Sunday, September 18, 2005


My first introduction to the Graphical User Interface was "GEOS 2" for the Commodore 64 by Berkely Softworks. It's amazing to think about how much functionality they were able to push onto a 1MHz processor with 64Kb of RAM.

I mean, it's hard to get "Hello World" to compile in less than 64Kb with today's personal computing environments and programming languages.

Anyways, after "graduating" from the C-64 to the IBM/Intel platform, I stayed with GeoWorks as my preferred OS:

Back in those days, though, it was common to multi-boot into different operating systems. Or, rather, you usually had MS-DOS installed, and then started up different graphical shells (Windows 3.x included).

I found a way to put GeoWorks onto a bootable floppy so that I could take it to the computer lab at school. I was doing desktop publishing at that time for extra money, and couldn't stand anything MacIntosh-related (I still can't figure out the one-button mouse). So, I'd head to the PC lab that was in the Computer Center, go back to a corner machine right next to a laser printer (had to pay per sheet). If anyone came over (like a lab assistant), I simply hit the reset button.

Ah, good times. GeoWorks was actually a better OS (IMHO) than Windows 3.1. I'm sure that a lot of people would say that just about anything is better than Windows, but I'm not part of that FUD machine.

I love my Windows today, but I wonder how the world would have been different if there were follow-up OS's like GeosWarp, Geos98, GeosXP, Geos2003 Server, and finally Geos Vista.

My guess is this: A bunch of Linux people would say that monopolistic Berkeley Softworks is Evil, that Windows NT is such a better operating system (but too bad that the small company Microsoft went bankrupt), and why can't they install Geos without GeoMedia or GeoWebBrowser?