September 29, 2005
What would the world be like if Windows 95 and Windows NT has been cancelled? You'd be surfing the web right now in Windows for Workgroups 3.11:
I never browsed the intarweb through any version of Windows 3.x. Most people are surprised to find that there was a Windows 3.x version of circa-1999 Internet Explorer 5. By the time the web caught on in late '95, most of the early adopters I knew had already transitioned to Windows 95. I distinctly remember using the first version of IE under Windows 95-- the one that didn't understand the <table> tag or animated gifs!
As for the title of this post, according to the canonical list of Microsoft code names, Snowball was the internal Microsoft codename for the WFW 3.11 project. If you want to rock your own WFW 3.11 virtual machine, you can download the OS from peteweb. And don't forget DOS 6.22 like I did! Set it up following the great instructions from Virtual PC guy:
There's a huge collection of old 16-bit Windows software on the 10 year anniversary of Windows 3.1 page. It's a sketchy looking website, but if you follow the yahoo briefcase download instructions closely, the software is all still present and downloadable.
You may find WinImage helpful here for creating floppy disk images from collections of files. Virtual PC only understands non-compressed (.IMA) floppy images, so be sure you avoid the default compressed (.IMZ) floppy images.
Posted by Jeff Atwood
I'm surprised it renders Google that well.
Ha-ha. What's with all this nostalgia? I just went thru this. Here's some more screen shots:
Maybe, just maybe, we would be using something that wasn't produced in Redmond. I think even the most diehard Windows fanatic would prefer a recent (from the last 5 years or so) version of Linux over WFW.
In File manager if you have a file made in eg. 2005, the file date will show as 19:5. It must be that 19 was hardcoded and ':' is the ASCII char after 9, sort of the digit for '10'.
Back in 1989 or 1990, while working for a small engineering company I remember that we made sure that we made sure the library functions for textual date representation would be correct also for dates after 2000. I find it lacking that a company the size of Microsoft did not manage to do the same several years later.
Tut tut, Jeff, it's "teh intarweb". Never "the".
"There's a huge collection of old 16-bit Windows software on the 10 year anniversary of Windows 3.1 page. It's a sketchy looking website, but if you follow the yahoo briefcase download instructions closely, the software is all still present and downloadable."
No, there isn't. I opened the page and looked, and couldn't see a briefcase, so I did a text search on the page and it wasn't there.
Sorry, Mark, looks like that's a dead link now..
Holy crap that brings back some memories. I designed my first web page in Windows 3.11. It was my first windows box, and only the second computer my family had ever owned.
I remember IE for 3.11, but I much preferred netscape back then.