July 14, 2005
Yesterday's post about code syntax color schemes got me thinking about what is perhaps the ultimate color scheme, Windows 3.1's "Hot Dog Stand":
The truly funny thing about this color scheme is that all the other Windows 3.1 color schemes are surprisingly rational, totally reasonable color schemes. And then you get to "Hot Dog Stand". Which is utterly insane. And that makes it quite possibly the greatest color scheme ever devised.
I have to think it was included as a joke. And it is referenced in a joke titled You may be a Microsoft Employee If..:
...your house is decorated like the "Hot Dog Stand" color scheme from Windows.
Posted by Jeff Atwood
It may have been included as a joke, but I saw a lot of office workers that had it as their color scheme. I love how the screenshot has "Microsoft Bob" in it too!
I personally witnessed a credit union where all teller workstations in all branches had the hot dog scheme, thanks to a funny IT guy. The tellers hated it but didn't know how to change it :)
That's been my color scheme for years! It's not a joke, it's downright serious! YEEEEEHAAAAWWW!
At my previous employer it is your duty to "Hot Dog Stand" someone else's machine if they leave it unlocked at a client site.
For your sake, I hope you're kidding.
HAHA! I used to hotdog stand my boss all the time.
It drove him nuts because he couldnt read anything and had no idea how to change it back.
Later on I became his boss at a different company, luckily we use WIN 2k there.
i have a windows 3.1 computer i use my xp one though windows 3.1 is stupid
How can I use Hot Dog on Win XP??
The notorious "Hot Dog Stand" was often used by some people, and sometimes for good reason.
For some people with certain forms of colour blindness, the colors actually look better then most of the others. And the contrasts were often better if somebody was useing a monochrome monitor (like the early "Papar White VGA" monitors).
However, when seen in colour by normal people, they were ugly as sin.
I still have a thinkpad 775c with 3.1 and norton desktop. With on of the early versions of winzip, its quite amusing to play with it, and the games are alot better than any of the standard XP ones.
I used windows 3.1 in past and i was very happy of it... It's so nostalgic...
At first thought it seems it might be for colour-blind people, but after testing thouse colours on http://gmazzocato.altervista.org/colorwheel/wheel.php
it would only aprear to result in a dark brownish colour scheme for people with Deuteranope and Protanope colour-blindness, so in short that don't even look like an excuse :)
I think they were in cohoots with either monitor manaufacturers, or screen savers manufactures. Anyone leaving their desktop untouched for a few minutes with that on there will kill old time monitors.
I've actually met the lady who designed Hot Dog for Microsoft. She presented a great seminar on UI design at a UK VB conference (about 1997). She claimed that Hot Dog was a challenge from the Windows 3.1 team to come up with the worst scheme possible.
The yellow background should be quite good for people with dyslexia.
Quite upsetting for the rest of us, though.
I still have a dos 6.22/ win 3.11 machine running for my old games like Duke Nukem 3D and such - its got its tci/ip stack and win 32's and can run 1024 X 768 in 16 million colors. All my friends get a kick out of browsing with Netscape 4 and AIM 1.0
gotta keep the old tech alive...
How many people know that on the desktop of Windows 3.1, you could only have 40 program groups.. No more.. well, you could have more, but it would crash windows. The only fix to this was to use Norton Desktop as a shell replacement, which would allow as many as you wanted (I never tried to find the limit, it was well over 100). I know this tidbit because of my boss, who had a group for everything!
Why can't we get the Recorder program back? That was AWESOME.
By the way Jay, do you know you can have multiple Program Manager's running... beat that :P
At work a while ago, for training purposed I needed to create virtual OS images. I made up NT4, 2003, XP, etc... and while I was at it, thought, what the heck.. I'll see if I can get Dos6.22 + Win3.11 for workgroups.
I'll tell you, it took *hours* of work to get the right network driver for the virtualised NIC, and a lot of fine tuning of protocol.ini, and various other files..
But eventually I got it working! Found an old copy of Netscape 1.2, and Netscape Gold 2.0.. and it was just like I'd been transported back a decade!
Emerald city was always my favourite colour scheme.
and the best thing is that the whole virtual image is only 100meg!
Funny how we all act like its some sort of archaeological find... we all used like 10 years ago...
Still... funny name for a theme :D
Despite the horrible theme, did anyone else get a tiny bit of nostalgia looking at Win 3.1?
I stil have an oldl laptop thats running 3.1 i remember my uncle gave it to me years back...and when i booted it up it had the hot dog theme...i almost freaked when it loaded
definate nostalgia....i spotted the otherday i can get DOS 6.22 for my pda...how cool....i can play doom!
I used to change peoples schemes in school, same old thing no one had a clue how to change it back...hehe
the bad, good old days indeed.
I remember using Windows 3.1 for the first time (having already used the Mac), and thinking, "Well, gee, they really didn't put too much work or thought into this, did they...?" Because nothing seemed to really do what it seemed it should. Still today, Microsoft OS's retain some of that inexplicable clunkiness like sideways scrolling open-dialog file lists. Enough. Please. Enough.
I had a i386 AMD PC with DOS, to install Windows 3.1 i upgraded its hard disk to whooping 633mb (found an old seagate HDD lying in a shop, purchased it for $16)
But donno wat was the problem, I was not able to install, later that PC gone kaput.
Was just trying for a fun, I have the latest PC :)
"How can I use Hot Dog on Win XP??"
Just take a few minutes modifying the XP colours to a garish mix of red, yellow and white. It's quite easy.
I have Windows 3.1 running under Microsoft Virtual PC 2004. I hae got it running at 800x600 with 24-bit colour. I liked the Windows Standard scheme when you run it with proper graphics drivers. I notice that Microsoft have almost gone back to that with Windows Vista ;-) As for the Hot Dog Stand colour scheme for Windows, OK. I am visually impaired, and I really am glad they meant this as a joke. My favourite colour scheme for Windows 3.1 is Ocean
Is there any way to get the old ini values for the Windows 3.1 schemes? I would like them to live on, including Hot Dog Stand.
do you know where i can get windows 3.1 for free? i have virtual pc 2007 and want to use some really old os's
Boy is that HORRID!, I do remember it... bad on the eyes!
Ahhh, those were the days. :) I sometimes long for those days when things were simpler, technology was simpler :) At that time you were just happy to have a pc, who cared what the color. I remember my old Zenith Data Systems PC-AT running windows 286. Bought my first hard drive to upgrade from 2 360K floppies - 10MB full height IBM - sounded like a jet engine but no loading 5 different Wordperfect 4 floppies.
Wow! This brings back memories; playing the Gorillas game with its slow movement, basic colors, and squeaky VGA sounds; the then-thrilling 'flying through stars' screen savers...and the wild, wacky, simple, 2D world of 3.1...AHH memories!
I love that theme, I just installed 3.11 Workstation on my PSP, and I use that theme just to prove that I have the real thing.
Flourescent is much worse!
I rather liked the Plasma Power Saver theme, actually.
I used hotdog at work a)for high def under a thick anti-glare mesh that health-and-safety put up and b) to stop anyone else going near MY STUFF !!
how do you install 3.1 on the psp?
sigh...... i miss win 3.x it was fun...and the programs were better. they did what you expected from them with out choking up your entire computer....... oh well.
Jesus. There's somebody else on the Internet that also has the Windows 3.1 "Hot Dog Stand" colour theme in his active consciousness besides me. I thought of dressing up as the Hot Dog Stand colour theme for Halloween last year, but as usual, my laziness took over.
I even managed to run Windows 1.01, 3.1 and the Chinese-only 3.2 on my 2006 Core Duo laptop directly on Windows 98's DOS booted from a USB disk. though only in Standard-mode (386 enhanced mode always crash) and with 16 colors (I don't think that even I got a supported video card I can get high res/high color without 386 enhanced mode).
It's exciting that it correctly displayed that I have a gigabyte of ram.
by the way, the last display chipset that has Win3.x driver is Riva TNT2, without acceleration. Just search tnt5w311.zip.
I remember being in a GUI guidelines session at a VBITS conferance in the early 90's and the Microsoft UI standards creator, Virginia H., did the presenting. She commented that "Hotdog Stand" was actually included as an example of a bad color scheme.
I'm not a programmer or anything intense...but my gods, that
"Hot Dog Stand" colour scheme is a huge laugh!!
Don't know whether to love it or hate it, but I'm dyin' to
try it on my poor abused XP box.
And maybe also on my even poorer, MORE abused 98SE box.
It's so bad it's great!
I want this theme for Vista.
For those who want the values for the Hot Dog Stand theme, here you go. I hope the columns line up.
Screen Element H.S.L R.G.B
Desktop 40.240.120 255.255.0
Application Workspace 40.240.120 255.255.0
Window Background 0.240.120 255.0.0
Window Text 160.0.240 255.255.255
Menu Bar 160.0.240 255.255.255
Menu Text 160.0.0 0.0.0
Active Title Bar 160.0.0 0.0.0
Inactive Title Bar 0.240.120 255.0.0
Active Title Bar Text 160.0.240 255.255.255
Inactive Title Bar Text 160.0.240 255.255.255
Active Border 0.240.120 255.0.0
Inactive Border 0.240.120 255.0.0
Window Frame 160.0.0 0.0.0
Scroll Bars 160.0.181 192.192.192
Button Face 160.0.181 192.192.192
Button Shadow 160.0.120 128.128.128
Button Text 160.0.0 0.0.0
Button Highlight 160.0.240 255.255.255
Disabled Text 160.0.120 128.128.128
Highlight 160.0.0 0.0.0
Highlighted Text 160.0.240 255.255.255
nice, I remember that we had a windows 3.1 machine, that was when I was about 7 years old, in about the year 2000 would love to still have the whole working machine. 1 thing good about the hardware back then is it doesn't break, seeing as I still have a working hard drive on my desk and it still works. When this computer gets older and I have moved on, I will install the 3.1 HDD in this computer and see if 3.1 loads (I would about 3000 feet tall if it worked...) :P
I don't think it was included as a joke. I think it was made for people who are colorblind. (no joke!)
This is like, omg, the best theme eva! I just can't get over it! Wish they had it for vista ;)
I love seeing Microsoft Bob there! As long as we're discussing defunct ideas that some 'head at Microsoft thought would be brilliant…
LOL, I still have a running 486 machine with Windows 3.11 on it. I like to go "back in time" every now and again.
If you think that looks garish, you should try using Windows XP. The default scheme is a killer!
I would disagree with those who assert that this theme was included for those who were color blind. I would instead argue that this theme was included for those who were 100% blind, PERIOD.
Hats off to Microsoft for ushering in a new era in software based assistive technology! For the first time in the brief history of man, the blind can now see!!!
Protip: reminiscing about using unspeakably ugly shitty toy software from a felonious megalomaniacal megacorporation isn't cool.
At my previous employer it is your duty to "Hot Dog Stand" someone else's machine if they leave it unlocked at a client site.
Beautiful idea. Thanks for passing it along. And I know a pompous ass or two ripe for the prank.
AHHHH AHHH MY EYESSS MY EYESSSS!!!!!!!!
I remember running across that theme many a night when i would stay up till dawn messing aorund with this and that. played doom mostly to be honest. win 3.1 was nothing more than a useless luxery that couldnt even play any of the demanding games of the era, just maybe a quickee of free-ski or some of the myraid of other win-games off of some shareware cd. my terminal program was dos too, so there you go.. i was a dos junkie in a win world until 95 made a gui truly viable.
The hot dog stand theme is called sennep og ketchup (mustard and ketchup) in danish
Ummm... that was my ketchup... they made it LowVision friendly... damn MS bastards.
I want to get a old windows 3.1 machine someday...Heck, i want to get a original IBM 5150. and a XT. And a AT. And a PC-JR. I have antique video game systems and computers as a hobby. something about them is fascinating, and this is coming from a 13 year old.
I've got Windows 3.11 in Virtual PC. And then I saw the Hot Dog theme in the Colors dialog. I didn't apply it, but I want to know:
How do you install a sound card in Windows 3.11 For Workgroups in MS Virtual PC 2007?
I used to run Hotdog Stand all the time. There was a different one called moonlight or something which was all purple and black and everything... remember that?
If it were up to me, we'd all still br running 3.1 on machines with 386 processors. And no internet.
Wow. I have to say, I still think that window 3.1 was the best OS ever. Duke Nukem... Sweet holy Moses. Duke Nukem... And hot dog stand is gorgeous... And yes, I remember the moonlight theme...
I liked those other high contrast ones that gave you green fonts on a black bacground with blue borders and taskbar (the sci-fi look) though it had its applications, this one was just an eye bleeding mess.
Maybe it was designed to look Ok on CGI monitors? If you remember one of the two color modes was bright red and yellow and the other was cyan and magenta...
I used to love that theme until one day when I thought it burned my retina and then I got really hungry.
Seriously thanks for the memories, I haven't thought about 3.1 since.....well since Windows 95 came out. Damnit I haven't thought of Windows 95 since....... LOL!!
You can re-live all this. Look for 386 or 486 computers at yard and garage sales, go into re-sale/charity type shops. you can also check Ebay and craigs list for great Old computer deals.
Hopefully they will still have a windows 3.1 install intact, and if you have 3.1 on disk you can allways install it yourself if they dont.
Not only re-live 3.1 and "Hot dog Stand" but how about After Darks flying toasters? now thats a memory along with all the that era's games you used to play.
Yes it will seem little pathetic to an extent to people like wives or girlfriends or your close buddies so you may want to pre-screen those you wish to let in on concerning your "little" hobby so to speak..
Have fun :)
Windows 3.1 = Amiga Workbench (circa 1990)
...and with that nugget of wisdom, I'm off to have a wank.
Thank you and goodnight.
of course Hot Dog Stand is cool -- because these are the colors for the University of Maryland Terrapins - red, yellow, black, white GO TERPS!
Hot Dog Stand theme provides the best for visibility in high light environments. Ie. Outside…
Actually I worked with a Windows for Workgroups computer not so long ago. I was a sysadmin for a factory and the computers that collected one type of data from the FeSi ovens were running 3.11. The aging software didn't run on 95 or NT.
Of course the whole IT staff was literally shaking when these computers needed to be rebooted. The prospect of reinstalling a 3.11 machine were daunting. Will modern computers even run 3.11?