Re: Microsoft and Xenix.

From: Chris Meadors (
Date: Sun Jun 24 2001 - 17:41:30 EST

On Sun, 24 Jun 2001, Rob Landley wrote:

> I know the geos had nothing to do with digital, it started as a windowing GUI
> for the commodore 64, if you can believe that...

Not only can I belive it, but I was going to bring it up the first time
GEOS was mentioned. Having only used Macs (in school) for file operations
(I had loaded games off a TSR-80 datasette). I couldn't follow
copying/deleting/renaming files by typing commands when my family finally
got me a C64. So I relied heavily on GEOS. I even got one of those touch
pads to move the cursor around the screen.

When my dad finally got a PC in 1991 it had MS-DOS 5.0 and Windows 3.1 on
it. I didn't like Windows too much, but still found DOS awkward (still
using Macs in school). I started using dosshell a lot for file
operations. But when I saw an ad for GEOS in a computer mag. I was so
happy. I ended up using that for a while. But more and more programs
required Windows, and that made me mad.

There was one book that totally changed my life. I can't remember the
correct title, but it was something to the effect of Secrets to the DOS
Gurus. After reading that book, I fell in love with the command line
interface. Everything started making sense.

Somewhere along the line, I think 1994 I started working for the Maryland
state government at a Healt Department. They were running Xenix (SCO, the
2 names were interchanged a lot) on a 386. A few of the "important"
people had serial lines run to their Win 3.1 PCs where they'd use Telix to
run the database programs on the Xenix box.

As I watched people work on in Xenix I recognized a lot of the commands I
had picked up using the Delphi online service. I had a neighbor that
showed me some stuff I could do if I chose the Exit to Shell option.

In 1995 still working for the Health Department I got to go to my first
trade show, FOSE. I met and heavily impressed a lot of booth workers.
One such booth was Microsoft. I was invited to participate in their beta
program for the upcoming Windows 95 (I was one of the "lucky" people who
didn't have to pay for their betas).

I used the Win95 betas for a while. But something happened that year. I
got a Linux Unleashed book from SAMS. It included a copy of Slackware. I
installed that along side my Win95, and when I saw how fast Doom loaded I
was in love. I vowed that on August 24, 1995 I would delete Windows from
my machine and never use it again. Well I can't say that I have held
complete faithful to that vow, but I have had Linux on my machine ever
since then. Now my computer is Windows free and has been for a year and a

Okay, I brushed on GEOS, Microsoft, Xenix, and even Linux. So I'm as on
topic as the rest of this thread. I just have never told my story on l-k,
and this seemed a good place to put a little of it in. :)


Two penguins were walking on an iceberg.  The first penguin said to the
second, "you look like you are wearing a tuxedo."  The second penguin
said, "I might be..."                         --David Lynch, Twin Peaks

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