Install & Configure IBM OS/2 Warp 4.52 Using Oracle VirtualBox

os2-45-1OS/2 initially developed in cooperation between Microsoft and IBM back in the 1980s had a turbulent history over the years. By 1996 with the final retail release of OS/2 Warp 4.0, IBM conceded defeat by Microsoft realising it was not able to compete with Windows 95, although still managed to withhold a portion of the enterprise market. Years later it was still found on some servers and even ATMs on the street.

OS/2 Warp 4.52 was the final version by IBM released in 2001 with official support ending in 2006. It wasn’t offered in a retail package, but for those who had a contractual agreement with IBM for OS/2 support. After this the foundation of the OS had evolved into what is now known as eComStation.

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eBay Purchase #7 – Microsoft Publisher 2.0

mspub2-1.pngeBay Purchase Price: $1 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Very Good

Sometimes every now and then a bargain is picked up, and in this case it was a new shrink wrapped copy of Microsoft Publisher 2.0 for only $1 AUD. Other copies found tend to be priced between $50 to $100.

This version of Publisher from 1993 had a few minor variations to the retail box particularly with the large fonts on the front, and the coloured diamond that would either say just “Version 2.0” or mention some sort of special offer.

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eBay Purchase #6 – Microsoft Windows/386 2.11

windows_logo_and_wordmark_-_1985-svg

 

 

eBay Purchase Price: $100+ AUD

Country of Origin: United States

Condition: Very Good

Witnessing the very few copies of Windows 1.0 on eBay usually for sale overseas and in excess of $1,000 US at the end of auction, I never had success obtaining a copy. Due to that, Windows 2.11 marketed as Windows/286 and Windows/386 are the earliest copies I have in a box.

win386-1

“New” copies of Windows/286 and Windows/386 side by side.

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Windows Vision

I came across an image of a CD from the internet recently titled Microsoft Windows: A Vision for the Future that dates back to 1997. Unsure who this would have been distributed to, though I suspect it was circulated around with IT professionals, partnered vendors, and so forth for the UK market. The purpose was to show Microsoft’s strategy with their Windows product line over the coming years in a nutshell.

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Being at Home with Microsoft Home

mshome-1.pngIt’s the year 1993. You have a 386 PC (or were fortunate enough to have a 486 DX), and you just spent several hundred on a multimedia kit. To make it worthwhile, you craved finding stuff that would take advantage of those new bits inside your PC even if it was just your favourite rock album to play for the novelty.

What was a multimedia kit? Back in the early 1990s, a multimedia kit consisted of an internal CD-ROM drive, a sound card, speakers, a few CD-ROM titles, and possibly other stuff like a microphone. Kits from Creative Labs were probably the most popular. These transformed your PC from only emitting “beeps” and using floppy disks, to a world of CD-ROMs, motion picture, and quality audio. Multimedia was certainly the buzzword at the time, very much like how cloud computing is today.

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AUTOEXEC.BAT & CONFIG.SYS Reference Guide

auto-cnfg-refguide-1Many of those that used MS-DOS in its heyday, would remember spending time on these two files – AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS to optimise and configure their PC as needed. Sometimes careful placement of commands were needed to maximise the 640 KB of conventional memory to avoid “out of memory” errors for Windows applications and games. When you knew you had overall 8 or 16 of MB RAM in those days thinking you had plenty, let’s just say it had its moments of frustration due to TSR (Terminate and Stay Resident) programs and so forth.

Fortunately we don’t need to worry about now, but I think the flip side to that was that it felt like an accomplishment when you had your PC well configured at a time when using a computer wasn’t common knowledge like it is today and with ever increasing automation.

For those running MS-DOS in some form, this is a quick reference guide to both of these files, and what many of the more common commands meant. Usually on Drive C or boot floppy disks, both of these files are located on your start up disk at the root directory (i.e. at A:\> or C:\>).

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eBay Purchase #5 – Microsoft Windows NT 3.1

nt31-1eBay Purchase Price: Approx. $60 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Very Good

I guess as a follow-up to my previous post about running Windows NT 3.1 under Oracle VirtualBox, I thought to share how this OS looks in the physical sense as it was a challenge to obtain a copy.

This particular retail box was still in shrink wrap for 20-odd years, and therefore the contents was intact. The sticker on the box in regards to a special offer, was aimed at existing Windows or OS/2 users to purchase at a reduced price. Continue reading

Install & Configure Windows NT 3.1 Using Oracle VirtualBox

Once the partnership with IBM faltered with the development of OS/2, Microsoft went alone and Windows NT was born back in 1993. Microsoft’s first true 32-bit operating system, it generally was to be seen only on high-end desktop workstations and servers. The first version was 3.1, to match the versioning of the more consumer orientated Windows 3.1 that was released a year prior. There was two editions – one named simply Windows NT 3.1 for workstation use, and the other named Windows NT 3.1 Advanced Server which obviously suggests for servers on a network. A relative lack of 32-bit software and higher system requirements meant success was limited and most of the attention was towards MS-DOS and Windows 3.1.

Installing Windows NT 3.1 is certainly not the easiest Windows to install into VirtualBox due to a few limitations. It’s very easy for the VM to crash or for NT 3.1 to complain about the hardware due to what was available at the time. Back then, Intel had been beta testing their new Pentium processors to supersede the 486, and introduced the CPUID instruction set which allows software to identify the CPU’s features.

winnt31-vm1

By default, it’s a no go when installing unless Setup detects specific 386, 486, or Pentium processors.

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eBay Purchase #4 – Microsoft Office Value Pack for Windows 95

eBay Purchase Price: $80 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Used

I won the auction for this one some time ago and while the box is rather tatty, it’s been the only one on eBay I’ve seen. I guess most people dumped the large box and kept it all separate.

office95vp-1

For a couple of hundred extra then buying Office Professional on its own, the Office Value Pack was a collection of software specifically orientated towards Windows 95. It was clearly targeting the SOHO and small business segment. Nevertheless as a 10 year old at the time of release, it was a “I’d like to get that but no chance in hell I could afford that” package.

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The One Hit Wonder in Version Control (Microsoft Delta)

Just like Microsoft Test, Delta was another obscure software product from Microsoft back in the early 1990s that I hadn’t known about over the years. Also like Test, Delta doesn’t get much coverage on Google and you’ll just see Delta Airlines.

Developed internally, the focus was with software development projects and provided version control on source code, otherwise had been known as VCS or version control system.

Delta would be typically deployed in a corporate network where each developer would have Delta installed on their workstations, but no components would be installed on the server. A project would be shared amongst the company’s peers where files could be shared either directly on their workstation or hosted on a server, and allow synchronisation of the project’s progress amongst the workstations. Although files such as Word or Excel documents could be included in a project, normally the files in a project would be source code, icons, forms, etc. that would collectively be used to complete a software application.

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