Twenty-five seems like such a big number but my reading feed has been just full of an event that occurred 25 years ago.
Windows 95 was launched!
Wow. That makes me think. Mick Jagger is getting old.
I hated the concept. My first personal computer was actually the Unisys Icon and there was a ton of learning to get up to speed. The operating system was QNX and that took some learning. Fun learning, but still learning. Then, there was the followup of TRS-DOS, MS-DOS, PC-DOS, CP/M, and then working with the Commodore PET. There was Windows 3.1 but we never took it seriously. It was a fad! These days, it’s Windows 10, MacOS, Linux, and ChromeOS.
The common thread to all of this was that you worked with things at the command line by typing instructions. I’ve often said that those were the last times that I actually knew how a computer work. All this graphic front end stuff took much of the control away from the keyboard and put it in your hands via mouse. Now, it’s often with your finger.
Of course, at the time, there was the Macintosh Operating System that many of us looked at with distain. “A Macintosh is a computer with training wheels that won’t come off.” Now, a new set of training wheels was going to come to the PC? Heresy.
As we know now, I was completely wrong. Even desktop for Linux has a graphic interface to interact with. I still have this nagging feeling though that I don’t know all that a computer is capable of. Perhaps there will be a time when I can come to grips with that.
At the time, other than I was expected to know about this for my job, there really wasn’t any reason to switch from DOS. After all, I had WordPerfect and VisiCalc. Who needs more? I think that the application that finally convinced me this was a good thing was Microsoft Publisher. After all, who could live without WordArt?! It was the beginning of the end with people mistaking graphics for content! And, I confess, I led workshops and that was always on the agenda.
Windows 95 put the Information Technology Department through the wringer as well. Networking was nowhere near the plug and play convenience that we enjoy today. You had to buy cards and sometimes work hard to get a driver that worked. Today, we seldom think of such things.
If you’re interested in a little throw back, you can experience the excitement of Windows 95 here. It loads about as quickly as I remember my computers back them loading. And, who could forget the excitement of CGA and VGA graphics! If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry. You’re not missing much by not knowing.
It actually was fun just plugging around with this old interface.
Like most computer things though, it is now but a memory for a computer museum. We have so much more power and functionality these days.
It’s hard to look back and think that we had it all with this cutting edge stuff.
Do you have any fond or not so fond Windows 95 memories?