Category Archives: Microsoft

There’s More to the 286 XENIX Story

It turns out that there is a rather interesting story behind the 286 XENIX incompatibility with 386 and later processors. Here’s roughly what happened in chronological order. In 1982, Intel released the iAPX 286 processor, later known as the 80286 or simply 286. This … Continue reading

Posted in 286, 386, Intel, Microsoft | 29 Comments

Oldest Surviving 386 PC OS?

Four years ago, the Xenix 2.2.3 mystery cropped up (twice). The issue has been revisited and thanks to Michael Casadevall, an enthusiastic reader, came to a happy conclusion: 386 Xenix version 2.2.3 was finalized in late June 1988 (the newest … Continue reading

Posted in 386, Microsoft, SCO, UNIX, Xenix | 21 Comments

IBM XENIX 1.0 Incompatibility Details

Some time ago I wrote about IBM PC XENIX 1.0 and why it won’t work on 386 and later processors. Thanks to a kind reader, I’ve been able to analyze the object files used to link the kernel, and I believe … Continue reading

Posted in 286, 386, Microsoft, Xenix | 19 Comments

Updating Windows

Updating older (but still supported) Windows versions can be a tedious tasks. Not only for humans but also for computers. Searching for updates for half an hour every time with the CPU going at full tilt must be a not … Continue reading

Posted in Microsoft, Windows | 16 Comments

Playing Football

The Super Bowl is long over and it’s time to look at different kind of football. In Winter 1986/1987, Microsoft initiated a small skunkworks project called “Football”. The objective was to take “Sizzle”, a development branch of proto-OS/2 that would eventually … Continue reading

Posted in 386, IBM, Microsoft, OS/2, PC history | 16 Comments

Before OS/2 Was OS/2

After almost 30 years, several disks with ancient builds of OS/2 surfaced. In this context, “ancient” means older than the May 1987 release of the first MS OS/2 SDK. In fact these disks are so old that the one thing … Continue reading

Posted in IBM, Microsoft, OS/2, PC history, Undocumented | 36 Comments

MS C 4.0 Documentation Added

Another library expansion. This time it’s Microsoft C 4.0 documentation (1986)—because it’s not available online, is not easy to find offline, and because Jeff asked for it. MS C 4.0 was an early Microsoft compiler, implementing first glimpses of the not-yet finalized … Continue reading

Posted in C, Documentation, DOS, Microsoft | 6 Comments

Something Happened

My first experience with the Windows 10 media creation tool was, in a word, terrible. After 20 minutes or so of downloading, the tool told me that “Something happened” and the only option was to exit. That’s probably what passes … Continue reading

Posted in Bugs, Microsoft | 17 Comments

Windows 3.0 DR 1.14, February 1989

Another rather interesting software artifact surfaced just recently, after more than 25 years since its release: Windows 3.0 Debug Release 1.14 (further referred to as DR 1.14) from February 1989. This was an alpha version only provided to select ISVs … Continue reading

Posted in 386, Microsoft, PC history, Windows | 72 Comments

mtswslnk

Certain older Microsoft software (including Windows font files) contains mysterious strings starting with “mtswslnk”, sometimes longer and sometimes shorter. This led some people to wild speculation about the meaning and purpose of the string. Let’s start with the full string: … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Microsoft, PC history | 1 Comment