eBay Purchase #18 – Microsoft Word for Windows 1.1a

mswinword11-7eBay Purchase Price: Unknown

Country of Origin: Australia & United States

Condition: Good & Brand New (2 x copies, Academic & Retail)

Word processing software has been with us since the earliest days of the PC. Electric Pencil and WordStar were such pioneers before Microsoft Word came about. Microsoft jumped in with Word 1.0 for MS-DOS in 1983, followed by the Macintosh in 1985. Windows and OS/2 releases didn’t materialise until 1989. The original Windows version was designed for Windows 2.x. As Windows 3.0 hit the store shelves in 1990, Word 1.1 soon followed as a maintenance release.

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Install & Configure Windows 98 Using Oracle VirtualBox

Earlier posts on installing Windows 3.1 and 95 with VirtualBox have been consistently popular since I started this blog. This time the focus is on Windows 98, arguably the most popular version of Windows from a vintage PC enthusiast prospective, particularly for gaming.

win98oraclevm-intro

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eBay Purchase #17 – Macintosh System 7.5

macsystem75-8eBay Purchase Price: $100 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Excellent

The mid 1990s was a challenging period for Apple. Steve Jobs had long been absent, a fragmented Macintosh product line existed (e.g. Performa, Quadra, Centris, and Power Macintosh), Windows 95 grabbing the attention of the media, and the difficulties pursuing the Copland project.

Obviously Steve was far from pleased.

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My ‘Ultimate’ 486 Build Revisited

486pcbuild-1

Back in 2014 I began a project to build myself a 486 PC. It proved to be slow going, not just to get the right components, but also spending time troubleshooting. Two years later I finally had it all functioning. Initially the aim was just to have a usable 486 without getting too fussy over the hardware. Maybe with a DX/2 66 processor, 8 MB of RAM, an entry-level ESS sound card, and so forth. However, as things accumulated over time it proved to be better than I had imagined. ‘Ultimate’ can be subjective – no doubt some other enthusiast has one with more RAM and thrown in a TNT 3D video card, but my aim was to keep it fairly period correct.

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eBay Purchase #16 – Apple Macintosh LC II

maclc2-1eBay Purchase Price: $200 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Good

It’s been years since owning a beige Macintosh, and I had an itch to own one again. A little while ago I picked up this Macintosh LC II off eBay, from the state of Queensland. Getting a Mac from the LC series wasn’t my first choice, having preferred finding a Quadra or Performa instead. Between price, condition, and the models out there to choose from it’s hard pickings. Nevertheless there was some sentimental value towards this model – it was the model I experienced using a Macintosh for the very first time.

The LC family began with the original Macintosh LC released in October 1990, and the  series continued up until 1997 with the Power Macintosh 5200/75 LC in an all-in-one form factor. The earlier LC models were commonly referred to as pizza boxes, given their slim design, and in hindsight could be seen as the then Mac Mini. I’m not fully certain on officially what the LC represented, whether it was “low cost”, “low cost colour”, or from the name of Project Elsie in which the objective was to build a more affordable Macintosh with a colour screen. Whichever it may be, the LC was aimed for families and the education market as a lower cost alternative to the Macintosh II.

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File Manager Returns

filemanager-largeiconThis isn’t something I’d expect from Microsoft, and it must have been a bit of a flashback for Ian Ellison-Taylor.

File Manager, once the default file management tool during the heyday of Windows 3.x and NT has come back to life for Windows 10. Now available in open source under a MIT license, two variations of the source code have been published on GitHub. The only dependency is for the Visual Studio 2015 C++ runtime to be installed on your PC.

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eBay Purchase #15 – Philips Apple Video Adapter

philips-apple-video-1eBay Purchase Price: $30 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Good

Macintosh computers up until the introduction of the iMac in 1998, were known for having proprietary ports, which at times was inconvenient in a PC-centric world. Fortunately these days it’s more seamless.

I recently picked up an old Mac (which I’ll show in a later post). Everything was included, even down to having the original install disks and manuals, with the exception of the monitor. It was claimed to have been working, but there was a slight problem. None of the older LCD monitors I owned with their VGA and DVI ports was going to just plug in. So since owning it I had left it in the its original box out in the shed.

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Running Obsolete Software on Windows 10

Opinion is divided on what constitutes a satisfactory time-frame concerning the life-cycle of software products. Those more technically inclined see the importance of keeping current, whether it be in the form of a patch, or a major upgrade when their software is soon to be out of support. Others view updates as a hindrance, and are content using eight year old software as long as it runs okay, and does what they need it for. External factors usually dictate when they feel forced to upgrade. Windows XP’s later years were a testament to this. My father for example only upgraded from XP for two reasons; utilise more than 4 GB of RAM, and play newer DirectX 10 and 11 games.

Microsoft and Apple have held different attitudes over the years supporting hardware and software that isn’t so cutting edge any more.

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