Remembering Windows 3.1

When I saw this article “Windows 3.1 Twenty Years Later” from PC Magazine today, I asked myself, where was I and how did Windows 3.1 influence my life.


Microsoft Windows 3.1

Microsoft Windows 3.1


I was working for Hewlett-Packard and the Windows based PC was our standard computing environment. Yes, we were using it to access UNIX and RTE based systems but we were also developing products that relied on Windows. And the hopes for a more stable Windows were very real for us System Engineers. We had been propping up Windows 2.0 then 3.0 with HP’s NewWave, and that computing life was not stable. We had analytical instrumentation workstation software running on Windows that had strict requirements.

Opening multiple windows gave us the false illusion that we were running multiple programs at the same time. No we were just using the windows as placeholders, but Win 3.1 gave us hope. The Windows Registry was born giving us nerds the power over the general users. Screen savers spawned an industry of gimmicky apps that in some ways rivaled todays app store. Our customers were so excited when we would pass along the latest new screen saver apps that we had pulled off some BBS. I guess Win 3.1 also ushered in the Golden Age of Microsoft. We then got Win 3.11 or Windows for Workgroups. Remember how amazing the concept of sharing files between PCs was. We knew that true multi-tasking was on the horizon.

Oh well, that was fun, just felt like sharing those memories.

About ghsmith76

Greg Smith is currently the Interim CIO at Western Washington University. Prior to WWU Greg was the CIO at Missouri S&T, and before that the CIO for George Fox University in Newberg, OR. Greg went to the Northwest from the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology in Indianapolis, IN. where he served as the Director of IT for 8 years. Prior to the IT career in Academia, Greg was a Systems Consultant with Hewlett-Packard primarily with the Analytical Group working out of San Francisco,Cincinnati and Indianapolis. Greg's passion as a CIO in Higher Education comes from his belief that Technology can benefit Teaching & Learning.

Posted on April 16, 2012, in Microsoft. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s