a good model. While I loosely remember the ...


7

Quote Investigator says that, according to Fred Shapiro, the earliest known instance of the quote is the April 29, 1985 issue of Infoworld: When we set the upper limit of PC-DOS at 640K, we thought nobody would ever need that much memory. — William Gates, chairman of Microsoft See also Who set the 640K limit? and Why did Windows pick 260 characters as ...


6

The Username is indeed "Network Manager", the password is "mail". Tried a few things and got it by chance.


6

I found the following in the history section of The MS-DOS Encyclopedia (around "Version 2"). Sorry for the long text but I could not find a good way to trim it without losing relevant details. Emphasis is mine. In developing the first version, the programmers had had two primary goals: running translated CP/M-80 software and keeping MS-DOS small. ...


5

It wasn't a port - the first versions of Excel came out on Mac, it didn't appear on Windows until version 2. The first version of Word came out on Xenix but it did appear on Mac very early on. I think it was more important in establishing Microsoft than selling Macs, as Lotus 123 and Mutliplan were the dominant spreadsheets back then.


5

The help file is still available elsewhere on Microsoft’s site. The macrofun.exe file there is a self-extracting cabinet file containing macrofun.hlp, the table of contents (macrofun.cnt) and a README file with usage and installation instructions.


3

Having never written Unix I/O code beyond munging text files, read what follows with a grain of salt. In uni we were a VMS shop. I still recall when the VAX 11/780 in the walled-off computer room was replaced by a single DECStation 3100 on a desk. That machine ran both OSes and we (the OS course's 12-or-so members) began to compare and contrast the ...


3

Solely based on the source link to Dave's comment, I can't really tell what he meant. That said, Benno Rice recently gave an excellent talk at linux.conf.au called What UNIX Cost Us. The TL,DR of that talk is that many of UNIX's core assumptions, though extensible, no longer apply in current and next gen environments, which makes supporting new paradigms ...


2

Yes, it was released in 1995, as other answers demonstrate through references. But I distinctly remember thinking that it was late, back at that time. Yup. But is my memory incorrect? No. In fact, this is WHY the product called Windows 95 got the name that it did. People were so fed up with the delays for something initially slated for 1993, that when ...


1

In a sense, it was late. Early in Development Microsoft expected to ship Windows 4 sooner than 1995. Wikipedia does list "Windows 93" and "Windows 94" as temporary project codenames for what was eventually released as Windows 95. But there was never public marketing for "Windows 94." Perhaps at the time you heard about ...


1

It it is a serial version, you could create a user-mode “Driver” (well just a translator). Use a serial to usb device, read the serial-port, translate the protocol to what ever new mice use, send this to a vertical serial device, and configure the windowing system to use this new serial device (all mice are, still, serial devices). This is working at a ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible