Retro computing

Overshare took a day off yesterday, but made two mistakes when he left the office the night before:

  1. Left his laptop in the office
  2. Left himself logged in

Given that he was already due some punishment for some decidedly schoolboy errors this week, Bond decided his unguarded laptop would be the medium through which his penalty would be exacted. Naturally, I was approached for ideas.

When Overshare came in this morning, this is what was waiting for him:

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About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

16 responses to “Retro computing”

  1. tech_guy says :

    Lol cool video – ace joke.

  2. Simon says :

    Wow, that boot time is unbelievable!

  3. mrsmith says :

    This. Is. Amazing.

    How quick was that startup after POSTing? Incredible! I think someone should write a lightweight browser with all the latest plugins for Windows 3.1. I think my ultimate laptop would then be a triple boot of Windows 3.1, XP, and Windows 7. Maybe I could even use my laptop to get some work done!

  4. Giles says :

    How exactly did you do that? Tell me you didn’t do a full install. (400 floppies?)

    • TheCrust says :

      400 floppies?

      Giles, which version of Windows 3.11 are you thinking of?

      I remember Office Professional v4.3 on about 40 floppies, but my recollection of Windows 3.11 is that it arrived on about 10 disks….

      Hmmm. I either need to get out more, or check the old box of floppies I know I chucked in the loft some years back. :-)

    • AngryTechnician says :

      I had previously done an experiment a few months ago installing Windows 3.11 in a virtual machine, so had the contents of each floppy (8 originally) in a single folder. I copied this onto a bootable 1GB USB flash drive I have that uses Grub4dos to allow me to boot various disk images and ISOs directly from the flash drive. In this case I booted into a DOS 6.22 image, ran fdisk and format on the destination drive, then used the sys command to transfer DOS to the new partition. I then copied over the Windows 3.11 install folder using xcopy, rebooted, and ran the install directly from the hard drive.

      As I had done all the hard work making the bootable USB drive in advance, it was a remarkably quick prank to pull off.

  5. Kristof says :

    This is marvelous!

  6. Ellira says :

    Awwww Windows 3.1. My first love.

    Excellent prank. I can’t imagine Overshare was too amused, though …

  7. p858snake says :

    what? no virtual server set up in pre-2000 security mode so you could set the laptop up to network?

  8. Giles says :

    You removed his original harddrive though? Seems a little cruel to format someone’s computer simply because they left it logged on…

    • p858snake says :

      I would say that it’s one of the school ones so that everything would already be on the server (and he did mentioned that it was left on and logged in so he probably copied everything as well).

    • AngryTechnician says :

      I swapped his original hard drive with a spare one. About half an hour after discovering the prank, he came down to my office and declared that he was bored of playing Minesweeper, and I gave him his normal hard drive back. He was up and running again 2 minutes later.

  9. Dr Bob says :

    Huh? You upgraded him?


  10. ErkDemon says :

    One stage better, if you still have any of the old MSDN “platform” CDRs kicking around, is to install WfW 3.11 in Japanese.

  11. scaryman says :

    Come on… you can’t say you’re busy if you have time to do this brief prank…

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