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66 votes
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How should we interpret Dave Cutler's criticism of Unix?

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 ...
dave's user avatar
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63 votes
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Did Microsoft really reserve secret APIs in Windows?

The 1992 book Undocumented Windows: A Programmer’s Guide to Reserved Windows API Functions by Andrew Schulman, David Maxey, and Matt Pietrek, lists them. Its section on “Microsoft’s Use of ...
Davislor's user avatar
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54 votes
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Did IBM encourage Bill Gates to retain the rights over PC-DOS?

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 ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
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50 votes
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Was Windows 95 really released in 1995?

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. ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
50 votes

In the classic "Windows 98 crashes live on CNN" video, why does the BSOD appear so oddly?

VGA graphics and text modes have different scan rates. The Windows desktop runs in some graphics mode (looks like 640x480, likely 60 Hz) while the BSoD is in text mode (720x400 at 70 Hz). The adapter ...
Zac67's user avatar
  • 3,924
44 votes

What's the relationship betweeen MS-DOS and XENIX?

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 ...
cjs's user avatar
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32 votes

Did Microsoft really reserve secret APIs in Windows?

It is absolutely normal for large software products to not expose quite a number of functions (note I'm deliberately not calling these API functions) to customers. Any software has library functions ...
tofro's user avatar
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31 votes
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When was QDOS changed to MS-DOS?

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 ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
23 votes

Did IBM encourage Bill Gates to retain the rights over PC-DOS?

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 ...
Mark-in-Seattle's user avatar
23 votes

How should we interpret Dave Cutler's criticism of Unix?

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 ...
Will Hartung's user avatar
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23 votes

How should we interpret Dave Cutler's criticism of Unix?

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 ...
TripeHound's user avatar
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23 votes

Did Microsoft really reserve secret APIs in Windows?

I suspect it was less about "secret" APIs, and about the fact that Microsoft controlled the entire end-to-end system, so they could compel one division (e.g. Windows OS) to accommodate the ...
Steve's user avatar
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18 votes

Was Windows 95 really released in 1995?

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. ...
StarCat's user avatar
  • 1,465
16 votes
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Was it true that Microsoft actually created software for early Apple devices?

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 ...
Scott Earle's user avatar
15 votes

What's the relationship betweeen MS-DOS and XENIX?

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 ...
Eric Brown's user avatar
14 votes
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What is the format of the static libraries shipping with legacy Microsoft C for DOS?

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, ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
13 votes

A way to connect Microsoft Green-Eyed mouse to modern computer?

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 ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 226k
12 votes
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Where within the Internet Explorer installation files can I find the browser error pages?

In Internet Explorer 5 (which is the first release with pages in the style shown in your screenshot), the error pages are stored as resources in SHDOCLC.DLL, which is shipped in WIN98_41.CAB on my ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
12 votes

Was it true that Microsoft actually created software for early Apple devices?

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 ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 226k
12 votes
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How were you supposed to recover a forgotten Microsoft "Protect It!" key, or uninstall it altogether?

The booklet says: If you are locked out of your computer because you forgot the Protect It! password, you must reinstall Protect It! using the Setup program. You'll need permission from the computer ...
user24811's user avatar
  • 1,627
12 votes

Did Microsoft really reserve secret APIs in Windows?

While many points can be made about Microsoft's anti-competitive behaviour, I do not see much evidence in the Windows API. It should always be considered that there are official (aka documented) API ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 226k
11 votes
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Where can I find macrofun.hlp?

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 ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
11 votes

Did Microsoft really reserve secret APIs in Windows?

In all large software projects, many functions - most functions - are not exposed publicly. Isolation of complexity, as well as isolation of instability, are critical in even medium-sized software ...
Jamin Grey's user avatar
10 votes

What's the relationship betweeen MS-DOS and XENIX?

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 ...
Bob Jarvis - Слава Україні's user avatar
10 votes

Was it true that Microsoft actually created software for early Apple devices?

I'm not sure you can get much earlier than Microsoft supplying Applesoft BASIC for the Apple II series in 1977.
asbs's user avatar
  • 101
10 votes

Was Windows 95 really released in 1995?

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 ...
knol's user avatar
  • 12.5k
10 votes

How should we interpret Dave Cutler's criticism of Unix?

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 ...
Jean-Baptiste Yunès's user avatar
8 votes

How should we interpret Dave Cutler's criticism of Unix?

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 ...
Maury Markowitz's user avatar
7 votes
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Origin of "640K RAM is enough" quote

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 ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
7 votes

What's the relationship betweeen MS-DOS and XENIX?

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. ...
Igor Skochinsky's user avatar

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