Text encoding Babel. Was Re: George Keremedjiev

Fred Cisin cisin at xenosoft.com
Fri Nov 30 19:31:07 CST 2018

On Sat, 1 Dec 2018, Maciej W. Rozycki via cctalk wrote:
> Be assured there were enough IBM PC clones running DOS around from 1989
> onwards for this stuff to matter, and hardly anyone switched to MS Windows
> before version 95 (running Windows 3.0 with the ubiquitous HGC-compatible
> graphics adapters was sort of fun anyway, and I am not sure if Windows 3.1
> even supported it; maybe with extra drivers).

Depending on which question you are asking, . . .
Windows 3.1 definitely did support Hercules video.  We had about 3 dozen 
such machines (386SX) in the school student homework lab.
It also supported CGA, but initially didn't come with the driver, so it 
would work if you upgraded from 3.0 to 3.1, or otherwise used the 3.0 CGA 

In August 1991, I went to a Microsoft conference in Seattle.  Although it 
was the anniversary of the 5150, Bill Gates was making appearances on the 
east coast, instead of being there.

They asked our opinion of the NEW flying ["dry rot" disintegrating] window 
logo, and couldn't believe it that we did NOT love it.

I found out about, and got a copy of, a CD-ROM "International" Windows 
3.0, with many languages, including Chinese!  I loved being able to 
install from CD, instead of boxes of floppies, and was glad that they were 
at least trying to expand to the rest of the world.

They introduced Windows 3.1.  But the borrowed Toshiba laptop that I had 
with me had 1MB of contiguous RAM, but not A20 support, and 3.1 "NEEDED" 
64K above 1MB for HIMEM.SYS, which "SOLVES the problem of not enough RAM".
3.1 also was the first product to force SMARTDRV.SYS.  As soon as I got 
home, I contacted the Win3.1 Beta program to tell them that write-cacheing 
without a way to turn it off was a BIG problem.  There was a bad spot on 
the hard drive that I was installing it to that neither Spinrite nor 
SpeedStor could find, but it consistently crashed the 3.1 installation. 
But, with the forced write cacheing, there was NO possible way to recover. 
(Without write-cacheing, you just rename the file that failed, and 
manually install another copy of that one file)
I found the bad spot and put a SECTORS.BAD file there, and then was OK.
The Microsoft Beta program wanted cheerleaders, and ABSOLUTELY didn't want 
any negative feedback nor bug reports, and insisted that the OS had no 
responsibility to recover from nor survive hardware problems, and that 
therefore it was not their problem.  I told them that they would soon 
have to do a recall (THAT was EXACTLY what happened with DOS 6.2x).  They 
did not invite me to participate in any more Betas.

I had a font editor that wouldn't tolerate 3.1, and quite a few XTs (no 
A20),  so I continued to keep Win 3.0 on a bunch of machines.

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